Monday, March 30, 2015

Ethanol Dosen't Work

Looking at the price of gas dropping, I was wondering if we could get rid of the 10% ethanol additive. It costs more to add it to our gas. Plus when you make ethanol out of corn, it is the steaks and hamburger we eat that cost more. The idea of raising food to make gasoline is an absurdity in and of itself.

Economically on the financial, there are a lot of people getting subsidies for making ethanol for gas.
From Forbes 4/20/2014 “It's Final -- Corn Ethanol Is Of No Use”

In 2000, over 90% of the U.S. corn crop went to feed people and livestock, many in undeveloped countries, with less than 5% used to produce ethanol. In 2013, however, 40% went to produce ethanol, 45% was used to feed livestock, and only 15% was used for food and beverage.

In 2014, the U.S. will use almost 5 billion bushels of corn to produce over 13 billion gallons of ethanol fuel. The grain required to fill a 25-gallon gas tank with ethanol can feed one person for a year, so the amount of corn used to make that 13 billion gallons of ethanol will not feed the almost 500 million people it was feeding in 2000. This is the entire population of the Western Hemisphere outside of the United States
Kind of tear jerking, but it does explain why I can’t afford to buy steak anymore. Why should the price of oil dictate the price of beef? We use to eat beef every day, now we eat chicken every day and I am starting to get used to it.

The big thing about ethanol in your car, is that it reduces the miles you get per gallon. Plus the caustic effects of alcohol on your fuel system eats the hell out of the plastic fuel lines.

Then I thought, how did we get to be using ethanol? Congress comes to mind. It was supposed to curb our dependence on foreign oil imports. What we are really experiencing is the “unanticipated” consequences of that program. Any red neck farmer knew right away that his corn was worth a lot more to the government as a gasoline additive. Chicken feed is still chicken feed.

On a personal level, I’d like to see some deflation in beef prices, and the easiest way to do it is at the gas pumps. Let’s put the ethanol genie back in the bottle. I wouldn’t mind getting a half gallon of gin with every gas fill up (instead of being put in my tank)—I could give the bottle to the guy on the freeway with the sign “Will work for food.” That would certainly put a glimmer in his eye. Of course the way Congress works with subsidies, maybe they will get General Motors to make a car that runs on pot. The neat thing about a car that runs on pot, is that when you turn it on, you’ll immediately forget where you were going.

Somehow Congress has figured out what we need and passed a law to protect us from ourselves. Maybe we need to smoke some dope to understand where they are coming from. Sanity seems to be the issue, lead poisoning could be the problem or a pretty good excuse for what they have already done.


dearieme said...

I like the free gin idea.

I think it may have been The Economist that said that the US had decided to put the last of the top soil on the prairies into its vehicle fuel tanks.

dearieme said...

P.S. On the subject of dinner - we last ate beef on the 14th (a steak) and the 17th (a ragu, made with minced beef and chicken livers). Since the 14th we've also had five bacon-based dishes, chicken twice, lamb twice (once as moussaka, once as roast lamb), plaice twice, smoked salmon, pork chops (with the last of our apple crop), pork sausages, and duck. Coming up: roast lamb again (cold this time), cheese fondue, paella (chicken and sea food), trout. At lunch we often have fish too: sardines, mackerel pate, ... But if we have a big lunch, e.g. battered haddock, we tend to dine on scrambled eggs.

Am I boasting about my wife's cooking? Yes, but also about her shopping. If duck legs are cheap, it's duck legs for dinner, and some more for the freezer. Chicken livers always seem to be cheap, so she makes batches of liver pate for the freezer. Sardines are routinely excellent value. One of our big local supermarkets doesn't open 24 hours: by visiting in the evening shortly before closing, bargains galore can be had.

We shall probably soon be emptying the freezer of cold-weather food (e.g. haggis), and eyes will be peeled for favourite warm-weather food (e.g. crab). Sitting opposite each other at the kitchen table, preparing our crabs, has become a summer tradition. Yum, yum.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi dearieme

My wife and I shop the same way.Our grocery store marks stuff down in the early morning, and there are lots of good deals. We don't know whats for dinner until we shop on Saturday and Sundays and we freeze the rest.

A busted bag of charcoal for a dollar burns just as good as the intact 6 dollar bags.

AIM said...

Only our government could come up with, or push, ethanol. Always the destructor and disruptor.

Relearning my fresh water and salt water fishing skills from when I was a boy, and also how to field dress a rabbit will come in handy.

Having an expert come in to consult on setting up a permaculture system in the basement (tilapia and vegetables) and some small greenhouses outside for vegetables, fruit trees and herbs would be a good investment. I'm saving up for it.

AIM said...

The reason I made the earlier post is an indication of my mental state. Due to the Marxists, dictators, corrupt leaders, corrupt bankers and other vermin that have infiltrated into our governments, societies, education, etc. and are now sending up over the cliff of economic collapse and war, it is very hard when one puts their head down on the pillow to be calm and get a restful nite's sleep. Unstabilizing the future is what our "leaders" of the last 100 years have done for humanity. The only key question to ask is "How does one live?". A safe space with your own water, energy and food production is one thing that can bring a little comfort and a sense of security to one's life and future.

Jim in San Marcos said...


I think we will make it through all of this. our imagination can give us a worst case perspective every time.

If you are really up in arms, I would suggest buying gold silver and platinum.

Take care


Anonymous said...

only problem with gold, silver and platinum is that the government could confiscate it and make it illegal for the citizens to own (they've done it before); put a high tax on its sale so that it wipes out any profit or value (it is already 35%); and not allow it to be used as legal tender for business transactions and/or payment of taxes. i believe that goldbugs and other precious metal hoarders are going to have a terrible surprise when they see that their strategy to protect their wealth and have a currency fails. i'll take real wealth... food, water and land.

Joseph Oppenheim said...

Welcome to the world of crypto-currencies, Anon. Watch The Keiser Report, either on YouTube or the Russian TV channel.

AIM said...

This government won't allow any crypto currency other than their own. Bitcoin and any others will be gone as soon as the government is ready. Not very long from now our USD will be fully an electronic currency so that the government can increase their tax revenues by being able to track every penny in our economy... EVERY transaction. This will be our domestic currency and then we'll probably have a world currency for international trade set up by the BIS or IMF.

Rob in Nova Scotia said...

shocking stats. Pump all the oil out of ground and for good measure ruin the top soil. People a couple hundred years from now will look at this time of excess and shake there heads in disbelief. Great synopsis Jim.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Rob in Nova Scotia

I don't think it matters 200 hundred years out.Its a little like the fruit flies in a bottle, when the fruit runs out, the end is near. We could be closer to the end than we realize.