Thursday, May 24, 2007

Castro: Biofuel: A New and Serious Problem for the World


Biofuel is not the solution to the world's current dependence on fossil
fuels. The idea which the industrialized nations, headed by U.S.
President George W. Bush, are trying to sell will create new and
dangerous problems for humanity.

For instance, the world fight against hunger would be seriously affected
by biofuel production as Cuban President Fidel Castro has warned in his
recent reflections on the topic.

The Cuban leader stressed that "the result cannot be any other except
the increase of food prices as well as the worsening of the social
situation of the countries from the South." The truth is that the facts
corroborate these statements.

A recent example was the price of corn in the U.S. which reached a
record high in the last ten years due to the increase in the demand of
ethanol derived from the grain. Mexico, the main importer of U.S. corn,
has been seriously affected because the Mexican people have had to pay
30% more for one of their staple foods: corn.

And that's only the beginning. The countries where hunger is a universal
scourge, warned the Cuban leader, will witness the rapid conversion of
the agricultural sector to supply the demand of the energy needs of the
industrialized nations.

And of course, which poor nations will be on the agenda for Europe and
the United States to become the main suppliers of these much needed
crops to produce this new kind of fuel. The truth is, that the totality
of the European Union's agricultural surface can hardly cover a 30% of
the current needs, not to say their future fuel necessities.

In the United States, points out the leader of the Cuban Revolution, to
satisfy the current demand of fossil fuel, the country would have to
produce 121 percent of the all of its current agricultural surface to
fulfill its needs.

The numbers say it all. The world is on its way to a food crisis if the
U.S. continues to present biofuel as the solution to the future energy

In addition, scientific studies have refuted the idea that biofuel is a
clean and renewable source of energy and an alternative to reduce gas
emissions and environmental damage.

A new study carried out by the Environment and Science and Technology
Institute at the University of Barcelona states that the use of biofuel
has a negative social, economic and environmental impact.

Daniela Ruzzi, who headed the research pointed out that a more detailed
analysis of biofuel's life cycle revealed that energy savings and CO2
are not as high as it was thought, and it could even be more negative as
the raw material for the production of ethanol is obtained through
intensive agriculture and machinery while less intensive agricultural
methods would make the production much easier and the cost would be much

Those who hope to sell this new idea to the world, as Cuban President
Fidel Castro notes, for material interest, ignorance or for indifference
should realize that what is most important is to modify the current
consumption pattern with measures in saving energy and the
diversification of energy sources and not to put the world in a food
crisis and cause irreversible damage to our environment.

Taken from Radio Havana Cuba

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