Remember, though, all those who will be (and have been) hurt by the effects of this monumental waste; and that it provides us with a fine example of the possible effects of outsourcing social and environmental policy to “Billanthropists” like Gates. Note also the similarities in the hyper-exaggerated investment incentives with the financial crisis proper….
Biofuels: From hope to husk
By Kevin Allison and Stephanie Kirchgaessner
Tuesday Oct 21 2008 14:20
It was an American dream that has failed to become a reality. For much of the last decade, enthusiasts from President George W. Bush down have touted corn-based ethanol as something approaching a superfuel, a home-grown alternative to foreign oil that would help cut smog and bring hope to struggling farmers.
It has not worked out that way. Instead, the ethanol industry has undergone a great boom and bust in which a Financial Times analysis has found investors as savvy as Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder, have collectively lost billions of dollars.
Despite the billions more in taxpayers’ dollars that was spent to subsidise it, ethanol now eats up nearly one-quarter of the US corn crop without so far fulfilling the hopes held for its beneficial effect either on the environment or US dependence on foreign energy.