Just Say No!
Sunday, March 15, 2009 | Author: eventer79

Ethanol -- one of the great marketing scams pulled on society. Supposedly the great savior to replace fossil fuels, corn-based ethanol was touted as the "green" alternative. Once again, good intentions pushing fast and hard into the market, unwilling to consider the big picture and the long term paved the road to hell for us. Just a few facts to consider:

(1) To produce a gallon of ethanol, it takes about 70% MORE energy than you actually get from burning the ethanol itself. So the overall process = net energy loss. This particular piece of genius *insert dripping sarcasm here* continues to baffle me daily.

(2) To grow and harvest an acre of corn to produce ethanol takes about 140 gallons of diesel.

(3) Corn itself is an incredibly water-hogging and destructive crop to grow. Producing it erodes soil about 12 times faster than the soil can regenerate and irrigating it drains groundwater about 25% faster than that water can refill and recharge.

Not to mention using a food source to power vehicles is just plain stupid. The acreage it takes to grow enough corn to power one average car for a year (11 acres) can feed seven people. I'll let you do the math. And I won't even mention what happens to people both domestically and abroad, when you drive up the price of corn, not only as a primary food source, but as feed for livestock.

Suffice it to say, any vehicle labeled "FlexFuel" or powered by ethanol is about the most environmentally UNfriendly choice you can make and you should run, run in the other direction. An agricultural expert from Cornell University put it well:

"Abusing our precious croplands to grow corn for an energy-inefficient process that yields low-grade automobile fuels amounts to unsustainable subsidized food burning."

Are there better options out there that CAN effectively replace fossil fuels? Maybe! More to come on this topic....
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5 comments:

On March 16, 2009 at 9:18 PM , lifeshighway said...

Great big solar batteries strapped on the roof of the car or tap into the heat inside the car on a hot summer day.

 
On March 17, 2009 at 8:36 AM , eventer79 said...

Quick, patent that before someone steals it!

 
On March 20, 2009 at 12:17 AM , emKem said...

"Not to mention using a food source to power vehicles is just plain stupid."

I disagree. While using corn ethanol is a decidedly impractical way of producing fuel, there are other, more friendly sources of biofuels. For instance, waste vegetable oil - also known as the fuel that "makes your car smell like french fries" - is cheap, easy, and it takes the WVO out of the waste stream. Not to mention it's fun. Yes, any fuel that requires new crops to produce it is the wrong way to go, but using waste food as fuel is one of our better choices for becoming a self-sustaining society.

 
On March 20, 2009 at 12:52 AM , Christina said...

Thanks for this post. I'm so glad to know there are other people out there who aren't taken in by this whole ethanol BS. What is pretty amazing, is how difficult it is to find critiques of ethanol. It seems the corn lobbies are that powerful...

 
On March 22, 2009 at 8:30 PM , eventer79 said...

Oh, I do agree with you on that one, Em, I guess I just didn't state that very well -- I'm all about the veggie oil!!