FIGURE 7.6 The feedstock grass Miscanthus in a non-fertilized non-irrigated test field at the University of Illinois yielded 15 times more ethanol per acre than did corn. NOTE: Estimates of the ratio for energy output to energy input for Miscanthus range from 12 to 19. SOURCE: Photo courtesy of Steve Long, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Biofuels production will occupy “a relatively small amount of land,” he said. Ethanol production also could have a stabilizing effect on oil prices, which would ease fluctuations in food prices. And the overall environmental consequences of ethanol production are small compared to the use of 86 million barrels of oil per day.

Goldemberg also looked at the prospects for increased sugarcane production in other countries. Brazil is not unique in its capacity to grow sugarcane. Approximately 100 countries in the developing world produce sugarcane, including all of the Caribbean countries. Goldemberg strongly urged U.S. policymakers to consider supporting the production and export of ethanol from the Caribbean, where the United States has a strong presence. “You might say, ‘We’ll be changing dependence on the Middle East for another dependence, on the Caribbean.’ Well, the Middle East and the Caribbean are very different places.”

At the height of the Roman Empire, the Roman legions refused to fight if they were not supplied with 1 kilogram of bread per day. The wheat for this



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