Defeat London's Biofuels
Genocide Policy Now!
by Marcia Merry Baker and Cynthia R. Rush
June 22—The Anglo-Dutch Empire's food-for-fuel policy, in the face of severely diminished global grain harvests and reserves, is causing at least 250,000 deaths a year, and afflicting millions more with disease and disability.
This kill rate is a conservative estimate, based on extrapolating from careful calculations done in 2011, using World Health Organization and World Bank data, by Indur M. Goklany, whose article, "Could Biofuel Policies Increase Death and Disease in Developing Countries?" appeared in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (Vol. 16, No. 1, Spring 2011). A press release on the article was headlined, "Biofuels May Kill 200,000 Per Year in the Third World." (Dr. Goklany is a climate researcher, not a physician.)
Goklany's conclusions underscore what EIR has long asserted: The food-for-fuel policy is one whose purpose is to kill people by reducing the food supply.
Over recent years, a widening swath of other groupings—from meat producers, to chain restaurants, and humanitarian organizations—have also begun to campaign against the biofuels mandate. A bill currently before the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 1461) seeks to eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and is the subject of a grassroots campaign launched June 20 by the National Council of Chain Restaurants called "Feed Food Fairness: Take RFS Off the Menu."
The U.S. mandate for biofuels currently uses up approximately 40% of the national corn crop, and the mandate is scheduled to increase in the near future. At the same time, the financial sharks and cartels funding this business have diverted millions of acres of land in developing nations from food production into fuel—literally taking food out of the mouths of the people most vulnerable to starvation.
The interview done on EIR's "The LaRouche Show" Internet radio program on June 15 (published below) reviews some of the sordid details of the destruction this process has created in Central America.
The Only Appropriate Word is Genocide
Goklany did his study in opposition to the erroneous greenie assertion that global warming will kill people, if the world continues using fossil fuels, and doesn't switch to "renewables," such as biofuels. Not true, said Goklany. Biofuels are the killers. He then looked at mortality and morbidity from overall impoverishment, in particular from lack of food.
In brief, Goklany's method combined the following elements:
World Health Organization studies "suggest that for every one million people living in absolute poverty in developing countries, there are annually at least 5,270 deaths and 183,000 Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) lost to disease."
The World Bank estimated that more than 35 million people were pushed into poverty between 2004 and 2010, because of the burden of high food prices, and economic dislocation associated with the increase in biofuel production over those six years.
Therefore, these two conditions together "lead to at least 192,000 excess deaths per year, plus disease resulting in the loss of 6.7 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYS) per year," concluded Goklany. His article presents details of the first- and second-order factors involved in debilitation and death (malnutrition, infection, sanitation, etc.).
In the two and a half years since this study, the 2010 high rate of U.S. corn-for-ethanol has continued, and worldwide, other forms of biofuels have increased, including cane-sugar gasohol and oil-crop biodiesel.
The volume of U.S. corn going into biofuels, since Obama took office in 2009, has risen 35%, from 94 million tons in 2008, to 127 mt in 2011.
A conservative linear extrapolation shows that today's international death rate from biofuels is in the range of 250,000 people a year.
Look to Bush and London
While the Obama Administration holds the responsibility for refusing to lift the biofuels mandate, in the face of the worsening situation for farmers and eaters, the initiation of this policy came from one of the key tools of the genocidal London financial oligarchy, the Bush family.
In 2006-07 the G.W. Bush Administration launched a campaign to impose ethanol production on Central and South America— they called it "the ethanol revolution"—taking land out of food production on behalf of Wall Street and London speculators, killing hundreds of thousands through starvation, malnutrition, and disease.
The key legislative parts of this process were enacted in 2005 and 2007, where, for the first time, an ethanol mandate was established, in the Energy Policy Act and the Energy Independence and Security Act, respectively. Grain farmers were roped into this immoral scheme with the promise of secure markets and high prices, while consumers were told the policy was "environmentally friendly." In fact, the policy went together with a downgrading of the energy intensity platform of the U.S. (and world) economy, especially the starvation of vital nuclear energy.
The drive for ethanol was in fact a centerpiece of George W. Bush's policy toward Ibero-America, assisted by his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who set up the Inter-American Ethanol Commission (IEC) in December of 2006 to coordinate the "investment" side of this murderous plan. Working with the State Department, IEC drew in some of the worst of the Anglo-Dutch Empire's financial predators, including Royal Dutch Shell, George Soros, the mega food cartels—Cargill, Bunge, ADM, and others—and an array of offshore private equity and hedge funds, all slobbering over the thought of making a killing, and killing people, through biofuel expansion in the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
In early March 2007 "W" launched a five-nation ethanol tour, hitting Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico, but singling out Brazil, with whose President, Inacio Lula da Silva, he signed a "strategic alliance" based on ethanol. The maleable Lula, whose head Bush and his handlers filled with thoughts of transforming Brazil into the "Saudi Arabia of biofuels," bought into the scam wholeheartedly. He immediately embraced the idea of "helping" Central American and Caribbean nations develop their ethanol and biofuel industries as the vehicle for their "economic development."
The Bush crowd encouraged their allied financial predators, including enthusiastic Brazilian sugarcane and related biofuel investors, to target impoverished Guatemala as the location for major ethanol and biofuel production for export to the United States, but Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras were also on the list. To move the ethanol agenda forward more aggressively, Jeb Bush helped create a continental Bioenergy Alliance in early 2008, whose members included the leading ethanol producers of the Americas. They organized several "road shows" around the region, and waxed ecstatic about ethanol prospects in Central America.
Alberto Moreno, head of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), made the bank an integral part of the Bush offensive, echoing Jeb's rosy prediction that, where the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) had failed to materialize, future Ibero-American "integration" and anti-poverty and job-creation programs would be forged by ethanol. Jeb's IEC was a major sponsor of the First Biofuels Congress of the Americas, held May 11, 2007 in Buenos Aires, at which none other than über-greenie Al Gore was the featured speaker.
Regional integration? By April of 2008, food riots swept across the Caribbean and Central America, provoked by widespread food scarcity and soaring prices that put basic staples out of the reach of the poor. Famine loomed, and many heads of state expressed the fear that social unrest provoked by hunger would affect their ability to govern. Desperate governments met in emergency session to grapple with the destruction of food-producing capabilities, wrought by years of globalization and free-trade policies that forced them to produce crops such as sugarcane and African palm for export, while reducing food production for domestic consumption.
The regional conference of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which took place in Brasilia on April 14, 2008, erupted in a fierce backlash against Bush's (and Lula's) biofuels offensive, as delegate after delegate rose to denounce plans to divert food crops into biofuels production, a diversion which special UN representative Jean Ziegler called "a crime against humanity."
The Bush ethanol drive continued seamlessly into the Obama Administration, resulting today in levels of starvation and misery in Central America and the Caribbean far worse than in 2008. Starving Guatemala, the Bush Administration's ethanol showcase, has the highest rate of child malnutrition in the Western hemisphere—50% of all children under the age of five—while the Queen's stooge Obama is busy killing off Americans by allowing 40% of the U.S. corn crop to be used for ethanol production. (See interview.)
In mid-April a bipartisan foursome of Representatives Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Steve Womack (R-Ark.) introduced two pieces of legislation in an attempt to slow or halt the diversion of food to fuel now underway through the Renewable Fuel Standard.
One bill, the "RFS Reform Act," would prevent the expansion of the ethanol mandate; the second is the "RFS Elimination Act," which is to "give relief to livestock and food producers as well as consumers" by restoring a "free market" instead of Federally backed biofuels. The bills are numbered H.R. 1462 and H.R. 1461 repectively.
Costa said at an April 10 press conference, "The debate is over; the Renewable Fuel Standard as we know it is not sustainable. I have heard just this week from Foster Farms, poultry producers in my district [California's San Joaquin Valley], that their price of doing business has jumped by over $250 million annually in the last five years because of skyrocketing corn prices. Putting food into our fuel tanks is hurting dairymen and women, livestock producers, consumers, and businesses across the nation. We can't afford this. It's time for real, wholesale change."
On June 21, the National Council of Chain Restaurants launched a grassroots coalition effort behind the RFS Elimination Act. It's an idea whose time has come, and whose delay would lead to many more deaths.