According to Chaos Theory, a butterfly flapping its wings in Mexico can cause a hurricane in China. Most of us find that hard to believe. We are accustomed to scientific certainty, derived from proven cause or, for the less discriminating, well-documented correlation. We humans are a species with very little faith.
This gives rise to some difficulties. Our world is a nonlinear sort of place, where very small changes right here can have very large and unexpected effects over there. As an example, consider biofuel. Growing our own fuel in the good old USA is better than putting our economy at the mercy of unstable nations in the Middle East. Where does this biofuel come from? Ninety-nine percent of it comes from food crops, mainly corn. Mexico’s poor, who have become increasingly dependent on the U.S. for their corn supply, have seen a 150% rise in the price of their staple tortillas. Filling your car with ethanol to symbolically raise your middle finger at Saudi Arabia can cause a child to go hungry in Mexico. According to Chaos Theory, this makes perfect sense.