[Beowulf] Re: "hobbyists" still OT

Prentice Bisbal prentice at ias.edu
Wed Jun 25 14:39:49 EDT 2008


> Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>>
>> Some 3d world country managers are begging to adress this issue: "My
>> nations people die,
>> as your bio fuel raises our food prices, the poor are so poor here,
>> they use that stuff as food
>> and cannot afford it now".

<rant>
All this discussion of politics is completely off topic for this list,
but with all this talk about food shortages, I feel I need to state the
obvious facts that everyone overlooks. I'm sure I'll get flamed for
this, but I don't care:

The United States alone produces enough grain to feed the entire world.
This was true when I was taught this in 3rd grade, and with modern
technology (genetic engineering, automated farm equipment, etc.), that
is even more true today.

People are starving in other parts of the world because of political or
economic factors. There have been multiple cases of the US or UN
providing food to starving countries only to have the tyrannical
dictator hoard the food for his ruling class and not distribute it to
the general population.

And then there's Myanmar... The government refused aid, and watched as
its people died, rather than accept help.

Those are political examples. For economics, consider foreign
governments not bothering to provide aid to starving countries b/c that
country has nothing to offer in return.

Watch the movie "Hotel Rwanda". I guarantee you that if Rwanda had
exploitable oil reserves, the US would have intervened almost
immediately. What happened there was *MUCH* worse than what the Iraqis
suffered under Hussein. The difference? Iraq has oil, and Rwanda does not.

To reitierate: The US alone can produce more than enough grain to feed
the whole world. If people are starving, it's because of politics and
economics, not an inability of the world's farmer to grow enough crops.

All this talk about biofuels causing people to starve is a load of crap.
I won't even speculate with BS like this originates.

>>
>> USA nor Europe can *never* produce that stuff as cheap as 3d world
>> countries can.
>>

Vincent, you are completely off-base here. The US (and the rest of the
modern world) can produce crops cheaper than anyone else. Modern
machinery, which 3rd world farmers don't have, reduce labor costs
drastically and can run around the clock. While human labor might be
significantly cheaper somewhere else, what 2 US farmers can accomplish
with modern machinery would take hundreds (thousands?) of manual
laborers to produce elsewhere.

For example, John Deere make a tractor that runs on GPS. A farmer can
program it, and then let it do it's thing. Since it runs by GPS, it runs
itself 24 hours a day, doesn't miss any of the crop, nor overlap, for
maximum efficiency. Someone justs has to make sure it doesn't run out of
gas. That's much easier than hundreds of laborers swinging scyths
somewhere in Africa or Asia, and I bet it's much cheaper per pound of
grain produced per unit of time.
</rant>

--
Prentice
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