Biofuels leading to disaster

December 28, 2011

Biofuels, whose main purpose is to salve the delicate social conscience of environmentalists, is leading to starvation in the third world countries.  The all-caring, holier-than-thou, government-schmoozing elite environmentalists of western countries are inventing a new form a imperialism that leads to poverty or starvation in third world countries.

Data from the International Land Coalition, as reported in “Land Rights and the Rush for Land”  leads to this inescapable conclusion.  The Land Matrix project has recorded worldwide transitions of land ownership, leases and control.  Although they cannot record every transition, they have tried to uncover as many 200 hectare or larger changes over the last decade as possible.  In all, they have documented the transition of control and usage of over 2oo million hectares (2 million square kilometers) of land.  To put it in perspective, 200 million hectares is about the amount of cultivated land in the United States and Canada combined.

Is this land rush aimed at growing food for undernourished populations?  Not quite.  The report points out…

Cross-referenced data from the Land Matrix show that in fact the highest demand for land comes from biofuel production…The relatively high proportion of land being acquired for biofuels is particularly striking, considering the displacement of real or potential food production on these lands. This also reflects the expected profitability of biofuels.

Here are a few of their conclusions…

  • Of cross-referenced deals for which the commodity is known, 78% are for agricultural production, of which three-quarters are for biofuels.
  • Africa is the prime target of the land rush, accounting for 134 million hectares of reported deals.
  • The best land is often being targeted for acquisition. It is often irrigable, with proximity to infrastructure, making conflict with existing land users more likely.
  • Transnational and intra-national capital flows are pushing land tenure and land-based production systems in a direction that increasingly appears to be far from optimal.

If you are assuming that the folks at the International Land Coalition are a bunch of right-wing anti-environment zealots, well think again.

Ambitious Biofuel Plans in the United States

While were talking about biofuels, lets not forget the ambitious plans for the United States.   Remember the U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act requirement that the US produce 25% of its gasoline from biofuels by 2022?  This alone would require converting about 65 million hectares (equivalent to more than a third of our arable land) to biofuel production in the next 10 years.  Doesn’t make much sense, does if?


  1. There is nothing new about biofuels. That is the economy we had up to the industrial revolution and the switch from wood to coal two hundred years ago. During that time about 30% of our farmland went to feeding livestock, and we had a much lower per caput energy usage then.

    Before the industrial revolution, the world’s economy was based on muscle power. Such economies are necessarily slave/serf societies, and that’s what we had everywhere, including the US, and including the US north.

    There is also much talk about the optimum crop for biofuel. That is a red herring. The issue is land use itself. And whether we can have a free society.

  2. […] He recently penned an editorial in Angewandte Chemie International Edition in which he hammered the use biofuels for alternative energy.  Note that Angewandte Chemie International Edition has the world’s highest impact factor of all chemistry journals.  His simple but pointed criticism condemns all varieties of biofuels and supports my previous posts on this subject.1, 2 […]

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