The lure of biofuels is difficult to resist. In a country with a surplus of
food, it is easy to get carried away with the idea of mixing some agricultural
crops with gasoline or diesel in order to save on the oil import bill.
Brazil has proved that mixing oil with sugar cane, corn and soybeans can run
most of a country's transportation. In Thailand, some leading industries and
increasing numbers of farmers are jumping on the biofuel bandwagon.
But this programme is already affecting supplies and raising prices of food. It
is not sinful to fuel autos with the help of renewable crops, as Cuban dictator
Fidel Castro claims. But it is unacceptable to make food scarcer and more
expensive because of a headlong race by businessmen to make higher profits with
such a programme.
Economist Jeffrey Sachs, who studies poverty issues on a macro level, got a lot
of publicity by criticising the International Monetary Fund's actions in ...