The Biofuel Blunder

Normally biofuel is the right choice. I discuss it in almost all of my green posts and Tim Minahan has also blogged a post or two extolling its virtues.

But there’s more than one type of biofuel. There’s the kind that powers your car – and there’s the kind that powers you! (After all, we’re biological organisms that need fuel too!) And you should never put your car ahead of yourself.

And more importantly, you should never put someone else’s car ahead of a German’s need to drink! I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be the reason Hans and Franz can’t have their suds after a long day at the gym! Might inspire a whole new meaning to pump you up.

But that’s just what farmers are doing in Germany. After an extremely poor barley harvest in 2006, many farmers are converting their fields to rapeseed, a common ingredient in biofuel. As a result, production is dropping and prices are going up in a country where the average daily consumption of beer is 111.6 litres per head, equivalent to every single man, woman, and child drinking a 0.31 litre glass everyday.

That’s a lot of beer … and a lot of angry Germans if prices spike and they can’t afford their beer anymore. I wouldn’t want to be standing across from that angry mob!