They observe that "petrol tanks and stomachs were competing well before biofuels were proposed to tackle climate change," since transportation and industrial agriculture are both premised on cheap fossil fuel.
Well, yes. So far, so good. But the following is quite simply so staggeringly ignorant that it's bordering on the insane...
One way to tackle the competition for a scarce resource is to change transport policy—a shift towards walking and cycling would reduce both the demand for fossil fuel, and secondarily mean that there were fewer overweight people, thus driving down the need for food.
Look, the body is a machine: like any machine, if the body needs to do more work—walking, cycling, juggling puppies whilst riding a unicycle up a slight incline, or whatever—then it is going to need more fuel in order to power the machine to do said work.
Now, one might argue that obese people could use their greater reserves of stored energy to power that work—although, actually, one has to ensure that they are doing the right sort of work in order to utilise energy through the desired metabolic pathway—but the chances are that they will not (or not to a greater degree than before).
However, unless one targets only fat people—by banning them from driving or taking the bus or something equally illiberal, unworkable and generally fantastical—you are also going to be encouraging—or, knowing this bunch of fuckers, forcing—those who are not obese (still the majority of the population, believe it or not) to do more work and they will need more food in order to fuel the increased level of work.
Given the current conflicts between food-growing space and that turned over to biofuels, in practice, this actually means more starving Africans. Further, it also means yet more environmental damage (if you are a climate change alarmist).
In fact, there’s been one researcher who claims that using your car to go to the shop is "more efficient" than walking, as the calories you need for the walk take more emissions to create than the petrol gives off.
So I’m a little confused here. My understanding is that farming plus the inefficiencies of human conversion of food into energy mean that exercising, that walking and cycling, will increase food demand, not reduce it. If that’s correct, then what are these people talking about?
Well, quite. Morons.