monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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Entries Tagged as 'Biofuels'

Guess What: Food Prices Still Near All-Time Highs

July 14th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Biofuels, Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

The FAO Food Price Index (FPI) remains at near record-highs, and this at a time when record droughts and calamitous famine threaten the Horn of Africa. Using the latest data from the FAO FPI page, I plot here the FPI time series from 1990-2011. World food prices are high and have remained so since the […]

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Jennifer Burney Lecture

March 24th, 2011 · No Comments · Biofuels, Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

I’ve spent the better part of the day editing web pages as I prepare to teach two courses this spring. Given that I’ve more-or-less wasted the day with necessary but not especially intellectually rewarding tasks, I thought that I would take a moment to post something really important and scientifically interesting. Jennifer Burney, of Stanford’s […]

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Biofuels and Water Use

October 5th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Biofuels, Diet & Nutrition

An opinion piece in the IHT this morning raises the important point that stepped up biofuel production may tax already strained world fresh water supplies.  Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman and former chief executive of Nestlé, suggests that if world biofuel production targets are met, water withdrawals for agriculture can increase by as much as one-third.  Brabeck-Letmathe writes, Seventy percent of all […]

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The Continuing Food Crisis

September 16th, 2008 · No Comments · Biofuels, Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

The 2008 Report of the Millennium Development Goals is out today. Seeing this, along with this editorial piece by The Age‘s economics editor, Tim Colebatch, drives home the key point that the world food crisis is far from over.  High food prices may drive 100 million more people into extreme poverty this year, eroding the substantial progress that […]

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34% of US Corn Harvest To Be Used for Ethanol

September 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Biofuels, Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

Despite the flooding in Iowa earlier this summer, the US is set to harvest its second largest corn crop ever.  Good news for the price of food for hungry people?  Not really, the USDA expects that 34% of the total corn crop will be used to make ethanol for biofuel. They project a price of […]

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Volatile Rice Prices

September 15th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Biofuels, Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

There is a new Rice Outlook report from the Economic Research Service of the USDA.  I was surprised to see a forecast record harvest for the coming year, given the crazy price movements in rice this year and the dire predictions that were the rule earlier this summer.  At Costco in California, they actually rationed […]

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The Title Says it All

September 14th, 2008 · No Comments · Biofuels

Anaerobic digestion of livestock manure – an attractive option for renewable power.  What could be more attractive?  Really?    

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Biofuels Place Price Pressure on Food

July 4th, 2008 · No Comments · Biofuels, Diet & Nutrition, Human Ecology

A recent story in The Guardian reports on an unpublished World Bank study that suggests the conversion of food crops to biofuels, and the resulting economic pressures entailed in this process, is responsible for most of the steep price increases in food this year.  The World Bank report has not been published, though it was […]

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