As indicated in part 1, this is a reprise of a story I wrote in 2007:

So what’s the hitch? Partly it’s that bit about doing a little planning. The move to biofuels thus far looks more like a stampede than a considered program to wean ourselves from fossil fuels. Critics in the financial community have used words like “gold rush” and even the dreaded “bubble,” fretting that “biofool” investors are putting too much money into new refineries, which could go bust as markets and subsidies shift or as technologies and feedstocks become obsolete.Betting the farm on biofuels has become commonplace: this year alone American farmers planted an additional 15 million acres in corn, and they were expecting one of the largest harvests in history. The share of the corn crop going into ethanol is also increasing pell-mell, from about 5 percent ten years ago to 20 percent in 2006, with the likelihood that it could go to 40 percent in the next few years.

Not surprisingly, the price of corn doubled over the last two years. This past January, angry consumers took to the streets in Mexico City to protest the resulting surge in the price of tortillas, a staple food. In China, rising feed costs boosted pork prices 29 percent, prompting the government to back off its plan to produce more biofuels. Even titans of agribusiness worried out loud that

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