The Malthusian option: Food or Ethanol? A Limerick with explanation.


When EPA regulates, they are but slobs;
No thought what effect it will have on our jobs. (1)
You want food? You want fuel? (2)
The choice is too cruel. (3)
A Malthusian choice, that’s why Mother Earth sobs. (4)
(1)

(2)TUCSON, Ariz., March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — U.S. and European policy to increase production of ethanol and other biofuels to displace fossil fuels is supposed to help human health by reducing “global warming.” Instead it has added to the global burden of death and disease.
Increased production of biofuels increases the price of food worldwide by diverting crops and cropland from feeding people to feeding motor vehicles. Higher food prices, in turn, condemn more people to chronic hunger and “absolute poverty” (defined as income less than $1.25 per day). But hunger and poverty are leading causes of premature death and excess disease worldwide. Therefore, higher biofuel production would increase death and disease.
Research by the World Bank indicates that the increase in biofuels production over 2004 levels would push more than 35 million additional people into absolute poverty in 2010 in developing countries. Using statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Indur Goklany estimates that this would lead to at least 192,000 excess deaths per year, plus disease resulting in the loss of 6.7 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) per year. These exceed the estimated annual toll of 141,000 deaths and 5.4 million lost DALYs that the World Health Organization attributes to global warming. Thus, developed world policies intended to mitigate global warming probably have increased death and disease in developing countries rather than reducing them. Goklany also notes that death and disease from poverty are a fact, whereas death and disease from global warming are hypothetical.
(3)

(4) Malthusian: of or relating to Malthus or to his theory that population tends to increase at a faster rate than its means of subsistence and that unless it is checked by moral restraint or disaster (as disease, famine, or war) widespread poverty and degradation inevitably result

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