Food prices & biofuel & 133 comments
Nothing is clear cut in this world. The debate around food prices and the role of biofuels is a good example. This article from the New York Times & International Herald aims to debunk the myth of biofuels being a factor in the current rise in food prices. <link>
“Much larger trends are at work. They dwarf the still tiny biofuel industry (roughly a $40 billion annual business, or the equivalent of Exxon Mobil’s $40.6 billion profits in 2007). I refer to the rise of more than one-third of humanity in China and India, the disintegrating dollar and soaring oil prices.
Hundreds of millions of people have moved from poverty into the global economy over the past decade in Asia. They’re eating twice a day, instead of once, and propelling rapid urbanization. Their demand for food staples and once unthinkable luxuries like meat is pushing up prices.
At the same time, the rising price of commodities over the past year has largely tracked the declining parity of the beleaguered dollar. Rice prices have shot up in dollar terms, far less against the euro. Countries like China are offloading depreciating dollar reserves to hoard stores of value like commodities.”
The author’s blog is here http://blogs.iht.com/tribtalk/opinion/passages/?p=91. It’s the same article. The compelling thing is that it has attracted 133 comments. Both sides of the argument are presented. If you’re at all interested it’s well worth a read.
Note: The Guardian recently ran an article maintaining that it is the collapsing dollar that is the cause. Here’s my post <link>. This argument seems to be gaining credence.