Today's Washington Post presents an op-ed by Timothy Searchinger titled, "How Biofuels Contribute to the Food Crisis". His main point is that the portion of crops devoted to biofuels has grown more rapidly than agricultural production in recent years. As a result, any stress on food production, e.g., drought in China or floods in Australia, leads to shortages or inflation in food for humans. Additionally, rapid economic development in China and elsewhere is increasing demand for meat, further stressing the world agricultural system and increasing the demand for water and energy.
Mr. Searchinger offers a hopeful outlook that the competition between food and energy production can be resolved through adjustments in policy and market responses. From our perspective, his article highlights the beauty of getting energy from a rock (uranium), and gives us another reason why China has 13 operating nuclear power plants and more than 25 under construction. The choice needn't be food versus energy; it can be food and energy.
Pictured: Uranium ore, USGS photo.