I agree that the factors are more complex than simple green doctrine alone. However, I stand by my statement that the consequences of such green doctrine are yet to be counted, to the detriment of the poor of the world, and potentially, the environment, too.
To quote John at Powerline:
One fundamental issue, maybe the most important one, is that most governments can't resist meddling in the farm economy. Ethanol is also a big part of the problem. Whatever you think of ethanol--and lots of people here in the Midwest think it's terrific, especially for the local economy--it's hard to avoid the conclusion that we picked a bad time to start burning a big chunk of our biggest crop.
An addendum from Dana H., commentator at Austin Bay blog:
I hope people realize that this is what happens when green chickens come home to roost. Biofuel subsidies are an obvious and immediate cause of higher food prices. But one reason oil is so expensive (which in turn makes food expensive) is environmental restrictions on exploration (e.g., ANWR) and extraction (e.g., the California coast). Nuclear power, which could substitute for oil-burning plants thereby driving down demand for oil, has been all but regulated out of existence (at least in the US). It’s probably a much more minor effect, but green regulations have also stymied any increase in hydroelectric power, and have even caused dams to be destroyed.
Thought provoking, and in line with my assertion that we have yet to pay the piper for the long-term results of green doctrine: a cure which might dramatically trump the disease, in terms of its detriment on human life.
Right now, the people paying the steepest price for green doctrine [and other catalysts] are the poorest people of our planet. Consider: How many additional African orphans will die this year because of comfortable, environmentally chic mantras in America?
Thanks for caring.