America’s poorly designed and counterproductive ethanol subsidies are driving up the price of food all over the world, according to a study for the Ford Foundation.
27% of the US corn crop went to subsidized ethanol at a time when food price inflation was causing terrible hardship to poor families. The USDA estimated (pdf) in 2008 that rising food prices resulted in 130 million additional people considered “undernourished” in the 70 countries analyzed, and others would have been affected by the more recent increases in which ethanol played a role.
Some of the affected were kids, and some of them died.
Other studies have shown that the misbegotten ethanol program does not even cut down on carbon emissions; producing ethanol from corn is inefficient and energy intensive.
“The science is settled,” greens hiss when anyone points out the flaws in their cockamamie policy agenda.
Here’s what’s settled: when it comes to the nuts and bolts of policy, too many greens can’t tell the difference between good ideas and bad ones. Give them the keys to the car, and they will drive it right into the ditch.