The Environmental Working Group recently posted a news realease form the National Academies about how ethanol worsens greenhouse gases, which is fascinating. For years all I heard from the green left is that we had to turn to alternative energy sources because our traditional sources were either running out or were a disaster for the environment.
First: we are in no way running out of traditional energy sources such as coal, oil or natural gas. In spite of all the hyperbole many of us have known that for years. The tale is always in the history and historically we kept finding and using more oil than the last estimate of all known reserves. Now everyone knows it because so much natural gas and oil has been discovered lately. And the greenies look like fools, except the media doesn’t paint them in this light.
One of their pet programs was biofuels. Biofuels cannot compete financially with traditional sources, so it has to be subsidized in some fashion. We have known for some time that biofuels will do a number of detrimental things. As more and more biofuel replaces traditional sources more biofuel would be required than is sustainable, because biofuels aren’t as efficient in delivering energy. Therefore biofuels will take up huge amounts of land that would have been used for growing food, so the price of food is skyrocketing all over the world, including the U.S. We know this extra use of land will eliminate habitat for endangered species; which I don’t particularly care about, but the greenies are nutso over this issue.
We also know that the processing of biofuels is very detrimental to the environment; provided that you buy into anthropogenic climate change claptrap regarding emissions. And cellulosic biofuels are even worse because it takes so much more of everything to turn cellulose into ethanol. That cost is prohibitive without mandates or subsidies on all biofuels and it is worse for cellulosic biofuel.
Sheila Karpf, EWG’s legislative and policy analyst says that “This report highlights the severe damage to the environment from corn-based ethanol,” and that “It underscores just how misguided U.S. biofuels policy has become. It catalogs the environmentally damaging aspects of corn-based ethanol and also casts serious doubt on the future viability of so-called ‘advanced’ biofuels made from other sources.”So now we have the Environmental Working Group telling everyone the truth. Great….but where did this “misguided” policy come from in the first place? It came about because the greenies were the ones demanding this stuff, and everyone started running around crying; Go Green, Go Green , Go Green, without a clue as to what it would ultimately mean. It became the cause célèbre. Shouldn’t we at least start asking now; why didn’t they know this before everyone started passing legislation promoting it and others started investing in fields and plants to produce this stuff? Why was the green movement so hot on this in the first place if this was such a bad thing?
I believe the reason is (as far as I have been able to determine over the years) they don’t have a clue because they are like bureaucrats. They do activism….they don’t do work. They think that have all the answers when in reality they don’t even know the questions because they have no practical experience in the areas they are critiquing.
We need do to really get this. These people are clueless. They are great at finding fault, but they couldn’t find a solution if someone threw a bucket of it on them. If any of this stuff was worth doing some businessman would have done it. And he would have done it without government subsidies.