Big Corn Helps the Earth
This article is from the Spring 2007 issue of Dollars & Sense: The Magazine of Economic Justice available at http://www.dollarsandsense.org
This article is from the July/August 2007 issue of Dollars & Sense magazine.
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This cartoon is from the July/August 2007 issue of Dollars & Sense: The Magazine of Economic Justice available at http://www.dollarsandsense.org
The Short Run
President Bush flew to Brazil in March, checking up on ethanol exports that will complement his plan to up U.S. biofuel production to 35 billion gallons a year. Brazilian activists aren't so enthusiastic, reports Earth First! magazine. Upon Dubya’s arrival, 900 women took over a Cargill ethanol plant in the Ribeirão Preto region. The protesters argue that ethanol production means clearing the Amazon rainforest to make room for monoculture farming, running fuel-thirsty equipment to cultivate the corn, spraying toxic pesticides to raise the corn, and burning more fossil fuels to distill it—ultimately using three units of energy for every four created. Increased corn production for biofuel has also raised the price of corn, resulting in tens of thousands rallying in the streets of Mexico to protest increased prices of tortillas (see "Supply, Demand, and Tortillas" in our Spring 2007 issue).