The rising cost of food has come as a shock to many. The basic reason for this is the decision by President Bush in January 2006 to cut US dependence on foreign oil.
Since that announcement, US maize prices have doubled! The amount of US maize being turned into bioethanol for vehicles has tripled in five years to 50 million tonnes in 2006. This is more than 15% of the total American crop.
The US provides 70% of the world's exportable maize. The IEA (International Energy Agency) has stated that demand for crops for biofuels will rise from 41.5mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) in 2010 to 92.4mtoe in 2030.
With government subsidies it may climb faster.
In 2012, an EU directive comes into force mandating 5.75% of all fossil fuel in vehicles to be replaced by biofuels.
It has been estimated for the EU to reach its target for biofuels by 2020 huge areas of arable land will have to be turned over to producing biofuels.
This disastrous policy has the potential to cause worldwide starvation, affecting the world's poorest the most.
One must ask where the oil companies stand on this issue?
As the world's leading environmentalist, Professor James Lovelock (author of the Gaia theory of the earth), has stated, are the oil companies afraid that the day may come when cheap nuclear electricity will power cars in the future?
In France, cheap nuclear electricity is already powering the trains. As Professor Lovelock has noted, this biofuels policy is the most environmentally destructive and a nice little earner for the oil companies!
Terry Jackson, Former chair of the Energy Group, Institute of Physics, London