The Clean Energy Scam

Ethanol increases global warming, destroys forests and inflates food prices. So why are we subsidizing it?

John Lee / Aurora Select for TIME

A tiny sliver of transitional rain forest is surrounded by hectares of soybean fields in the Mato Grosso state, Brazil.

From his Cessna a mile above the southern Amazon, John Carter looks down on the destruction of the world's greatest ecological jewel. He watches men converting rain forest into cattle pastures and soybean fields with bulldozers and chains. He sees fires wiping out such gigantic swaths of jungle that scientists now debate the "savannization" of the Amazon. Brazil just announced that deforestation is on track to double this year; Carter, a Texas cowboy with all the subtlety of a chainsaw, says it's going to get worse fast. "It gives me goose bumps," says Carter, who founded a nonprofit to promote sustainable...

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