As I pondered Earth Day this past week, I couldn’t help but wonder why Barack Obama would sit in the congregation of a pastor who claims that AIDS was created
by America to exterminate black people. And I struggle to understand how someone who aspires to the highest political office in the land would keep company
with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who believes the same thing.
After all, there is no reason whatsoever for Ronald Reagan’s CIA to cook up some exotic virus that selectively infects and kills Africans when we can accomplish the same thing without any great technological advances. After all, we have an environmentally conscious Congress. And Congress can kill people all around the world with something as mundane as a subsidy.
In the cause of fighting global warming and freeing America from dependence on foreign oil, our Congress created corn-to-ethanol subsidies, a hideously expensive program that accomplishes neither of those goals. And, as an added bonus, the ethanol subsidy has contributed
to a dramatic increase in food prices around the world.
Congress recently raised subsidies so that annual ethanol production will rise from 6.5 billion gallons last year to a federally mandated 9 billion gallons this year. Ethanol production consumed nearly a fifth of all the corn grown in this country and the distilleries will use up to 30%
of the crop this year. The Senate also set a goal of 36 billion gallons
annually by 2022. Considering that one could feed a child for an entire year on the amount of corn required to produce just 11 gallons of ethanol
, meeting that goal would require the pointless wastage of enough corn to satisfy the caloric requirements of just about every child on Earth.
According to Investor’s Business Daily
, world grain prices have tripled, fertilizer has quadrupled and food prices have jumped 65% so far in 2008. The World Food Program has declared this the worst food crisis since World War II
and says that 20 million children are now at risk of starvation. Would you care to guess the skin color of many if not most of those children? Why bother engineering a virus to commit genocide? We’ll just take food out of their mouths and burn it in our cars. On top of that, it takes nearly a gallon
of petroleum to produce a gallon of ethanol.
The rush to produce ethanol has exacerbated
a Gulf of Mexico dead zone as nitrogen fertilizers used to grow corn run off into the Mississippi River and into the gulf. Those fertilizers feed algal blooms that deplete oxygen and suffocate marine life.
Congress has just finished another round of its Soviet-style show trials, bringing oil company executives up to Capital Hill and forcing them to listen to ignorant harangues. Wouldn’t it be nice if we, the people, could call congressmen before our own tribunal and tell them what we think of the job they’re doing? Enron executives never committed crimes as egregious or costly as those of Congress.
Which brings me back to my original question. Why dream up some silly conspiracy theory about America creating the AIDS virus to kill black people? Why not focus on something as obvious and correctable as ethanol subsidies or DDT bans? Malaria, which was nearly wiped out before DDT was banned, has come back and kills more Africans than AIDS every year
Perhaps the reason that Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan have to dream up wacky conspiracies to feed their flocks’ paranoia is that their Chosen One, Barack Obama, has favored and voted for ethanol subsidies all along
. In fact, he’s the only one of the three presidential candidates left standing who has. Until she declared her candidacy for president, Hillary Clinton sensibly opposed ethanol subsidies. But last year with the Iowa caucuses looming and facing unexpectedly stiff competition, she proposed doubling the subsidy
John McCain has opposed subsidies all along, although he has lately talked nice about ethanol, telling Iowa corn farmers that it “just makes sense,” which it most certainly does not. But at least he has refrained
from voting for ethanol subsidies.
Earth Day is primarily about smug environmentalists celebrating themselves. And so I hope that you are all feeling good about all you’ve accomplished. I’d hate to think that all those children went to bed hungry for nothing.
By the way, Al Gore is laying low
for this one. According to the author of the New York Sun article just cited,
"Mr. Gore was not available for an interview yesterday on the food crisis, according to his spokeswoman. A spokesman for Mr. Gore’s public campaign to address climate change, the Alliance for Climate Protection, declined to comment for this article."
Labels: Biofuels, Environmentalism, Ethanol, Starvation