04 August 2014

American politicians sacrifice citizens for ethanol

I've opposed subsidies to corn production and ethanol blending mandates for many years (see this and this argument) as these programs destroy the environment, destabilize agricultural commodity markets, and raise the price of food for the world's poorest.
Bottom Line: America's Congress, in its quest to send extra money to Big Agribusiness, is responsible for undrinkable water, farm poverty, and sick citizens. Fail.


RV said...

This is important: The Toledo toxins may be "caused" by P from farming. But P is much reduced in recent years. The invasive zebra and quagga mussels (subsidy shipping of subsidy crops and cargo) have changed the food web to make the toxins inevitable despite P reduction. Want more scientific info that connects the dots?

Kai said...

RV is correct: Invasive mussels have disrupted the natural checks on algae to make the increase the impact of Phosphorus on the ecosystem. Also, while total P loads have been in some decline, Lake Erie's western basin is well above objective targets concentrations. This is where Toledo's water intakes are located.

Another problem is "dissolved reactive phosphorus," a form which is easier for uptake and has become a greater proportion of P in Lake Erie especially from the Maumee River. That combined with other factors such as invasive mussels, warmer waters in a shallow lake, heavier rains and thus runoff from nonpoint sources, a weather-induced mixing of water to submerge microcystin and more all contributed to Toledo's drinking water emergency.