Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ethanol? Organic Food? Wind Power? All hoaxes or overhyped?

The City Journal has an interesting article on density of production, noting that advances in hybridization and fertilizers advanced food production immensely since the '60s.
More than three decades ago, the British economist E. F. Schumacher stated the essence of environmental protection in three words: “Small is beautiful.” As Schumacher argued in a famous book by that title, man-made disturbances of the natural world—farms, for example, and power plants—should have the smallest possible footprints.

But how can that ideal be realized in a world that must produce more and more food and energy for its growing population? The answer, in just one word this time, is density. Over the course of the last century, human beings have found ways to concentrate crops and energy production within smaller and smaller areas, conserving land while meeting the ever-growing global demand for calories and watts. This approach runs counter to the beliefs of many environmental activists and politicians, whose “organic” and “renewable” policies, as nature-friendly as they sound, squander land. The real organizing principle for a green future is density, which not only provides the goods that we need to survive and prosper but also achieves the land-preservation goals of genuine environmentalists.

Robert Bryce's article is very interesting and thought-provoking all the way through. "Genuine environmentalists" are few and far between---zealous tree-huggers have proliferated and Sierra Club politicians have schemed to replace fossil fuels with wind and solar power---the gullible Germans already have an Energiewende aiming to do so by 2032, and skeptics believe Kanzler Merkel will come a cropper trying to make this cloud-cuckoo scheme work.

Why Paul Ryan is an outstanding pick on energy policy and green renewble issues.

Finally, ethanol is proving to be, at least the corn-based variety made in the USA, the most overrated and inefficient energy saver of all. Aside from wind turbines, which are a ridiculous waste of money per megawatt, corn-based Ethanol holds the Guinness record for sheer looney-tune wrong-footed nutjob lack of any efficiency in the entire broad spectrum of energy. Sugar-based from Brazil might be efficient to a degree, but corn ethanol and wind turbines will be seen in the future as a ridiculous waste of biomass and steel.

Read the two articles linked and weep.

No comments :