Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Ethanol Debacle

Let’s review the Ethanol debacle (finally getting some attention in the so-called “Mainstream Media”):

1) Government, under pressure from environmental extremists, mandates Ethanol use:

2) But:

A) Even the “true believers” in Man Made Global Warming report that:

“When you tote up the carbon emissions caused by clearing land to grow corn, fertilizing it and transporting it, corn ethanol leaves twice the carbon footprint as gasoline.”

B) And, peer reviewed science says double the carbon footprint may be on the low end of the estimates:

“last September, an article in the prestigious journal Science demonstrated that global ethanol production emits two to nine times the greenhouse gas emissions ‘saved’ by substituting it for gasoline”

Another peer reviewed study finds:

“corn-based ethanol, instead of producing a 20% savings, nearly doubles greenhouse emissions over 30 years and increases greenhouse gases for 167 years. Biofuels from switchgrass, if grown on U.S. corn lands, increase emissions by 50%. This result raises concerns about large biofuel mandates”

C) Besides having two to nine times the carbon footprint (as if that mattered), Ethanol also directly results in a real impact on Global Warming which far exceeds any impact which fossil fuels ever have had or ever will have (tropical rainforest destruction):

3) Worse still:

New demand for corn to produce Ethanol results in skyrocketing prices for corn. That, in turn, results in skyrocketing prices for gasoline, beef, pork, chicken, milk etc. and creates inflationary pressures driving the economy down (meaning less money available for real private sector entrepreneurs to find real solutions):

But, those “unintended consequences” associated with Ethanol would have been obvious to anybody with even a basic understanding of science, economics and markets.


BrianJ said...

Thanks for posting on my blog and pointing me to your blog.

That said, I have to point out one problem with this post - you continually refer to ethanol, while all of the studies that you reference refer to "corn based ethanol."

I'm sure you know that the source for ethanol matters greatly. As does the source for any bio-fuel.

For that reason, I think that I would only want to drill domestically if we agreed to tax all oil heavily.

The point is that we know that burning fossil fuels is not good. So tax the net carbon contribution, and get out of the way and watch American entrepreneurs fix the problem with a quickness!

SBVOR said...

BrianJ sez:

“The point is that we know that burning fossil fuels is not good.”

Sorry Brian, but the peer reviewed science says otherwise.

The IPCC is a political body which does not produce any peer reviewed science. The IPCC demonstrably attempts (in vain) to distort peer reviewed science for the sake of their political ends.

Not only is CO2 not a problem, but the legitimate pollutants from fossil fuels are also well controlled and becoming ever more so. As evidence see this chart from this EPA report.

The simple truth is that nothing good ever comes from government meddling in private markets. Left to their own devices, the private sector will effectively and efficiently develop the next generation of energy sources. The taxation and meddling which you prefer will only drain the private sector of capital which could otherwise be well spent in finding the solutions.

Kyoto has already drained the world’s private sector of $0.5 TRILLION.

The IEA now demands that we waste another $45 Trillion.


P.S.) You should not allow a quantitatively biased media drag you around by the nose.

juandos said...

Yet again sbvor coming to your site (like going to Professor Mark's site) is an education, a good education...

Thanks for that ethanol update...

SBVOR said...


You are most welcome.

One of these days, I’ll document the fact that, without government subsidies, Ethanol would not be economically viable. Therefore, our taxes are funding the creation of global inflation. Gotta love them Green Meanies!

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