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Take a peek over Jim Borgman's shoulder

Jim Borgman has been the Enquirer's editorial cartoonist since 1976. Borgman has won every major award in his field, including the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1993, and most recently, the Adamson Award in 2005 as International Cartoonist of the Year. His award-winning daily comic strip Zits, co-created with Jerry Scott, chronicles the life of 15-year-old Jeremy Duncan, his family and friends through the glories and challenges of the teenage years. Since debuting in July 1997, Zits has regularly finished #1 in reader comics polls across America and is syndicated in more than 1300 newspapers around the world.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008


An interesting story in today's paper -- Scientists are recommending the suspension of the production of biofuels in light of the growing global food crisis. We're fueling our cars ahead of our brothers. The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again. Not so long ago we were looking to biofuels as a significant part of an alternative fuels program.

Well, learn and adjust. We'll be doing a lot of that as we stumble our way into a post-petroleum future.


at 4/30/08, 5:45 PM Blogger jeff said...

Very stunning imagery, well done.

at 4/30/08, 6:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This should be a moot point.
You can grow switchgrass and make the same biofuels.
Its farmers growing the corn because they want to make more money for heir products.
Can't blame them.

at 4/30/08, 6:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you, Jim. You took the high road and didn't mention president Bush's comment today - "we need to expand use of ethanol to lower our dependence on unreliable foreign supplies".

Much as I try, I can't overlook the utter failures of the man known as W.

at 4/30/08, 6:50 PM Anonymous Tony R. said...

Wow that is such a sad cartoon that it really hits me, and it is so well executed. I am always impressed with your awesome ability to express ideas combined with your drawings.

at 4/30/08, 6:56 PM Blogger who2 said...

See now, I, evidently erroneously, assumed that farmers, the fuel industry and others involved in this type of planning, would have taken into account that the world food supply is the priority. How stupid am I.

How does the price of oil and the price of fuel per gallon, impact the cost of food around the world?

I wonder how much the situation will be bettered if every driver cut car use by 20% and maintained 65 mph. on the high speed roadways, made weekly menu plans and lists and shopped only once a week? Would this reduce demand and bring down the cost of fuel? What is that, supply and demand?

Of course, now that we are a car dependent culture, we can't walk to the grocery store. I live in the city and it is a 2 mile round trip to two different grocery stores. My aunt lives in West Chester and drives 3-5 miles, one-way to grocery shop.


at 4/30/08, 7:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

rather than biofuels causing the death of your character,I'd bank his starvation on corrupt African politicians and genocidal warlords who steal supplies intended for distribution and hoard the cache of grains for themselves or sell on the black market.that's a far more plausible scenario than corn being turned into ethanol to fuel your min-van.

at 4/30/08, 10:28 PM Blogger Rob said...

you know what kills me about Jim Borgman?

the fact that he'll dwell on negative issues for years, but once they turn positive, he'll never touch them again.

for years he's talked about Cincinnati not making any progress, but now that restaurants are opening and the city is becoming livelier, you never hear of anything. why? why does Jim have to be so negative?

at 5/1/08, 11:36 AM Anonymous Dan said...

It's a well done cartoon that illustrates a valid point, one with which I'm sure Mr. Borgam agrees.

But assuming the person in the cartoon represents any of the starving people of sub-Sahara Africa, whose pictures are widepsread, I have to agree with the post by "Who2".

Rhodesia was known as the Breadbasket of Africa. The it gained independence, took over farms owned by anyone who wasn't dark skinned, changed its name to Zimbabwe, and now has people starving due to its corrupt government that builds palaces for dictators and starves its people.

Don't blame starvation on the developed world's search for alternatives to oil.

at 5/1/08, 12:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just an African problem. It's a Latin American problem. It's an Asian problem. It's a Haitian problem. Anywhere people are poor, the rising demand for corn and wheat drives the prices up. Thus, people with less money can buy less food. The demand for ethanol drives the price of food up. While corruption doesn't help the cause, it's not the root of the problem. The corn to feed a family for a year can't fuel an SUV, but the SUV owner can pay more for it. It's a simple problem of the poor being squeezed out by the rich.

at 5/1/08, 1:38 PM Anonymous matta said...

Its not a 1-1 of corn prices = starvation (there are other factors like Iraq war, increased demand from China, strikes, terrorist attacks on pipelines, and civil wars in oil-producing African nations), but it seems amazingly stupid to turn food into biofuel when there are other sources that can be used as effectively. Find me a politician willing to say that, though, and you'll see the first real agent of change.

at 5/1/08, 1:46 PM Blogger Eric said...

"Don't feed the people but we feed the machines" - Neil Peart, 1985

at 5/1/08, 3:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this was not an "Unintended Consequence." Or, more accurately, it was not an unknown consequence. This was predicted when massive subsidies and preferences were given to corn growers over other ethanol producers.

While corruption does play a role, the role of misapplied public funds and shortsighted government officials, corn state politicians, and energy activists is much, much larger.

at 5/1/08, 6:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the plan to solve fuel crisis.

1) Tell Al Gore to shut up. He was a MAJOR proponent of biofuels even though they are less efficient, force the price of food upwards, farmers grow biofuel crops instead of food crops, and still has no impact on polution or oil prices.
2) Tell Democrats and Republicans to shut up and work together for the people and not special interests. We should short term be drilling off the coast of Florida, in ANWR, and places in Texas that may still have oil. In the meantime tax incentives need to be extended for more hybrids, long range electric technology, solar, wind, and other forms of energy.

at 5/1/08, 8:11 PM Blogger Scott Evans said...

who2, there is very little difference in mpg in maintaining 65 mph and 80 mph as long as you are driving a constant speed. I monitor my mpg very closely, especially since me and my wife moved to a farm in Boone county. I am averaging 42 mpg now compared to 32-35 mpg when we lived in Bellevue/Dayton area. I avg 70-75 mph on my way into work and drive the Camry Hybrid.

at 5/1/08, 9:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have some perspective (rob). How do things get changed? By pointing out problems. That's part of editorializing and editorial cartoons. When things get better isn't it more logical to appreciate the folks who pointed out the problems than knocking them?

at 5/2/08, 7:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only in America we use food stock to run automobliles while we pay people not to raise crops..... go figure.....

at 5/2/08, 11:01 AM Anonymous Dan F said...

The cartoon uses the recognizable image of a starving -presumably- African child for it’s, for lack of a better term "shock value". The intent is to have the reader think, "I never thought of that", in regards to the effects devoting more and more crops to biofuels being more than just reducing our dependence on foreign Oil. But in our sound bite culture, that’s never really discussed.

Farmers are growing corn for Bio Fuel b/c it was decided that would be the best, not by the scientists, but by the special interests in the Corn Belt.

1) Corn requires more energy input to manufacture biofuel than is gained from it.
2) Corn sucks a lot of nutrients out of the soil, farmers usually rotated corn out to let the soil recover. Now they keep corn in the rotation.
3) No one eats switch grass. It almost if our Pols have never picked up a book about basic Econ!

-sound of the same ‘ole drum beat-
Until we remove the main focus of our gov’t programs being the appeasing the special interests, then we will never have an energy policy that is actually good.

at 5/2/08, 7:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

DanF at 11:01 >> absolutely correct but I'm afraid "we" aren't smart enough to understand that the current policies are destructive.
We need a full-time president - not sure what W does with his time but, apparently, "thinking" isn't included.

at 5/3/08, 1:21 PM Blogger who2 said...

Scott Evans, how many more miles do you drive? How much more fuel do you use? Is there a plan to provide public transportation (train) to your Boone County farm?


at 5/3/08, 3:48 PM Blogger JPL said...

Ever heard of Tom Daschle and Bob Dole? It's amazing how bipartisanship can be achieved when you are both lobbying for an industry that never held any promise in the first place except by guilting people into "fighting" the big oil lobby. Anyone who kept up on this knew this would happen.

Here is some good reading material. It's not NYT, so don't be afraid.

Haitians are eating dirt. PLEASE WATCH 60 MINUTES THIS SUNDAY NIGHT!!!

at 5/4/08, 8:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to clear up some misconceptions:
Where do you think America gets its oil? Who do you think are the two countries from which we import oil?
If you guessed anywhere in the middle east or africa, you're wrong.
Canada provides more than any other country.
Followed by Mexico.

So think about that for a second.

at 5/4/08, 12:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's how I feel after I read the Enquirer, especially borg's "cartoons"

at 5/5/08, 9:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:01 - this can't be true (Canada is leading supplier of oil to USA).
Oil passing through Canada from Mid East doesn't count.

at 5/6/08, 9:53 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inre Canada as top Importer of Oil

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