- Hi there group,
I just thought I'd post a quick message about the recent ethanol
debate going on with some factual notes.
First note is that cellolose ethanol is more than a few years out for
large scale production. Corn ethanol system as it stands right now is
broken. While it does have renewable content, and it is infact an
energy producing system, it does so at the expense of the environment
in the forms of GMOs, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and irrigation.
The odd thing is that without ethanol, we would probably continue to
harvest oil after its no longer economical. (that is it takes more
energy to extract the oil than its worth). We would do so specifically
because oil is a convenient fuel with high energy content and density.
The party will end, and we won't be ready for that. Coal can be used
to harvest oil (it should be used that way, but it will...) ethanol
offers a partial way out so to speak for the industrialized nations..
like it or not. They will have to change they're thinking.. but
it will be much more delayed than any of us would like.
THe bigger issue right now should be about biodisel.
Granted, industrialized agriculture is probably not the best answer,
its the answer we currently know how to use, and the transition will
be slower than we like.
The primary mover of most homebrew biodisel is "free" waste vegetable
oil. THis is currently a resource that is used vary little. Waste is
However, according to statistics published by the state of NOrth
Dakota and the USDA... just 9% of all land under cultivation would
need to be dedicated to farming oilseeds (canola/rape or sunflower)
with current yields to power ALL the tractors for the other 91%!
This doesn't include the acres and acres that grow nothing but grass
and cows. ALthough I'd like to see them turn into bison and elk over
Turn of the century reports, and recent Amish findings have shown that
20-33% of a farm was dedicated to fueling the horses in the past.
Its food for thought. THe thing about a horse is you still have to
fuel it when your not using it.
And until people are willing to give up a lot of material things,
or technology produces much more "free time"... tractors are likely to
be the answer to feed the masses. Of course the probelm being the
system that requires people to work as machines in jobs for so much of
every step you take away from the grocer is three steps in the right
And finally as a thought for the vegetarians on board....
I"m a omnivore, I like my meat. Most of it comes to me from wild
sources..... but even range fed beef has decent conversion ratio....
Vegetables in todays supermarkets are shipped thousands of miles,
(anyone eat out of season fruit...)... they use as much energy from
the system as any meat eater does...
Boycot Californian grown food (unless your from california)
Its irrigated in areas with not enough water for the people.
Subsidized at the state and federal level increasing taxes on the poor
That's it for now, hope it wasn't too much off topic