I’m sharing with WWOF the following material derivative of a small package insert (printed on recycled paper) that I found in a 6 pack of delicious farm-fresh brown eggs while traveling through New England last weekend and was written by Kathy Moran for The Country Hen Farm News, 2008. Thanks, Kathy and crew, for taking the time to share your care – it matters!
Ethanol, a bio-fuel manufactured from corn, actually increases the effect of global warming. World poverty issues escalate in the human-food versus machine-food battle for the farm space that is required to grow the needed raw material. A Time Magazine article (The Clean Energy Scam) reported that ONE PERSON could eat for ONE YEAR on the corn needed to produce the ethanol to fill the tank of ONE SUV just ONE TIME.
Sugar Cane is said to be the only raw material that can make this conversion process “green” — an efficient enough process to cut emissions by more than it takes to produce the fuel. Until recently, Brazil was thought to be the perfect model of this bio-fuel success until they noticed the Amazon rain forest was being systematically razed to make more cane growing fields. The last half of 2007 saw an area the size of Rhode Island lost to deforestation, and this trend is likely to continue throughout the Amazon Basin.
Europe has cut its bio-fuel subsidies. New measures call for strict guidelines that reflect the standards they are designed to support. Did the crop come from sustainable sources? Did the crop come from a cleared forest or formerly productive farmland? What net effect has the production of that ethanol had on the environment?
Not only in the USA have food costs spiraled, but this spring there were riots in Haiti, Egypt and elsewhere to protest basic food costs and shortages. World Bank President Zoellick has said that we may have lost seven years in the fight on worldwide poverty. Ethanol fuels poverty, and the effects are lost educations, stunted physical growth, and depletion of both flora and fauna resources forever, not just a few missed meals!
The need to find “greener” energy alternatives is urgent. However, ethanol is one of the least environmentally friendly alternatives, and the American taxpayer is subsidizing it, and then paying higher prices for food as a result. From Time Magazine’s The Clean Energy Scam:
But several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what its proponents intended: it’s dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it. Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass, which has been promoted by eco-activists and eco-investors as well as by President Bush as the fuel of the future, looks less green than oil-derived gasoline.
My personal opinion: It seems totally crazy to me that the dwindling farmland anywhere on earth would be used to grow food for machines instead of for human beings and their herbivorous companions.
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