In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 7, 2008 / 2 Iyar 5768

Why are we doing something so maliciously stupid?

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | World food prices have risen 83 percent in the last three years, the World Bank says. Food riots could endanger stability of governments in 33 countries, estimated the World Bank's president, Robert Zoellick.

This burgeoning global catastrophe has many causes. Rising populations and incomes in China and India have increased demand for food. A drought in Australia has sent the price of wheat soaring. Our weak dollar has caused nations which hold lots of them to buy up commodities, which hold their value.

But the two biggest culprits, says the International Food Policy Research Institute, are soaring prices of oil and petroleum based fertilizer, which increase the cost of growing and transporting food, and biofuels. The IFPR says biofuels are responsible for a quarter to a third of the rise in food prices.

That proportion soon will increase. Congress has ordered a 500 percent increase in biofuels by 2022. The European Union has mandated that 5.75 percent of all gasoline and diesel fuel must come from biofuels by 2010.

It is economically, environmentally, and morally insane to use food for fuel. Corn-based ethanol, the principal U.S. biofuel, is the worst offender. Even with oil priced at more than $110 a barrel, it takes a 51 cent a gallon subsidy to make corn ethanol competitive with gasoline. And even with the subsidy, gasoline mixed with ethanol costs drivers 20 to 30 cents a gallon more than regular gasoline, the American Automobile Association said, because ethanol has one third less energy per gallon than regular gas.

It takes 29 percent more fossil energy to produce corn ethanol than the ethanol will provide, according to a 2005 study conducted principally by Cornell University ecologist David Pimentel.

Because of its tendency to absorb water, ethanol cannot be transported by metal pipeline, as most gasoline and diesel fuel is.

Ethanol increases two of the most dangerous air pollutants — volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by four to seven percent over gasoline, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Together, VOC and NOx cause thousands of premature deaths each year, the EPA said.

I'm skeptical about man-made global warming. But if it's a problem, ethanol production exacerbates it. NOx is a greenhouse gas with 296 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. A study led by Nobel laureate Paul Crutzon estimates that NOx emissions from corn production cause up to 50 percent more warming than the substitution of ethanol for gasoline avoids.

The problem worsens if land is cleared for planting of fuel crops, because nothing soaks up carbon dioxide like trees. Deforestation isn't a concern in the U.S., but it's a major problem in Brazil and Indonesia.

Let's sum up. Corn-based ethanol costs much more than petroleum does, even at present prices. About as much energy is used in its production as it provides. It harms the environment. Diverting food crops to ethanol sends food prices soaring. Why are we doing something so maliciously stupid?

Politics, of course. Corn is grown in Iowa. Iowa is a swing state, and holds the nation's first presidential nominating contest.

The favors our politicians do for the corn ethanol producers goes beyond subsidies and mandates. Corn-based ethanol is a terrible idea, but there is something to be said for ethanol made from sugar cane. Sugar ethanol provides eight times the energy of the fossil fuel required to make it, and emits fewer greenhouse gases than corn ethanol. And though sugar is a food, it isn't a staple, so sugar ethanol doesn't exert the upward pressure on food prices that corn ethanol does. Yet we've slapped a 54 cent a gallon tariff on sugar ethanol imports from Brazil, the world's largest producer.

We should end all subsidies and mandates for corn ethanol production. If ethanol can't compete with oil when oil is $110 a barrel, it shouldn't be part of our energy mix. And we should repeal the tariff on sugar ethanol.

Last week Sen. John McCain and 23 other GOP senators asked the EPA to loosen congressional ethanol mandates. Sen. Barack Obama indicated he's rethinking his position.

"My top priority is making sure people get enough to eat," Sen. Obama said Sunday. "If it turns out we need to make changes in our ethanol policy to help people get something to eat, that has got to be the step we take."

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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