By Yokota Fritz
The news media reported a while ago on the Mexican tortilla shortage because farmers are shifting production to yellow corn for ethanol production. Then Steve Dubner predicts on the Freakonomics blog that we'll all get skinnier as high fructose corn syrup (used to sweeten everything from ketchup to soda pop) becomes less available or more expensive.
Now comes this news that biofuel production is causing a "structural shift" in beer production. Global stockpiles of barley have shrunk by a third in the past two years and left the barley trade vulnerable to further supply problems this year.
“In the US, land that was cultivated for growing barley has been given over to corn because of the ethanol demand,” said Levin Flake, a grains trade analyst at the US department of agriculture. The US, which in the 1980s was a leading exporter of barley, is now a net importer as barley acreage has shrunk from more than 13m acres in 1985 to 4m this year, said Mr Flake.
Read more about this issue at The Oil Drum. I don't drink (been sober since 1989), but this is one of many examples illustrating the spread of resource scarcity and coming shortages. All our resources are at stake, and it's not going to be easy to reduce demand for one by finding substitutes - we're going to have to learn to do with less of everything.
I think it was James Kuntsler a few weeks ago who said that it looks like we're gonna burn off our last six arable inches of topsoil just so we can keep motoring. Nutty.
I need a drink, but it's too early in the morning here.
well, we'll always have vodka. you can distill anything into vodka. congrats on being sober...
Yeah, Peak Beer.
Engineers' beer bust
Actually, I was thinking a bunch of buxom ladies who enhanced their mangos with beer.
Balding, middle-aged male engineers, on Prozac and Levitra, trying to live out their wild and crazy juvenile deliquent days they NEVER had when they were actually juveniles NEVER crossed my mind when 'beer' and 'bust' are mentioned in the same breath.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday, people! Suppose you post pix of this said 'beer bust' for the rest of us to make snide comments.
What photos, Paul? This was hypothetical.
I love hypotheticals like that...
Like all the hypothetical drinking I could have done in Taiwan with all of my alleged vendor partners. It didn't happen of course and I certainly did get the nickname "Sake King" while at dinner having sushi. That never happened.
My bad. I started drinking again.