View Full Version : Al Gore Says Ethanol a Mistake

Tom from Rubicon
11-23-2010, 09:10 AM
The link,
http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/ idAFLDE6AL0YT20101122?sp=true (http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFLDE6AL0YT20101122?sp=true)

Phillip Allen
11-23-2010, 09:16 AM
Gore and his loonies powered the ethanol conversion in spite of knowledge to the contrary...so, mistake is not the correct word

11-23-2010, 09:17 AM
Corn-based ethanol is a mistake.

Sugar cane based ethanol is extremely viable.

Ian McColgin
11-23-2010, 10:12 AM
You will find this topic well aired over the last couple days at

S.V. Airlie
11-23-2010, 10:17 AM
The problem with cane sugar from my perspective is that it is not only the harvesting costs it's the destruction of jungle land.Brazil is extending it's crop land by the mile every year for the production of cane. It is not limited to land already cleared, That is a source that can't be replaced.. Any therefore in the long run devastating to the environment

11-23-2010, 10:32 AM

It has been interesting to watch the flurry of ethanol rhetoric since the recent elections. With the $0.45 per gallon subsidy (called the VEETC) and the ethanol tariffs both set to expire at the end of next month, both sides feel that there is a lot at stake, and they have really ramped up the rhetoric. One side will claim that ethanol is the greatest thing since sliced bread, then the other side claims it is an environmental disaster. Around and around the claims go. Misinformation abounds.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-23-2010, 10:36 AM
"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?"

John Maynard Keynes.

David W Pratt
11-23-2010, 10:37 AM
Ethanol for fuel from corn is a bad idea. A better source of sugar is kudzu and the waste is good animal feed, palatable and high in protein. The South, thanks largely to government efforts, has ample kudzu.

S.V. Airlie
11-23-2010, 10:54 AM
I'm not sure what kudzu has to do with the government

Ian McColgin
11-23-2010, 11:09 AM
Kudzu is a fantastic ground cover and nitrogen fixer so after private agriculture enterpreneurs introduced it at a World's Fair in the 1890's or so, if I recall rightly, it became widely used as ground cover and pasturage. Very hardy and nutritious. During the Depression one of the CCC's projects to save farmland involved planting kudzu all over the place, which is how it was discovered that much of the south was the perfect place for kudzu to go crazy, especially if there were no herds of cattle, swine, goats, horses and whatnot to keep it down a bit. It went from being a good thing, which it still is outside the south, to an incredibly invasive plant that strangles all in its path.

S.V. Airlie
11-23-2010, 11:11 AM
okay got the connection.

11-23-2010, 11:26 AM
Ethanol from stuff like kudzu or algae is OK, I guess... from corn etc, no.

S.V. Airlie
11-23-2010, 12:27 PM
How much does it cost in the production of ethanol from Kudzu? It certainly costs more to produce ethanol from corn.

11-23-2010, 02:05 PM
Would sugar beets be a Northern alternative to cane?

11-23-2010, 02:12 PM
So we have a guy who admits he supported a flawed policy only for political purposes and we are supposed to take him seriously on other issues? To some of us, this is not a surprise, but to many...

Ted Hoppe
11-23-2010, 02:35 PM
So where does switchgrass fall then. In it's natural form, it is a native, friendly alternative.

Monsanto does not like native non patenting species. Once they produce a patentable species... Then the industry will take off. And what's good for Monsanto is ok by Congress!

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-23-2010, 04:30 PM
Would sugar beets be a Northern alternative to cane?

I don't know, but I suspect not because, living in the middle of a sugar beet growing area, I get the very distinct impression that sugar beet production would not be profitable without some form of Government support.

11-23-2010, 04:33 PM
"One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president."

Gore calls it a mistake. I call it pandering.

Anyway, not even factoring the cost in energy to make ethanol, what good is a motor fuel that burns cleaner but requires you to burn more of it to get from point A to point B? Kinda defeats the purpose doesn't it?Or am I missing something?


11-23-2010, 04:48 PM
I don't know, but I suspect not because, living in the middle of a sugar beet growing area, I get the very distinct impression that sugar beet production would not be profitable without some form of Government support.

I suspect this is right, when I grew up, we grew sugar beets. Hate to generalize crops across geographical areas, but sugar beets do not seem like a really worth while crop for much of anything from my experience.

11-23-2010, 05:04 PM
sokay, with agribusiness it's the equivalent of "drill baby drill", we've got a system that requires X amount of fuel and by God it will appear!

and when it doesn't THEN we'll do something different.

Mexico is going to be an oil importer within the decade, I bet folks with five year old trucks will still have those trucks in five more years because it'll be cheaper than replacing them AND paying more for fuel AND paying off the national debt. What to do what to do?

11-23-2010, 06:13 PM
Here in the Syracuse, NY area,they planted willow bushes on the old Allied Chemical waste beds(dredged from the most polluted lake in the USA) and the plan is to use the fast growing bushes for ethanol.The closed down Miller Beer factory plant is getting grants to try to produce ethanol from it. It makes no sense to use subsidized food sources,for fuel. My understanding is it takes almost $100.00 to produce it from corn,when you factor in the cost of the whole possess. And it SUCKS in older boat motors!

john l
11-24-2010, 07:58 AM
Plus ethanol is hygroscopic and corrosive to many older engine gaskets. Using it may be te quickest way to stimulate
Sales of new outboards and vehicles. My airplane friends drain the water from fuel tanks before flying. The water is heavier than the fuel and therefore it easy to drain from bottom of tanks by fluid color.
I don't think corn based ethanol makes sense. When I use fuel with ethanol my mileage goes down a few mpgs.