07 Oct '11, 2pm

Wall Street and ethanol cause starvation, say scientists:

Today's supervillains are soooo boring. If only they'd wear tights and touch entrapped damsels’ hair in a way that made us uncomfortable, we'd be up for patriotically pistol-whipping them, Captain America style. Instead we find out that Wall Street and ethanol -- a diffuse network of trading computers and a colorless inebriant, respectively -- are the reason billions are going hungry in the developing world. How are we supposed to launch a hideously expensive vendetta-war against that? The takeaway from Brandon Keim's excellent writeup of a study conducted by researchers at New England Complex Systems Institute is that if you want to model the extraordinary run-up in food prices worldwide, you have to include both large dollops of speculation by financiers and the increasing diversion of farmland and corn to ethanol, which is now consuming more than half of America's corn ...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-10-07-wall-street-and-etha...

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