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hardnox604008
Advisor

Kunstler interview

http://kunstler.com/blog/2011/04/blowing-green-smoke.html

 

More substantive, less vitriloic than usual today. Thus a bit less entertaining but pretty much right on I think.

 

Among the modestly debatable assertions- that corn ethanol uses more energy than it yields- I'll leave that argument to the paid liars for both sides who serve as expert witnesses and shills. Let is suffice that the net yeild is at best rather smalll and that there are significant negative externalities.

 

Not only are we not doing anything meaningful aobut energy, we can't even talk about it in the public debate.

 

fwiw, h

12 Replies
kraft-t
Senior Advisor

Re: Chicken or the egg?

Corn farmers we selling corn at obscenely low prices and were looking for an alternative market for burdensome surpluses.

 

Through government intervention and farmer participation we sought out an alternative market, Ethanol. So we develop the market and increase the volume and suddenly ethanol is a competitor to oil companies and livestock producers. Who wants to dampen the sale of ethanol? The people that it competes with or must compete with for corn supplies.

 

The question iswhether farmers are producing corn for ethanol plants or whether they would raise the corn anyway. Historically, I think you will find that farmer will raise too much corn whether their customers need it or not. Remember the glut of corn sitting in long term storage or farmer owned reserve?

 

Does it take energy to produce a bushel of corn? Yes but we are going to produce it whether we need it or not. Conversion of corn to ethanol does require energy. A transformation of corn to ethanol requires in most case natural gas consumption. A fuel that is in great supply but not yet easily consumed in trucks and automobiles. Ethanol can be readily consumed in millions of cars and trucks without rebuilding the vehicles that consume it.

 

 

bruce MN
Advisor

Re: Kunstler interview

Did you pick up the reports on the Congressional hearing where the scientist who the GOP brought in double crossed them and sent the wingers on the committee into a frazzle?

 

http://www.warpspeed.com/wordpress/?p=6238

 

 

SNIP:

 

But Muller unexpectedly told a congressional hearing last week that the work of the three principal groups that have analyzed the temperature trends underlying climate science is “excellent…. We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups.”

-----------------------------------

 

Krugman gets away form arguing Keyns vs. Rand for a day and writes about it today:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/opinion/04krugman.html?hp

 

 

 

schnurrbart
Veteran Advisor

Re: Kunstler interview

But ethanol production does produce some right dandy cattle feed---wish I could get some of it!!!

schnurrbart
Veteran Advisor

Re: Chicken or the egg?

Read some of the costs of producing a KwH by nuclear.  I just wish they would put an ethanol plant in SE IL!

Samnospam
Advisor

Re: Kunstler interview

Interesting how you or nox post a reference to about every post kunstler makes, but failed to share his wisdom from last week.
hardnox604008
Advisor

Re: Chicken or the egg?

One can always come up with talking points in support of something.

 

But an example that I have often used is that WWII Germany and South Africa under sanctions both made use of coal/shale liquification. When the extreme conditions ended, so did those programs.

 

Bottom line, corn ethanol adds little or nothing to the net energy balance and has external costs.

 

At any rate, my point was that Kunstler's statements about ethanol are probably mostly correct but I expected that they would be what some here objected to.

 

Corn ethanol does little or nothing to deal with the larger problem that is that our oil production peaked a long time ago and the rest of the world's will also.

 

fwiw, h

bruce MN
Advisor

Re: Kunstler interview

I'd think if it's that important to you you'd put up a link, seeing as you've mentioned it twice.

 

As I remember it he was expressing his extreme displeasure with the Obama administration and the President himelf for not taking on more serious issues and for being too cozy with the top 1 percenters. I share those views.  

Samnospam
Advisor

Re: Kunstler interview

Ok, If I must, just so the peeps understand why you didn't share this particular bit of Kunstler wisdom. A few quotes:

 

I confess I was awestruck all over again at the complete surrender of Obama to the very characters who embodied the corruption..........................

And there's Obama at the tippy-top of it serving like a department store mannequin with a Department of Justice that someone has hung a "gone fishin'" sign on. I voted for him in 2008, and I want to start a movement in whatever's left of the Progressive core to get rid of him. Being a decent, presentable fellow with a nice family is just not enough. Even his vaunted speech-making abilities have gotten on my nerves. If I hear him say "make no mistake" one more time, someone will have to restrain me from kicking in the flat screen TV. Obama, it turns out, is the mistake.

       Can't any of us begin the reform of the Democratic Party, starting with resigning from being Wall Street's bitch?

 


schnurrbart
Veteran Advisor

Re: Chicken or the egg?

My concern is that so many scoff at the individual use of energy saving things like replacing incandescent bulbs.  It doesn't mean much.  In Arizona they estimate that replacing the bulbs with the new energy efficient ones will save the average family maybe $50/yr.  However, if all the average families did it, just think of the electricity savings that would be.  Same with solar and wind.  They, by themselves, are not the cure but they certainly could free up energy to be put to use where we really need it.  I watched a morning news talk show over the weekend and T. Boone Pickens was on there.  He was saying that we needed to really jump into the natural gas usage which would drive the price up and that would make solar and wind economical enough that more things would be done to utilize them.  I really think that solar, wind and hydro are the most bang for the buck.  If we could produce enough electricity with those three, maybe we could stretch the oil far enough to come up with something to power the vehicles efficiently.