Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why bother reinventing the wheel?

I was going to talk about the subject of biofuel, but instead of droning on in a boring and wordy fashion like I probably would, I will simply ask everybody to go read this, please.

I should clarify that I disagree with Grandad that Global Warming is a myth. However, I do applaud his observations on the growing of biofuel and the impact it will have on world hunger. My problem with biofuel is not that it is based on a 'half-baked' theory of Global Warming, but that it is a monumentally selfish reaction to the problem of dwindling oil reserves. It's a response intended to keep the western standard of living more or less status quo. "Instead of forcing people out of their cars, let's just burn up a DIFFERENT resource!"

See? Wordy and boring.


mel said...

Good one Shannon - Thanks for sharing this. Tad & I talk endlessly about this and our choices aren't perfect by any means and are something we're refining over time as we learn more. At the moment we are incredibly fortunate to have a local biodiesel co-op here which creates fuel from the over-abundance of chicken fat from local processors, a waste product. They don't feel comfortable using food crops for this very reason. Unintended consequences can be hard to see and when some unintelligent (or would that be unintelligible?) powerful person pushes ethanol to the masses and subsidizes it's production without proper research or analysis this is what happens. I'm over-simplifying here - and obviously I don't have all the answers or the smarts to figure it all out myself. But I'm trying. Whew. Didn't even know I needed a good rant this morning, sorry for monopolizing your comments to do so!

Kristine said...

It seems like this whole issue is stressful and overfraught, and who knows what to do? I mean, I know I'm frantically trying to figure out how to get rid of the crap-Taurus that I currently drive because my plan to ride the bus has fallen through (my mother isn't willing to play chauffer to my daughter so that I can reduce my carbon footprint. My mother doesn't even know what a carbon footprint is). But 18 miles to the gallon? Seriously. I have to be able to do better than that, even if it causes still more debt.

It's all a gigantic pain in the ass, one might say.

kate said...

Your edit sums up my thoughts. Well said.

Grandad said...

Thanks for the link, Shannon! ;)

I have bashed out this "is it man made or isn't it" argument at length in the past and doubtless will again.

One way or another, they are making a bit of a pig's ear of the bio-fuel thing.

lizbon said...

Okay, I'll admit that I didn't go read the link. I'm busy, and I only want to devote time to the words of people I know and love. But based on your comment, I can see that the argument there probably says exactly what I always think whenever I see stuff about biofuel being made form massive amounts of corn: don't people need that to eat?

Really, I'd like to see cars be used for special occasions, long trips, and the like, the way they are by most people in most parts of Europe.

Bicycles, trains, feet, roller skates. There are other options, and with all our connective technologies, the in-person meeting really ought to go the way of the dinosaur. (yes, there's a crude joke in there) (crude as in oil)

Brianf said...

Oh, I'm gonna' get slammed for this but here goes.
Hi Shannon. I bounced over here from Headrambles Manor.
I have to completely disagree with your supposition that global warming is not a myth. It is a political movement that thinly veils itself in psudo-science. It is yet another way of globalization. we here in the west have a very high standard of living and have worked for generations to create it. algore is merely the self appointed frontman in yet another sceme to demonize this. Oil, by the way, is not a dwindling resource. I can remember buying to the lie that we're going to run out of oil in 30 years. That was about 35 years ago. Now we are suppose to give up incandesent light bulbs for a compact fluorecent one that can not be properly disposed of because it contains Mercury. The bio diesel plant one of your commentors mentioned is a great idea. Arthur Diesels original design called for using animal fats to produce the fuel.
Please explain to me how I am to get to my work when it's 37 miles away and public transportation is all but non-existant or cut my grass without gasoline or plugging into the electrical grid which runs on coal. We can't build hydro-electric plants anymore, it might harm a fish and wind farms are too noisy and they block the view. Nuclear plants aren't allowed either. They are all going to blow up and irradiate us. That leaves us with coal and oil fired power plants.
To believe that mankind is affecting the planet to the extent that the looneys like algore say we are is the epitome of arrogance, in my opinion. Mankind has an affect, yes, but nowhere near to the level of hysterics that we are led to believe. As Grandad pointed out in the mid to late 70's everyone was convinced that we, mankind, were going to re-freeze the planet and now we're suppose to believe we're going to cook it?

Shan said...

Hi Brian - thanks for the comment.

As to getting to your work without a car, I am not in favour of abolishing the automobile. It's unrealistic for many people. I, myself, have one. I'm simply in favour of not driving one kilometer to buy a liter of milk and a bag of chips.

I do believe in climate change. Whether one blames long-term cycles or whether one blames humanity is irrelevant to the point. Even if it is a natural cycle, then I still don't believe in wasting resources. Just because the earth is 70% water doesn't mean I leave the tap on.

I should point out that Al Gore is a veritable newcomer to the buzzword of 'global warming', although he seems to have elected himself frontman lately. He certainly has nothing to do with my conservationism, as I have heard of him in relation to the issue, but only as what amounts to a propagandist due to some movie he released, which I haven't seen. From what I've heard, I believe it to be more flag-waving than science.

As to grass, I'd encourage you to look into clover. It doesn't need cutting, is drought tolerant, provides bee habitat, is softer to walk on, and is disease resistant.

But if you are a turf-lover, there's always this -- (I'm really sorry, but you did ask......)

To sum up, I've chosen to be a conservationist because I believe humans as a species are voracious, and damaging to the only planet allotted to us. Even if our actions haven't caused any problems, I don't see why saving resources and money is a bad thing.

I guess we'll agree to disagree....but I hope, at least, that you (and Grandad) can acquit me of being an eco-terrorist? I am not lurking in anyone's shrubbery with a blow-dart, waiting for them to leave too many lights on.