Most of this comes from George Monbiot's recent article entitled "An Agricultural Crime Against Humanity".
Sir, James Gleason repeats his usual points about climate change (Monday December 3rd) but for a change, I find we something to agree with - the impact of bio-fuels on food supplies for the poorest people in the world. The use of bio-fuel made from organic waste or grown on idle agricultural land might have helped to reduce our use of oil but that is not what is happening. Instead, land previously used to grow food is being converted to grow fuel crops, in some countries, tropical forests are being slashed and burned for the same purpose. When you factor in the energy needed to farm and refine them with current technologies, the environmental benefits of bio-fuels are quite slim. Burning a forest to plant fuel crops eliminates the benefit entirely and turns the whole thing into a net loss for the environment. Some foods can also be fuel crops, for example Swaziland is now making fuel from casava while 40% of its people are facing food shortage. Even the IMF is warning that demand for bio-fuel is pushing up food prices for those who can least afford it. Western governments must reevaluate their policies and targets for bio-fuels and at the very least end subsidies,
Update:Published without edits I think.