Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ethanol And Hunger

There is in general no food shortage in the world. There is a distribution problem--and there is on a country by country basis local production problems caused by corrupt, incompetent and immoral people which is where the politicians come from--and of course they make things worse. The very notion that the Corn produced in the USA (23% being diverted to Ethanol production) is the cause of people going hungry is ludicrous. Even though the USA has produced the food which has fed much of the world for many decades--farmers in the USA who divert their Corn crops toward Ethanol production are in no way responsible for hunger issues elsewhere. The nonsensical belief that Corn being diverted toward ethanol production in the USA presumes that there is no other food but Corn--when in fact there are numerous other foods available and in good supply. It also does not take into account the fact that USA production of corn was increased and there was in fact a huge surplus. It also does not take into account the fact of commodity speculation which has greatly increased the cost of corn and the higher cost of oil also is the cause of rising food prices. The food is available--but unaffordable for many, a fine example of this being Egypt. Each country is completely responsible for either feeding their own people or not--this responsibility is not that of the American people, or that of any other first world nation! When I first heard this ill advised idea of producing ethanol from Corn I knew it wouldn't work, its inefficient and costs a lot more than its worth to produce Ethanol this way--its foolish to use a food crop for fuel production when its not absolutely necessary. In fact its so inefficient that the federal government is subsidizing it by 51 cents a gallon and is imposing a 54 cent tariff on ethanol imports; it costs $1.25 a gallon to produce one $1.00 of Ethanol here in the USA--business which needs subsidies and tariffs and can't stand on its own isn't a business anyone should be involved in. Ethanol could easily be a $1.00 to $2.00 retail a gallon alternative for gasoline--but from non food plant sources, e.g. Switch grass, Sugarcane, farm stubble, sweet Sorgrum, cattails, trash Et cetera. Sugarcane yields approximately 800 gallons of ethanol per acre and corn yields approximately 328 gallons of ethanol per acre. Sugarcane produces 8 units of energy output for each 1 unit of energy input; and corn produces approximately 1.3 units of energy output for each 1 unit of energy input. One advantage of using corn (the only one I know of is) what's left over from the processing is high quality animal food. It takes 53,000 BTU's of energy to convert one bushel of corn which is 56 lbs into 2.8 gallons of Ethanol--most of the new ethanol plants use coal to produce this energy--of course the USDA supports this waste of food and fuel--because the head of the USDA is a G.W. Bush appointee. If the G.W. Bush organization were truly serious about using Ethanol to fuel automobiles they would at the least insist on flex fuel only. Flex fuel only could easily be accomplished by the manufactures within one year. Automobiles for the American market. Brazil is fuel independent they produce their own fuel and seventy five percent of their automobiles are flex fuel meaning they can run on pure clean alcohol or on petroleum and alcohol mixture. I knew it was the Bush organization who was placating special interest groups(more corruption)--and pretending to want to do something about the dependency on oil issues--without actually doing anything which would truly help--because they like the way things are with oil and the ever increasing prices. Let's not forget G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney are heavily invested in oil; and have repeatedly chosen their own special interests and those of their cronies over the best interests of the American people. The Energy Independence and Security Act that G.W. Bush signed December 19, 2007, decreed biofuel production increases from 7.5 billion gallons in 2012 to 36 billion in 2022. More cronyism from the G.W. Bush organization, the American peoples tax dollars at work. Isn't this wonderful.