Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Corn Ethanol Turns Out To Be Environmentally Disastrous

I have been advocating $5 per gallon gasoline for twenty years based on the idea of taxing things you’d like to discourage. I coupled this with free and expanded bus service, but since I am for limited government, my support for a gasoline or energy tax would only be if taxes were simultaneously reduced on income or sales tax, etc.

Many folks who pretend to be environmentalists talk about the desirability of alternative fuels while also decrying the high cost of gasoline. My explanation is that their true goal is to increase the power and scope of the government, and they only pretend to be concerned about the environment. Their concerns are not believable saying the earth is on the tipping point while owning multiple homes and enjoying international travel.

There was a time where some countries, such as the United Kingdom, embraced socialism with the means of production owned by the state. It was not unusual for the government to own: the major airline, electrical company, gas company, mines, telephone company, transit system, railroad, etc. I am sure this sounds great to many “progressives”, but it has been tried and the government turned out not to be the font of wisdom, but rather inefficient providing poor service at high cost.

The US government mandated methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) as an oxygen-boosting additive in gasoline. How’d that work out? It managed to contaminate drinking water supplies. So now ethanol is the oxygen additive. How’s corn ethanol working out?

If the federal mandate of corn ethanol is viewed as a vote getting scheme by politicians, it is doing great. If it is viewed as an alternative fuel, corn ethanol a wasteful boondoggle. How’s the biofuels ideas working out?

See,9171,1725975-2,00.html Time Magazine May 27, 2008 article “The Clean Energy Scam” by Michael Grunwald which says “Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass … looks less green than oil-derived gasoline”.

It also says:
• “Brazil just announced that deforestation is on track to double this year.”
• “Brazil now ranks fourth in the world in carbon emissions, and most of its emissions come from deforestation.”
• The Amazon “land rush is being accelerated by an unlikely source: biofuels. An explosion in demand for farm-grown fuels has raised global crop prices to record highs, which is spurring a dramatic expansion of Brazilian agriculture, which is invading the Amazon at an increasingly alarming rate.”
• “But several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what its proponents intended: it's dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it.”
• “Indonesia has bulldozed and burned so much wilderness to grow palm oil trees for biodiesel that its ranking among the world's top carbon emitters has surged from 21st to third”.
• “new study in Science concluded that when this deforestation effect is taken into account, corn ethanol and soy biodiesel produce about twice the emissions of gasoline.”
• “the forces that biofuels have unleashed--political, economic, social--may now be too powerful to constrain.” “Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled an eye-popping plan that would require all stations to offer ethanol by 2017 while mandating 60 billion gallons by 2030. … Barack Obama immediately criticized her--not for proposing such an expansive plan but for failing to support ethanol before she started trolling for votes in Iowa's caucuses.”

Elitists intent on telling other people what to do have a long record of not avoiding the law of unintended consequences. I am sure that the self esteem of “progressive environmentalists’” is high. It must be nice to be sure that they are inherently superior to others and deserve the power to coerce others. They also posses the convenient trait to ignore evidence to the contrary.


Post a Comment

<< Home