Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Google the words "grain shortage" and you'll find news articles from the world over that shows that we are in the mist of a serious shortage.
There's,obviously, more than one cause. droughts in some areas....floods in another. The rise in meat consumption in China.
Using food grains to produce ethanol may not be the only villain but it's not helping the situation.
An article in physorg.com reports,
"In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, [the study found that]:
-- corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
-- switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
-- wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced."
"Ethanol production requires large fossil energy input, and therefore, it is contributing to oil and natural gas imports and U.S. deficits."
We're wasting energy to produce ethanol.
"The government spends more than $3 billion a year to subsidize ethanol production when it does not provide a net energy balance or gain, is not a renewable energy source or an economical fuel."
We're wasting money to produce ethanol.
As I wrote in an earlier post ,
"According to official data, from March of 2007 to March of 2008 the price of wheat increased by 130%, soya by 87%, rice by 74%, and maize by 31%."
We are using food to produce ethanol and food prices are going through the roof.
At the root of all this, is the panic caused by environmentalists who blame oil for the destruction of the planet and the twin idea that there is an oil shortage.
We're not going to solve our "oil crisis" by using ethanol. We're only adding another problem that needs to be taken care of.