Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Real cost of corn ethanol?

Have a look at this article by Ronald Cooke on the true costs associated with corn ethanol production.

In, "What Is the Real Cost of Corn Ethanol?", Cooke weighs the perceived benefits of corn ethanol use against the tally of its direct and indirect costs.

Will corn ethanol result in grain shortages and higher food prices? Does its production and use in automobiles result in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions? Can we really reduce our reliance on foreign oil with this homegrown energy scheme?

Read the article and hear Cooke's arguments for yourself. While you're at it, keep in mind all the things we've been told about corn ethanol in advertisements and news media.

Consider the importance of the return on energy metrics laid out by Robert Rapier in his recent essay for the Oil Drum.

Especially keep in mind the following assertion made by ADM Chairman G. Allen Andreas in a May 2006 Reuters article:

"I think any knowledgeable person in today's world would recognize the fact that the reason we've got malnutrition and hunger is not because we're turning food into fuel," said ADM Chairman G. Allen Andreas in response to a question from an analyst on a conference call following the company's quarterly earnings report on Tuesday.

"We've got hundreds of millions of acres of land in Brazil that are suitable for arable development into farmland that still have not been cultivated without any infringement on the environment," Andreas added. "There's plenty of capacity to make food."

See, there are hundred of millions of acres of land in Brazil suitable for farmland development. All we have to is convert some more of that pesky jungle floor and savannah into soybean and corn fields.

Aren't you glad we have people like that directing energy policy in this country?