We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Is the grass greener on the other side?

By Andrew Snyder, Volume Spike Alert

The official editorial silence is broken. For months, the world has wondered and speculated about Fidel Castro’s supposedly failing health. Purveyors of freedom, fellow dictators, and even plain old communist-haters have been begging for official word from the Cuban leader.

We shall wait no longer. The man has spoken.

After months out of the spotlight, Castro picked up his official pen not to write about his health, the war in Iraq, or even America’s immigration policies. Instead, he is slamming America’s plans for ramping up ethanol production.

Of all the controversial topics to write about, the old man of the Caribbean chose what is probably one of the most non-debatable subjects of them all.

In today’s issue of Granma, published by Cuba’s Communist Party, Castro ranted about America’s plans to turn “food” into fuel. If the world ramps up its ethanol production, the dictator argues, millions of citizens of third-world countries will starve as food is removed from the market in order to fuel vehicles and produce electricity. Plus, the world’s ecology will be dramatically thrown out of whack.

“The sinister idea of converting food into fuel has definitely been established as an economic lineament in U.S. foreign policy,” Castro wrote.

He argues even if America dedicates its entire annual corn crop to ethanol production, it would still not be nearly enough fuel for its needs. The remaining demand will have to come from the mouths of folks relying on the cheap food to survive.

“If you apply this recipe in third world countries, you’ll see how many people of the hungry masses of our planet will stop eating corn,” says Castro.

I have to admit, the man has a point.

Already, corn prices are reaching record levels, and ethanol is nothing more than a “subject to entertain.” None of the nation’s big players are backing ethanol.

When/if they do, corn and sugar prices will soar and the folks who depend on cheap food to survive are in trouble. Hopefully the grass truly is greener on the other side. Millions of folks may have to munch on it.

Ethanol is not the ultimate saving grace most politicians would like you to believe it is. There are a lot of kinks still to be worked out.

Anytime a planet is as addicted to something as we are to energy, problems will occur. Replacing crude oil with ethanol is nothing more than replacing heroin with cocaine. They are both expensive, extremely addictive, and never lead to anything good.

Unfortunately, ethanol production, on a global scale, may cause more harm than good.

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