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The Hamilton Spectator
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Saturday April 19, 2008
One of the most frightening consequences of global warming is the impact it will have on the world's food supply. More extreme weather patterns resulting from climate change are expected to exacerbate droughts, like that now taking its toll on food production in Australia, as well as more tropical storms and increased flooding, like that which destroyed 2 million tonnes of rice production in Bangladesh last year. And rising sea levels have already increased salinity in the soil and reduced crop yields in coastal areas.

In response to this, many industrialized countries have attempted to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by paying massive subsidies to farmers to divert crops into the production of biofuels like ethanol. Studies have shown negligible net benefits from these alternative fuels after accounting for the energy involved in their production. But in the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 14 per cent of the corn grown in 2006 was diverted into ethanol production.

Ontario also has an aggressive biofuels program, but Premier Dalton McGuinty yesterday dismissed suggestions that it might be contributing to the food crisis. "We've taken a look at this and we're convinced that our decision here in Ontario is not having a significant impact because of a whole bunch of circumstances that are driving up food prices," said McGuinty. Source...

Time to rethink biofuel solution
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