If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Guardian)   The era of cheap food is over. Maybe biofuels weren't such a great idea after all   (guardian.co.uk) divider line 254
    More: Obvious  
•       •       •

15010 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Sep 2012 at 1:50 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



254 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | » | Last | Show all
 
2012-09-03 09:59:02 AM
Biofuels made from stuff we eat? Bad idea.

Biofuels made from stuff we don't eat? Not such a bad idea.
 
2012-09-03 10:13:57 AM

cmunic8r99: Biofuels made from stuff we eat? Bad idea.

Biofuels made from stuff we don't eat? Not such a bad idea.


Yeah, we can make a TON of gas from cilantro and mild salsa.
 
2012-09-03 10:33:32 AM
Not really a big deal. Have you seen how cheap cake mix is at the grocery store recently?...let people eat that.
 
2012-09-03 10:49:34 AM
switchgrass
 
2012-09-03 11:00:08 AM

cmunic8r99: Biofuels made from stuff we eat? Bad idea.

Biofuels made from stuff we don't eat? Not such a bad idea.


Problem is that they both compete for the same farmland.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-09-03 11:42:45 AM
According to earlier reports, the U.S. biofuel mandate is expressed as a fraction of corn production, which means in a bad year it's illegal to divert food from cars to people. An offer to buy corn at $X per bushel to turn into fuel would make more sense, and would have the desirable effect of stabiizing corn prices.
 
2012-09-03 12:20:46 PM
I've heard there's potential in cannabis-based biofuels. And I'm sure we as a country will jump right on that.
 
2012-09-03 01:30:08 PM

EvilEgg: cmunic8r99: Biofuels made from stuff we eat? Bad idea.

Biofuels made from stuff we don't eat? Not such a bad idea.

Problem is that they both compete for the same farmland.


Not necessarily.

Link

Link (next to last paragraph)
 
2012-09-03 01:30:58 PM

EvilEgg: cmunic8r99: Biofuels made from stuff we eat? Bad idea.

Biofuels made from stuff we don't eat? Not such a bad idea.

Problem is that they both compete for the same farmland.


I don't know about that. Have you ever driven through the midwest?
There are miles, and miles and miles of fertile vacant land.
 
2012-09-03 01:48:42 PM
Sure. Why not? And let's go ahead and raise fuel prices because there totally might be a hurricane maybe possibly.
 
2012-09-03 01:51:40 PM
Thank you Monsanto
 
2012-09-03 01:52:51 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: I've heard there's potential in cannabis-based biofuels. And I'm sure we as a country will jump right on that.


Not to mention the hordes of people just standing behind you tailpipe.
 
2012-09-03 01:52:55 PM
GreenAdder
Sure. Why not? And let's go ahead and raise fuel prices because there totally might be a hurricane maybe possibly.

It's win/win! If they are right, they don't lose money. If they are wrong, they make more money.
 
2012-09-03 01:53:24 PM
Every so often, I meet someone who brags about his car with lousy gas mileage. They go on and on about those pussy liberals in their Piouses and go on about how smug they are. Generally, what I say is, "So, you bought an expensive car and are shelling out lots of money in order to irritate people you don't know and who you won't meet?"

Better mileage standards, a little thought to mass transit, better insulation on houses, efficient manufacturing processes. Then, we can keep feeding corn to cattle and not to cars.
 
2012-09-03 01:55:10 PM

Contents Under Pressure: I meet someone who brags about his car with lousy gas mileage


Believe me. If ever you catch me talking about my lousy gas mileage, I'm doing the opposite of bragging.
 
2012-09-03 01:56:08 PM
I heard there's this stuff called Soylent Green that could a number of problems.
 
2012-09-03 01:56:13 PM

Contents Under Pressure: Every so often, I meet someone who brags about his car with lousy gas mileage. They go on and on about those pussy liberals in their Piouses and go on about how smug they are. Generally, what I say is, "So, you bought an expensive car and are shelling out lots of money in order to irritate people you don't know and who you won't meet?"

Better mileage standards, a little thought to mass transit, better insulation on houses, efficient manufacturing processes. Then, we can keep feeding corn to cattle and not to cars.


I just want a car that can park in small spaces and wastes as little gas a possible. And it's dirt-cheap.
 
2012-09-03 01:56:34 PM
Biofuels are a great idea, just not corn-based ethanol (which is hardly news, but the agribusiness lobby is deeply entrenched in US politics). Trouble is we can't grow enough sugar cane to meet the demand, and certain numbers make corn look "better" than alternatives like switchgrass (like ethanol yield per kilo, if you ignore how much fuel it takes to raise the crop to begin with).
 
2012-09-03 01:57:44 PM

EvilEgg: cmunic8r99: Biofuels made from stuff we eat? Bad idea.

Biofuels made from stuff we don't eat? Not such a bad idea.

Problem is that they both compete for the same farmland.


Um, no, they don't.

Besides, if we were not in a country that only tilled a single-digit percentage of our arable land, leaving entire regions of farmland abandoned, you might have a point. As it is, no.
 
2012-09-03 01:58:35 PM
img0.etsystatic.com
 
2012-09-03 01:59:04 PM

EvilEgg: cmunic8r99: Biofuels made from stuff we eat? Bad idea.

Biofuels made from stuff we don't eat? Not such a bad idea.

Problem is that they both compete for the same farmland.


Switchgrass, which has was more energy potential than corn and is far easier to grow(it grows naturally without irrigation!), does not require farmland. At all.
 
2012-09-03 01:59:19 PM
With the fast food value menus, its easy to feed a lot of mouths. $15-$20 can feed a work crew. You can get 20 half-pound burritos from Del or cheeseburgers from Wendys, or 3-4 $5 larges from Little Ceasers. Its not the best nutrition wise, but itll pack a bunch of hungry guys stomachs for a relatively tiny amount of cash.

/I really only frequent the supermarket for meat when I BBQ, so you might see where Im coming from...
 
2012-09-03 02:02:15 PM

bhcompy: Switchgrass, which has was more energy potential than corn and is far easier to grow(it grows naturally without irrigation!), does not require farmland. At all.


Cheap and efficient? Where's the potential for profit in that?
 
2012-09-03 02:03:21 PM
Price of oil and the drought. *clicks article* Yep. I don't think corn should be going for ethanol when there are farmers scrambling to feed their livestock because of poor harvests. I get (free) beef that is mostly grass-fed. It's scary seeing how expensive the regular stuff is in stores, much less the good beef.
 
2012-09-03 02:04:17 PM

Kensey: Biofuels are a great idea, just not corn-based ethanol (which is hardly news, but the agribusiness lobby is deeply entrenched in US politics). Trouble is we can't grow enough sugar cane to meet the demand, and certain numbers make corn look "better" than alternatives like switchgrass (like ethanol yield per kilo, if you ignore how much fuel it takes to raise the crop to begin with).


Indeed, info in the news on a "2nd Gen" ethanol plant in North-central Iowa indicated that they would be paying $1-2 per ton for the "waste products" (cobs, husks and the like). Still a good deal if farmers were getting nothing for them before, and while that ton of waste may only make half as much ethanol as the corn, it costs a tiny fraction of the price of that much corn (Corn is over $8 a bushel, and there's a lot of bushels in a ton). As a bonus, you don't need to devote fields to the feed-stock, and you can still sell the corn. Hell, in a drought year like this, you can still sell the stalks and husks, rather then plow the crop under and write the year off.
 
2012-09-03 02:04:43 PM
If we can figure out how to make gasoline from kudzu, that'd solve two very large problems at once.
 
2012-09-03 02:04:59 PM
Pfft, so what? Even if we were ever to become truly energy independent the chicken hawks who think it's soooo cool to spend 20% of GDP on a military that's 50x bigger than every other country on the planet so we can patrol off the coast of Iran would still be whining about welfare mothers.
 
2012-09-03 02:05:27 PM
Give me a three wheel car with two inline seats--rear one folds down, small trunk in back, small trunk in front, luggage rack in back, roof rack and 1 cylinder diesel engine. Then just go around me.
 
2012-09-03 02:05:51 PM

Portia: Price of oil and the drought. *clicks article* Yep. I don't think corn should be going for ethanol when there are farmers scrambling to feed their livestock because of poor harvests. I get (free) beef that is mostly grass-fed. It's scary seeing how expensive the regular stuff is in stores, much less the good beef.


Dammit I need to learn to preview. To follow up on ethanol--aren't there much better materials for making biofuel than corn? It's been a long time since I've read up on it. I remember something about sugarbeets and see someone brought up switchgrass.
 
2012-09-03 02:06:30 PM
How much biofuel can we make from celery? That stuff needs to be used for something other than food.
 
2012-09-03 02:08:39 PM
Waste management and Algae (one of the 40 strains that creates oil that we know about)

45% of our oil consumption could be made from the human waste stream using thermal depolymerization.
the ammonia in our urea (urine) could be used to feed the algae, and then the algae could be harvested and put through thermal depolymerization.

Water recycling of gray water/run off could reduce our daily wasted water to 10% of current levels.

Using lighter materials for vehicles and a hotter oil base temperature (changing from 200 degree to 250 to 300 degree) combined could cut usage by nearly 87% without changing engine types.

Capturing methane emissions from livestock, and using manure from livestock and investing in closer to closed loop agriculture would also decrease waste in the process of food production.

The technology exists for the conversion. It could be accomplished in 12 years, we wouldn't be set back economically, we would be free from the grasp of foriegn and corporate energy controls for the most part, and we could finally reduce the price of food and fuel, electricity and even start rebuilding the full infrastructure of the country, for the current price of 1 year's energy cost (2.2 Trillion).

All this economic benefit, without a single word about the environment.

We could fix it. But since the oil and coal companies bought CNN and the election coversage, no one gets to talk about it.
 
2012-09-03 02:09:07 PM

GreenAdder: Believe me. If ever you catch me talking about my lousy gas mileage, I'm doing the opposite of bragging.


My 1997 Honda Accord (353,000 miles, still going) was in an accident a few weeks ago. I ended up selling it to the guy at the body shop (he's going to fix it up for his wife) and buying a 2009 Civic.

Old mid-size sedan -> newer compact = big gain in mileage, right? Not so much. The Accord got 27-28 MPG on my daily commute (33-35 on the highway at 70 MPH), and when you floored it, it downshifted and moved pretty snappy. To get the Civic to accelerate like that I usually have to shift it down to D2 manually, and on my daily commute it gets... 32-33 MPG.

My daily commute is 200 miles round-trip, and even with those ridiculous mileages the Civic is saving me all of about $70 a month in gas (and to be fair, probably a decent amount in annual fix-it work, but that was only about $1000 a year on the Accord). I looked at the hybrid Civic, but the mileages aren't even very impressive on that for commuting use.

Next car (whenever that is), I'm going diesel hybrid or bust.
 
2012-09-03 02:09:13 PM

Contents Under Pressure: Every so often, I meet someone who brags about his car with lousy gas mileage. They go on and on about those pussy liberals in their Piouses and go on about how smug they are. Generally, what I say is, "So, you bought an expensive car and are shelling out lots of money in order to irritate people you don't know and who you won't meet?"

Better mileage standards, a little thought to mass transit, better insulation on houses, efficient manufacturing processes. Then, we can keep feeding corn to cattle and not to cars.


I've always noticed those who boast about shiatty gas mileage are the guys who are using their cars to compensate for being too short. And their vehicles are usually these sad money-sinks and are lifted a few feet off the ground. And, honestly, I don't really listen to what they have to say. I just laugh at them when they learn about weight distribution when the first snow falls and their shiatty rear-wheel drive truck skids out whenever they try to move from a stoplight.

But America really needs to get our shiat together when it comes to energy independence. Car Culture is going to have to change, and it's going to be very hard for people who grew up with the 'Support the Big 3' mentality. Especially when a lot of smaller foreign-made (or rather, foreign-designed) vehicles are ignored by people with that same mentality.
 
2012-09-03 02:09:38 PM

Contents Under Pressure: Every so often, I meet someone who brags about his car with lousy gas mileage. They go on and on about those pussy liberals in their Piouses and go on about how smug they are. Generally, what I say is, "So, you bought an expensive car and are shelling out lots of money in order to irritate people you don't know and who you won't meet?"

Better mileage standards, a little thought to mass transit, better insulation on houses, efficient manufacturing processes. Then, we can keep feeding corn to cattle and not to cars.


You probably made that up
 
2012-09-03 02:09:46 PM

Degenz: Pfft, so what? Even if we were ever to become truly energy independent the chicken hawks who think it's soooo cool to spend 20% of GDP on a military that's 50x bigger than every other country on the planet so we can patrol off the coast of Iran would still be whining about welfare mothers.


Holy cow! What country is outspending the US by 400%?
 
2012-09-03 02:09:59 PM
Can we arrest the bio fuel people for mass murder?
 
2012-09-03 02:11:09 PM
Oh shiat. At some point grownups have to make grownup choices.
 
2012-09-03 02:11:22 PM
Biofuel from corn is a terrible idea. My best guess is that Bush pushed it so hard just to give "renewable energy" a bad name.

We really should be growing industrial hemp, though.
 
2012-09-03 02:12:21 PM

Kensey: GreenAdder: Believe me. If ever you catch me talking about my lousy gas mileage, I'm doing the opposite of bragging.

My 1997 Honda Accord (353,000 miles, still going) was in an accident a few weeks ago. I ended up selling it to the guy at the body shop (he's going to fix it up for his wife) and buying a 2009 Civic.

Old mid-size sedan -> newer compact = big gain in mileage, right? Not so much. The Accord got 27-28 MPG on my daily commute (33-35 on the highway at 70 MPH), and when you floored it, it downshifted and moved pretty snappy. To get the Civic to accelerate like that I usually have to shift it down to D2 manually, and on my daily commute it gets... 32-33 MPG.

My daily commute is 200 miles round-trip, and even with those ridiculous mileages the Civic is saving me all of about $70 a month in gas (and to be fair, probably a decent amount in annual fix-it work, but that was only about $1000 a year on the Accord). I looked at the hybrid Civic, but the mileages aren't even very impressive on that for commuting use.

Next car (whenever that is), I'm going diesel hybrid or bust.


I noticed that as well: My 1997 Subaru Legacy gets around 33 mpg when I'm on the highway (and within the first 3,000 miles of an oil change) and that beats the newer Legacys' projected rates. Then again, the Imprezas are getting 35mpg to start with and that is very nice for an AWD car.

Coming from someone who has relatives all over the Big 3, I can say that Subarus are awesome little vehicles.
 
2012-09-03 02:12:25 PM
But everyone continue to focus on climate change...because no one has the balls to say that the real problem is third world countries breeding like rabbits.
 
2012-09-03 02:13:06 PM

Degenz: Pfft, so what? Even if we were ever to become truly energy independent the chicken hawks who think it's soooo cool to spend 20% of GDP on a military that's 50x bigger than every other country on the planet so we can patrol off the coast of Iran would still be whining about welfare mothers.



and illegals, don't forget illegals.
 
2012-09-03 02:13:10 PM

cmunic8r99: Biofuels made from stuff we eat? Bad idea.

Biofuels made from stuff we don't eat? Not such a bad idea.


Biofuels made from people decreases competition for food. Win Win Win!
 
2012-09-03 02:13:58 PM

Hollie Maea: Biofuel from corn is a terrible idea. My best guess is that Bush pushed it so hard just to give "renewable energy" a bad name.

We really should be growing industrial hemp, though.


Actually it was Al Gore and he recently admitted that the concept was a joke and that he pushed it on us so he could win votes. Google it and see for yourself. I'll wait for your apology.

//Do you people ever tire of making shiat up?
 
2012-09-03 02:14:13 PM
The comparison to oil is a bit silly, since you can't switch your car's fuel (or your factory's, for that matter) based on what's in season or on sale at the moment.

On an individual basis, with food it's just a matter of buying what's local and/or plentiful, and avoiding what isn't.

Your country doesn't grow large quantities of "maize"? Don't consume large volumes of products made from that crop.
Nearby orchards have a bumper crop of apples this year? Stock up.
Beef is pricey? Buy chicken instead this week. Or buy a small cut of steak and use it to add flavor and texture to your meal rather than as the primary ingredient.
Fuel prices make shipping bananas from Central America expensive? Don't buy bananas for a while.
A fungus has hurt the avocado crop in California this season?... hmm, what can you do about that?

Food for the sake of providing basic nutrition will continue to be cheap for quite a while. It's when we get fussy and lazy that it becomes more expensive.

Of course, on a macro level something probably needs to be done. Farm subsidies, marketing boards, import restrictions, over-reliance on GMO crops, etc. all have their problems. But for you and I in our weekly trips to the supermarket? We can easily adjust in the short- to mid-term.
 
2012-09-03 02:14:19 PM
Ever since the repeal of the corn laws in the 1830s, cheap food has created the middle class.
 
2012-09-03 02:16:18 PM

david_gaithersburg: Hollie Maea: Biofuel from corn is a terrible idea. My best guess is that Bush pushed it so hard just to give "renewable energy" a bad name.

We really should be growing industrial hemp, though.

Actually it was Al Gore and he recently admitted that the concept was a joke and that he pushed it on us so he could win votes. Google it and see for yourself. I'll wait for your apology.

//Do you people ever tire of making shiat up?


Damn. I keep forgetting to switch back to the alternate reality in which my relatives in Sarasota all voted for Al Gore and he was president from 2000 to 2008.
 
2012-09-03 02:17:43 PM
Corn requires a lot of ammonia fertilizers, which require natural gas to synthesize.

I've been curious about how many miles you could drive on that natural gas versus growing the corn, taking just the seeds, and processing that into ethanol for cars. There's a lot of plant you fertilized for that you didn't make into fuel.
 
2012-09-03 02:18:17 PM
One is sustainable and one is not.

End of discussion, biofuels win.
 
2012-09-03 02:18:21 PM

Britney Spear's Speculum: Degenz: Pfft, so what? Even if we were ever to become truly energy independent the chicken hawks who think it's soooo cool to spend 20% of GDP on a military that's 50x bigger than every other country on the planet so we can patrol off the coast of Iran would still be whining about welfare mothers.


and illegals, don't forget illegals.


sorry, i can only do one herpty derp issue at a time.
 
2012-09-03 02:18:36 PM
Grow your own. Cheap as a pack of seeds, until you can pollinate and create your own.
 
Displayed 50 of 254 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report