Suffering from the Ethanol Hangover

Suffering from the Ethanol Hangover

Like all policy choices, the decision of many developed nations to pursue greater conversion to ethanol and biodiesel has consequences. But who will pay the costs associated with the shift from oil to biofuels? According to the World Politics Review, it is the world’s poor who are going to suffer the most from the negative effects of the biofuel craze.

With current technology, almost all of the biofuel produced today has to be made from corn or soybeans. Though other sources may be able to be used in the future, the use of crops for fuel rather than food has already taken a huge toll on the world’s commodity markets. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that global food prices have increased by almost 40 percent in the last year, after a 14 percent increase in 2006. Many countries have introduced price controls on staple foods, and food shortages have caused protests in Pakistan and Indonesia.

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