People Harmed by Capitalism or by "Green" Policies?

by Don Boudreaux on April 17, 2008

in Current Affairs, Energy, Entertainment, Myths and Fallacies

Indur Goklany’s 2007 book, The Improving State of the World , is impressively fact-packed and well-argued.  I recommend it highly.  I recommend also his op-ed appearing in today’s edition of the New York Post.  Here are a few paragraphs.

President Bush’s call yesterday for a dramatic slowdown of
green-house-gas emissions reflects growing concern for the consequences
of climate change. But what about the consequences of the world’s

The fact is, food riots resulting partly from the
United States’ alternative energy policies have arrived at our front
door. Crowds of hungry demonstrators swarmed the presidential palace in
Haiti last week to protest skyrocketing food prices.

In recent
years, we’ve heard that climate change could be catastrophic for nature
and humanity. But it’s becoming increasingly evident that over the next
few decades, climate-change policies could prove even more


Supposedly climate-friendly policies in the United States and the
European Union – subsidizing the production and consumption of such
renewable biofuels as ethanol and biodiesel – have diverted such crops
as corn, soybeans and palm oil from food to fuel. This, in turn, has
increased prices for food worldwide at a time when the highly populous
and newly prosperous East and South Asian countries are demanding more
of it.


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