BEDDINGTON, John. UK Chief Scientific Adviser: "The supply of food really isn’t keeping up", "cut down rainforest to actually grow biofuels seems profoundly stupid"

Professor John Beddington CMG FRS (born 1946) is the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser and Professor of Applied Population Biology at Imperial College London (see: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3500954.ece and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Beddington ).

Professor John Beddington warning that the rush towards biofuels is threatening world food production and the lives of billions of people (2007): “ “[food shortages the] “elephant in the room” … It’s very hard to imagine how we can see the world growing enough crops to produce renewable energy and at the same time meet the enormous demand for food…The supply of food really isn’t keeping up…Climate change is a real issue and is rightly being dealt with by major global investment. However, I am concerned there is another major issue along a similar time-scale, an elephant in the room – that of food and energy security. This is giving me and many of my scientific colleagues much concern…. Agriculture has been doing pretty well against the population size but things are changing now and they are changing quite dramatically… Don’t we need to do something about food? Demand has grown enormously, particularly in China and India, where much of the driving force is increased demand. By 2030 energy demand is going to be up by 50 per cent and demand for food is going to be up by 50 per cent…Some of the biofuels are hopeless, in the sense that the idea that you cut down rainforest to actually grow biofuels seems profoundly stupid.” [1].

[1]. Professor John Beddington , quoted in Lewis Smith and Francis Elliott, “Rush for biofuels threatens starvation on a global scale”, Times Online, 7 March 2008: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3500954.ece .

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