Monday, October 29, 2007
Last week, Jean Zigler, a U.N. expert on the right to food, declared the creation of biofuels as a "crime against humanity." Biofuels are made using such essential foodstuffs as corn and sugar. Because of the increased demand for these crops, food prices have gone up to record highs over the past few months. Zigler declared that this act is a "crime against humanity" because it is not only destroying food crops that are essential to those who are poor but also raising the prices of the crops that are left and thus making them harder to afford for poor people. His solution to the problem is to ban the creation of biofuels for five years so that scientists may develop a process where they could be created using food waste instead of actual food. However, seeing as the U.S. would like to end its dependence on foreign oil as soon as possible as well as stop burning fuel that would contribute to global warming, five years is a lot of time that the U.S. does not have if it wants to make a reasonable change in the amount of fossil fuels that it burns. This brings up a very interesting and controversial question: should the U.S. stop creating biofuels so that the poor have food to eat or is the starvation of the world's poor a reasonable sacrifice to be made for the wellbeing of our planet's environment?