玉米, graan, maïs, καλαμπόκι, cereale, milho, мозоль, maíz, mandaamin
The Growing Corn
Upon a thousand hills the corn
Stands tall and rank and glossy green;
Its broad leaves stir at early morn,
And dewy diamonds drop between.
A myriad banners wave o'erhead,
And countless silken pennons fly;
The tasseled plumes bend low, 't is said,
And only silken ears know why.
Those bending plumes- those upturned ears
Methinks it is the old, old story!
Dame Nature still, with rapture hears
The song she heard in Eden's glory.
And so is wrought this miracle
Of life and growth unto perfection,
A mystery that none may tell,
Save that God gives to it direction.
Frederick J. Atwood .
Rising food prices are scary. Really scary. There are already 850 million people who are under nourished in the world. With the price of staples like rice and wheat increasing up to 181% in some areas, there is no doubt this is a big problem. In America we might not think about it as much. Although we spend 8-10 % of our total budget on food and beverages, most of us will continue to shell out a few more bucks for a loaf of bread. The problem in America will probably never be food shortages, but rather food price increases. As the previously mentioned statistics show however, people around the world are literally starving; this is not just because they can't afford the food available to them, but also because there is just not any food around for them to buy.
I have recently listened to two speeches on the energy crisis in the world at the moment, and both of them mentioned, briefly, the effect that biofuels were having on the world food shortage crisis. I've decided to take a closer look and find out whether our trying to save the environment is really killing humans. If this is the case, should we continue to see biofuels as a viable option, or should we look completely to other sources of renewable energy. Which is more important- the Earth or the people living on it?
As with most things, this is a contested topic and so many articles have been written on it. Along with that comes the writers twisting language to make their point work for them. Both of these articles cited the Congressional Budget Office report on Rising Fuel Costs; one lists that ethanol accounted for only .5-.8 % of the increase, while the other reported that 10-15% of the rising cost was from ethanol.
Aside from this discrepancy, I am leaning more to the side that ethanol is doing more harm than good. The against argument cited that 1/3 of the nations corn is now used to make ethanol. 3 million bushels of corn which were once feeding livestock to in turn feed our nation is now being used to transport us around. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad if ethanol had an actual effect, but ethanol use is not widespread enough for it to make that big of a difference. The "for" article suggests that ethanol saved Americans 34 cents a gallon on gasoline, but it is figured that less than 10% of Americans actually put ethanol in the car. The "for" side will argue then that using ethanol has already decreased the harm done by fossil fuels to the ozone layer by %1. Yet, in order to make that number grow, more ethanol will be needed. To produce this, forests and land will need to be cleared for fields. The "against" side believes that the energy required to produce the corn will cancel out any benefits of using it.
I think in writing this I've decided which side I'm on. Using ethanol is NOT a viable source for our energy crisis, and further more, funneling 3 billion bushels of corn into something not very useful is not only stupid, but it's wreking havok on the food prices of America, AND the world.
Really America- isn't everyone mad enough at us already?