If it sounds too good to be true…
We’re becoming more and more aware of the real costs of bio-fuel such as ethanol etc. Not just the cost of producing the stuff, but the toll on food prices, the environment, even on our climate. Thanks to the corn mob food prices have gone up, more land is being put into production—including land that has yet to recover from when it was last used in agriculture, and pollution of all sorts is rising.
The article linked to above points out that, unlike petroleum, bio-fuel is not a highly concentrated source of energy. To concentrate that energy enough to make it useful in a fuel tank requires energy; sometimes more than what you end up with. In addition, getting that fuel to market requires using even more energy. Overall you’ve got the energy needed to prepare the land for planting, plant the crop, grow the crop, harvest the crop, convert the crop to fuel, and get it to the customer. As it stands, the bio-fuel industry is not self-supporting. Even if it produced enough fuel to power all the vehicles needed, there would still be a need to keep pumping out petroleum for herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides. Unless, that is, we started producing those from crops, and that would add to our problems with land use etc.
Now consider the effect on food prices. Already beef has gone up in price. Chicken, mutton, pork, and turkey are expected to rise too. All from the rising cost of feed. As land wears out and becomes unavailable to agriculture expect prices to rise even further. Both the cost of food and the cost of fuel. This will fuel an inflationary round that bids well to bankrupt the economy and lower our standard of living. More of the budget given over to food costs, fuel costs, even the cost of housing and medicine. More and more people agitating for higher wages so they can cover expenses.
And speaking of food prices. Come January of 2008 those of us receiving Federal Social Security and Supplemental Security Income payments will see only a 2.9% increase. Why? Because the Consumer Price Index does not include food prices. Something about volatility. What the Feds don’t tell you is that that volatility has to do with how fast food prices are going up, fueled by the increased demand on grain to supply the bio-fuel industry. Inflation that is coming to the attention of ordinary folks, and which will have an impact itself on other costs. The cost of labor for one thing. I have heard it said that when you add in the rising cost of food inflation stands at about 15% a year. No economy can long prosper with inflation running that high, and you can bet we’ll be seeing repercussions form this in the years to come.
Here’s the final thing, bio-fuel aint necessary. Not really. With the advances being made in batteries, capacitors, and motors for electrical vehicles, plus the progress in fuel cell technology, it looks like the old internal combustion engine may be on it’s way out, with the exception of certain specialized uses. Hell, steam engine cars would be a better use of our resources.
Bio-fuel is simply a waste of resources, inefficient, destructive to the environment, destructive to the economy, ruinous of health, and of benefit only to the venal and the greedy. I say we devote what we’re now wasting on bio-fuel and use it to rebuild and expand our rail system; we’d get a lot more use out of it.
(Via American Digest.)