The Green Energy Alternative is a Bust
Ethanol: A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Gone
Al Gore has admitted that the only reason why corn based ethanol ever got any political support was to buy the votes of Iowa farmers.
They say you should never say never, but I will anyway. Corn based ethanol is a bad idea whose time should never have come. A study by automobile manufacturers has shown that the additional ethanol that the Obama administration wants to force on American consumers will destroy automobile fuel systems all over the country.
The reason why turning plants into fuel works to some extent in Brazil is that they start with sugar. In order to turn the starches in corn into alcohol, first you have to use energy to turn them in to sugar. This defeats the purpose of using a crop to produce energy in the first place. Also, corn is a staple for people and animals. Taking large amounts of corn out of the food supply and turning it into fuel virtually guarantees food riots and perhaps even starvation in the third world.
The European Union commissioned a study on the effects of the expansion of a green biofuels project. As reported in Scientific American, growing the biofuels could turn out to be twice as bad for the environment as using fossil fuels.
If we could have armies of homeless or jobless people put free seeds in the ground and if those free seeds required only naturally occurring rainwater to grow and if the homeless and jobless would again work for minimum wage and harvest the crop, maybe growing our fuel would be a little more viable. But real life doesn’t work that way. In real life, growing a crop of useful plants often takes some kind of fertilizer and weed killer. Even if you use natural fertilizers and natural weed killers they still have to be dispersed on the crops. Generally speaking, some sort of fossil fuel powered machine is going to be necessary to harvest, process and transport the crop in it’s raw state to silos and railway stations. Then even more fossil fuels will necessary to move the crop to factories that will transform the plants into fuel. The process of turning plants into alcohol also requires energy. For those who believe in anthropomorphic global warming, every step of this procedure put more carbon into the atmosphere.
On the other hand, natural gas for instance, comes out of the ground virtually ready to use.
Once a nuclear power plant is built, most of carbon dioxide producing activities concerning it are done. From that point on, it will produce more energy than alternatives for the carbon footprint it represents.
There are some biologically based fuels that are being developed that would rely on cellulosic ethanol from weeds like switch grass or fuel from algae. It may be possible to eventually get at least carbon neutral fuels from such processes--10 years or so in the future. For the present, you will know when someone is not using junk science concerning energy policy when they say we will be using fossil fuels for the foreseeable future. Your first clue on the truth of this is as follows: The Obama administration came into to power and wasted trillions of dollars on whatever the hell they wanted to. Money was even given to fictitious congressional districts and to community organizers willing to bring underaged prostitutes into the country. Where is that green infrastructure that Obama promised? If it was so easy, so obvious, so necessary, and so economically and scientifically viable, why didn’t he build it? All of the effort to produce a green new future would have created a lot of jobs. So politically it would have been a winner as well. Why did Obama pay off his political supporters rather than build a green new world?