Industrial Agriculture & Food Vs. Fuel

  • "Next Generation Biofuels": Bursting the New "Green" Bubble January 15, 2009.
    This letter challenges unrealistic promises from an unsustainable industry. The groups originating the letter include Global Justice Ecology Project, Rainforest Action Network, Food First, Family Farm Defenders, Grassroots International, ETC Group, Institute for Social Ecology, Heartwood, Dogwood Alliance, Energy Justice Network, and Native Forest Council

  • The World According to Monsanto.
    Here is a trailer for the excellent documentary.

  • Archer Daniels Midland: The Exxon of corn? by Tom Philpott, 02 Feb 2006

  • Corn and Fertilizer Use USDA. See tables 9-14.

  • How Can We Outlive Our Way of Life? by Dr. Tad Patzek, 10 September 2007.
    Paper prepared for the 20th Round Table on Sustainable Development of Biofuels, OECD. "In this paper I outline the rational, science-based arguments that question current wisdom of replacing fossil plant fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) with fresh plant agrofuels. This 1:1 replacement is absolutely impossible...As I show in this paper, the solar power captured by industrial corn, tree, and sugarcane plantations is minuscule when compared with our current use of oil or the potential provided by photovoltaic solar cells. To make things worse, what little solar energy is captured by the plants goes in tandem with a disproportionate environmental damage and negative free energy balance of agrosystems. The photovoltaic cell-battery-electric motor system is some 100 times more efficient than major agrofuel systems."

  • What About the Land? By Julia Olmstead, 05 Dec 2006
    A look at the impacts of biofuels production, in the U.S. and the world.

  • The Billion Ton Vision U.S. Department of Energy, April 2005
    Biomass as Feedstock for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry: the Technical Feasibility of a Billion-Ton Annual Supply
    ...The DOE boasts about the potential for ALL U.S. forest and agricultural land to displace 1/3 of current national petroleum consumption.

  • National Geographic Photo Flashback September, 2008.
    This picture of a man measuring the former ground level in rural New Mexico, in 1957, greatly illustrates some of the follies being revisted with current Biofuel, Biochar, and Industrial Agriculture practices. "Only the deep roots of native bluestem grass held this hill of sandy soil together; winds had carved the rest away. Back then farmers here used clean tillage, the practice of clearing the soil surface of plant debris."

  • Stuck in the Middle with Fuel By Eliza Barclay, 14 Dec 2006
    As its neighbors back biofuels, Central America gears up for business
    Countries prepare to develop available farmland for ethanol and biodiesel...since "there is no limit on [available farmland] in Central America."

  • The True Cost of Agrofuels: Impacts on Food, Forests, People and Climate 2007.
    This report is one of the most complete analysis of the multiple aspects of Agrofuels covering issues of soil, corporate control and consolidation, water, plantations and pulp mills, fertilizer usage, Genetic Engineering, transportation, and climate change. The conclusion fleshes out pathways and solutions to meeting the challenges for which agrofuels are a false solution.

  • Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers Report November, 2007.
    Published by the Center for Food Safety. The report documents Monsanto's lawsuits against American farmers, revealing thousands of investigations, nearly 100 lawsuits and numerous bankruptcies. Also provided is a toll-free hotline established for farmers facing lawsuits or threats from Monsanto to get guidance and referrals.

    Food Vs. Fuel

  • Massive Diversion of U.S. Grain to Fuel Cars is Raising World Food Prices
    By Lester Brown, 21 March, 2007

    "In the past, food price rises have usually been weather related and always temporary. This situation is different. As more and more fuel ethanol distilleries are built, world grain prices are starting to move up toward their oil-equivalent value in what appears to be the beginning of a long-term rise."

    "Since the United States is the leading exporter of grain, shipping more than Canada, Australia, and Argentina combined, what happens to the U.S. grain crop affects the entire world. With the massive diversion of grain to produce fuel for cars, exports will drop. The world's breadbasket is fast becoming the U.S. fuel tank."

  • Full Tanks at the Cost of Empty Stomachs
    A statement by the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), February 28, 2007.

    "Biomass is falsely presented as the new energy matrix, the ideal of which is renewable energy. We know that biomass will not actually be able to substitute fossil fuels, nor is it renewable."

    "Our principal objective is to guarantee food sovereignty, as the expansion of the production of biofuels aggravates hunger in the world. We cannot maintain our tanks full while stomachs go empty."

  • Feeding the Beast: It's time for a real "food vs. fuel" debate By Tom Philpott, 13 Dec 2006
    "109 ethanol refineries currently churn out 5.3 billion gallons of ethanol a year -- and an additional 56 plants (plus expansions at seven existing ones) have broken ground. When these new plants are on line, the industry's capacity will nearly double, to 9.7 billion gallons a year."

  • Ethanol could leave the world hungry By Lester Brown, August 16 2006
    "One tankful of the latest craze in alternative energy could feed one person for a year."

  • The Myth of Brazil's Ethanol SuccessThe Energy Tribune Sep. 13, 2006
    "Brazil is a developing country whose consumption of crude oil is actually minuscule, 10 times less than the U.S. Interestingly, for the last 40 years, the energy consumed in Brazil as crude oil has been less than the total calorific value of corn grown in the U.S.!"

  • How Food and Fuel Compete for Land By Lester Brown, Wednesday, February 01 2006
    "On any given day, there are now two groups of buyers in world commodity markets: one representing food processors and another representing biofuel producers."