Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gimme That Old Time Technology

Burn a biofuel, evict an indigenous people.

More problems for those who think switching from good ol' petroleum will be easy: The U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues -- You didn't know the U.N. had a permanent forum on indigenous issues? Of course they do! Why not spawn bureacracies pell-mell -- has estimated that worldwide 6o million indigenous people at risk of being forced off their land by expanding biofuel farms.

The primary culprits are palm oil, sugar cane and corn. The motivation is -- take your pick -- cleaner energy or gobs of money. The victim, besides the indigenous folk, are forests in in which the indijuns (is that the version of "indigenous" that gets you kicked off radio?)
"The speed with which this is happening we don't really realize in our part of the world," Ida Nicolaisen, an expert in indigenous cultures and member of the U.N. forum, said at a news conference. "Because the technology we have today and the economic resources that are at stake are so big, it happens overnight." (Forbes)
If you accept all this without discounting for mandatory U.N. hyper-fretting, take a breath. The 60 million figure probably has as much believability as Mark Malloch Brown saying there really was no U.N. oil-for-food scandal.

Still, a bunch of primitives are getting bounced so engines can burn something less efficient than petroleum. For all the bashing crude gets, there's nothing that tops it for efficiency, extensiveness of distribution, flexibility and cost per BTU (a rusty recollection on that last one; correct me if I'm wrong).

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