Rome, May. 28, 2008 (CWNews.com) – The Holy See’s permanent observer to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Msgr. Renato Volante, has denounced the use of agricultural products for fuel.
Speaking on Vatican Radio, Msgr. Volante said: "It is not ethically just to use food for purposes other than human consumption, when there are people who suffer from hunger.”
The Vatican representative’s statement comes just ahead of an FAO conference on the Food Crisis, to be held in Rome next week.
Hey doesn’t he know that in US politics that politicians must appease corn producing states. Billions of dollars in ethanol subsidies are needed for early primary states and ones that can go either way in an election. People starving is just an unintended consequence. Kind of like banning DDT and letting millions die of malaria.
One tank of gas for an SUV in biofuel would be enough food to feed a person for an entire year. It is not good use of the technology. It is the complete antithesis – the use of technology to place the needs of a non-subject – the earth, or what have you – over a the very survival of millions of subjects – human beings made in the image of God who deserve to live.
Peace and God bless
Fuel is a limited supply. Some day the earth will run out of fuel. Plants, obviously, can be replanted. It seems a good use of technology to develop agriculturally based alternatives. I suspect this is one Vatican decision which will be overturned eventually.
If the fact that 25,000 of our brothers and sisters die each day from starvation is not a valid reason to look beyond using our food as fuel, then we need to look ourselves in the mirror.
Plus, since the global energy demands continue to increase at a reliable rate, it seems pretty certain fossil fuels aren’t the only source that will eventually run out. Even plants, which can be renewed, can’t keep up with an energy demand that is many orders of magnitude beyond what can currently be made available. The inconvenient truth is that nuclear energy is the only clean, non-carbon based energy source that can efficiently produce enough energy for the long term. Wind, solar, corn, and other renewables simply do not make up enough for the industrial levels of energy we are going to require in the next 100-150 years.
I don’t think it is correct to call this a ‘decision.’ More like a logical statement which is backed up by the demands of charity to our neighbor.
The irony is, it takes more than a gallon of gas to make a gallon of ethanol. The crops must be watered, using thousands of gallons of water and the ethanol can’t be transported in pipelines but must be transported by tanker truck. All for a product that must be subsidized to compete against regular oil. It makes no economic or environmental sense!
I should nerdily point out the we will not run out of fossil fuel like in Patton where the tanks run out of gas and everyone has to duke it out hand-to-hand. Rather the scarcity will drive the price to the point of unfeasability, but it will still be around.
I was born and raised in Iowa and conditioned to be supportive of ethanol, but it took just a few simple facts to change my mind. One has been mentioned–it’s manufacturing cost. Another includes the fact that commercial fertilizers are produced by petroleum.
Unfortunately, almost all the corn grown in Iowa is inedible. It’s used for industrial purposes, high fructose corn syrup and the like, and of course fed to cows, whose stomaches are not suited for the grain.
We’d have to have a major overhaul of America’s food industry and governmental policies in order to begin growing food for our starving brothers and sisters. And then we’d have to have the fuel to ship that food across the world….
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