The Corner


I’ve had a lot of mail from outraged Iowans claiming that I don’t know the difference between “sweet corn” and “field corn”.

Oh, phooey. The corn-on-the-cob reference was to David’s original post, to which I linked. My next-door neighbors in New Hampshire are sweetcorn-growers, as are my fellow Quebeckers (mais sucre), so save your sneering about metrosexual pundits for Derb and Jonah. Or, alternatively, stick it in your corncob pipe and smoke it, which would do less damage to the environment than ethanol does. My point was that field corn goes to animal feed, cornmeal, corn flakes (flocons de mais), and a ton of other stuff. Nobody in the US would be making fuel out of it if the government did not pay them to do so.

Corn-derived ethanol is not “eco-friendly” and simply designating it a “biofuel” doesn’t change that fact. If it was that easy, they’d just rename the Hummer a Bio-Hummer. And distorting market reality always has consequences. In this case, the more governments mandate phoney-baloney “biofuels”, the more Third World peasants will starve. I’m a stony-hearted uncompassionate conservative but I think enough Third World peasants starve thanks to their kleptocrat dictators that the US and the EU shouldn’t be cutting themselves a piece of the action.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.