Ethanol Exposed

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Economy, Energy, Environment

It’s not the lifeline many think, and that meme is gaining steam.

From WSJ:

Little over a year ago, ethanol was winning the hearts and wallets of both Main Street and Wall Street, with promises of greater U.S. energy independence, fewer greenhouse gases and help for the farm economy. Today, the corn-based biofuel is under siege.

In the span of one growing season, ethanol has gone from panacea to pariah in the eyes of some. The critics, which include industries hurt when the price of corn rises, blame ethanol for pushing up food prices, question its environmental bona fides and dispute how much it really helps reduce the need for oil.

A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development concluded that biofuels “offer a cure [for oil dependence] that is worse than the disease.” A National Academy of Sciences study said corn-based ethanol could strain water supplies. The American Lung Association expressed concern about a form of air pollution from burning ethanol in gasoline. Political cartoonists have taken to skewering the fuel for raising the price of food to the world’s poor.

I wonder if any prez candidate will dare to say this given Iowa’s spot in primary schedule? Okay, let me rephrase that. Will any of the front runners say this?

FYI…

Now the fuel’s lobby is pleading with Congress to drastically boost the amount of ethanol that oil refiners must blend into gasoline. But formidable opponents such as the livestock, packaged-food and oil industries also have lawmakers’ ears. What once looked like a slam-dunk could now languish in pending energy legislation that might not pass for weeks, if ever.

They’re playing “My lobby is bigger than your lobby”, and, at least this time, that might be a good thing.


This entry was posted on Thursday, November 29th, 2007 and is filed under Economy, Energy, Environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

14 Responses to “Ethanol Exposed”

  1. Bob from ALAMN Says:

    The citation of the American Lung Association in the WSJ story can lead to confusion on our position on ethanol.

    Used without proper context in an article that broadly covers criticism of the ethanol industry, it appears that the American Lung Association is an ethanol critic. This is not true. The American Lung Association recognizes that alternative fuels can play an important role in the reduction of fossil fuel use and that they can vary significantly in their impact on lung health because of their composition and application.

    For example, the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest has led a nationally-recognized E85 (an ethanol-based alternative fuel that can be used in flex-fuel vehicles) pilot program since 1998. We remain a strong supporter of E85 and biodiesel, both of which have been tested and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as cleaner-burning alternatives to traditional petroleum fuels.

  2. Jeremy Says:

    “We remain a strong supporter of E85 and biodiesel, both of which have been tested and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as cleaner-burning alternatives to traditional petroleum fuels.”

    And quite frankly I’d rather start riding a bicycle to commute than continue to look on in horror everyday at endless miles and miles of back-to-back cars on the freeway. Anyway paying attention knows this planet is screwed! if the so-called “smartest” primate can’t figure out that its actions are poisoning our water, our air and possibly triggering the death of our whole fragile ecosystem.

    What do you get when you have a human population that exceeds the ability of the Earth’s capacity to sustain it? You get a problem with no viable solution. This world “as in the fate of humanity” is in for a serious wakeup call. You think the fight over oil is bad? Ha! Just wait, wait and see what the fight over the lifeblood of this world is going to look like, Water! Try putting a price on a barrel of water. How much would you pay for a barrel of life-giving water? $100? $1,000? Yeah! welcome to the capitalistic utopia. Enjoy your stay.

    Also, ask yourself this question. Is the threat of nuclear conflict subsiding or is it proliferating out of control? Look toward the Middle-East where Now Egypt and Syria have recently declared they are seeking joint nuclear programs. We already know Israel has nuclear weapons, Iran of course wants their own nuclear weapons to detour other nations that neighbor it which have them, i.e. Pakistan, India and Israel. All of this under Bush’s tenure as president.

    It’s believed that whole species of animals are completely disappearing everyday at an astonishing rate. What does a human population that promises to double exponentially, a world without so much as a square inch of land left un-poisoned, water sources poisoned and being used up far more quicker than they can be replenished a and a majority of the worlds’ nations brimming with nuclear weapons? Is the spelling clear enough?! No! I don’t think it is, humanity has to be on the utter brink before we “figure” it out. It needs to be spelled on the wall, transcribed and then analyzed, and then perhaps the human race should be so lucky to have a man of such wisdom at the helm to guide us, someone like Bush, you know?

    Don’t fool yourselves. Technology isn’t going to come to our rescue. Our so-called “technology” is what got us here in the first place. Our species insatiable appetite for self-justification and greed will be our undoing. And how sadistically funny it will be that the “stupid” dinosaurs will have outlasted humanity by millions of years. We, humanity were given the gift of steward of our beautiful planet and we treated it like some dispensable to-bit whore–thinking cleverly, or not so cleverly that the was many more whores where that one came from. WRONG!!! This was it! We f’king blew it!
    We just blew it! Perhaps humanity should go the way of the dinosaurs, after all we’ve proven ourselves to less noble than even they, in fact, Humanity could be more likened to a pathology than a noble experiment.

    Perhaps when we are gone mother Earth can finally have her peace. She will have finally gotten rid of her ass-hole tenants from hell. Amen!

  3. Dos Says:

    Mother Earth is little whore that will give it up when and how we want it. She has for 5,000 years and she’ll continue to do so. As for me, I have plenty of drinking water, the shit is so abundant that it literally RAINS water!! Jeremy, I think you should start helping Mother Nature recover from the scourge of humanity by offing yourself as soon as possible — don’t be selfish — the answer to the problem is in the mirror….

  4. Jeremy Says:

    “Jeremy, I think you should start helping Mother Nature recover from the scourge of humanity by offing yourself as soon as possible — don’t be selfish — the answer to the problem is in the mirror….”

    K, I will offer myself but you must offer yourself first–then I promise to take my own life. Pinky swear? :)

    “As for me, I have plenty of drinking water, the shit is so abundant that it literally RAINS water!!”

    Yeah, for now that is. That’s the difference between you and me, I actually think about the future generations yet to come, you on the other hand? You got yours!

    Speaking of rain. When it rains it pours:

    Water Is Running Out: How Inevitable Are International Conflicts?:
    http://www.worldpress.org/Asia/2533.cfm

    Daily Kos: Water water, nowhere and not a drop to drink:
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/11/27/18598/566

    Population Outrunning Water Supply as World Hits 6 Billion:
    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/1661

    World is running out of water, says UN adviser:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/jan/22/water.china

    Ground-Water Depletion Across the Nation:
    http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-103-03/

    Arizona facing water crisis with growth:
    http://www.uswaternews.com/archives/arcsupply/tarifac7.html

    NPR : Florida Faces Vanishing Water Supply:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11097869

    Pay up or dry up; Texas and water; Texas’s water troubles.potential for water shortage in Texas:
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb5037/is_200105/ai_n18271920

    New Jersey drinking water running out:
    http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071024/NEWS03/710240337/1007

    Atlanta asks, ‘Will we run out of water?’:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21382688/

    Tennessee Town Has Run Out of Water:
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=3806939

    Silicon Valley Running Out of Water?:
    http://ecoworld.com/home/articles2.cfm?tid=326

    Nevada Gambling with their Water Supply:
    http://littlecountrylost.blogspot.com/2007/07/nevada-gambling-with-their-water-supply.html

    China is running out of water, while industrial pollution is an increasing problem in the dwindling supplies that it has:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2006/oct/04/water.guardiansocietysupplement

    The Future Is Drying Up:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/21/magazine/21water-t.html?pagewanted=all

    We’re running out of water:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/07/08/EDGOTQ8JBS1.DTL

    Why world’s taps are running dry:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2943946.stm

  5. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    And quite frankly I’d rather start riding a bicycle to commute than continue to look on in horror everyday at endless miles and miles of back-to-back cars on the freeway.

    You mean an evironmentalist like you hasn’t done that already? What is stopping you?

    perhaps the human race should be so lucky to have a man of such wisdom at the helm to guide us, someone like Bush, you know?

    I guess everyone should vote for someone like John Edwards so he can use tax money to buy everyone a bicycle and then take away our cars. Are you waiting for something like that to happen before you junk your jalopy?

    Technology isn’t going to come to our rescue. Our so-called “technology” is what got us here in the first place. Our species insatiable appetite for self-justification and greed will be our undoing

    Bicycles are a form of technology. Or are you just too greedy and self-justifying to refuse to give up driving to work everyday?

  6. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    ADDENDUM:

    With all of this talk about the world running out of water, I think its about time we as a society began increasing our water emmissions. One way to do that is through burning fossil fuels. In fact, most of the volume of gas produced from burning fossil fuels is water vapor, which condenses in the atmosphere to form clouds and then falls to the earth as rain.

    In the meantime Jeremy, keep drinking your own piss, and cut back on all that exhaling!

  7. Jeremy Says:

    “In the meantime Jeremy, keep drinking your own piss, and cut back on all that exhaling!”

    Jimmy, you’re a clown. Besides, my point is not that the use of water is immoral, quite the opposite. It does however have everything to do with “how” we use water. Building 500,000 houses in the middle of a desert (think Las Vegas, Nevada) is not the most prudent use of a resource that is already taxed to the limit. Instead of thinking about the future we have hundreds of thousands of people filling up countless swimming pools in a desert that was never intended to be an “Electronic oasis of vice and debauchery.”

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the vice or the debauchery that’s unfortunate but the idea that today’s society can use water for their leisure without giving so much as a thought as to the future of this nation and this planet.

    Oh! and by the way Jimmy, you could fill this planet with human beings standing toe-to-toe, all exhaling as much as they like, you wouldn’t deplete the Earth’s water vapor in any significant way. But what happens when you do this?:

    “According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):

    “Golf course maintenance can also deplete fresh water resources. In recent years golf tourism has increased in popularity and the number of golf courses has grown rapidly. Golf courses require an enormous amount of water every day and, as with other causes of excessive extraction of water, this can result in water scarcity. If the water comes from wells, overpumping can cause saline intrusion into groundwater. Golf resorts are more and more often situated in or near protected areas or areas where resources are limited, exacerbating their impacts.”

    On average, a golf course needs between 10,000 and 15,000 m3 of water per hectare and year (similar to the water requirements of a rice pond!)4. The surface of the Ara Macao Resort golf course is approximately 60 hectares, which means that the annual consumption of the golf course would be around 900,000 m3/year or the equivalent to the annual basic water requirement of approximately 50,000 people.”

    Guess how many golf course there are in the United States alone?

    Approximation:

    Public: 7955
    Resort: 995
    Private: 4256
    Semi-Private: 3541
    Military: 197

    Total: 16,944

    Let’s do a little arithmetic 16,944×50,000 = 847,200,000

    Water that could have been preserved to support 847,200,000 people’s annual “basic” water needs. And no Jimmy, “golf” isn’t a basic human need. But it’s good to know some rich ass-hole without a care in the world can go get his [Game On!] I just couldn’t imagine a world without water guzzling golf courses for the unhappily married men over 40. I just wouldn’t want to imagine that, not in a million years. Or, you might want to cut that down to a hundred at the rate we are going.

  8. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Wow. All those Americans living around golf courses must be really thirsty.

    Wait a second. 847,200,000. That is 3 times more than the entire population of the United States!! How can 847,200,000 be running out of water? The fact that not a single U.S. citizen is currently in want of water for “basic” needs anywhere in the country proves that golf courses cannot possibly be a problem. Get it?

    If what you say is true, then we would all have already died of thirst by now three times over. Sheesh. Who is really the clown here?

  9. Jeremy Says:

    “If what you say is true, then we would all have already died of thirst by now three times over. Sheesh. Who is really the clown here?”

    You, you are the clown Jimmy. When did I say that 847,200,000 Americans were dying of thirst? Where did I state the U.S. population was 847,200,000 people? Nowhere, that’s where. You like to put shit into other peoples’ mouths in order to prove your tendentiously irrelevant arguments.

    My point was pretty damn simple, a fucking retard with minimal processing skills could understand it. The water that these golf courses use annually could instead go to supporting a growing population for many, many years to come. Instead we elect to use it like it’s an endless commodity.

    “The fact that not a single U.S. citizen is currently in want of water for “basic” needs anywhere in the country proves that golf courses cannot possibly be a problem. Get it?”

    I get it, you don’t. Read this book American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn: http://www.amazon.com/American-Green-Obsessive-Quest-Perfect/dp/0393329305/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1196532521&sr=8-1 Golf courses are a problem if they don’t take steps to lessen their impacts on the environment.

  10. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    The water that these golf courses use annually could instead go to supporting a growing population for many, many years to come.

    Are you talking about exporting water?

    Or are you seriously suggesting that there is not enough water now to sustain a growing population, and play golf too? Shouldn’t people be getting thirsty by now? Think about the total amount of golf played last year alone.

    Do you think we will be reaching “peak water” soon? Will our incessant drilling for water deplete all of our off-shore water reserves?

    Too bad water is not a renewable resource. Oh wait. It is.

  11. Jeremy Says:

    “Too bad water is not a renewable resource. Oh wait. It is.”

    I guess that’s why children are taught the importance of
    “water conservation” in school, because as you put it ‘It’s free, it’s everywhere and it always will be so drink up or rather tee up or do whatever you want because your actions have no effect on the water resources of our planet.

    Or is it that

    “Water conservation refers to reducing use of fresh water, through technological or social methods. The goals of water conservation efforts include:

    * Sustainability – To ensure availability for future generations, the withdrawal of fresh water from an ecosystem should not exceed its natural replacement rate.
    * Energy conservation – Water pumping, delivery, and wastewater treatment facilities consume a significant amount of energy. In some regions of the world (for example, California [1]) over 15% of total electricity consumption is devoted to water management.
    * Habitat conservation – Minimizing human water use helps to preserve fresh water habitats for local wildlife and migrating waterfowl, as well as reducing the need to build new dams and other water diversion infrastructure.” – Wikipedia

    That’s right! Jimmy. Just because the water cycle or hydro cycle is, uhh! “re-cyclical” doesn’t mean there’s enough water in the “right form” in the right place “unpolluted” to sustain human life and the other life on this planet at the same time. Oh, what’s that? you haven’t figured out that there is “other” life on the planet besides your dog slime ass? Sorry to break to you Jimmy–that water resources is stretched to the max and polluted to the max and it only promises to get worse.

    The Global Water Crisis/Our Moral Reckoning
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkB0fPurvsE

    The Law of the Land: An Interview With M.C. Mehta (Part 2)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmgRl-xnGMU

    Ganges River – Pollution
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb_yDBmRgmU

  12. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Algae As Biofuel Says:

    [...] interesting development that could help address the big bio-fuel scam we’re currently being [...]

  13. djthedj Says:

    Wow, if you ever need an example of just how stupid, greedy and self centered the typical brainwashed right wing moron is, here it is. Perfect example of why they think you can just spend and use everything in sight, run up huge debts, endless wars, etc., etc. I want mine now, screw the furture. Let me guess, none of you have children.

  14. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Obama’s Questionable Ethanol Ties Says:

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