Cure worse than the disease

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Today is Earth Day, the day when we should be more mindful than ever about our role in being better environmental stewards for our planet.

But this year, in our world brimming with bounty, fights continue over how that bounty should be used and spread around.

How's this for appalling irony? The people who claim so vehemently that they want to save the planet are endorsing practices that harm the planet instead.

Biofuel is the popular buzzword these days among environmentalists who want to reduce everyone's dependence on fossil fuels. But some nations are scrambling so quickly to plant more crops to make biofuels, irreplaceable rainforests are being destroyed to create more farmland -- and with rainforests gone, greenhouse gas levels rise.

One problem is not going to be solved by creating another, bigger problem. We're already seeing the calamitous unrest all over the world stemming from food shortages, most notably in Haiti, where six people were killed during nine days of rioting. The already thorny politics of global food distribution go even further awry when you throw the pursuit of biofuels into the mix. More crops devoted to biofuels obviously means less food in people's mouths.

If people really want to save our planet and our food, stick with logical solutions. Instead of planting more food, plant smarter -- try genetically altered crops that require less water and yield more. And for heaven's sake, stop plowing under the rainforests. How is that good for Earth?

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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/22/08 - 06:31 am
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the biofuel scam is a lot

the biofuel scam is a lot like most other "green" over reactions. Wrought with unexpected circumstances. (as a result of little or no thinking involved with the effort) In truth, efforts by mechanics like Johnathon Goodwin have produced 80mpg Lincolns while reducing emissions by 80% and doubling the horse power. The oil companies have allowed him to operate his business,but they've also made sure no American auto manufacturer adopts his fuel systems. If the government were interested in helping, Goodwin has already shown the way. http//fastcompany.com/magazine/120/motorhead-messiah.htm

shivas
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shivas 04/22/08 - 06:49 am
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No, biofuel is the buzz word

No, biofuel is the buzz word of politicians who want to gain support from large farm corporations.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 04/22/08 - 06:54 am
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It's good to see The

It's good to see The Chronicle and Fidel Castro on the same page! The retired Cuban leader warned more than a year ago that biofuels would lead to worldwide fuel shortages. Brazil is huge in the biofuels industry. Manmade global warming is very real and oil production is peaking. Humanity has to move beyond fossil fuels (including coal) as our primarily energy source just as humanity has to move beyond war if we are to survive as a "civilized" species on this planet. Conservation, efficiency, and alternative/appropriate technologies are key to successful evolution of human culture and economic sustainability. Making biofuels from food stocks is harmful to humanity and to the planet. Making cellulose-derived biofuels grown on marginal land may be helpful. George W. Bush & The Republican Party have done next to nothing to combat manmade global warming. Exxon Mobil is ranked as the #1 most profitable company for the 5th straight year. Yesterday oil prices topped $117.50 a barrel. Mission Accomplished by oilmen Bush & Cheney! Even multimillionaire Neal Boortz now "gets it" that high energy prices are hurting average Americans. Boortz "understands" this is worse than the 1973 oil crisis

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/22/08 - 07:02 am
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Bush sent the pollen to

Bush sent the pollen to Augusta. Bad Bush. Castro is a fine leader and treated his country to peace and prosperity. Good Castro. Cain is reasonable and honest.

aftbrn
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aftbrn 04/22/08 - 08:52 am
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PT thanks for the article

PT thanks for the article about johnathon Goodwin, great read.

NotyourDadsBuick
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NotyourDadsBuick 04/22/08 - 09:42 am
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Bush has definitely pushed

Bush has definitely pushed the ethanol approach so he bears responsiblity (not to mention he still holds the office of president), although i don't think he's pushed using corn for ethanol production over other available sources. Today oil hit $118. Ouch.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 04/22/08 - 09:47 am
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President Bush is out in

President Bush is out in January. Then we can back to the cooler climates of the 90s. Seriously though, fuel consuption was down for the first time in a long time last month. Isn't that what we what? Less consumption means less green house effects..right? So, the increase in gas prices is helping the climate.

sjgraci
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sjgraci 04/22/08 - 09:49 am
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Straight from the editorial

Straight from the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal.

jiclemens
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jiclemens 04/22/08 - 10:23 am
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You would have to be

You would have to be braindead to not realize the illogic of biofuel as an acceptable alternative energy source. Considering that an SUV tankful requires enough grain to feed a person for a year it is a crime against humanity. No environmental scientist could support biofuel with a straight face. Its definately a politico-corporate scam. And is that a surprise?

imdstuf
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imdstuf 04/22/08 - 11:22 am
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I sometimes think the oil

I sometimes think the oil companies pay the auto companies to keep their cars from becoming too fuel efficent. Then I think that is just a conspiracy theory. With gas prices as high as they are now though, that would mean the oil companies would have to give a large chunk of those profits away. The auto makers know they would make a killing selling a car that gets 80 mpg right now. Maybe the cost to produce such a car would make it uprofitable to sell at a price most people could afford.

otpor
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otpor 04/22/08 - 11:48 am
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Leave it to the Chronicle to

Leave it to the Chronicle to mention Earth Day/Week only in the context of negativity. Not that it would shock anyone.

jiclemens
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jiclemens 04/22/08 - 12:00 pm
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It's hard to talk about being

It's hard to talk about being a good environmental steward without sounding a lot like one of those god-awful bleeding heart, tree-hugging libruls, so the Chronicle falsely attributes the biofuel conundrum to those airheaded, new-agey environmentalists. Always an opportunity to get a dig in rather than educating citizens about more immediate local issues that we human beings could actually do something about on days like today.

pointstoponder
176
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pointstoponder 04/22/08 - 12:40 pm
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Our purchase of large high

Our purchase of large high consumption vehicles is what keeps the auto companies producing them. We are starting to see a better selection of fuel efficient vehicles now because consumers are clamoring for them.

robbie1
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robbie1 04/22/08 - 02:34 pm
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We have to figure out what we

We have to figure out what we want. We all want a better environment. Even if you're not a GW Cultist, you want clean air and water. Maybe if someone was to develope a plan... Cain, put your foil hat back on...

JohnCarllStrauss
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JohnCarllStrauss 04/22/08 - 04:52 pm
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Man made globa warming is

Man made globa warming is very real? Hardly. The jury is definately still out on that one. Read this article I posted on Mr. "hate all things American's" website and you will see how much junk science this really is. http://z15.invisionfree.com/Augusta_Alternative/index.php?showtopic=673

JohnCarllStrauss
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JohnCarllStrauss 04/22/08 - 04:54 pm
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"Exxon Mobil is ranked as the

"Exxon Mobil is ranked as the #1 most profitable company for the 5th straight year. " How dare they make a profit! Evil Bastards. We must punish them for having a product that Americans have an incredibly high demand for!

JohnCarllStrauss
0
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JohnCarllStrauss 04/22/08 - 05:44 pm
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"worse than the 1973 oil

"worse than the 1973 oil crisis" When was the last time you stood in line on your even or odd day so you could get your gas?

pointstoponder
176
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pointstoponder 04/22/08 - 10:43 pm
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"When was the last time you

"When was the last time you stood in line on your even or odd day so you could get your gas?"
1973-74

JohnCarllStrauss
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JohnCarllStrauss 04/23/08 - 04:49 am
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My point exactly,

My point exactly, pointstoponder! Back when we had the good ol' Nobel lauriate as President.

fredinaiken
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fredinaiken 04/30/08 - 11:20 am
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We have a major choice here.

We have a major choice here. Those who believe in global warming must push for ethanol from cellulose made by processing plants powered by nuclear reactors. Our local SRP is an excellent place to start. Tens of billions of gallons a year and tens of billions of dollars into the pockets of local farmers (producing cellulose NOT CORN)! Those who don't believe in global warming should push for more oil from new sources including 'tar sands', while we more slowly move into cellulose ethanol.

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