Sunday, December 03, 2006

take up the reins

Back in March of 2005, I wrote:

If Geo-Green ideas are unchallenged, we will watch tragedy unfold as unsustainable proposals continue to be written as energy policy in Washington D.C., with billions spent on blind industry wish fulfillment. Subsidies for nuclear and ethanol. Grants tossed down the rat hole to study oil shale and methane hydrates. Problems will be created faster than they are solved, right up to the point where oil depletion kicks our global economy like a mule.

The Geo-Green paradigm must be unmasked and reframed. It is not green, nor is it globally sustainable. [...] Allowing callow utopians frame their dead end policies as “green” will kneecap the credibility of true sustainable green movements when depletion begins.

On that note, I caught sight of an unnerving article on Robert Rapier's R-Squared Blog. As I read it a roaring sound filled my ears - - that of the Midwest water table being flushed into a Hummer.

Ethanol skeptic sees painful realities ahead
(Douglas Carper) sees more of the same for much of the agricultural economy that supports ethanol.
“I’m not posturing. I have no agenda,” Carper said in a Tuesday interview in his office. “I see trouble looming here in the American heartland and a lot of good, well-intentioned people facing some terrible and ruinous losses.”
His sense of trepidation may seem completely at odds with recent reality. Expansion in the ethanol industry in Nebraska is proceeding at an unprecedented pace. Corn prices are rising. Congress seems poised to expand its mandate of renewable fuels. But circumstances that lead others to conclude there’s money to be made by aggressive investment have Carper thumping his desk so hard pens leap in the air.
“For what constructive purpose are we disrupting agriculture in this manner?” he asked. “For what constructive purpose have we embarked on this dangerous public policy initiative?”

There is an urgency to addressing energy issues in 2006, and addressing them in the right way. Really, Vindod Khosla and his ilk are on the road to hell, paving as they go. Most of the farmers gadding about on their John Deere's understand the economics of ethanol better then the technocrats living on the coast. At the same time, these farmers can also smell a government grant at one thousand paces.

Politicians are predictable. Pay a farmer extra grow something, but not if the plan is to sell it as food. Then, they may market to their constituents a beneficiant role in solving global warming, and supporting a "green" alternative to buying foreign oil.

Green, like the dead zone on the Gulf Coast, run off from the artificially fertilized farmland of middles America.

Replacing our a problem with bigger problem sucks. Write your congress person. Time is not unlimited.


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