Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wise Up.

Driving home from dropping Haley off in Mesopotamia, OH after Easter dinner, my mom had me stop at the Ashland exit GOasis on 71. Gas is always cheapest in NE Ohio at this particular gas station. It was about 20cents cheaper than anywhere else we had seen in about 6 hours of driving.

The sign on the pump said all the gas was 10% Ethanol. After refueling, I got in and told my mom not to waste her effort trying to get to this gas station.
Ethanol is bad.
I am no peak-oil denying, oil company invested, promoter of petroleum's choke-hold. Big Oil is a corporate hellhole of war instigating profit seekers.
But ethanol is not one iota improved.

The main source of power for ethanol might be the sun, true, but then maybe not.
The seeds are shipped - gas
The seeds are planted - gas
The seeds grow - sun
The corn plant is sprayed with herbicides - gas and gas
The corn plant is sprayed with pesticides - gas and gas
The corn plant makes corn kernels - sun
The corn is harvested - gas
The harvested corn is shipped to an ethanol plant - gas
The plant alcohol is recovered - electricity (gas)
The fuel is shipped - gas

The only way that growing this corn for fuel can possibly make sense financially for the farmers who do, is that the Federal Gov't subsidizes these farmers. I personally don't believe a free market can solve all ills, but this, this is something else entirely. Subsidies for sustainable fuel sources? Fuck yes. But we're talking corn here. Corn is food. Corn is all food at this point. All the food we eat, corn.
Cornland, other crop land, farmers time and money, taxpayers time and money, oil, all these things going to create a fuel source that is the most temporary plug in the rush for the energy the world craves.
Ethanol is bad.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Grace said...

Have you read "The Omnivore's Dilemma"? It's real good.

Doesn't talk much about ethanol, but a lot about corn, and the virtues of grass-fed beef, and other things dear to both our hearts.

XOXO

April 1, 2008 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger Lord of the Barnyard said...

YES. (that's a yes with enthusiasm - stupid internet)

I am really really looking forward to reading his new one.

April 2, 2008 at 1:07 AM  
Anonymous the dr. said...

don't forget the widening and nitrogen rich "dead zone" in the gulf of mexico that has been caused by fertilizer runoff into the mississippi river. on the bright side all the corn farmers are now using their corn for ethanol which is driving the price of feed up which will in turn drive the price of mainly cheap grain fed beef up. it may cause more people to consider the more natural route you were championing not so long ago.

May 1, 2008 at 3:16 PM  

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