Cure worse than the disease

Today is Earth Day, the day when we should be more mindful than ever about our role in being better environmental stewards for our planet.

But this year, in our world brimming with bounty, fights continue over how that bounty should be used and spread around.

How's this for appalling irony? The people who claim so vehemently that they want to save the planet are endorsing practices that harm the planet instead.

Biofuel is the popular buzzword these days among environmentalists who want to reduce everyone's dependence on fossil fuels. But some nations are scrambling so quickly to plant more crops to make biofuels, irreplaceable rainforests are being destroyed to create more farmland -- and with rainforests gone, greenhouse gas levels rise.

One problem is not going to be solved by creating another, bigger problem. We're already seeing the calamitous unrest all over the world stemming from food shortages, most notably in Haiti, where six people were killed during nine days of rioting. The already thorny politics of global food distribution go even further awry when you throw the pursuit of biofuels into the mix. More crops devoted to biofuels obviously means less food in people's mouths.

If people really want to save our planet and our food, stick with logical solutions. Instead of planting more food, plant smarter -- try genetically altered crops that require less water and yield more. And for heaven's sake, stop plowing under the rainforests. How is that good for Earth?

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Fri, 12/09/2016 - 23:31

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