Foreign Policy Blogs

Krugman on Food Prices and Biofuels

I've written about the growing evidence that biofuels are becoming increasingly recognized as a menace to the environment, not the boon they were once thought to be.  In Are Biofuels A Bummer? in February, I reported on a couple of recent studies showing how pressure on land use from biofuel production was creating the deleterious effect of increasing GHG emissions. 

Yesterday, in Grains Gone Wild, the extraordinary economist and "NY Times" columnist Paul Krugman wrote that "…it turns out that even seemingly "good' biofuel policies, like Brazil's use of ethanol from sugar cane, accelerate the pace of climate change by promoting deforestation."  Krugman's analysis tracks that of the researchers I cited in February.  "We also need a pushback against biofuels, which turn out to have been a terrible mistake," says Krugman, echoing what I heard Jeffrey Sachs say recently: EU and US biofuels policies are "misguided."  There's an eloquent letter from ten top scientists to policymakers in Washington that is a cry to change course. 



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change