Political Wonk, Charity Ronin & Oracle Hack

With all of the Buffoonery He allows, God must have a great sense of humor.

The Sometimes Catastrophic Nature of ‘Renewability’

Posted by Mike O on March 1, 2008

The drive for being ‘green’, especially for using renewable resources, often forgets that nothing operates in a vacuum.  Low-energy fluorescent lightbulbs contain mercury and become a toxic waste nightmare.  Wind farms slaughter birds by the thousands.  The batteries used in that Prius assure that the supposed ‘green’ car is actually more environmentally damaging than a HummerBiolfuels result in more greenhouse gas production, not less.  But the latest issue, that of ethanol and the federal government’s financial incentives for ethanol production, is likely to be the most costly. 

Thanks to major government subsidy programs, more and more farm country in the U.S. is being converted to corn production and more of the existing corn is being used for ethanol production.  The highly predictable result: Cereal grains of all forms have spiked 41% in price in just 6 months.  This is not only starting to show up on grocery store shelves, but is heading us for a humanitarian nightmare as food agencies around the world are having to significantly scale back.

How real is this?  To me, very real.  The charity I support in Uganda has lost the support from the World Food Program; a combination of the increased costs and flooding in Northeast Uganda resulted in WFP shutting down their aid everywhere except the flooded regions.  The organization was highly dependent on that food; kids I personally know stand a very real chance of starving over this.  Graves may be ecologically friendly, but I doubt that was the intent of the ‘renewable resource’ gang and their government enablers.

If you’d personally like to help fill in the gap (and I’ve personally done all I can, in that regard), you can be a real help to these kids.

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7 Responses to “The Sometimes Catastrophic Nature of ‘Renewability’”

  1. Blarg the Destroyer said

    The cult of death that is liberalism marches on.

  2. Stop funding the terrorists!

    No more Oil Wars!

    Energy Independence Now!

    Drill in Anwar.

    Build more nuclear power plants

    Use More coal.

    Use more natural gas

    Turn trash into energy

    Double the efficiency of windmills and solar cells.

    If France can do nuclear power so can we.

    If Brazil can do biomass/ethanol power so can we.

    If Australia can do LNG power so can we.

    Domestically produced energy will end the recession and spur the economy.

    Stop paying oil dollars to those who worship daily at the alter of our destruction.

    Preserve our Civil Rights and defend our Freedom by ending dependence on foreign oil.

  3. Mike O said

    No mention of DRIVING SMALLER VEHICLES?

    All of those are things that need to be done, but those are solutions 40 years from now (and should have been started long ago). The result of the bio-fuel drive will likely be millions dead from starvation, many so we can drive around in our Hummers, Escalades, and Navigators.

  4. Your effort to lay the blame for the global food crisis at the feet of the environmental movement is nothing but a bullshit cheap shot. It’s not the environmentalists who have caused this problem, but the profiteering of the agribusiness industry and the oil industry.

    The environmentalists I know have all been opposed to the use of corn for biofuel production for a long time, just as they are opposed to the environmentally-unsustainable, oil-dependent system of industrial agriculture that produces those heavily-subsidized food crops. Biofuels are not the problem. There are plenty of ways to produce biofuels that don’t impact the food supply: using cellulosic ethanol, for example, or using jatropha and castor oil for biodiesel. And with proper crop rotation and nitrogen-fixing, soil nutrients can be replenished without chemical fertilizers. When grown sustainably, biofuels do not have to be a net producer of greenhouse gas.

    The blame for this situation is the global system we have created that makes poor countries dependent on imports of monoculture commodities from OECD countries. If you want to blame someone, look at Archer Daniels Midland, not Al Gore.

    Oh

  5. Mike O said

    It has been the western form of agriculture that has been feeding the rest of the world for generations. If we listened to the environmentalists and practiced ‘sustainable’ or ‘organic’ or whatever the current fad phrase is, billions would have starved over the past century. You see, much of Africa does practice those methods (out of necessity, not out of environmental concern; no money for fertilizer, tilling equipment, etc.) and they cannot sustain themselves.

  6. Eric said

    Wind farms “slaughter birds by the thousands?” It’s true, wind turbines do kill birds occasionally. But the number killed by wind turbines is about 2 per tower per year. This is a very, very, very tiny fraction of the total number of birds we kill each year through other means in the US: 130-174 million are killed by utility transmission and distribution lines; 60-80 million from collisions with cars and trucks; 100 million to 1 billion from collisions with tall buildings and house windows; 4-10 million from tall communication towers; 67 million from agricultural pesticides; 100 million killed by house cats; millions more by jet engines, smokestacks, bridges, etc.

  7. Eric said

    Forgot one more thing that kills birds: 100 million are killed each year by hunters.

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