The Obama campaign has responded by saying that the President is a strong supporter of ethanol as a driver of the economy. The President was speaking in Iowa at the time. But even if you support ethanol – and studies show the corn-based version costs us more in energy to harvest than it’s worth – you cannot deny the economic harm created by the mandate at this time, given the drought conditions. The price spikes have caused a severe hardship for livestock producers in particular who use corn to feed their animals. The head of the UN’s food program, Jose Graziano da Silva, also called for a suspension of the ethanol mandate.
|By: David Dayen Thursday August 16, 2012 3:37 pm|
|By: David Dayen Friday August 10, 2012 9:20 am|
Here’s a classic case of what’s good for the US being terrible for the rest of the world. That typically does not lead to good outcomes for the world. Corn-based ethanol fails on its own merits. The energy used in production far exceeds the energy savings from using ethanol over fossil fuel-based energy. The biofuel standards could be reached by less invasive sources like switchgrass and other natural sources. Converting so much corn into fuel at a time of a massive corn shortage makes no sense.
|By: David Dayen Thursday August 2, 2012 10:12 am|
Kofi Annan has stepped down as the international crisis mediator for the UN on Syria, in an acknowledgement that without unity on the Security Council, nothing will be done at an international level.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday July 17, 2012 2:15 pm|
Fighting in the Syrian capital of Damascus raged for a third straight day, the most sustained challenge to the seat of power of President Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian government has escalated their response as a result, and there appears to be no end in sight.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday July 10, 2012 5:48 pm|
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s continued survival is predicated on their Russian patrons to a large extent. So this shift from Moscow is really a crushing blow.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday June 27, 2012 8:30 am|
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has essentially declared a civil war in a meeting with his new cabinet, which was broadcast on state-run TV. He did this as fighting raged just outside of the capital of Damascus, and as gunmen stormed a pro-government TV channel, killing seven.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday June 26, 2012 6:15 pm|
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) points out, “On June 26, 1987, exactly twenty-five years ago, the Convention Against Torture became binding upon the nations that had ratified it.” So, today is not just some international day the United States and other powerful countries in the world will pay lip service to. Twenty-five years ago, an anti-torture convention was passed that the US then disregarded and violated explicitly when Bush was in power.
|By: Glenn W. Smith Sunday June 24, 2012 9:30 am|
As they stand today, the world’s governments are incapable of addressing the global climate crisis in time to moderate the coming catastrophe. That is just an unhappy fact.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday June 21, 2012 4:44 pm|
At a conference organized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Geneva, Switzerland, Christof Heyns, a UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, strongly condemned the United States’ targeted killing program and the country’s use of drones to carry out extrajudicial executions abroad. Heyns told attendees the program threatens fifty years of international law and, according to The Guardian, some of the drone attacks the United States has carried out likely were “war crimes.”
|By: David Dayen Tuesday May 29, 2012 1:20 pm|
The US has expelled Syria’s top diplomat in Washington, just one of many Western countries to throw out Syrian envoys after the Houla massacre. The name missing from that list is Russia, whose Foreign Minister yesterday said that the rebels share the blame with the government for the massacre. This Russian roadblock prevents serious action by the UN Security Council.