Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Aid to the Gulf Coast doesn't hurt people in the Midwest

Yesterday's Times Picayune article about the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone differs little from from a Picayune article that appeared earlier this year, or one that some of us noticed last year. Or a National Geographic from the year before that, or...how much time do you have on your hands? The problem's been around for as long as I can remember, so I don't suppose that there was anything especially noteworthy about the latest article.

However, it reminded me that I've meant to link to a few articles in Environmental Science & Technology for a few weeks now. I never paid attention to the magazine until I saw the following on the cover:
The Mississippi: an "orphan" river

I'm a little surprised at how little attention the National Research Council report on the need for better federal oversight of the Mississippi has received.

I also want to link to two articles about ethanol but should acknowledge that I have a conflict of interest as I'm heavily invested* in other alternative energy sources. So, the read the two articles, if you're interested.

*100 shares of Fuel Cell Energy and 100 shares of Evergreen Solar -- yep, I'm a real alternative energy mogul. What can I say, my liver wouldn't let me blow a FEMA check on booze and my ego wouldn't let me spend it on prostitutes. Just kidding, the federal flood cost me more than I received in aid from FEMA. The purchase was from my scant savings, but I do believe that federal funding for alternative energy should go to almost anything other than ethanol.

Ethanol is a false hope. If corn weren't subsidized, it wouldn't even be considered economical to use petroleum to grow corn to produce ethanol. Moreover, U.S. corn production deflates the market for food stuffs, and the well-being of family farms around the world. But you already knew that.

We won't ever be able to "consume" our way out of the energy and pollution problems. We need to identify and invest in alternative forms of living -- reducing consumption, and increasing efficiency -- through such things as quality mass transportation.
I'm more interest in the use of natural gas to produce fertilized t grow corn to produce ethanol to replace gasoline. Seem like a long round trip.

I'm real interested in the balance of payments issue with federal price supports (which I oppose for all crops). Since the world price of sugar is below the U S price and Brazil seems to be making ethanol cheaper than we can.
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