Monday, April 14, 2008

Green is costing more for nothing

Happily, I've stumbled across a news link to a current topic of interest - Biofuels.

Everyone and their brother is lining up to denounce Alberta's tarsands because of the impact the extraction of oil from them affects the environment. People also argue that the cost of extracting oil from them is expensive and has little net benefit to the economy.

All the while, something as wonderful as creating fuel from corn has been embraced by all the 'greens' as being something that is better for the environment than oil.
While I agree that Ethanol has it's purpose as an additive to gasoline (mainly to help as a gas line antifreeze in winter) it comes at a higher cost. Food prices. Because there is only so much land to grow crops for food and fuel alike, the supply of corn (for example) is limited. Because of this, the more corn that is diverted to ethanol production, the less corn is available for food. This means that food prices go up. Which I'm sure some of you have noticed.

Some people would argue that you don't need to use corn for ethanol because you can use switchgrass or some other sort of crop. The problem with that is there is still a limited amount of land for growing crops.

Petroleum products such as oil are mainly used for fuel. And while it might cost more to extract it out of the tarsands, it is not causing food prices to rise because of supply shortages.

I strongly believe that the west has to put a lot of money into research and development towards alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and nuclear. Oil, coal and gas won't last forever you know and once they are gone, we will only have alternate choices. We will always need energy. But we cannot leave all the coal, oil and gas in the ground hoping to reduce our carbon footprint. and think that china and the rest of the world are going to do the same.

You know someone down the road would find a way to sell it to China anyway while we all sit in switchgrass huts becoming the new (green) third world.

Stop pushing for more ethanol. It will only cost us more and slow the economy while delaying the inevitable. The day we pull the last tank of oil, the last truck of coal, or the last cubic meter of gas from the ground is coming, but let's not cut of our nose to spite our face.


1 comment:

Antitomato said...

Wow, are you ever right. Just look at today's headline of increased cost for grains.