Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Stupidity: Ethanol and the Food Crisis

---Price of corn in February 2006: $2.06
---Current price in 2008: $5.93

Oh, those Greens in their miraculous cures for all that ails the planet. Notice the nearly tripling of the price of corn in the last year and a half. You know why corn meal in Haiti and even in California is being rationed? You guessed Global Warming? WRONG!!!!!!!!! It's ethanol, that great fix for reducing bad gases in the air, also known as the great farmers boondoggle of the decade (a great favorite of Bill & Hillary Clinton, whose understanding of green may be somewhat different than when it's capitalized). Ethanol is produced from corn. Vast amounts of US cornfield acreage is being harvested to produce this fuel additive but -- oh-oh....

Factories that convert corn into the gasoline additive ethanol are releasing carbon monoxide, methanol and some carcinogens at levels "many times greater" than they promised, the government says....Ethanol Pollution Surprise, AP, cited on CBSNEWS.COM, 5/3/2002

Okay, okay, they must have cleaned that up already, but wait!

Switching from gasoline to ethanol — touted as a green alternative at the pump — may create dirtier air, causing slightly more smog-related deaths, a new study says..."It's not green in terms of air pollution," said study author Mark Jacobson, a Stanford University civil and environmental engineering professor. "If you want to use ethanol, fine, but don't do it based on health grounds. It's no better than gasoline, apparently slightly worse."...Scientist: Ethanol Would Cause More Pollution Than Gasoline, Foxnews.com, 4/18/2007

Doesn't sound good, does it? And it's not a new story.

With a corn-to-ethanol conversion rate of 2.7 gallons per bushel (a rate that many state-of-the-art facilities are already surpassing), the U.S. ethanol sector will need 2.6 billion bushels per year by 2010—1.2 billion bushels more than it consumed in 2005. That’s a lot of corn, and how the market adapts to this increased demand is likely to be one of the major developments of the early 21st century in U.S. agriculture. The most recent USDA Baseline Projections suggest that much of the additional corn needed for ethanol production will be diverted from exports....Ethanol Reshapes the Corn Market, Allen Baker & Steven Zahnizer, Amberwaves.com, April 2006

We knew in advance. So, what gives? Somebody must get something out of this. Whoever could that be?

Soaring land values, increasing debt and a reliance on government subsidies for ethanol production have prompted economists to warn that what some describe as a golden age of agriculture could come to a sudden end...Amid Strong Farm Economy, Worry About Increased Debt, KansasCity.Com, 4/20/2008

There you go, you starving Haitians, no corn meal for you today. To keep American farmers subsidized, the Congress has legislated that the government pay them to produce corn for ethanol, which causes farmland use for food crops to be sharply restricted, which causes prices to rise, which causes rationing. You have to be pretty f...ing green not to see that!

Oh, you Greens. Not content with the thirty million dead because of the finally lifted, thirty-year DDT ban, now you want to starve people who won't drive a Prius fueled by corn ethanol. What will you think of next?


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