Azara Blog: Biofuels are allegedly a crime against humanity

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Date published: 2007/10/27

The BBC says:

A United Nations expert has condemned the growing use of crops to produce biofuels as a replacement for petrol as a crime against humanity.

The UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, said he feared biofuels would bring more hunger.

The growth in the production of biofuels has helped to push the price of some crops to record levels.

Mr Ziegler's remarks, made at the UN headquarters in New York, are clearly designed to grab attention.

He complained of an ill-conceived dash to convert foodstuffs such as maize and sugar into fuel, which created a recipe for disaster.

It was, he said, a crime against humanity to divert arable land to the production of crops which are then burned for fuel.

He called for a five-year ban on the practice.

Within that time, according to Mr Ziegler, technological advances would enable the use of agricultural waste, such as corn cobs and banana leaves, rather than crops themselves to produce fuel.

Well Ziegler is correct about biofuels being over-hyped right now (and they are not nearly as environmentally friendly as the zealots claim). But to call it a "crime against humanity" is ridiculous. Soon enough everything will be labelled a "crime against humanity". Driving a car, eating a burger, watching a film, buying a newspaper. Perhaps the BBC is right, he's just saying this to get some attention.

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