Along with the climate change movement comes the movement for renewable energies, one of which is Ethanol–produced from corn and sugar plantations. It’s a natural alternative to petroleum and is a cleaner and cheaper fuel. The push for ethanol and similar alternative fuels is one of the fiercest lobbies especially in US politics.
Should it be? Here’s John Stossel on an ABC News Video that lays down the facts on ethanol against the near-religious clamor:
From Charles Choi’s article in Live Science:
Critical points of contention over ethanol regard whether or not creating it requires more energy than consuming it gives off. Although a great deal of energy that goes into ethanol comes from the sun, much human effort is also required when it comes to processing raw plant material to make ethanol. And there are the efforts that go along with farming and pesticide and fertilizer use.
Read the rest of his thoughts here.
Consider also the net benefits of ethanol, as against the need to allocate farmland to produce it–thus competing with food production resource. Before one cries panacea, take a second look.