You Hate Ethanol For All The Wrong Reasons
Attention all Ethanol haters: You really don’t know what you are talking about. All the manufactured hysteria blaming ethanol for high food prices is getting out of hand, and people need to wake up to reality. Blame the oil companies, folks – not farmers.
I usually don’t agree with George Bush, but listen to the truth he let slip out at a news conference when a reporter asked him the following question:
Reporter: The World Bank says about 85 percent of the increase in corn price since 2002 is due to biofuel — increased demand for biofuels. And your Secretary of State said that — indicated yesterday that she thought that might be part of the problem. Do you agree with that? And what can the United States do — what more can the United States do to help make food more affordable around the world?
“THE PRESIDENT: Actually, I have a little different take: I thought it was
85 percent of the world’s food prices are caused by weather, increased demand and energy prices — just the cost of growing product — and that 15 percent has been caused by ethanol, the arrival of ethanol.
“By the way, the high price of gasoline is going to spur more investment in ethanol as an alternative to gasoline. And the truth of the matter is it’s in our national interests that our farmers grow energy, as opposed to us purchasing energy from parts of the world that are unstable or may not like us.
“One thing I think that would be — I know would be very creative policy is if we — is if we would buy food from local farmers as a way to help deal with scarcity, but also as a way to put in place an infrastructure so that nations can be self-sustaining and self-supporting. It’s a proposal I put forth that Congress hasn’t responded to yet, and I sincerely hope they do”
That sounds a whole lot like the message local food movements have been crying out for years, doesn’t it? George Bush, for once, is right. To keep blaming corn for high food prices is the height of ignorance. Sure, there are correlations, but to place all the blame on it simply shows there are many uneducated people out there. Take a look at this price index and decide for yourself what is the REAL reason for food prices skyrocketing:
So, let me REPEAT: Oil is the cause of food prices, and we can make fuel from things OTHER THAN CORN. Therefore, it’s not ETHANOL’s fault, rather the existing agricultural system in place supporting the WAY WE SUPPORT ETHANOL. Get it yet?
Corn gets you about 200 gallons of ethanol per acre. Here are some lovely examples of different feedstocks we can use:
Cattails – 2,500 gallons per acre (12.5 X more than corn)
Sorghum – 3,500 gallons per acre (17.5 X more than corn)
Fodder beats – 940 gallons per acre (4.7 X more than corn)
There are about 30 more feedstocks, from fruit to 70 million acres of weeds (mesquite) that we can make fuel from. And before you get all worked up over the food VS fuel argument, anyone can look at world crop production and see that we produce around twice the calories we need to feed everyone. What we have is a money shortage, since food is a commodity and not a right: Whoever can pay for it gets to buy it.
So it’s policies that need to change, folks. If you are angry enough, maybe it’s time to turn off the TV and video games and get involved a lot more. You can start by making sure you get involved by educating your politicians (Send them a copy of this book), supporting your local farmers, finding alternative transportation other than driving everywhere, and planting food at home.
This way we can start acting like grown ups and fix our problems instead of letting lobbyists and corporations continue to screw things up even more.
BONUS: Listen to Burt Bacharach & The Posies’ “What The World Needs Now” for 20 extra Karma points