Each lecture should have a take-away, just like a good sermon. Last week's lecture at Lakeside Chautauqua about commodities and South America: soybean production is contributing to rainforest destruction in Brazil; China is the world's biggest user of soybeans and now the #1 trading partner for South America. My thought: as America's farmland is used to create ethanol as an alternative to fossil fuel, there is less land for soybeans so the rainforest is destroyed. So can we thank environmentalists for this?
“past studies showing the benefits of ethanol in combating climate change have not taken into account almost certain changes in land use worldwide if ethanol from corn — and in the future from other feedstocks such as switchgrass — become a prized commodity.
"Using good cropland to expand biofuels will probably exacerbate global warming," concludes the study published in Science magazine.” http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2008-02-08-ethanol-study_N.htm