Lying Media Bastards

March 11, 2007

EcoSilly

Does anyone have a clear understanding of all the alternative energy options out there? Cuz I’d like to get a handle on it all one of these days.

This article raises a lot of the concerns I’ve been hearing about ethanol as fuel. Primarily that the fossil fuel-intensive style of American industrial agriculture (to run the farm machinery, manufacture the fertilizers, etc.) and the fossil fuel-dependent methods of turning harvested corn (or other plants) into ethanol, that there might not result in a net benefit. You’ve got to use gas to make ethanol to replace gas.

Anyhow, if anyone could recommend some sources where I could get the scoop on biofuels and hydrogen cells and solar power and such in a relatively straightforward manner, I’d appreciate it.

Posted by Jake on March 11, 2007 11:24 pm

19 Comments »

  1. Fundamently, Ethanol is unfeasible for the amount of water it will consume. For corn based ethanol you are talking 10 gallons of water for one gallon of ethanol. I’m here in the midwest, and we already have issues with depleting aquifers. Meanwhile we build subsidized ethanol plants that consume as much water a day as the largest nearby city. (sugar based ethanol is supposed to be 3 times more efficient than corn (a good reason for ‘liberating’ cuba).

    The current administration is leading us down many weary paths. Ethanol could potentially speed up the commodification of water. (this is where the memory of columbian water protests should be noted).

    To top it all off, if every acre of arable land were used for ethanol, we could supply 20% of the need for auto fuel.

    Unfortunately, we can’t eat ethanol, or the leftover material. Bush is so cute for his notion of switchgrass and cellulosic ethanol… you are definately talking more than 10 galons of water per gallon of fuel.

    So if we continue on this path of vapid consumption in order that we can putter around to buy groceries and go to work… we’re going to be working harder and paying more for those groceries, our water bill and oh yeah… ethanol = smog?

    Reduce Reuse Recylce is an understatement.
    Cease Desist and Start Over Local is the only real solution.

    I’ll be happy when Illinois doesn’t have to import red peppers from out of state… when all our fields aren’t given over to monoculture corn and soybeans.

    So I didn’t give you any links, but hey… thats a bit of a primer.

    Comment by mistaB — March 12, 2007 @ 11:05 pm

  2. Here are some recent stories about biofuels at two websites worth visiting often:

    Infoshop News has an AP Q&A about ethanol:
    http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=20070310232357852
    …and there is a great discussion afterwards.

    And Energy Bulletin.net has ongoing “coverage” of these issues. Just today they collected these stories about biofuels:
    http://www.energybulletin.net/27128.html

    Comment by Trefayne — March 13, 2007 @ 6:00 am

  3. The main problem is that too many people are on this planet, bottom line. we can pretend that we can solve this problem all we want but i dont see this being solved in my lifetime or the next generations.

    you simpy cant have BILLIONS of people consuming non-renuable resoures. PERIOD! it just wont work, ever.

    we need another mass extinction, badly.

    Unless we can spontaniously, globaly, all hold hands and sing happy songs about coperation and sharing. somehow i dont see that happening.

    The outlook is bad. Very bad. Here come the “petrol” wars, MARK MY WORDS!

    Comment by mr. Bush — March 13, 2007 @ 6:39 am

  4. mr. Bush wrote:
    “we need another mass extinction, badly.”

    You first.

    Actually, there is a mass extinction happening among non-human species. The way to reverse this, and start reducing the ecological “footprint” of the human population is to FIRST reduce the impact of the most consumptive. The heavily-industrialized way of life leads to one U.S. person consuming more “stuff” than, say, a dozen Bangladeshis. If you’re going to take anyone out, kill the yuppie. But I think it would be better to torture him by making him live frugally, and give some of his stuff to the Bangledeshis.

    Meanwhile, educate women and change social structures so that they have real choices in life. Most will choose to do other things than have lots of kids, and those who do choose to have kids will not have as many as otherwise. Human population then declines, as it has in some European countries such as Germany.

    The rate of acceleration of human population has already declined over the past couple of decades. If this continues, then the growth rate will eventually decline, reach a replacement level, and later our actual numbers will decline over time.

    Just remember that in 130 years, every person in the world (today) will be dead. So drop your genocidal fervor. The real question is, How many NEW people will there be? And that is something that can be influenced with *sensible* social change.

    Comment by Trefayne — March 13, 2007 @ 7:54 am

  5. oh gimmie a break mass exctinction my eye… We do have the ability to live and eat… as long as we’re all farmers, we can all eat. If food is local, you don’t need thousands of refridgerated trucks and cargo ships going a quarter way ’round the world.

    Lately, upon learning of the eldest goddess worshipping cultures, I’ve been loosing whats left of my respect for the religions that have cradled us into this place.

    Comment by mistaB — March 13, 2007 @ 9:05 am

  6. its not that simple, if we stoped all pollution and over farming right now, we’d still be screwed. our planet is so polluted that it will remain so LONG after were all dead. the only way to fix this planet is to remove most, if not all, humanbeings from it. simple as that. people = shit

    Comment by mr. Bush — March 14, 2007 @ 9:01 am

  7. i dont know where Trefayne got his info about human groth rate declining but this planet is TOTALY overpoulated and its getting worse. check this out, it explains the popuations problem perfectly.

    http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/human_pop/human_pop.html

    Comment by mr. Bush — March 14, 2007 @ 9:09 am

  8. this is a great site also:

    The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

    http://www.vhemt.org/

    Comment by mr. Bush — March 14, 2007 @ 9:14 am

  9. Fred Flintstone feet through the floor of the car technology is on the rise.

    Comment by Bud — March 14, 2007 @ 2:49 pm

  10. criminy, having a hard time understanding your name, mr. bush.
    You agree with the real one it seems, though I get the impression you might have a bit of apathy for your namesake.

    Industrialized nations do have declining growth rates. It represents a trend among a certain level of un_civilization. Affluenza is a debilitating disease. Most uppser crust types aren’t as interested in spending years of their life raising children.

    ‘removing’ people is a very messy task and one that does not go unapposed. And I’m not sure how the extreme existing pollution, as you put it, will be any less with less people. People have the ability to alter the landscape. The ability to cultivate plants that reduce polution. We do have the ability to make another world, it just does not exist on the current path.

    Comment by mistaB — March 15, 2007 @ 12:10 pm

  11. the problem of overpopulation is not one in the developed world. did ANYONE check the links i just provided?

    its the third world that is the problem. the average number of babies a 3rd world mother will have in her life time is 5. that is a huge problem. they allready have problems with overpopulation NOW in the third world, and its only gonna get worse.

    letting/having millions in the third world die now will only make for less suffering over all in the future. its mean and cold hearted but its the only rational solution. if we would have tackled this problem in the third world way sooner, say just after wwII, we’d not have to discuss widespread apathy. BUT WE DID NOT, so now we need to consider drasic solutions if we want to see any results worth anything.

    we can talk about how humanity is brillant and will allways find a solution, but its all bullshit. we migh as well wait for the easter bunny to save the world with the chocolate eggs of love!

    people cant organize globaly at all, and most of the rich (the people how could quickly and meeningfully change things) could care less about others. were all fucked. totaly fucked unless we take DRASTIC DRASITC DRASTIC steps NOW NOW NOW to change things.

    this generation will do fine and die fat, medicated, and happy. the next gen. however, if we do nothing drastic now, is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO fucked in every respect.

    good luck waiting for humanity to help itself. we did this to ourselves and we will reap what we sew!

    Comment by mr. Bush — March 16, 2007 @ 6:26 am

  12. “Mr. Bush”,

    I am not surprised that your genocidal arguments are not getting you far on this website. Also, your attempt to equate population to pollution is just plain wrong, and I will not fall for this diversion tactic.

    Some people consume more than others, and the differences (and inequities) are very obvious if one bothers to look across the world. Today’s inefficient and anti-ecological processes of design, manufacture, marketing, and consumption are intimately bound to environmental destruction at every stage of a product’s lifecycle. Damage comes from every poorly-designed, unsustainably-produced manufactured product’s development, from the resource extraction (for example, mines which pollute waterways), manufacturing (for example, factories powered by coal-fired electric-generating plants), marketing (for example, wasted time and electricity for corporate television advertising), distribution (for example, petroleum-powered trucking networks), and then disposal (for example, hazardous waste from dead computers or batteries). And some products uses are destructive, too, cars being the most infamous example today.

    A poor person in an industrializing or non-industrialized country doesn’t have the means to consume as many resources as a wealthy person in an industrialized country. That’s part of what it means to be “poor”. In fact, it takes tens and sometimes scores of these poor, what you would call “Third World” people, to match the consumption of a single inefficient “Westerner”.

    To fix a lot of the problems of the world, the rich people of Earth (including myself, comparatively) must (1) live with less “stuff” and (2) when we do need to consume, do so by using products and systems that do no or nearly no environmental damage. Unfortunately, the latter is hard to do since today’s primitive processes ignore environmental effects.

    Here is a citation, since you like them:

    The Worldwatch Institute cited different rates of energy consumption to illustrate this point back in 2004 (emphasis added):

    “Compared with just 10 years ago, for example, Americans are driving larger and less efficient cars and buying bigger homes and more appliances. As a result, U.S. oil use has increased over the decade by nearly 2.7 million barrels a day—more oil than is used daily in total in India and Pakistan, ***which together contain more than four times as many people as the United States does.*** In total, the average American consumes five times more energy than the average global citizen, 10 times more than the average Chinese, and nearly 20 times more than the average Indian.”
    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/808

    And you can find similar skewed inequities for other kinds of consumption, including food, water, metals, and just about everything else. http://hdr.undp.org/reports/view_reports.cfm?type=1

    It’s not just numbers of people, it’s what those people DO.

    —————

    Comment by Trefayne — March 19, 2007 @ 11:13 am

  13. —————

    And to reply to some of your specific claims…

    A lot of that population data that you use is more than a decade old. A lot has changed in that time.

    Here are two sources about the reduction in the world’s population growth rate:

    “World population growth ‘falling’”
    BBC News, 2004
    “The growth rate of the world population has slowed down, according to the US Census Bureau.
    “Its report says there were 74 million more people in 2002 - well below the 87 million added in 1989-90.
    “The rate of growth peaked 40 years ago, when it stood at about 2.2% a year. The bureau partly attributes the drop to women having fewer children.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3560433.stm

    –and–

    Comment by Trefayne — March 19, 2007 @ 11:21 am

  14. “World Population Prospects: The 2002 Revision Highlights”
    United Nations Population Division
    Executive Summary, page viii, the paragraph marked “7″, which reads in part:

    “The past 50 years witnessed a remarkable reduction of fertility levels in the less developed regions, with total fertility falling from 6 to 3 children per woman. Over the next 50 years, fertility in the less developed regions is expected to reach replacement level in 2030-2035 and fall below it thereafter.”
    http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wpp2002/WPP2002-HIGHLIGHTSrev1.PDF

    Comment by Trefayne — March 19, 2007 @ 11:22 am

  15. That 2002 UN report disagrees with your unsupported claim that “the average number of babies a 3rd world mother will have in her life time is 5″. According to this report, the average was 3 children per woman in the developing (that is, industrializing) world. In the United States, the total fertility rate is 2.09. https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2127rank.html And that’s in a country which is already third-most-populous (not counting the EU as a country). https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2119rank.html (If you start out with a lot of people, even a small growth rte will add a larger number of new people than a more fertile small country.)

    You will also note the difference in the terms we use, a difference which further demonstrates your lack of respect for the population situation.

    You demonstrate a severe lack of imagination when you claim that “letting/having millions in the third world die now will only make for less suffering over all in the future.” Instead of “letting” these people die, we must stop killing them, and instead give them reasons and support to choose to have fewer children. Given the choice, a lot of people do choose this path. This is already happening, and we could expand these policies.

    Unfortunately, many governments do not want women to have equal social status with men. This includes the U.S. government under your namesake, which refuses to fund family planning education abroad.

    Comment by Trefayne — March 19, 2007 @ 11:22 am

  16. Here’s another citation:

    United Nations Population Fund webpage on “Empowering Women”
    “Where women’s status is low, family size tends to be large, which makes it more difficult for families to thrive. Population and development and reproductive health programmes are more effective when they address the educational opportunities, status and empowerment of women. When women are empowered, whole families benefit, and these benefits often have ripple effects to future generations.”
    http://www.unfpa.org/gender/empowerment.htm

    And by status and equality, we’re even including such basic things as being taught how to read! Some girls are prohibited from such basic knowledge!

    ———————

    “most of the rich … could care less about others. ”

    No, they could not. Their care is already at zero, and the scale does not measure negatives.

    ———————

    So, are you happy I did your homework for you? Now do us all a favor and don’t have any kids.

    Comment by Trefayne — March 19, 2007 @ 11:23 am

  17. i dont care what stats say… people simply dont care about brown/poor people. i dont agree that this is correct, HOWEVER, you cant get everyone to co.op ever. its not gonna happen.

    you can list stats and so on blah blah blah. . .

    humans are pathetic and we all deserve to die. simple as that.

    and im not ever going to be st00pid enough to have children trust me.

    check this out:

    Voluntairy Human extinction movement

    Comment by Mr. Bush — March 21, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

  18. Well, if you don’t care what the facts are, Mr. Bush (which suggest to me that you are named for Bush Senior), there is no point arguing with you. Ignorance will keep you ineffective. But thanks for doing your part by not having any children. Even little things add up, which is kind of my point.

    Comment by Trefayne — March 27, 2007 @ 6:53 am

  19. just for the record i dont suppot bush its just ot mock him

    Comment by Mr. Bush — March 28, 2007 @ 7:54 am

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