Saturday, February 19, 2011

If they would rather die, said Scrooge, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population

... after all, that would reduce their carbon footprint. (Frankly, this looks like a win-win for the AGW crowd.)

Our Monastery of Miscellaneous Musings has an excellent post about how biofuels, our food-based answer to Global Warming, has contributed to food riots around the world.
Nearly all assessments of the 2008 food crisis assigned biofuels a meaningful role, but much of academia and the media ultimately agreed that the scale of the crisis resulted from a "perfect storm" of causes. Yet this "perfect storm" has re-formed not three years later. We should recognize the ways in which biofuels are driving it.
I wonder if taking huge swaths of California's farmland out of production to save a tiny fish* has anything to do with it.

* - Flipping the Dickensian analogy on its head, we have this:
``At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge,'' said the gentleman, taking up a pen, ``it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Delta Smelt, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.''

``Are there no aquariums?'' asked Scrooge.

``Plenty of aquariums,'' said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

``And the aquafarming establishments?'' demanded Scrooge. ``Are they still in operation?''

``They are. Still,'' returned the gentleman, `` I wish I could say they were not.''

``Biology departments and zoos are in full vigour, then?'' said Scrooge.

``Both very busy, sir.''

``Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,'' said Scrooge. ``I'm very glad to hear it.''

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