The Fools' Gold of Ethanol.

Woe is we. The Fools' Gold of Ethanol. 


Daggone it. I wish I had better news for you.

  The word to shiver your timbers is topsoil.

   I grew up on a farm. To non-farm folk, the idea of renewable energy, of fuel based on plants which can renewedly grow every year feels intuitively sound and joyous even. Oh dear. The rub is topsoil. Even more fragile than the supplies of fossil fuels is the supply of topsoil on the planet. Corn is a master plant. A miracle really. One of the greatest foodstuffs ever imagined by the glorious gods. But. Triple but. Corn or maize is the most soil-greedy plant on Earth. To bet your grandchildren’s future on corn fuel (ethanol) is deeply foolish.

   It is possible to tend and replenish soils with crop rotations, fallow time, and plowing under cover crops, but to rampantly feed the voracious need for fuel? The topsoil will not flourish for a decade under the pressure we’re contemplating with so-called renewables. It is a pipe dream that this is the direction to grandly pursue. (I can’t speak to the relative soil-greed of soy-beans, sugar cane, et al, but honesty must be paid as to the tipping point of topsoil depletion by various plants before we go hurtling gung-ho down a cul-de-sac. Stealing from foodstuff soil-energy to feed cars is mad – not just in the long run, but in the pretty near run.)

   Not counting fueling vehicles, we certainly could solar every parking lot in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />America and pour massive military industrial complex (MIC) sums of dough into solar efficiency. Sun, waves, tides, and wind are all really newable.

   I am very disappointed in the NCGA(National Corn Growers’ Association)for misleading the public for the sake of short-term greed. They must know the world’s topsoil cannot sustain this kind of vehicle-fuel-demand onslaught.



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5 Dog . Oc . Wolf. North . tzol 68  04.27.06 thur

999 days/2y8m24d left



the education-obsessed world begins today with you ..

.. let’s spend the $820,000 per minute Military Budget on education instead


2 thoughts on “The Fools' Gold of Ethanol.

  1. I know it happens that most corn growing states happen to be Red States. I also know that Brazil is a bit ahead of the rest of the world in developing Ethanol sources, etc. though I think there are worries about over-farming the Amazon basin as a result.
    Thanks for this well written reminder that there's no free lunch even when we talk about massive amounts of corn.

  2. Nothing soil-based is free lunch. Micro-solar is probably a very key angle — like the parking lots. If we pour tons of money and ingenuity and urgency into it, we could tweak solar to a serious efficiency.
    I wish the idea of bio-fuels didn't sound so enticing. Or, rather, I really wish my beloved corn weren't so darn greedy.

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