January 11, 2013
What Do Biofuels Have To Do With Tortillas?
Tom Philpott, Mother Jones
New York Times
I used to write about biofuels a lot. The idea of devoting large swaths of prime farmland and annual gushers of agrichemicals to grow "fuel" crops—not to be eaten but to be set aflame in automobile engines—struck me as so nakedly stupid, so willfully ignorant, that surely pointing it out could help change policy. And so point it out I did, in dozens of blog posts and articles per year starting in 2006. (Here, here, here, here, and here are a few highlights). But the US and EU governments brushed off my verbal assault, maintaining their escalating biofuel mandates. Long about 2011, I realized that some blogger's crusade was never going to affect policy, so I largely stopped writing about the topic out of discouragement and, yes, boredom.
TAGGED: New York Times, Elisabeth Rosenthal', rainforest, Nikolas Kozloff, Brazil, sugarcane ethanol, rthanol, peasant farming, Guatemala, biofuels