Alarming report in yesterday's Guardian about the World Bank's report impact of biofuels on world food prices,which took me, at least, by surprise with its conclusion that the rush to biofuels has pushed prices up by 75%. (The Americans are sticking to 3% at the moment).
The Government is due to publish the results of its own inquiry, the Gallagher report, very soon - although it has of course already been widely leaked and, if the leaks are accurate, also concludes that biofuels have had a 'significant' impact on food prices.
It looks as if the brakes will have to be put on biofuels. So what's the alternative? Biomass? More wind turbines? Tidal power? Solar power? Do opponents of nuclear power believe that these can alone fill the gap? (By the way, my question about the Severn Barrage's impact on Bristol Port at last week's DBERR session.... not to be interpreted as in any way opposing plans for the Barrage. OK? But we do need to look at its impact on the future of Bristol as a deep-sea container port, as well as the environmental consequences. Locks could be put into the barrage, but it would be costly and delay ships by a couple of hours, making the port less competitive. The Port Authority therefore prefers the tidal lagoons option, if there has to be a tidal power scheme at all. Me, I'm reserving judgment on what's the best option until the Feasibility Study is concluded, as that's the point of conducting a feasibility study, isn't it?)
There was also this report that UK voters believe that taking action on climate change is more important than tackling the global economic downturn, and that 63% of them support more green taxes. Traditionally voters tend to say that kind of thing to pollsters but then vote for lower taxes when it comes to an election; but it does offer hope that the battle of ideas is slowly being won.