Friday, February 02, 2007

How Corn Ethanol is Bad

Cross posted on Thoughts on Global Warming:

President Bush has been touting ethanol as one of the best, if not the best alternative to gasoline. It doesn’t produce as much carbon dioxide. It can be made in America, using American made\grown resources like corn. That quality is not a bonus, it’s a weakness.

For ethanol to be productive as a fuel, it MUST be made with agricultural waste. By using good corn, you’re being counterproductive. Using corn for ethanol misuses perfectly good food that could be used to feed people. Second, it increases the price of corn. Third, it ravages the soil where it is grown. Fourth, last but definitely not least, it’s not nearly as efficient as politicians would have you think. Corn is grown on farms. Farms don’t pick themselves. Gasoline powered machines fertilize, water and pick the corn plants. The gasoline used drastically lessens the effectiveness of corn ethanol. David Pimentel of Cornell and Tad Patzek of UC, Berkeley, calculate that producing a gallon of corn ethanol consumes 29% more fossil fuel energy than the ethanol saves. Adding to this waste, one has to burn 1.5 gallons of ethanol to go as far as a gallon of gasoline would go.

Coming soon… Part 2: Coal, the clean energy of the future?

More Alternative Energy Series:

Top 5 Reasons Geothermal Energy Works
What's So Special About Hydropower / Hydroelectricity?
Another Look at Nuclear Power: Nuclear Waste
The Wind Power and Solar Power Combination

5 Reasons Solar Power Works
Nuclear Power: Energy of the Future or As Bad As Fossil Fuels
The Temporary Solution: Coal
How Corn Ethanol is Bad

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