Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ethanol: A crime against humanity & common sense

If it is true, as Time magazine reported recently, that the ethanol required to fill the tank of a typical SUV using E-10 blend requires that we divert grain equivalent to the amount of food that would sustain an average human male for a year ...

... what are we thinking?

There is no moral justification for this even if you accept the premise that global warming is taking place and is caused by human activity. You do not starve the less fortunate of the world in order to save the driving capabilities of the first world. (And if you do not believe in man-made global warming, the logic of any rationale for this is non-existent.)

Ethanol makes no sense. It would not be economically feasible even if food supplies were not an issue. The federal government mandates - forces the energy industry - to use it. It pays subsidies to qualifying farmers (the lion's share to huge agri-corporations) to devote certain crops to ethanol production. It is an artificial condition created by politicians driven by political winds and former ex-vice presidents who have mysterious millions of dollars to spend trying to convince a free people that they must do something.

If you believe in God, then you may have the sinking feeling that we are going to pay a price for ethanol much higher than the one posted on the pump. Surely the Almighty cannot be happy that we are burning food in our gasoline tanks, the result that others will pay more or go hungry.

And even if you don't believe, surely one's common decency would suggest that there must be a better way to deal with our energy and environmental problems.