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Re: Bill Polhemus, that was a cheap shot

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Since this topic has drifted somewhat.................

Yes,  current fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) could have been (or were) food at one time.

But back when fossil fuels were being made there was no competing human economic activity.....just sunlight into plant matter.

But I believe that's not the point that Bill was making.... he seems to be speaking about the current situation.

Some current bio-fuels project use current food supply as feed stock.

So bio-fuel project subsidies allow the production of currently un-economic  bio-fuels.

The unintended consequence is that as corn is used as an ethanol feedstock instead of human or cattle feed........this extra (artificially induced) demand for corn drives up the price.

Thus, we, as consumers & taxpayers, pay for the increase in corn twice;

first  as tax money given to the bio-fuel project & second through higher food costs.

Hence Bill's comment about ........

>>>> the "biofuels industry" and the boondoggle that it's becoming <<<<<<

Don't get me wrong, research is important but I question the soundness of large scale subsidized production of bio-fuels from corn.

I haven't done or seen any analysis of the total life cycle cost  of corn to ethanol but articles I have read do question the overall energy efficiency of corn to fuel.  The thrust of the articles has been that  US corn belt is a little far north to be dong the food to fuels thing.  And that desert areas (more sunlight, less human use) might be a better location.

Or if we really want ethanol for fuel, grow sugar cane in a more appropriate location & ship the fuel.

Maybe Bill gave you an undeserved could that be?  :)

And maybe Shaun isn't working on one of the boondoggle projects.  And of course, today's boondoggle might be tomorrow's energy answer.

But how may billions have been spent on controlled fusion over the last 35 years? And are we any closer?


On 11/1/07, Scott Maxwell <smaxwell(--nospam--at)> wrote:
Um, I guess I am missing something.  Since most commonly believe that fossil fuels are created from fossilized remains of dead plants and animanls being exposed to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over extremely long periods of time (i.e. biogenic theory), would not most of the fuels that we currently use have pontentially been food at one time?  Are we not just looking at using such biological material a little quicker than having to wait potentially millions, if not hundreds of millions, of years?
Or do you believe that all so called "fossil fuels" were created per an abiogenic process?
Adrian, MI
-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 7:17 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Bill Polhemus, that was a cheap shot

Shaun Dustin wrote:


What was that supposed to mean?

Yeah, it was. Had a bad day.

But personal "cheap shots" aside, taking food and turning it into fuel for political expediency IS pretty annoying.

Sorry, nothing personal.
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