September 3rd, 2006
According to the UN, an estimate 850 million people suffer from hunger today. Adding to the Herculean task of the UN of finding a solution to end hunger is the potential complication of increased biofuel production throughout the world.
In the next 25 years, world population will increase to nine billion. Food production must increase by 40% within that period to cover demand. With climate change, oil restrictions, and biofuel production increasing, the UN believes that food production will have a tough battle ahead.
Food production will have to battle for the same resources as biofuel production, which will primarily be water. With climate change affecting water supply, there will be increased pressure to secure it, thus the water that will be used for watering the crops that will go to either food or fuel will have to give greater value to water.
According to Alexander Mueller, assistant Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, this emerging issue is one with neither clear figures nor guidelines. And if that is true, then the UN's fears might be true as well.
In my opinion, this will be a serious case in the coming years. Today, biofuels remain small compared to the total energy output of the world, but it will grow and mature into a very powerful sector soon. If it does and if people don't make the right decisions, we might all fall back into an energy trap, the same addiction sans oil.
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