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Ethanol Tangent

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  • Jeff
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29, 2006
      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
      bad.

      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
      time.

      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
      their day.

      every step you take away from the grocer is three steps in the right
      direction...

      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
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