Fuel that is polluting and driving up the cost of food.

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Fuel that is polluting and driving up the cost of food.

Post by Calavera » Tue May 01, 2007 11:52 am

No, it's not petroleum critics are complaining about. It's corn ethanol. Here is the link Ethanol stands alone as a biofuel despite concerns Let me go ahead and post the best line from that article.
Critics blamed high tortilla prices in Mexico this winter on demand for corn by U.S. ethanol refineries. The demand for corn also drove up livestock feed prices around the country.
:guffaw:
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Post by DaMadFiddler » Tue May 01, 2007 11:59 am

[nods] Biofuel is a false answer. What's required is a basic change both to auto tech and to the American lifestyle...but a lot of people would much rather go with the easy answer of "oh, we'll just use something else for gas."
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Post by Roofus » Tue May 01, 2007 12:05 pm

DaMadFiddler wrote:[nods] Biofuel is a false answer. What's required is a basic change both to auto tech and to the American lifestyle...but a lot of people would much rather go with the easy answer of "oh, we'll just use something else for gas."
Biofuel is better than gas (at least it's renewable) but I don't like the idea of using food to get it. I believe you can get wood alcohol from the sludge left over at paper mills.
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Post by pixel » Tue May 01, 2007 12:14 pm

The thing with Ethanol made from corn is the amount of money companies like VeraSun are making from production. If you look closely enough, it's no longer about saving on fossil fuels, it's the booming big business of Government-subsidized Ethanol producers.
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Re: Fuel that is polluting and driving up the cost of food.

Post by jaredfogle » Tue May 01, 2007 3:39 pm

Calavera wrote:No, it's not petroleum critics are complaining about. It's corn ethanol. Here is the link Ethanol stands alone as a biofuel despite concerns Let me go ahead and post the best line from that article.
Critics blamed high tortilla prices in Mexico this winter on demand for corn by U.S. ethanol refineries. The demand for corn also drove up livestock feed prices around the country.
:guffaw:
How the fuck is that funny?

Our twisted needs and our wastefulness are causing a famine for the brown people. lolz.
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Post by APE » Tue May 01, 2007 4:30 pm

You know what would be cool? No more subsidization of corn. I want my:

Regular gasoline back
Regular cane sugar back
Regular cereal back

Fuck corn syrup.
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Post by DaMadFiddler » Tue May 01, 2007 5:03 pm

Mmm cane sugar.

Interesting thing about corn syrup. It was virtually unheard of in day-to-day foods until Coca-Cola started using it in place of sugar in the '80s, as a cost-cutting measure. Now it's everywhere, and is both much more common and worse for you than traditional cane sugar.

I typically do my baking with natural brown sugar, which is a little more expensive but tastes a hell of a lot better.
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Post by Lartrak » Wed May 02, 2007 12:06 am

APE wrote:You know what would be cool? No more subsidization of corn. I want my:

Regular gasoline back
Regular cane sugar back
Regular cereal back

Fuck corn syrup.
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Post by pavelbure » Wed May 02, 2007 12:14 am

what's really ironic about this ethanol garbage is the fact that they are mowing down forests to plant corn fields. the very same forests that help keep the air clean. :lol:
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Post by TyBO » Wed May 02, 2007 1:39 am

DaMadFiddler wrote:[nods] Biofuel is a false answer. What's required is a basic change both to auto tech and to the American lifestyle...but a lot of people would much rather go with the easy answer of "oh, we'll just use something else for gas."
Don't be offended when I tell you that response is pretty freaking ignorant.

Much of the United States (including the area where I live) is so spread out that it wouldn't be feasible to be less dependent on oil than many Americans currently are. I have to drive for a half an hour to get an education at the University I attend. There isn't a grocery store closer than fifteen minutes by car from my house. My job is a twenty minute drive away. I would never consider walking/biking to any of these places because the commute to and from would take hours. Also, public transportation doesn't run frequently enough/through the right places for me to consider it a viable alternative for getting where I need to be.

It has nothing to do with laziness, or waiting for some miracle fuel alternative to drop from the sky and save the earth. Many Americans simply can't change their oil-hungry lifestyle because of the sparse layout of the towns they live in.
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Post by jaredfogle » Wed May 02, 2007 1:54 am

TyBO wrote:
DaMadFiddler wrote:[nods] Biofuel is a false answer. What's required is a basic change both to auto tech and to the American lifestyle...but a lot of people would much rather go with the easy answer of "oh, we'll just use something else for gas."
Don't be offended when I tell you that response is pretty freaking ignorant.

Much of the United States (including the area where I live) is so spread out that it wouldn't be feasible to be less dependent on oil than many Americans currently are. I have to drive for a half an hour to get an education at the University I attend. There isn't a grocery store closer than fifteen minutes by car from my house. My job is a twenty minute drive away. I would never consider walking/biking to any of these places because the commute to and from would take hours. Also, public transportation doesn't run frequently enough/through the right places for me to consider it a viable alternative for getting where I need to be.

It has nothing to do with laziness, or waiting for some miracle fuel alternative to drop from the sky and save the earth. Many Americans simply can't change their oil-hungry lifestyle because of the sparse layout of the towns they live in.
I don't think he was criticizing you or your dear mother.

I think he's talking about, in a long term sense, the layout of our civilization and some of the basics of how we function need to be changed to meet the coming energy crises.

Public transportation and a trend toward city-livin I think are the best solutions. Individual motorized transportation is very inefficient, and it will be best for us to eliminate it as much as we can as quickly as we can.

I don't think he wants you walking to school, I think he wants you closer to school. I think he wants driving an SUV 32 miles back and forth five days a week for class to be as socially unacceptable as throwing your McDonald's cup on the grass.


But I think he's aware of the fact that no one in your situation would or should forego an available education to reduce nasty emissions slightly.
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Post by Lartrak » Wed May 02, 2007 12:28 pm

jaredfogle wrote:
TyBO wrote:
DaMadFiddler wrote:[nods] Biofuel is a false answer. What's required is a basic change both to auto tech and to the American lifestyle...but a lot of people would much rather go with the easy answer of "oh, we'll just use something else for gas."
Don't be offended when I tell you that response is pretty freaking ignorant.

Much of the United States (including the area where I live) is so spread out that it wouldn't be feasible to be less dependent on oil than many Americans currently are. I have to drive for a half an hour to get an education at the University I attend. There isn't a grocery store closer than fifteen minutes by car from my house. My job is a twenty minute drive away. I would never consider walking/biking to any of these places because the commute to and from would take hours. Also, public transportation doesn't run frequently enough/through the right places for me to consider it a viable alternative for getting where I need to be.

It has nothing to do with laziness, or waiting for some miracle fuel alternative to drop from the sky and save the earth. Many Americans simply can't change their oil-hungry lifestyle because of the sparse layout of the towns they live in.
I don't think he was criticizing you or your dear mother.

I think he's talking about, in a long term sense, the layout of our civilization and some of the basics of how we function need to be changed to meet the coming energy crises.

Public transportation and a trend toward city-livin I think are the best solutions. Individual motorized transportation is very inefficient, and it will be best for us to eliminate it as much as we can as quickly as we can.

I don't think he wants you walking to school, I think he wants you closer to school. I think he wants driving an SUV 32 miles back and forth five days a week for class to be as socially unacceptable as throwing your McDonald's cup on the grass.


But I think he's aware of the fact that no one in your situation would or should forego an available education to reduce nasty emissions slightly.
I'd like more centralization, but I still want forests around me. That makes it hard. I still think my impossible suggestion of a massive reduction in the human population is best.

That aside, I really don't see how it is going to happen. How are they going to reduce sprawl? I just can't even imagine it. Europe had it essentially forced on them, in most cases, because of such long term massive populations and lack of space/geographical barriers.
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Post by DaMadFiddler » Wed May 02, 2007 1:21 pm

...I was all set to spend some time writing a clarifying response, but jaredfogle pretty much covered it all for me.

The only other point I'd make that didn't get covered is the fact that people do and have survived in such situations for thousands of years *without* automobiles. It just meant they made more and bought less, and didn't travel as much. It's all a matter of the living situation you (both individually and as a community) set up for yourself.

If you really want to get at the root of the problem, it all stems from economics. Our modern society has established economics as the core of society, when it really should be just an auxiliary tool, and that has driven a lot of the problems we are currently facing, on multiple levels.

But that's a whole discussion unto itself, and we're getting a lot further-reaching than I had originally intended now.

The main point I was trying to make is just that I'm concerned about biofuels. My concern is that while it's still not environmentally sustainable, it *is* economically sustainable, at least for longer than fossil fuel. I'm afraid that if we start converting to biofuels, the mentality will become "good enough; problem solved" and we'll never get around to taking the harder step of actually dealing with the problem until it's too late.
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Post by APE » Wed May 02, 2007 1:51 pm

If ethanol goes higher than 10% my car will probably be screwed as it wasn't designed for anything above that, probably not even 1%.

Union76 will be sued for damages if I have to have repairs done, since they're who I get my gas from 100% exclusively.
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Post by Ex-Cyber » Wed May 02, 2007 3:48 pm

TyBO wrote:Many Americans simply can't change their oil-hungry lifestyle because of the sparse layout of the towns they live in.
The issue is what caused that sort of layout in the first place. The problem is not so much that people drive cars, it's that people driving cars has become such an ingrained assumption that we have essentially been designing our towns and cities around cars instead of around people. We need to throw away that assumption if we're going to build in a usefully sustainable and flexible way.
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Post by DaMadFiddler » Wed May 02, 2007 4:00 pm

Ex-Cyber wrote:
TyBO wrote:Many Americans simply can't change their oil-hungry lifestyle because of the sparse layout of the towns they live in.
The issue is what caused that sort of layout in the first place. The problem is not so much that people drive cars, it's that people driving cars has become such an ingrained assumption that we have essentially been designing our towns and cities around cars instead of around people. We need to throw away that assumption if we're going to build in a usefully sustainable and flexible way.
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Post by Veggita2099 » Wed May 02, 2007 4:04 pm

I have always heard that biofuel is just as polluting because of the pesticide that would be released into the water by farmers growing extra corn. However what I don't understand is why do they have to use so much pesticide? I raised corn last year and the only thing I ever put on it was miracle grow (which is fertilizer). However I have seen how commercial farmers soak there plants in pesticide. I mean they practically dump buckets of it on the plants.
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Post by 404NotFound » Wed May 02, 2007 5:04 pm

In terms of pollution, i'm not sure if ethanol is better or worse than normal fuel.

The idea is that it's better than normal fuel in terms of carbon emissions. This from the fact that instead of drilling out some oil and burning it, you grow ethanol and burn it, then that burned carbon goes back into making corn the next year. So in a way it's "carbon neutral."

But, in actuality, the carbon cycle is much more grim (from my understanding.)

A very common idea is that planting trees and plants removes carbon from the air. Yes, this is true, but in a fairly short term. Eventually those trees either burn or die, and unless rotting takes place in a non-oxygenated environment it will simply turn into CO2 and methane again, both warming gases. That's why, for the most part, trees are carbon neutral.

To actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere, it needs to be both taken out of the air and moved to geological storage (oil, natural gas, methane hydrates.) This is done by decay that is done without the presense of oxygen. So if a mudslide covers some trees, then those trees will become actual carbon sinks. Or if a ocean microbe takes in CO2 and then goes into the deep oceans and produces methane which freezes into a methane hydrates. That's a carbon sink.


Ethanol would only really work if we could make an ideal system. That is, if the sunlight coming to earth was used by the plants to turn CO2 from the air into carbon in the plant matter, which was then burned and put back into the air to be reabsorbed. But I'm not sure such a system could ever exist.
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