Regular reader Sean writes about the Political Instability from climate change mitigation, citing a recent artricle in Bloomberg Online here.
It seems that with the problems with Russian grain harvest coupled with the mandate to increase renewable content in fuels, the peasants are revolting. Global food costs rose 25% last year but this cost is largely masked in the US because of the amount of processed food we consume, so only about a fifth of this price shows up in what we purchase at the grocery store. In many poor foreign countries in Africa, the commodity price increase shows full force in the actual retail prices they pay. There are riots in places like Algeria and the Tunisian revolt was sparked by rising prices on basic food staples.
Given that there was ample warning last summer that there would be shortages of certain grains, our government last fall gives the green light to allow E-15 gasoline which, if implemented, would be a 50% percent increase in the amount of ethanol devoted to transportation. (Currently nearly 40% of the corn crop is devoted to transportation fuel.) The existing renewable fuel mandates rely on food crops for feed stocks. Wouldn't it make much more sense for our government to be looking at ways to restrict diversion of grains toward transportation fuels when food commodity prices rise so precipitously?
Some food for thought.
What are your thoughts. CARB's low carbon fuel mandate is partly responsible for the growing demand for ethanol, which is increasing demand for more grain, driving up the price. Also, the wet and cold in Canada and part of the US Mid West has reduced grain production, which is alos impacting the price of grain. If the predicted return of a Grand Minimum is valid, we will see even higher food prices as the production of food grains is constrained by a colder climate. CARB and ERA are chasing the wrong monkey, up the wrong tree. I hope they realize their mistakes sooner, rather than later.