Thursday, March 29, 2007

Castro says biofuel to kill over 3 billion

That's about half of the world's population. He probably won't live to see it. From Newsmax:
Cuba's Fidel Castro published his first editorial since his July surgery on Thursday, signing his name to a scathing article on U.S. biofuel plans for Thursday's edition of the Communist Party newspaper Granma. [...]

In Thursday's article, Castro said more than 3 billion people in the world were condemned to die prematurely of hunger or thirst from plans by his ideological foe, the United States, to convert foodstuffs like corn into fuel for cars.

"This is not an exaggerated figure, it's more likely cautious," Castro wrote in the ruling Communist Party's daily newspaper. "I've been meditating quite a bit since President Bush's meeting with North American automobile makers."

He was commenting on a proposal by the Bush administration to cut gasoline use by 20 percent by 2017, mostly by increasing the use of fuels such as ethanol, made from home-grown corn. [...]
The version of this editorial at Cuban News Agency contains the following paragraph:
Even if the President is speaking about producing fuel out of switchgrass or wood chips, any person could understand that these phrases are far from realistic. Listen well: 35 billion gallons, 35 followed by nine zeros! Beautiful examples of the productivity of men per hectare achieved by the experienced and well organized US farmers will come next: corn will be turned into ethanol; corn wastes will be turned into animal fodder, with a 26 percent of proteins; cattle manure will be used as raw material for the production of gas. Of course, all of this will happen after a great number of investments, which could only be afforded by the most powerful companies whose operations are based on the consumption of electricity and fuel. Let this formula be applied to the Third World countries, and the world will see how many hungry people on this planet will cease to consume corn. What is worse, let the poor countries receive some financing to produce ethanol from corn or any other foodstuff and very soon not a single tree will be left standing to protect humanity from climate change.

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