Is Ethanol on the Wane?

With rising food prices and increased awareness of the environmental costs of corn-based ethanol, it should only be a matter of time before politicians reconsider their support for ethanol mandates, right? Perhaps this is starting to happen. The WSJ reports that two dozen Republican Senators, including John McCain, are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to ease existing renewable fuel mandates.

he lawmakers said the mandates are contributing to a sharp increase in food prices. Sen. McCain has been a critic of ethanol subsidies.

"With the price of everyday meat, chicken, bread and eggs rapidly increasing, we are asking the EPA to use the flexibility that Congress gave them, because so many families cannot afford the increasing prices at the grocery store," said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R., Texas). An EPA spokesman couldn't be reached to comment.

EPA spokesman Jonathan Shradar said the agency "will review waiver requests and respond according to the law."

The move by the Republican Senate group is the latest sign that Washington's support for turning corn into motor fuel is wavering in the face of soaring food prices, despite the popularity of ethanol subsidies in farm states critical to the November election.

Yet as the story notes, it is unlikely that the federal government will take action this year. Not only is this an election year, but President Bush has also reiterated his support for biofuels.

Some argue that the problem is not ethanol, as such, but ethanol made from corn. Over at Cato-at-Liberty, Indur Goklany considers the prospects of cellulosic ethanol, and finds claims that switchgrass or some other crop could alleviate our ethanol woes to be "wishful thinking."

If cellulosic ethanol is indeed proven to be viable (with or without subsidies), what do people think farmers will do?

Farmers will do what they've always done: they'll produce the necessary biomass that would be converted to ethanol more efficiently. In fact, they'll start cultivating the cellulose as a crop (or crops). They have had 10,000 years of practice perfecting their techniques. They'll use their usual bag of tricks to enhance the yields of the biomass in question: they'll divert land and water to grow these brand new crops. They'll fertilize with nitrogen and use pesticides. The Monsantos of the world — or their competitors, the start-ups — will develop new and genetically modified but improved seeds that will increase the farmer's productivity and profits. And if cellulosic ethanol proves to be as profitable as its backers hope, farmers will divert even more land and water to producing the cellulose instead of food. All this means we'll be more or less back to where we were. Food will once again be competing with fuel. And land and water will be diverted from the rest of nature to meet the human demand for fuel.

Does this mean that biomass -- and farmers — should play no role in helping us meet our energy needs? Not necessarily. If farmers can profitably grow fuel rather than food through their own efforts, so be it. But we shouldn't favor growing one over the other either through subsidies or indirectly through government mandates for so-called renewable fuels. And if anything should be subsidized or mandated, it shouldn't be growing fuels. That would inevitably compete with food.

Goklany's point that biofuel production and food production necessarily compete is unassailable, but that hardly means (unsubsidized) biofuels are a bad idea. All sorts of land-uses compete with food production, including habitat conservation. And as Goklany's own research shows, increases in agricultural productivity has enabled us to produce more food while setting more land aside for nature at the same time. In any event, Goklany is surely correct that subsidizing biofuels produced from corn, switchgrass, or anything else, will distort agricultural markets at the expense of consumers.

Let's hope so. At its best, corn ethanol was a feel-good but solve-nothing gimmick. At its worst, it was a massive scam perpetrated by corn lobby with eager complicity from cost-adverse auto manufacturers.

While more efficient biofuels could supplement our energy needs, they will never be a solution to the energy crisis. They simply require too many resources and too much labor. Barring some kind of magic bullet in the future, the real solution is going to be the hard one: trimming demand for fuel.
5.3.2008 12:01pm
Paul Milligan (mail) (www):
Some people are just never happy. First it was 'you burn too much oil, you need to find a renewable resource'.

Now it's 'you're killing people by using the reneable resource'. The UN even call biofuels "Criminal". THey claim that Americans using bio-fuels is causing starvation in Africa.

Meanwhile, back in Africa, a little place clled Zimbabwe used to be known as 'The bread Basket of Africa', raising a large surplus of food that was not needed domestically, so they sold it to other African countries.

THen, the Powers decided that this wasn't good enough, so they through out all the white land owners who were running that productive agriculture system, and parcelled it out to the locals. Who promptly screwed it all up, to the point where Zimbabwe is starving and bankrupt today.

Meanwhile, in the rest of Africa, civil wars rage on and on and on, genocide rages on and on and on, and all that energy and all those resources that COULD be focused on little things like 'growing food to survivie on' go instead towards killing each other.

We give them billions of dollars worth of food every year, but that's not enough to please them. They complain that we should not send them FOOD, we should send them MONEY to buy food. These, the most corrupt governments and countries on earth, want us to send them 'money to buy food', not 'food'.

They complain that we subsidize our farmers ( with our own money, as if they somehow had a right to tell us what to do with it ), that we use productive methods of modern agriculture that they can't compete with, using their 1,000 year old methods, and that we therefore produce cheaper food, and thus because of this their farmers can't compete cost-effectively, so they're starving because we don't send them enough money to buy the food they don't grow from themselves.

Therefore, of course, the REASON people in Africa are starving is because those mean ol' Americans are using some petroleum substitutes.

Uh huh.
5.3.2008 1:02pm
The problem with ethanol is two-fold:
Less efficient (in terms of mpg)
Staggering production cost (namely, in energy)

I agree with tempguest: these are ultimately gimmicks that take our eye off the ball, but do nothing to alleviate the real problem. Hopefully, the legislature starts opening its eyes and sees the corn lobby for what it is...
5.3.2008 1:02pm
Ethanol demand takes 20 - 30% of the U.S. corn crop. So people [especially poor people] substitute rice, so the price of rice skyrockets. There is a cascade effect from using food as fuel.

In addition,the production of every gallon of ethanol requires the burning of .7 gallons of fossil fuel -- and 1,700 gallons of fresh water -- waste that we can ill afford with our rising population.

According to the October 2006 Consumer Reports cover story on ethanol, it requires about 1 1/2 times more ethanol than gasoline to push a car one mile. That means that for every mile driven using ethanol, 50% more exhaust goes into the atmosphere.

Finally, this is a world-wide problem. As a result of ethanol demand in the U.S., food costs around the world are going up fast. Over a billion people in the world live on less than $1 a day. Because of the ethanol legislation in this country, their backs are up against the wall.

If anyone thinks they have a credible argument to continue using food for fuel, let's hear it.
5.3.2008 1:16pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
I think there's definitely a future for biofuels, just not food-turned-into-biofuel. If there are crops that can be used to produce biofuel that call for lower capital inputs and can make us of currently marginal land, then there's a whole new niche for the enterprising farmer. This need not compete with food production; it can certainly complement it.

The subsidization is the major problem. I don't mind a start-up subsidy, but it needs to be limited firmly in time and expense.
5.3.2008 1:25pm
Corn subsidies and supports have been a terrible policy for many, many years (e.g. waste of taxpayer money, subsidizing products that are contributing to the obesity crisis, etc.); I doubt that lawmakers are going to have a change of heart anytime soon.

Can't do anything to upset the "heartland." After all, wasn't American founded in the "heartland" by corn farmers?
5.3.2008 1:43pm
If we assume that, in the current political climate, eliminating biofuel mandates entirely is like spitting into the wind -- is there any politically viable strategy that could shift biomass production away from food to non-food sources such as switchgrass or cellulose waste products?

One possibility that occurs to me would be dialing back conservation set-aside subsidies. Farmers who have taken advantage of these payments have reportedly skewed toward taking their most marginal land out of production: land that is appropriate for switchgrass but not necessairily more intensively cultivated crops like corn or soybeans.

Then again, I'll freely admit to being way outside my area of expertise here - most of my "knowledge" comes from sources like National Geographic and Consumer Reports. They have their own agendas, tho what I read there sounds really good every time I dump another little part of my kids' college fund into my gas tank...
5.3.2008 1:44pm
Dave D. (mail):
..." I don't mind a start-up subsidy, but it needs to be limited firmly...." J.B.
...Put down the subsidy and nobody gets hurt. We aren't the kind of folks who can firmly limit any subsidy. So John, lets keep this in the realm of the possible and away from Unobtainium. If you build it, they will get public subsidies.
5.3.2008 1:48pm
What Goklany misses is that switchgrass grows places corn doesn't, at least not well. Large swaths of the midwest are planted with corn, heavily watered, fertilized, just so corn will grow -at all-. Left alone, they'd produce lots of switchgrass. With far more minimal fertilizing and water, they'd produce more.

Saying that we shouldn't grow switchgrass because it would also be grown using farming techniques we use on corn is like saying that we shouldn't drive any cars because they use internal combustion engines just like Hummers do.
5.3.2008 1:55pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
The good part of the ethanol deal is that the massive failure it is due to the effect of corn not being available to non-ethanol related industry is right here in our face in a matter of months, not years.

Government by feel-good experts.

Can we imagine any congressional type will admit to the scope and seriousness of what this disastrous populist experiment has wrought?
5.3.2008 2:00pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

The good part of the ethanol deal is that the massive failure it is due to the effect of corn not being available to non-ethanol related industry* is right here in our face in a matter of months, not years.

*and the displacement of other crops being planted due to the subsidy offered for corn.
5.3.2008 2:05pm
Ben P (mail):

Farmers will do what they’ve always done: they’ll produce the necessary biomass that would be converted to ethanol more efficiently. In fact, they’ll start cultivating the cellulose as a crop (or crops).....

I'm not entirely sure I buy this argument. It certainly has some merit, but the whole point of cellulosic ethanol is that it can be produced from things that don't require extensive cultivation.

Bush's reference to switchgrass sounded odd at the time, but having looked into the stuff, it's pretty amazing.

In short, it's basically the stuff that grows in a field when you dont grow anything else. If you saw it in your yard, you'd probably consider it a weed.

It's fast growing, self seeding, very drought and temperature resistant, and grows incredibly well on marginal land, and so requires no fertilizer. It's only real use at the moment is forage for cattle.

I can see farmers still making attempts to increase yeild per acre, but the nature of the plant changes the occasion some.

and even aside from energy crops, cellulosic ethanol also give the potential of trash based sources, and with the assumption that we produce the trash anyway, that's a significant gain.
5.3.2008 2:34pm
MichaelG (www):
"but President Bush has also reiterated his support for biofuels."

Support for biofuels does not necessitate support for food crop based ethanol. I am, and have been, a proponent for biodiesel. Biodiesel can be made from food and agricultural waste products, cars, trucks and trains built since the early 90s can run it without modification. The US Air Force has trialed it in aircraft with success.
5.3.2008 2:41pm
Wayne Jarvis:
It seems to be that the really green thing to do is to go back to commuting by horse. If you are going to take crops and turn them into fuel, why not cut out the middle man and put the crop directly into the vehicle?

Plus, Horses having been metabolizing cellulose for decades, hence the expression "hay is for horses."

Plus, horse waste can be used to make methane gas.

Plus, horses last much longer than cars.

Plus, when the horse finally dies, it can feed a golden retriever for year.

We are going about this the entire wrong way. (I'm only half joking.)
5.3.2008 2:48pm
Ben P (mail):

Plus, horses last much longer than cars.

I dispute your assumption. My first car was a 1982 Volvo. It served me until mid-2006, when at 24 years and 342k miles, it died permanently.

I'm not entirely sure how long horses live, but I've rarely heard of a working horse being more than 20 years old.
5.3.2008 3:03pm
Wayne Jarvis:
Ben: my great-grandfather smoked every day and lived to be 98, but that doesn't mean that smoking is healthy.

How people do you know that keep their cars for 20 plus years?
5.3.2008 3:27pm
Wayne Jarvis:
(Horse life expectancy is between 20 and 30 years)
5.3.2008 3:29pm
Ben P (mail):

How people do you know that keep their cars for 20 plus years?

There's a distinct difference between "keeping" a car and using a car. Where else do all those used car lots come from.

Maybe my parents were the exception, but they never subscribed to the "new car every few years" idea. From my earliest memory to the present (25ish years) they've gotten a new car exactly three times, and they've always owned two cars.
5.3.2008 3:34pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

It seems to be that the really green thing to do is to go back to commuting by horse. If you are going to take crops and turn them into fuel, why not cut out the middle man and put the crop directly into the vehicle?

Plus, Horses having been metabolizing cellulose for decades, hence the expression "hay is for horses."

Plus, horse waste can be used to make methane gas.

Plus, horses last much longer than cars.

Plus, when the horse finally dies, it can feed a golden retriever for year.

We are going about this the entire wrong way. (I'm only half joking.)

just prior to automobile use gaining popularity, NYC had to get rid of a million or so pounds of horse manure a day; fumes from horse urine would bubble paint. (I'm only half joking.)


yeah, a lot of things can be made out of horse manure, but the main object seems to have always been finding a place to be rid of it.
5.3.2008 4:03pm
ANDKEN (mail) (www):
Here in Brazil I´m seeing more and more farmers planting corn. And meat and others groceries are more expensive. The problem is not only ethanol taking space from food, but doing that suddenly because of subsidies.
5.3.2008 5:57pm
Yes, biofuel production inevitably competes with food production... but so does fossil fuel production, car production, and production of new episodes of "South Park". We haven't used up all the potential farmland in the world, just the best farmland, and any use of capital and labor for any other activity is a use that could have gone instead toward making less-than-best farmland more productive, building greenhouses, even backyard gardening.

As ANDKEN said, the current problem with ethanol isn't the economic tradeoffs involved, it's the subsidies that distort those tradeoffs. A subsidy plan which at best makes sense for promoting new R&D should not be applied to mass production on a global scale.
5.3.2008 6:34pm
Curt Fischer:

Here in Brazil I´m seeing more and more farmers planting corn. And meat and others groceries are more expensive. The problem is not only ethanol taking space from food, but doing that suddenly because of subsidies.

ANDKEN, can you elaborate? Is corn an especially subsidized crop down in Brazil?

If Brazil is subsidizing corn, it's an even bigger mistake than the US doing it. In Brazil, sugarcane is by far a more efficient and affordable feedstock for ethanol production than is corn.

In fact, some argue that the best biofuels policy for the US is to import Brazilian sugarcane or ethanol, since it is so much cheaper than and better than corn ethanol. I'm not convinced this idea is such a bad one, personally.

If we allowed cheap Brazilian sugar imports, we could focus on developing cellulosic biofuel production, we wouldn't be wasting our corn, and people who conflate biofuels generally with corn ethanol specifically wouldn't be able to generate quite such a anti-biofuels backlash as we are now seeing.
5.3.2008 7:29pm
One point that keeps coming up is that ethanol produces less mileage because it's "less efficient" than gasoline. This is wrong. Ethanol contains less energy than an equal amount of gasoline, which is why more ethanol has to be burned to produce the same amount of energy.

But an engine designed to run on ethanol can actually be more efficient than one designed to run on gasoline because (116 octane) pure ethanol will tolerate a much higher compression ratio than gasoline, and compression ratio is pretty much what determines efficiency.
5.3.2008 8:42pm
Paul Milligan (mail) (www):
Another big factor that hasn't been mentioned here is that rising standards of living in China and India are leading to demand there for a higher quality diet, in particular more meat ( and thus more grain to feed it, etc ), and a larger QUANTITY diet, both stressing food prices.
5.3.2008 10:13pm
ICECAP has a short and interesting article on energy and grain prices, with charts, here.
5.3.2008 11:45pm
"rising standards of living in China and India are leading to demand there for a higher quality diet, in particular more meat"

in this connection, the mention of "everyday meat, chicken, bread and eggs" stuck out to me. part of the issue is that meat and chicken are "everyday."
5.4.2008 2:30am
Justin Bowen (mail):
I find it amazing that countries (other than the US) aren't utilizing hemp to alleviate their bio-fuel needs.
5.4.2008 6:13am
some young guy:
I find this scapegoating of ethanol very disheartening. International food prices are rising for many reasons, only one of which is due to a minority of corn crops going into fuel production. Prices are generally rising due to the already mentioned China and India demand of more and better food, particularly all that corn-fed beef, the increased cost of fuel and fertilizer for producing and transporting food, as well as historically poor wheat harvests internationally. Rarely is the wisdom of devoting the majority of corn production to feed livestock questioned, with all the trophic inefficiency that entails, yet now a voice is found to bemoan the inefficiency of ethanol? Gimme a break. I'm not saying Bush or the corn lobby are altruists, far from it, but this issue is overblown, misdirected and plainly counterproductive if we are to begin to seriously address climate change via carbon emissions.
5.4.2008 7:38am
TJIT (mail):
some young guy,

I find the technical ignorance of most ethanol proponents to be exceedingly disheartening.

Proponents of ethanol as a solution for carbon emissions don't realize that when the land use changes and petroleum inputs required to produce ethanol are taken into account you get the following result.

Ethanol production increases carbon emissions In spite of this some people still believe ethanol usage is going to reduce carbon emissions.

The mind boggles.
5.4.2008 1:20pm
some young guy:

"Scapegoating"?? The supply/demand curve for corn [and for cereal grain prices in general] had been in balance until 2006 -- when the ethanol legislation began. Grain prices were gradually rising before that [see the link a few posts above], but when ethanol became mandated, that's when prices began to skyrocket.

The fact that grain prices were rising before 2006 was due to increased world demand. But now, ethanol production demands 20 - 30% of the entire U.S. corn crop, and it is projected to take 40% of next year's corn crop. That is why prices are shooting up. If you think that these huge price increases are "due to a minority of corn crops going into fuel production", then you must not understand how an increased marginal demand affects commodity prices.

As explained above, it takes 7/10ths of a gallon of fossil fuel to produce each gallon of ethanol [per the Economist, 2-02-08]. Fertilizer, transportation and poor wheat harvests have nothing to do with the reason that U.S. ethanol legislation has resulted in extremely high food prices, and the looming starvation of millions of poor people around the world.

Finally, the bogus argument about "carbon" emissions and climate change has been repeatedly falsified through the peer-review process. Yet the general public still falls for the "carbon" scam.

Only 2.75 percent of atmospheric CO2 is produced by human activity -- all the rest is natural. Furthermore, the annual fluctuation of natural CO2 emissions varies by much more than 2.75%, and there is no geological record of runaway global warming.

The amount we emit is said to be up from one percent a decade ago. CO2 is a "trace gas." And human activity is responsible for only a miniscule 0.001 percent of the atmosphere [in other words, 0.00001 of the atmosphere] -- a tiny trace, of a tiny trace gas. How can this bring about a "planetary catastrophe"? If the atmosphere was a 100-story building, the contribution of CO2 from human activity would be equivalent to the thickness of the linoleum on the first floor [about 1/8 of an inch]. Unfortunately, the scare tactics employed by the UN/IPCC, Al Gore, and much of the media have an effect on scientifically illiterate people, who are easily frightened.

Let's be honest: ethanol legislation has been a complete disaster. That's what happens when the greenies get to call the shots.
5.4.2008 1:54pm
Curt Fischer:

TJIT: I find the technical ignorance of most ethanol proponents to be exceedingly disheartening.

TJIT, it may not mean much to you, but your post does nothing to convince anyone that your anti-ethanol views stem from even a shred of technical enlightenment.

It would have been something, for example, if you had explictly mentioned the difference between corn ethanol and other source of ethanol, such as from sugar cane (or even from oil for that matter!).

In general I agree with some young guy. US biofuels policy is clearly a factor behind increased grain prices, but it just one of many factors behind the recent increase.
5.4.2008 3:49pm
TJIT (mail):
Curt Fischer,

Sugar cane ethanol does have better energetics then corn ethanol. Of course the US has a tariff on imported ethanol to make sure corn ethanol does not have to compete with it.

There are many factors that influence the price of food. The US and EU biofuel mandates have had a large impact on them.

Given that ethanol provides zero benefits the fact that its production has done anything to increase food prices is man made tragedy.
5.4.2008 5:39pm
TJIT (mail):
Curt Fischer,

Big roundup of technical info that shows what a disaster the US and EU biofuel mandates have been can be found at this link.

Unintended Consequences, The Politics of Biofuels

Some excerpts relevant to this thread.

“Simply said, ethanol production today using U.S. corn contributes to the conversion of grasslands and rainforest to agriculture, causing very large GHG emissions. Even if only a small fraction of the emissions calculated in this crude way [through land use change] are added to estimates of direct emissions for corn ethanol, total emissions for corn ethanol are higher than for fossil fuels.”

But the criticisms of the rush into biofuels didn't stop there. Some argued that the diversion of grains and edible oils away from food and toward biofuels had the potential to starve the poor. The United States Department of Agriculture, longtime staunch supporters of the biofuels expansion, published a study that concluded that the policies of the US and the EU would raise prices across the food sector.
5.4.2008 5:51pm
US biofuels policy is clearly a by far the major factor behind increased grain prices...
There. Fixed it for you.

Check out this link again. The black vertical lines indicate the start of the ethanol legislation.

It's very telling that the greenies [reds] don't give a damn about the vast suffering and deaths among the world's poorest, resulting from the use of food for fuel. People with a conscience care. Greens don't. The proof is right therefor everyone to see.
5.4.2008 5:53pm
some young guy:
Critics too often lump ethanol and biofuels in general together with Bush's biofuel boondoggle, and by extension proponents of the former with the latter. I would never expect anything from Bush to be anything less than self-serving and ultimately destructive. But that does not condemn biofuels. Baby, bathwater. There ARE ways to facilitate and regulate into existence the wider use of biofuels that don't resemble a sledgehammer.

As for the "peer-reviewed" falsification of carbon emissions linked to climate change, I'm all ears. You'll excuse my skepticism if they have any links to Big Oil, mind you. So that 1/8th of an inch of CO2 is nothing, eh? Wonder how thick that ozone would be. Your argument is like saying (circa 1850 or so) a blood cell is 99% water and iron, but that 1% of semi-permeable membrane? Bah, it's nothing important to medicine.

I'm no paleo-climatologist or a scientist of any sort, but fundamentally you'll have a hard time convincing me that releasing billions and billions of tonnes of a long, long, LONG-sequestered gas in the geological equivalent of a blink of an eye will have absolutely no effect to the atmosphere and that which relies on it for survival, i.e. everything. It might be nothing, it even might be positive. But you're going to have to do a lot better than "trust me".
5.4.2008 8:34pm
TJIT (mail):
some young guy you said,

Critics too often lump ethanol and biofuels in general together with Bush's biofuel boondoggle, and by extension proponents of the former with the latter.
You are missing the fact that the only current, commercial method of producing biofuels in the US is corn based ethanol.

If you are supporting US biofuel mandates and subsidies at this time you are supporting Bush's biofuel boondoggle.

Biofuels may have some potential in the future. However, the current EU and US biofuel mandates are "ruining the brand" and reputation of biofuels. Proponents of useful biofuel technology should be the strongest opponents of the existing mandates and subsidies.
5.4.2008 10:36pm
some young guy:

As stated above, the scare tactics employed by the UN/IPCC, Al Gore, and much of the media have had an effect on scientifically illiterate people, who are easily frightened.

You have not provided one verifiable citation to support your fears. This particular thread is about the ethanol scam. But you raised the issue of "carbon" and "climate change." Rigorous thinking is necessary. So I'm willing to assist. Here, here and here are peer-reviewed papers, which falsify Al Gore's AGW hypothesis.

As Einstein correctly stated, ''To defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact.'' The links above contain numerous facts which falsify [refute] the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis. I have many, many more papers available if you wish.

I spent my entire career working in a metrology laboratory, calibrating instruments that measure relative humidity, temperature, adiabatic constants, and other climate related instruments. We received all the climate literature, which everyone in the lab [140+ scientists and technicians] routinely discussed as part of our job.

When Al Gore mounted his carbon crusade in the early '90's, no one -- not one lab worker -- accepted his hypothesis. It was instantly seen as politics, not science. As you stated above:
I'm no paleo-climatologist or a scientist of any sort...
Rather than spouting second hand what you hear on the nightly news, it might be worthwhile to listen to other scientists who are extremely skeptical of the AGW hypothesis:

A. Alan Moghissi, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Technical University of Karlsruhe, Germany
Aksel Wiin-Nielsen, Professor of Geophysical Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Albrecht Glatzle, Ph.D. Agricultural Biology, University of Hohenheim, Germany
Alexander Gumen, M.S. Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, Ph.D. Geology, Moscow Geological Prospecting Academy, Russia
Alfred (Al) H. Pekarek, Ph.D. Geology, Associate Professor of Geology, St. Cloud State University, USA
Allan M.R. MacRae, B.Sc., M.Eng., P.Eng, Canada
Andreas Prokoph, B.Sc. Geology, Ph.D. Earth Sciences, University Tubingen, Germany
Anthony R. Lupo, Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, Purdue University, USA
Antonino Zichichi, Professor Emeritus of Advanced Physics, University of Bologna, Italy
Arthur B. Robinson, Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, USA
Arthur Rorsch, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Molecular Genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Ben Herman, Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, USA
Benjamin D. Pearson, B.S. Physics, University of Rochester, USA
Bjarne Andresen, Ph. D. Theoretical Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Bob Durrenberger, Retired Climatologist, Former President of the American Association of State Climatologists, USA
Boris Winterhalter, M.Sc. Ph.D. Geology, Helsinki University, Finland
Brian Pratt, Ph.D. Professor of Geology, Sedimentology, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Bruce N. Ames, Ph.D. BioChemistry, California Institute of Technology, USA
Bruno Wiskel, B.Sc. Geology, University of Albert, Canada
Bryan Leyland, M.Sc. Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, New Zealand
Carl Johan Friedrich (Frits) Böttcher, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physical Chemistry, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
Charles Gelman, B.S. Chemistry, M.S. Public Health, University of Michigan, USA
Chauncey Starr, Ph.D. Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
Chris de Freitas, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Christiaan Frans van Sumere, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, University of Gent, Belgium
Christoph C. Borel, Ph.D. Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts, USA
Christopher Essex, Ph.D. Professor of Applied Mathematics, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Christopher Landsea, Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, USA
Claude Allegre, Ph.D. Physics, University of Paris, France
Cliff Ollier, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Geology, University of Western Australia, Australia
Clinton H. Sheehan, Ph.D. Physics, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Craig D. Idso, M.S. Agronomy, Ph.D. Geography, Arizona State University, USA
Craig Loehle, Ph.D. Mathematical Ecology, Colorado State University, USA
Dan Carruthers, M.Sc. Wildlife Biology Consultant, Specializing in Animal Ecology in Arctic and Subarctic Regions, Canada
Daniel B. Botkin, Ph.D. Biology, Rutgers University, USA
David Deming, B.S. Geology, Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Utah, USA
David E. Wojick, B.S. Civil Engineering, Ph.D. Mathematical Logic, University of Pittsburgh, USA
David Evans, B.Sc. Applied Mathematics and Physics, M.S. Statistics, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Stanford, USA
David G. Aubrey, B.S. Geological Sciences, Ph.D. Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, USA
David H. Douglass, Ph.D. Physics, MIT, USA
David J. Ameling, B.A. Physics, UCLA, USA
David J. Bellamy, B.Sc. Botany, Ph.D. Ecology, Durham University, UK
David Kear, Ph.D. Geology, New Zealand
David L. Hill, Ph.D. Physics, Princeton University, USA
David Nowell, M.Sc. Meteorology, Royal Meteorological Society, Canada
David R. Legates, Ph.D. Climatology, University of Delaware, USA
Dennis P. Lettenmaier, Ph.D. Professor of Hydrology, University of Washington, USA
Dick Thoenes, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Don J. Easterbrook, Ph.D. Geology, University of Washington, USA
Don Parkes, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Geography, University of Newcastle, Australia
Donald G. Baker, Ph.D. Soils, Geology, University of Minnesota, USA
Donn Dears, B.S. Engineering, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, USA
Douglas V. Hoyt, Solar Physicist and Climatologist, Retired, Raytheon, USA
Duncan Wingham, Ph.D. Physics, University of Bath, UK
Eckhard Grimmel, Ph.D. Geography, University of Hamburg, Germany
Edward Wegman, Ph.D. Mathematical Statistics, University of Iowa, USA
Eigil Friis-Christensen, Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Elliot Abrams, M.S. Meteorology, Penn State, USA
Eric S. Posmentier, Adjunct Professor of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth, USA
Ernst-Georg Beck, M.Sc. Biology, Merian-Schule, Germany
Fred Goldberg, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Fred Michel, B.Sc. Geological Sciences, M.Sc., Ph.D. Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo, Canada
Fred W. Decker, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, USA
Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Princeton University, USA
G. Cornelis van Kooten, B.Sc. Geophysics, Ph.D. Agricultural &Resource Economics, Oregon State University, USA
Gabriel T. Csanady, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Australia
Garth Paltridge, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia
Gary D. Sharp, Ph.D. Marine Biology, University of California, USA
Gary Novak, M.S. Microbiology, USA
Geoff L. Austin, Ph.D. Professor of Physics, University of Auckland, New Zealand
George E. McVehil, B.A. Physics, M.S. Ph.D. Meteorology, AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist, USA
George H. Taylor, M.S. Meteorology, University of Utah, USA
George Kukla, Micropalentologist, Special Research Scientist of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, USA
George V. Chilingarian, Ph.D. Geology, University of Southern California, USA
George Wilhelm Stroke, Ph.D. Physics, University of Paris, France
Gerd-Rainer Weber, Ph.D. Consulting Meteorologist, Germany
Gerhard Gerlich, Ph.D. Physics, Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany
Gerrit J. van der Lingen, Ph.D. Geologist, Paleoclimatologist, New Zealand
Glen E. Shaw, Atmospheric Scientist, Professor of Physics, University of Alaska, USA
Gordon E. Swaters, Ph.D. Applied Mathematics and Physical Oceanography, University of British Columbia, Canada
Gordon J. Fulks, Ph.D. Physics, University of Chicago, USA
Graham Smith, Associate Professor of Geography, University of Western Ontario, Canada
H. Grant (H.G.) Goodell, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, USA
H. Michael (Mike) Mogil, M.S. Meteorology, Florida State University, USA
Hans Erren, B.Sc. Geology and Physics, M.Sc. Geophysics, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Hans Jelbring, Ph.D. Climatology, Stockholm University, Sweden
Hans Schreuder, Analytical Chemist, UK
Harry N.A. Priem, Professor Emeritus of Isotope and Planetary Geology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Hartwig Volz, Geophysicist, RWE Research Lab, Germany
Hendrik Tennekes, Former Director of Research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, The Netherlands
Henrik Svensmark, Director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research, Danish National Space Center, Denmark
Henry R. Linden, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA
Howard C. Hayden, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Connecticut, USA
Hugh W. Ellsaesser, Ph.D. Meteorology, Formerly with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA
Ian D. Clark, Ph.D. Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada
Ian R. Plimer, Ph.D. Professor of Geology, University of Adelaide, Australia
Indur M. Goklany, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, India
J. Scott Armstrong, B.A. Applied Science, B.S. Industrial Engineering, Ph.D. MIT, USA
Jack Barrett, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Manchester, UK
James A. Peden, B.S. Physics and Mathematics, M.S. Experimental Physics, University of Pittsburgh, USA
James (Jim) Goodridge, Retired California State Climatologist, USA
James J. O’Brien, Ph.D. Meteorology, Texas A&M University, USA
James R. Stalker, Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama, USA
Ján Veizer, Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada
Jay H. Lehr, Ph.D. Groundwater Hydrology, University of Arizona, USA
Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen, Senior Scientist, Center for Sun-Climate Research, Danish National Space Center, Denmark
Jennifer Marohasy, Ph.D. Biology, University of Queensland, Australia
Joel M. Kauffman, Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, MIT, USA
Joel Schwartz, B.S. Chemistry, M.S. Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology, USA
John Brignell, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Department of Electronics &Computer Science, University of Southampton, UK
John E. Gaynor, M.S. Meteorology, UCLA, USA
John E. Oliphant, B.A. Mathematics and Physics, M.S. Meteorology Penn State, USA
John K. Sutherland, Ph.D. Geology, University of Manchester, UK
John R. Christy, B.A. Mathematics, M.S. Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alabama in Huntsville, USA
Joseph Conklin, M.S. Meteorology, Rutgers University, USA
Joseph D’Aleo, M.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, USA
Joseph (Joe) P. Sobel, Ph.D. Meteorology, Penn State, USA
Keith D. Hage, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Meteorology, University of Alberta, Canada
Keith E. Idso, Ph.D. Botany, Arizona State University, USA
Kelvin Kemm, Ph.D. Nuclear Physics, Natal University, South Africa
Ken Gregory, B.A.Sc. Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia, Canada
Kenneth E.F. Watt, Ph.D. Zoology, University of Chicago, USA
Khabibullo Abdusamatov, Ph.D. Astrophysicist, University of Leningrad, Russia
Klaus Wyrtki, Ph.D. Oceanography, Physics, Mathematics, University of Kiel, Germany
Lance Endersbee, Professor Emeritus of Engineering, Monash University, Australia
Lee C. Gerhard, Ph.D. Geology, University of Kansas, USA
Lee Raymond, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, USA
Len Walker, Ph.D. Soil Mechanics, Cambridge University, Australia
Louis Hissink, M.Sc. Geology, Macquarie University, Australia
Luboš Motl, Ph.D. Theoretical Physics, Rutgers, USA
Madhav Khandekar, B.Sc. Mathematics and Physics, M.Sc. Statistics, Ph.D.
Martin Livermore, B.S. Chemistry, University of Oxford, UK
Meteorology, Florida State University, USA
Manik Talwani, Ph.D. Physics, Columbia University, USA
Marcel Leroux, Professor Emeritus of Climatology, University of Lyon, France
Mel Goldstein, Ph.D. Meteorology, NYU, USA
Michael Crichton, A.B. Anthropology, M.D. Harvard, USA
Michael D. Griffin, B.S. Physics, M.S. Applied Physics, Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland, USA
Michael E Adams, Ph.D. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, USA
Michael J. Economides, Ph.D. Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Houston, USA
Michael J. Oard, B.S., M.S. Atmospheric Science, University of Washington, USA
Michael Savage, B.S. Biology, M.S. Anthropology, M.S. Ethnobotany, Ph.D. Nutritional Ethnomedicine, USA
Michael R. Fox, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, University of Washington, USA
Michel Salomon, M.D. University of Paris, Director, International Centre for Scientific Ecology, France
Nathan Paldor, Ph.D. Professor of Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, Hebrew University, Israel
Noah E. Robinson, Ph.D. Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, USA
Neil Frank, Ph.D. Meteorology, Florida State University, USA
Nigel Marsh, Senior Scientist, Center for Sun-Climate Research, Danish National Space Center, Denmark
Nils-Axel Mörner, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Palegeophysics and Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden
Nir J. Shaviv, Ph.D. Astrophysicist, Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
Norman Brown, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, University of Ulster, UK
Ola M. Johannessen, Professor, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Norway
Olavi Kärner, Ph.D. Atmospheric Physics, Leningrad Hydrometeorological Institute, Estonia
Oliver W. Frauenfeld, Ph.D. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, USA
Paavo Siitam, M.Sc. Agronomist, Canada
Paul Copper, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University, Canada
Paul Driessen, B.A. Geology and Field Ecology, Lawrence University, USA
Paul Reiter, Professor of Medical Entomology, Pasteur Institute, France
Patrick J. Michaels, Ph.D. Ecological Climatology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Patrick Moore, B.Sc. Forest Biology, Ph.D. Ecology, University of British Columbia, Greenpeace co-founder, Canada
Peter Stilbs, Ph.D. (TeknD) Physical Chemistry, Lund Institute of Technology, Sweden
Petr Chylek, Ph.D. Physics, University of California, USA
Philip K. Chapman, B.S. Physics and Mathematics, M.S. Aeronautics and Astronautics, Ph.D. Instrumentation, MIT, Australia
Philip Stott, Professor Emeritus of Biogeography, University of London, UK
Piers Corbyn, B.Sc. Physics, M.Sc. Astrophysics, Queen Mary College, UK
R.G. Roper, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
R. Timothy (Tim) Patterson, B.Sc. Biology, Ph.D. Professor of Geology, Carleton University, Canada
R. W. Gauldie, Ph.D. Research Professor, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean Earth Sciences and Technology, University of Hawaii, USA
Raphael A.J. Wust, M.Sc., Ph.D. Lecturer, School of Earth Sciences, James Cook University, Australia
Ralf D. Tscheuschner, Ph.D. Physics, University of Hamburg, Germany
Randall Cerveny, Ph.D. Geography, University of Nebraska, USA
Reid A. Bryson, B.A. Geology, Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Chicago, USA
Richard C. Willson, Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, USA
Richard S. Courtney, Ph.D. Geography, The Ohio State University, USA
Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. Professor of Meteorology, MIT, USA
Rob Scagel, M.Sc., Forest Microclimate Specialist, Canada
Robert C. Balling Jr., Ph.D. Professor of Climatology, Arizona State University, USA
Robert C. Whitten, Physicist, Retired Research Scientist, NASA, USA
Robert E. Davis, Ph.D. Climatology, University of Delaware, USA
Robert G. Williscroft, B.Sc. Marine &Atmospheric Physics, M.Sc., Ph.D. Engineering, California Coast University, USA
Robert Giegengack, Ph.D. Geology, Yale, USA
Robert H. Essenhigh, M.S. Natural Sciences, Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Sheffield, UK
Robert L. Kovach, Professor of Geophysics, Stanford University, USA
Robert (Bob) M. Carter, B.Sc. Geology, Ph.D. Paleontology, University of Cambridge, Australia
Robin Vaughan, Ph.D. Physics, Nottingham University, UK
Roger A. Pielke (Sr.), Ph.D. Meteorology, Penn State, USA
Roger Bate, M.Sc. Environmental and Resource Management, Ph.D. Economics, University of Cambridge, UK
Roy Spencer, Ph.D. Meteorology, Former Senior Scientist for Climate Studies, NASA, USA
S. Fred Singer, Ph.D. Physics, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, USA
Sallie Baliunas, M.A. Ph.D. Astrophysics, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Sherwood B. Idso, Ph.D. Soil Science, University of Minnesota, USA
Simon C. Brassell, B.Sc. Chemistry &Geology, Ph.D. Organic Geochemistry, University of Bristol, UK
Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, Ph.D. Department of Geography, University of Hull, UK
Steve Milloy, B.A. Natural Sciences, M.S. Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, USA
Stephen McIntyre, B.Sc. Mathematics, University of Toronto, Canada
Stewart W. Franks, Ph.D. Environmental Science, Lancaster University, U.K.
Sylvan H. Wittwer, Ph.D. Horticulture, University of Missouri, USA
Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Alaska, USA
Tad S. Murty, Ph.D. Oceanography and Meteorology, University of Chicago, USA
Thomas Schmidlin, Ph.D. Professor of Geography, Kent State University, USA
Timothy (Tim) F. Ball, Ph.D. Historical Climatologist, University of London, UK
Tom Harris, B. Eng. M. Eng. Mechanical Engineering (thermo-fluids), Canada
Tom V. Segalstad, B.S. Geology, University of Oslo, Norway
Ulrich Berner, Geologist, Federal Institute for Geosciences, Germany
Vern Harnapp, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Geography, University of Akron, USA
Vincent Gray, Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Cambridge University, UK
Vitaliy Rusov, Ph.D. Physics and Mathematics, Professor of Physics, Odessa Polytechnic University, Ukraine
Yuri A. Izrael, D.Sc. Physics and Mathematics, Vice Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Russia
W. Dennis Clark, Ph.D. Botany, Sacramento State College, USA
Walter Starck, Ph.D. Marine Science, University of Miami, USA
Warren Meyer, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Princeton University, USA
Warwick Hughes, B.S. Geology, Auckland University, Australia
Wibjorn Karlen, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden
Willem de Lange, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Waikato University, New Zealand
William B. Hubbard, Ph.D. Professor of Planetary Atmospheres, University of Arizona, USA
William (Bill) Bauman, B.S., Meteorology, M.S., Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, USA
William Cotton, M.S. Atmospheric Science, Ph.D. Meteorology, Pennsylvania State University, USA
William E. Reifsnyder, B.S. Meteorology, M.S., Ph.D. Forestry, Yale, USA
William J.R. Alexander, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Department of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa
William M. Briggs, B.S. Meteorology and Math, M.S. Atmospheric Science, Ph.D. Statistics, Cornell University, USA
William (Bill) M. Gray, M.S. Meteorology, Ph.D. Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, USA
Willie Soon, Ph.D. Astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Wm. Robert Johnston, B.A. Astronomy, M.S. Physics, University of Texas, USA
Wolfgang Thüne, Ph.D. Geography, University of Wuerzburg, Germany
Zachary W. Robinson, B.S. Chemistry, Oregon State University, USA
Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Poland
A.J. Colby, B.S. Atmospheric Sciences, AMS Certified, Meteorologist WKYC-TV, USA
Andre Bernier, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Meteorologist WJW-TV, USA
Anthony Watts, AMS Certified, Chief Meteorologist KPAY-AM, USA
Arlo Gambell, AMS Certified, Meteorologist, USA
Art Horn, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Meteorologist WVIT-TV, USA
Arthur T. Safford III, Retired Meteorologist USAF, USA
Asmunn Moene, former Chief Meteorologist, Oslo, Norway
Austin W. Hogan, AMS Certified, Meteorologist, USA
Bill Meck, Chief Meteorologist WLEX-TV, USA
Bill Steffen, Meteorologist WOOD-TV, USA
Bob Breck, B.S. Meteorology &Oceanography, University of Michigan, Chief Meteorologist WVUE-TV, USA
Brad Sussman, Meteorologist, USA
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Bruce Boe, Director of Meteorology Weather Modification Inc., USA
Bruce Schwoegler, B.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Christopher Plonka, Meteorologist USAF, USA
Craig James, B.S. Meteorology, Penn State University, Chief Meteorologist WOOD-TV, USA
Dan Maly, Retired Meteorologist WOIO-TV, USA
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Dick Goddard, Chief Meteorologist WJW-TV, USA
Don Webster, Retired Meteorologist WEWS-TV, USA
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Jason Russell, Meteorologist, WTEN-TV, USA
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Jerry Lettre, Senior Meteorologist, WSI, USA
Jim Clarke, B.S. Meteorology, St. Louis University, Meteorologist WZVN-TV, USA
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Jon Loufman, Meteorologist WOIO-TV, USA
Joseph E. Luisi, Former Chief Meteorologist Delta Airlines, USA
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Karl Bohnak, B.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, AMS Certified, Meteorologist WLUC-TV, USA
Kevin Lemanowicz, B.S. Meteorology, Cornell University, Chief Meteorologist WFXT-TV, USA
Kevin Williams, B.S. Meteorology, Cornell University, Chief Meteorologist WHEC-TV, USA
Keith Eichner, Meteorologist WIVB-TV, USA
Lee Eddington, Meteorologist Geophysics Branch, U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, USA
Mark Koontz, Meteorologist WFMJ-TV, USA
Mark Breen, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Senior Meteorologist Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, USA
Mark Johnson, AMS Certified, Chief Meteorologist, WEWS-TV, USA
Mark Scirto, B.S. Meteorology, University of St. Thomas, AMS Certified, Chief Meteorologist KLTV, USA
Morgan Palmer, AMS Certified, Meteorologist KLTV, USA
Nick Morganelli, Free-Lance Meteorologist, USA
Paul Cousins, B.S. Meteorology and Geophysics, AMS and NWA Certified, Founder AtmosForecast, USA
Peter McGurk, Senior Meteorologist, WSI, USA
Randy Baker, B.S. Atmospheric Science, University of Kansas, Senior Meteorologist UPS Airlines, USA
Randy Mann, AMS Certified, Meteorologist KREM-TV, USA
Richard (Rich) Apuzzo, Chief Meteorologist Skyeye Weather, USA
Roy Leep, B.S. Meteorology, Florida State University, Meteorologist WTVT-TV, USA
Sally Bernier, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Meteorologist WJW-TV, USA
Shane Hollett, Meteorologist WMJI-FM, USA
Steven Nogueira, NWS Senior Meteorologist, USA
Terry Eliasen, B.S. Meteorology, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Meteorologist WBZ-TV, USA
Thomas B. Gray, M.S. Meteorology, USA
Tim Kelley, B.S. Meteorology, Lyndon State College, Meteorologist NECN, USA
Tom Chisholm, B.S. Atmospheric Sciences, Lyndon State College, Chief Meteorologist WMTW-TV, USA
William Kininmonth, B.Sc., M.Sc., Retired Head of the Australian National Climate Centre, Australia

In addition, over 19,000 scientists have signed a statement agreeing with this peer-reviewed paper.

The arm-waving by Al Gore, the UN and others is driven by money. If you don't understand that, then of course you will be held hostage to the media's sensational climate alarmism.

Now, what were you saying about ethanol? Pro, or con?
5.4.2008 10:38pm
some young guy:
Similarly unconstrained exploitation of fossil fuels is also driven by money, and by any rational measure quite a bit more it must be said.

That being so I will give your links a look; give your lengthy list of scientists some due diligence with regard to their skepticism. I'd like to think I still have an open mind. Until any serious re-think I'm still pro-ethanol, and pro-biofuels.

TJIT, my isssue is exactly that; the ruination (scapegoating, if you will) of a perfectly good brand and the setback of a viable alternative fuel technology. After all, the title of this thread is "Is Ethanol on the Wane?". It need not be so, but Bush ruins everything he touches.
5.4.2008 11:29pm
TJIT (mail):
some young guy,

Both Hilary and Obama support corn based ethanol. Increases in ethanol mandates were contained in the the energy bill passed out of a congress controlled by the democrats.

Trying to make bush completely responsible for the ethanol debacle ignores the facts on the ground and makes it more difficult to fix the problem.
5.6.2008 7:52am
Opher Banarie (mail) (www):
This thread really misses an important issue: WHY are we making ethanol? Is it to mitigate 'climate change'? Is it a new farm income program? Are we trying to show the world that we're better than Brazil? (kidding!)

How about this perspective? It may not be why we started making ethanol, but it might be the reason we should continue - and expand - the role of alcohol fuels:

We, the US taxpayers, are funding both sides of the war on terror. We are sending about $300 BILLION per year to OPEC and another $300 BILLION to our Department of Defense (in rounded numbers). World-wide the flow of cash to OPEC is about $600 BILLION. How many people have been killed by "climate change" in the history of the world? As far as I can tell - ZERO. How many people have been killed by Islamic Terrorists? At least many thousands, so far, and they are still out there planning for more. Want to challenge that? Read this about what is happening in Australia. It's happening everywhere. And they have BILLIONS more to put into WMD research, bribing UN inspectors and paying off greedy French diplomats.

For all of you who want a plan - detailed, reviewed, workable, and a free-market approach to ending the OPEC threat - read "Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil" by Dr. Robert Zubrin. Summaries, articles and interviews are posted on his website. More can be found at the Set America Free Coalition.

We have wasted 30 years since the first oil embargos. We must take action to get off oil now and then move to a long-term power source beyond biofuels. Right now we are arguing about what technology and what source materials, but that is irrelevant to our goal: We must move to alcohol fuel in order to preserve our liberty.

The move to alcohol fuels does not need to impact food prices - methanol can be made from garbage. And methanol can be used to produce plastics and the other synthetic fibers that come from petroleum. Our politicians should not be deciding on ethanol or methanol, or what to make it from or how to make it. The free market will attract inventors to make processes better and investors to back the technologies that look promising. This is the process that gave us radio and television, cars and planes, microwave ovens and ten-speed bikes. Why are we willing to let politicians short-circuit (and screw up) a process that has worked very well?

Ask yourself this: Would you buy an ethanol vehicle today? In most of the country there is no source of ethanol for cars, so your answer is probably 'no'. And gas station owners won't invest in an ethanol inventory without a demand in their community to justify it. It's a chicken-and-egg problem that people scratch their head about. But there is now a technological solution...

The first step (and this does require action by Congress) is to require that all new cars and trucks sold in the US be 'flex fuel vehicles' - FFV - also called GEM (gasoline, ethanol, methanol). The manufacturing costs are about $100 more than the current gasoline-only cars, providing an enhanced fuel injection control chip and an exhaust sensor to control the fuel input. So when you buy a new car or truck, continue pumping gasoline into it as you always have. Ten years later we would have a huge nationwide fleet of cars that could fuel on gas or ethanol or methanol. The market would demand lower-cost fuel and companies would spring up to make it available.

If we have a huge alcohol economy the domestic farm industry will be unable to meet the demand for biomass feedstocks. That will force import tariffs to be removed on the raw ingredients or the finished alcohol fuels. By importing these from around the world, developing countries will have hard-currency earning exports with which to improve their economies. We can boost global living standards while kicking OPEC in the teeth - but we must get the process started.
5.6.2008 2:20pm
TJIT (mail):
Opher Banarie,

The technical links I provided above make a pretty compelling case that it takes more petroleum to make ethanol then it displaces.

Making a an ethanol product that increase petroleum consumption is not going to kick OPEC in the teeth, it is going to increase their market strength.
5.6.2008 7:50pm