December 22, 2008


The following appeared as a letter to the editor, written by a 13 years old, in the Concord Monitor. Madeleine, bravo on your impeccable logic and clear thinking, know if we can only teach those elected to Congress to think like Madeleine. Nah, if they could think clearly then they would not have run for office in the first place :-)


We have been polluting our world too much. Naturally, we have tried to do something about it. What we use to create energy is the big problem, so people have tried to come up with a new, renewable energy source that is easily obtained. We have already figured out several non-polluting techniques: wind, water and solar power. But another attempt is not working out so well: ethanol. The problems start at the very beginning.

Most ethanol is made from corn. However, that corn must be supplied in enormous quantities, and corn is used in much food for humans and animals. If we use corn for fuel, more will need to be grown, on huge farms receiving government subsidies. We are paying extra so that our food can be used for fuel.

The corn is grown using chemical fertilizer, which is awful for the environment. Most pesticides are made from petroleum, exactly what ethanol is supposed to be preventing the use of. Also, the machinery on big farms needs massive quantities of gas.

The next step is even worse. The corn, grown with petrochemicals, must be distilled in factories to become ethanol. These factories need to get their energy from somewhere, and that somewhere is fossil fuels. It takes about nine-tenths of a gallon of fossil fuel to make a gallon of ethanol. Ethanol pollutes the environment about the same amount as if we just used fossil fuel.

To add insult to injury, ethanol is not as efficient as fossil fuel. In short, ethanol is stupid. It just doesn't do what it's supposed to do - namely, reduce our carbon footprint. Our government needs to start focusing its attention elsewhere. Wind, water and solar energy could use some boosting.



Andros said...

But, it makes American corn farmers happy. Now with Vilsack (former gov of Iowa) joining the Obama administration we'll probably see more of this.

ghassan karam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ghassan karam said...

If Andros is proven right and the Obama administration does not reverse the ethanol subsidies then that would be a great disappointment and a missed opportunity to do the right thing. I am sure that many will take the position that Mr. Obama , just like any other president, must pick his fights and at the moment there are "larger fish to fry" . That logic , however, runs the risk of weakening the Obama "mandate" a chip at a time. ( Keep Gates at DOD, not enough women in the cabinet, lend moral support to prop ...)How many hits can an image take before it shatters?

George said...

A great president is one that provides leadership and does the most possible good for the commonwealth.

Otherwise, he just presides...

Look, the conservatives are going to oppose Obama no matter what he does. If this wasn't a landslide of an election, they'd still be talking about him being non-legit.

You're right about losing credibility and momentum by giving in... And, it's infuriating because he doesn't have to do so at this point!