In the Wall Street Journal, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe weighs in on the role of biofuels in the world’s agricultural and water troubles:
The world’s agriculture and water crisis is only going to get worse. As China and India grow, their populations are demanding more and wider varieties of food stuffs, and competition for arable land is intensifying. Food prices are rising, in large part because agriculture suppliers can barely keep up with today’s demand. So what is the world doing? Reorienting land away from food production and toward plants cultivated for energy needs.
This could be the single most destructive set of policy mistakes made in a generation. From time immemorial, mankind has struggled to produce enough food. Wars have been fought over arable land. Whole populations have been forced to migrate, and untold millions of human beings have died because circumstances, climate, war or political ineptitude have deprived them of what the German language describes as “Lebensmittel,” or a “means for survival.” This problem hasn’t disappeared; our world today needs to feed some six billion people. According to some projections, that number will rise to nine billion by 2050.