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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Two stories in one

What a strangely constructed story this is. Roughly the bottom two-thirds hints around at the truth about ethanol, which is that it is a "solution" that will make things far worse:

A paper published by Science magazine in February said corn-based ethanol production would almost double greenhouse gases worldwide over a 30-year period because of the carbon that would be released by ploughing forests and grassland. And the U.S. Geological Survey says fertilizer runoff from corn and soybean crops in Indiana contributes to a “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.

In economic terms, ethanol production has far-reaching consequences. Purdue agricultural economists Corinne Alexander and Chris Hurt estimate that U.S. consumers paid $15 billion more for food, based on 2007 farm level crop prices, than they did in 2005 because of the increased demand for crops grown for fuel.

But the story opens with a rosy outlook from, you guessed it, a corn farmer: "For Greene County farmer Steve White, the nationwide ethanol boom is a win-win situation. 'It's clean on the environment, clean on motors and good for farmers,' said White, who grows 2,500 acres of corn near Switz City." Balanced reporting, the newspaper would probably say, but talk about burying the lede.


tim zank
Tue, 04/08/2008 - 8:28am

The push for ethanol, along with CFL bulbs and a host of other ill conceived "knee jerk" solutions, will in fact come back and bite us in the ass. Nobody thinks long term, only as long as the next election cycle.

Bob G.
Tue, 04/08/2008 - 11:48am

KNEE-JERK is an apt description...right up there with BAND-AID FIX, STOP GAP MEASURE, and TEMPORARY SOLUTION!

Wonder how much their jaw hurts, 'cause that "knee" came pretty damn far UP pretty damn fast...didn't it?


(thinking REAL long term...like "Mr. Fusion" for MY car...where's Doc Brown when you NEED him?)