The New York Times reports on the weather’s impact on crops grown for fuel. The piece takes a look, of course, at the recent floods in the Midwest that may devastate some farmers’ yields. Crops, it turns out, are as vulnerable as oil rigs during a Gulf hurricane. Some of the corn wiped out this year was headed to refineries to be blended with gasoline. The article argues that using food for fuel creates a “new economic hazard”:

As America grows more reliant on corn for its fuel supply, it is becoming vulnerable to the many hazards that can damage crops, ranging from droughts to plagues to storms…

We are holding ourselves hostage to the weather,” said John M. Reilly, a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an ethanol expert. “Agricultural markets are subject to wide variability and big price spikes, just like oil markets.”

Power Politics

July 3, 2008