Sorry that you have relatives that are feeling real pain because of the increase ethanol demand and the resultant increase in world food prices. It's not all as bleak as it appears. There is lots of research going on all over the world, in private and government laboratories to find much more efficient ways to produce petroleum products. One of the more promising ones is described here: http://www.valcent.net/s/Ecotech.asp?ReportID=182039
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
Using traditional food products to make petroleum products is just stupid. The scientists and engineers know it, but the politicians are tied to policies that their lobby groups, farmers and big oil support. Lets hope the next President has better sense and can put the USA on the path to true energy independence.
If you believe global warming is a myth you are of the opposite belief of the World Meteorological Organization (WHO). There are 188 member counties with the common goal of making meteorological, climatological, hydrological and geophysical observations. All agree there is global warming. Surely you don't believe the measurement of world temperatures by tens of thousands of scientists from hundreds of countries that shows an increasing global temperature could be a myth. As I said before global warming is real. The IPCC report states, "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal." What is open for debate is how much of the warming occurs because of human activity. What the general public hears is the message put out by the groups that have their own vested interest to promote.
I believe even the politicians will come around to the science and technology views. No politician wants to be blamed when the lights go out or much worse when people are starving. Be sure to visit the Valcent web site and view the video. It will give you some hope.