Thursday, June 28, 2007

Expensive Beer

Last week, I was posting about Ethanol and biofuels and how I really feel like I'm being sucked into a bad marketing campaign. I'm pretty skeptical about the claims of how fabulous Ethanol is and how it will solve our energy problems...

I still don't think so, and I think the side-effects of everyone rushing off to the Super Fabulous Solution to all our Problems are going to difficult. Apparently, Germany is thinking the same thing. Beer in Germany is up over 40%, and the brewers are blaming the rush to grow food crops for fuel.
The head of the German brewers' association, Richard Weber, has caused outrage among friends of the annual Oktoberfest beer jamboree by predicting the hefty price rise. He pointed out that the German barley crop has been halved this year and that prices have soared by 50 per cent within 12 months

Brewers are demanding that farmers stop growing crops to make fuel (well, perhaps not the best response to the problems) and I think are highlighting a problem that makes many of us nervous: if we're using the acreage to grow crops for fuel, what happens to food production and food prices? I'm far more concerned that people worldwide won't be able to afford food -- or even get food -- than I am that the First Worlders can feel better about driving their SUVs.

Maybe biofuels are part of the solution, but they are no panacea.

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