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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><b>Royal Dutch Shell, the world's top marketer of biofuels, considers using food crops to make biofuels "morally inappropriate" as long as there are people in the world who are starving, an executive said Thursday.</b><br><br><br><br>
Eric Holthusen, a fuels technology manager for the Asia-Pacific region, said the company's research unit, Shell Global Solutions, has developed alternative fuels from renewable resources that use wood chips and plant waste rather than food crops that are typically used to make the fuels.<br><br><br><br>
Holthusen said his company's participation in marketing biofuels extracted from food was driven by economics or legislation.<br><br><br><br>
"If we have the choice today, then we will not use this route," Malaysia-based Holthusen said at a seminar in Singapore.<br><br><br><br>
"We think morally it is inappropriate because what we are doing here is using food and turning it into fuel. If you look at Africa, there are still countries that have a lack of food, people are starving, and because we are more wealthy, we use food and turn it into fuel. This is not what we would like to see. But sometimes economics force you to do it."<br></div>
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<br><br><br><a href="http://news.com.com/Shell+calls+food+crop+biofuels+morally+inappropriate/2100-11389_3-6091132.html?tag=nefd.top" target="_blank">http://news.com.com/Shell+calls+food...l?tag=nefd.top</a>
 

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I for one applaud Shell for recognizing what many companies will not.<br><br><br><br>
While I disagree completely with fossil fuels and automobiles, I find it even more reprehensible that many other fuel companies and automotive manufacturers are pushing biofuels on consumers with the knowledge that biofuels are (currently) a negative net energy fuel, i.e. it requires more energy input (mostly from fossil fuels) to produce biofuels than to simply burn fossil fuels.<br><br><br><br><b><span style="color:#0000FF;">* Ethanol production using corn grain required 29% more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced.<br><br>
* Ethanol production using switchgrass required 50% more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced.<br><br>
* Ethanol production using wood biomass required 57% more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced.<br><br>
* Biodiesel production using soybean required 27% more fossil energy than the biodiesel fuel produced (Note, the energy yield from soy oil per hectare is far lower than the ethanol yield from corn).<br><br>
* Biodiesel production using sunflower required 118% more fossil energy than the biodiesel fuel produced.</span></b><br><br><br><br><span style="color:#0000FF;"><a href="http://www.energyjustice.net/ethanol/" target="_blank">http://www.energyjustice.net/ethanol/</a></span><br><br><br><br>
I still hope Shell and all the others get sued like Big Tobacco, Big Grease, and Big Pharm, have, are, or will.
 

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I think it's kind of funny that that's morally inappropriate, but feeding all that food to animals so that people from rich countries can eat meat is somehow ok.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>gas4</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I think it's kind of funny that that's morally inappropriate, but feeding all that food to animals so that people from rich countries can eat meat is somehow ok.</div>
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<br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":up:">
 

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If using food crops is more efficient than other types of crop (I don't know if it is), then it's rather stupid to not use them on moral grounds, IMO.<br><br><br><br>
I would guess that they are not more efficient, hence the PR-stylee announcement. Although I could be wrong.
 

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I can't wait for the world to wake up, ditch meat and fossil fuel based technologies, eat more beans and ride their fart fueled tricycles to the local organic free trade market. Then we can all dance with munchkins and sing songs about lollipops.<br><br><br><br>
But seriously, it's not like the food crops being used to produce these alternative fuels would have been given to Africa. They just wouldn't have been grown. Moot point IMO.<br><br>
~Wonder
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">"If you look at Africa, there are still countries that have a lack of food, people are starving, and because we are more wealthy, we use food and turn it into fuel."</div>
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Perhaps this guy should read this article:<br><br><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1112/p01s03-woaf.html" target="_blank">http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1112/p01s03-woaf.html</a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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But along its journey, this corn will encounter many of the continent's problems, both old and new: corruption, Western trade barriers and subsidies, concerns about genetic modification, and AIDS. It is these problems, more than just the current drought, that are at the heart of the growing hunger here.<br><br>
The solutions to the African hunger crisis are as complicated as the problems themselves. The challenge for the six countries Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Swaziland is not just to get through the immediate food shortage, but to find ways to keep the problem from happening again next year...<br><br>
A start, but not an end. Because in Zimbabwe, as in other countries, <b>even when the corn arrives at the warehouses and is sent out to distribution centers, there is no guarantee that the neediest will receive it. Here, the problem is government mismanagement and corruption.</b></div>
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I read somewhere that starvation is used as a political weapon by some dictators on their enemies. Wish I could remeber were...
 

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On worldwide terms, there is not a shortage of food; enough food is produced to feed everyone. It is a problem of poverty and distribution, a preventable tragedy.<br><br><br><br>
ebola
 

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We do a lot of things that are probably morally inappropriate. Though I don't agree biofuels are an option for replacing petroleum, to argue against them as "morally inappropriate" because some people are starving is kind of silly. People are starving not because of lack of food, but because of inappropriate food distribution - as pointed out, choosing to feed grain to animals or in many cases just throwing it away.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Gnome Chomsky</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
On worldwide terms, there is not a shortage of food; enough food is produced to feed everyone. It is a problem of poverty and distribution, a preventable tragedy.<br><br><br><br>
ebola</div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:"><br><br><br><br>
I don't see Shell sending food to Africa, If they cared so much.
 

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at first I thought this was a nice message but it could just be spinning the fact that they won't support biofuels. biofuels can lead to a little excess production of food crops which is helpful in preventing famine along with storing the excess for lean years.<br><br><br><br>
Robert Mugabe, the dictator of Zimbabwe (a communist like the ANC) has used food as a weapon. Which brings up that classic UN judgement that said poor leadership was at fault for holding Africa back and not imperialism or capitalism or any other crap.
 

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Semi-off-topic, my personal opinion is that imperialism in Africa led to poor leadership by breaking up traditional ethnic/tribal boundaries and behaviors, allowing bad leaders to come to power, from which Africa has never recovered.<br><br><br><br>
Excess food crops don't help prevent famine. Famine is caused by populations in excess of the carrying capacity of the local ecosystem. Food aid without helping people live within the carrying capacity just makes this worse. Growing more food doesn't help this problem because the population will continue to expand to absorb the excess food. This is the "Food War" which can never be won merely by growing more food.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ludi</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Famine is caused by populations in excess of the carrying capacity of the local ecosystem. Food aid without helping people live within the carrying capacity just makes this worse. Growing more food doesn't help this problem because the population will continue to expand to absorb the excess food. This is the "Food War" which can never be won merely by growing more food.</div>
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I don't see how you "help people live within the carrying capacity" when it's clear they've already overshot it, besides that capacity is nebulous like you could wipe out the local predators in order to increase the supplies of bush meat. You don't come out and say it but you remind me of that one environmentalist professor that seriously proposes biological warfare and plagues to save the planet. Even malnurished people in refugee camps have lots of babies. Anyway I think we had this discussion earlier and agreed that you have to educate women to lower the birth rate.<br><br><br><br>
NationMaster statistics on birth rate<br><br><a href="http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/peo_bir_rat-people-birth-rate" target="_blank">http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/pe...ple-birth-rate</a>
 

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You can help people live within the ecosystem by helping with family planning (birth control, empowerment of women, education) and appropriate agriculture (teaching cut-and-feed rather than set stocking, etc).<br><br><br><br>
I'm so far away from what you say I remind you of, it's really sad you seem to have so little interest in actually understanding my position. I'm not against humans, that's some other VB member, not me.
 

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Otomik, I have to say I honestly don't know where you're getting that impression of me, when I've been going around the board recently speaking out against the hate on for human beings that SOME OTHER BOARD MEMBERS have been posting.<br><br><br><br>
Sorry for the allcaps, but this has got me, to be honest, rather hurt feelings, it is so completely and absolutely the opposite of my real position.<br><br><br><br>
So if you could point out how I'm giving that impression fo hating humans and wanting to kill them off, I would appreciate it.
 

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Aww, Shell cares about the starving peoples. How sweet. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smitten.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":smitten:">
 

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>>Semi-off-topic, my personal opinion is that imperialism in Africa led to poor leadership by breaking up traditional ethnic/tribal boundaries and behaviors, allowing bad leaders to come to power, from which Africa has never recovered.>><br><br><br><br>
Exactly.<br><br><br><br>
>>hydrogen > biofuel>><br><br><br><br>
But neither are sources of energy. We're still in a pickel.<br><br><br><br>
ebola
 
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