It's not the banks or the speculators starving the poor


I'm afraid that this all makes me rather angry. There are innumerable fools out there screaming that speculation, the banksters, the Vampire Squid, futures markets, are starving the poor by making food too expensive.

The true blame lies elsewhere:

A new report by the Committee on World Food Security found that using grains like corn and wheat to create bioethanol, often blended with gasoline to create transport fuel, has added 0.5 percentage points to the growth in world cereal demand, pushing it to 1.8% a year from 1.3%.

In vegetable oils, which are used to make biodiesel and dominate Europe’s market, growth has been even more pronounced. While their use for food slowed down between the 1990s and 2000s, from 4.4% to 3.3% a year, industrial use soared, so that in the decade to 2010 it grew from 11% to 24% of world use.

It really is the entirely stupid, damn fool, biofuels movement which is causing the food price rises. That US and EU politicians have insisted that all fuel used must be made of a certain percentage of plant derived material. It really is the entirely stupid, damn fool, laws, passed by our entirely stupid, damn fool, Lords and Masters which is killing the poor as we put food into cars not people.

The speculators, the commodity traders, the futures, options, the deep and liquid markets do their best to mitigate the effects of this damn foolery but the reason the poor are dying for lack of food is the actions of our own politicians.

That the proposed solution is for those politicians to be given more power over the food system moves me from rather to incandescently angry.

Could we all, please, just agree that biofuels are a damnably stupid idea that kill people and so just stop making or using them?