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  • rlamfink

    A “con” that is frequently overlooked is the fact that fertilizing, spraying, transporting and refining corn to make ethanol uses nearly as much energy as is contained in each gallon of ethanol.

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  • colluvial

    The only way this cartoon makes any sense is if the corn grows and harvests itself, turns itself into ethanol, then adds itself to our gasoline. As rlamfink notes, there are lots of energy inputs that are simply ignored. Any analysis that ignores all of these should not be taken seriously. Unless there’s a net energy gain, ethanol production is nothing more than digging a hole and filling it back in.

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  • http://www.green4lifemagazine.com/ DW Wood

    ethanol’s hay day is over. I am green to the bone and it has become painfully obvious that this fuel, in the end result is no more green than gasoline.

    We need alternative energy and fuels, but they can’t be crap we already have wearing a new wrapper.

  • http://bloviatingzeppelin.blogspot.com/ Bloviating Zeppelin

    We reap what we sow.

    America has sown Corn Into Ethanol.

    It is LESS efficient than petroleum and the fact that America is devoting MORE acreage to corn = less corn for FOOD. For the WORLD.

    So, let us sum up: in order to make Americans “feel good” about energy, we are systematically KILLING people in OTHER nations who have had their grain shipments curtailed because they are otherwise diverted to American fuel.

    Fuel that is INefficient and yields LESS return for its investment.

    Well hell, those little froggy-bodied melanin-enhanced peeps can just take care of themselves, right, can’t they?

    Rising food prices? Globally? Nah. That’s not because of a “feel good policy” in America, is it?

    Nah. No one, no country, would place emotions above reality, would it? Would they?

    Would they?


  • colluvial

    Until I see a reason to believe that corn ethanol has a positive environmental effect, I will just conclude that it’s a total bust. Why feel virtuous if you’re just spending money to destabilize the world food supply? Absent the evidence, the only reason corn ethanol could make people feel good is if they’re the victims of a marketing campaign. Maybe we should follow the money. Who’s profiting from corn ethanol and how did they buy the political influence to arrange the government subsidies?

  • http://hembrow.blogspot.com David Hembrow

    Unfortunately, as others have pointed out, the infographic gives a rather simplified story. The corn does require energy inputs to grow, and in the US you only get out 1.3x the amount of energy that you put in to growing corn.

    The US is also the world’s largest agricultural exporter (the Netherlands is second) which implies that reduced exports due to burning corn ethanol in cars means more hungry mouths elsewhere.

    The problem comes down to one thing: over-use of cars, and a lack of understanding of just how much energy you are consuming when you drive one. There are greener alternatives than driving…

  • http://www.sheldonthinks.com Andrew Sheldon

    Is that accurate – 11 acres of corn can sustain only 7 people in a year? Thats like 2 football fields…wow no wonder you Americans are overweight :)
    I guess you are talking about the grain also consumed by the cows we eat, so that complicates your simple diagram, which might leave people wondering whether we should stop eating meat, or change the type of meat we eat.
    This diagram also fails to consider alternatives like the ‘algal revolution’, which I consider the more promising green technology. i.e. Implies context dropping.
    I personally would rather educate adults given that they are making seriously bad decisions. But I guess they are a reflection on our poor education system…so good luck with that.
    I think the more serious problem is our system of govt, which results in eating disorders, anxieties, depression, over-medicated americans, and all manner of collectivist tyranny.