Category Archives: euthanol

Biofuel’s link to ‘euthanol’

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Full story here.

This story is several weeks old, but the message is still important: biofuels are starving people.

Governments are quickly reassessing their biofuel strategies because they realize the effect that this policy direction has the world’s less-advantaged. I heard a story about how the TTC is going to reduce its purchase of new biofuel buses for this reason and how Dalton McGuinty of the Ontario Liberals was reevaluating their fuel replacement strategy.

Of course, studies like this still fail to account for the impact that the US dollar has on all commodities. Last week, most commodities started to tumble in value. Normally, when one, maybe two products experience a shift in price by more than 10% within a very short time-frame, you’d look for basic fundamentals like supply or demand shocks that would affect those prices.

However, when we’re talking about almost all commodities reversing their upward trend, there must be something else at play. The solution: they’re all priced in US dollars and the US dollar took a jump last week when Bernanke declared that inflation must be kept under control.

I truly believe that this kind of international commodity market hegemony is unprecedented and the world would do itself a favour if we found a different way to evaluate the worth of a product, beyond using the US dollar as a proxy.

Ideally, it would be a basket of currencies that reflected the true worth of international goods and services, but which currencies would those be?

The cost of not acting is obvious. The more the US economy crumbles, the more the rest of the world will be subject to a rash of ‘interflation’, international price shocks that are solely related to the tumbling value of the US dollar.

The bad news: as the value of the dollar decreases (which it will start to do again soon as efforts are made to revive their economy), the changes become exponentially different. For example, when the US dollar was trading on par with the Euro, a $0.05 change might translate to a $2.00 change in the price of oil, other things being equal.

When the dollar tumbles to $0.25 vis-a-vis the Euro (which I predict it will once most of the financial crisis finally comes to light), a $0.05 translates to a 20% change in price. Since oil is currently trading in the $120-$140 range, 20% of this range translates to a $24-$28 change in the price of oil.

is that kind of change in price a severe shock or poorly planned international pricing system?

Manufacturing a Food Crisis

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These are stories reminescent of those provided in “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein. Examples are given for Mexico and the Philippines. They clearly demonstrate how we’ve used trade agreements and economic reforms to yank food from the hands of those who need it most.

Full Story Here.

Like Klein, Walden Bello, the author of this article, leaves the reader with a similar sense of optimism:

Farmers’ groups have networked internationally; one of the most dynamic to emerge is Via Campesina (Peasant’s Path). Via not only seeks to get “WTO out of agriculture” and opposes the paradigm of a globalized capitalist industrial agriculture; it also proposes an alternative — food sovereignty. Food sovereignty means, first of all, the right of a country to determine its production and consumption of food and the exemption of agriculture from global trade regimes like that of the WTO. It also means consolidation of a smallholder-centered agriculture via protection of the domestic market from low-priced imports; remunerative prices for farmers and fisherfolk; abolition of all direct and indirect export subsidies; and the phasing out of domestic subsidies that promote unsustainable agriculture. Via’s platform also calls for an end to the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights regime, or TRIPs, which allows corporations to patent plant seeds; opposes agro-technology based on genetic engineering; and demands land reform. In contrast to an integrated global monoculture, Via offers the vision of an international agricultural economy composed of diverse national agricultural economies trading with one another but focused primarily on domestic production.

Once regarded as relics of the pre-industrial era, peasants are now leading the opposition to a capitalist industrial agriculture that would consign them to the dustbin of history. They have become what Karl Marx described as a politically conscious “class for itself,” contradicting his predictions about their demise. With the global food crisis, they are moving to center stage — and they have allies and supporters. For as peasants refuse to go gently into that good night and fight de-peasantization, developments in the twenty-first century are revealing the panacea of globalized capitalist industrial agriculture to be a nightmare. With environmental crises multiplying, the social dysfunctions of urban-industrial life piling up and industrialized agriculture creating greater food insecurity, the farmers’ movement increasingly has relevance not only to peasants but to everyone threatened by the catastrophic consequences of global capital’s vision for organizing production, community and life itself.

Profiting From International Starvation

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Full Story Here.

Euthanol has driven the planet to starvation, and it looks like a small handful of companies are profiting from this situation.

Monsanto: net income for the three months up to the end of February this year had more than doubled over the same period in 2007, from $543m to $1.12bn. Its profits increased from $1.44bn to $2.22bn
Cargill: net earnings soared by 86 per cent from $553m to $1.030bn over the same three months.
Archer Daniels Midland: increased its net earnings by 42 per cent in the first three months of this year from $363m to $517m. The operating profit of its grains merchandising and handling operations jumped 16-fold from $21m to $341m.
Mosaic Company: income for the three months ending 29 February rise more than 12-fold, from $42.2m to $520.8m.

A number of organizations are pursuing water as a basic human right. At what point do we consider food as a basic human right as well?

Greenwash Site

Link Here.

I’m glad that someone finally delivered a site that helps consumers understand what greenwashing really is and what they can do to educate themselves about environmental action.

Commodity Pricing

Full Story Here.

This is an excellent analysis of the state of oil prices around the world, as priced in different currencies.

I would like to know if similar analysis has been done with other commodities, such as corn, rice and soya products.

As we can see, the intentional depreciation of the US dollar by American policy makers is inevitably resulting in extreme inflation, even for Americans. One might even go so far as to suggest that this is a form of economic terrorism, but I’m not quite there yet.