One More Way Our Current Approach to Living Is Killing Biodiversity

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Ethanol sucks. I don't know who came up with this idea but it sucks. Something that is added to fossil fuel but doesn't really wean us from it sucks. It requires all this fuel in the first place to produce it, and it makes everything else more expensive, particularly feed for livestock, which is one more reason to be a vegetarian (which I'm still not) or at least eat less meat (which I do). The answer is not a replacement for fossil fuel in the things we already use, but completely different forms of energy. That's all old information.

But here's a bit real news: the rush to grow corn for ethanol is raising beer prices in the US, because farmers are no longer growing hops, an ingredient used in brewing beer, while our crappy dollar (one more reason the Bush administration is the WORST leadership this country has EVER seen) makes importing hops prohibitively expensive.

As it happens I don't like hops, which is quite bitter. I HATE hoppy beers. Took me a long time to figure out what it was in certain beers that made them unpalatable to me: turns out it's lots of hops. But it's used in most beers; in some, the taste isn't pronounced, and those are the beers I like. I really like dark beers and brewed beverages--I like something that tastes like you're drinking a glass of heavy bread, Guinness being my favorite, what I usually drink when someplace has it on tap. But I almost never buy it in bottles to put in my fridge--for that, I prefer to pick up a six pack of some specialty beer from a microbrewery.

I don't drink a lot of beer, so it's not like I'm worrying about the effect this development will have on my wallet. But I don't want microbreweries to go out of business. And this whole thing just sucks. There's no reason to grow so much corn, most of it roundup ready and genetically modified.

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Here's another reason why ethanol sucks...

We frequently see it at the gas pump here in the upper Midwest, especially when we drive down to the U.S. Corn Capital, Iowa. They usually sell ethanol to us at the pumps 1 or 2 cents cheaper per gallon than the regular stuff, which makes it just cheap enough to encourage consumers to buy it every time, but not cheap enough to pass on much in the way of savings to American consumers.

So the folks who are getting big tax subsidies to produce this stuff have figured out just how to get their hands into both cookie jars...

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on December 24, 2007 10:04 AM.

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