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Re: E-M:/ More on local ethanol-production plant



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Enviro-Mich message from Barbara Jean Madsen <bjmadsen@umich.edu>
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Lowell,

	Even with all the wars, droughts, etc., there is still more than
enough food in the world to feed all the people--it is simply not
distributed to all the people.  That it the only claim I made.  How
feasible it will be to wean Americans from their massively meat-heavy
diet, or to get wealthy countries to distribute food to poor countries, or
how to effect other methods of spreading the food around, are other
questions altogether, and probably not appropriate for Enviro-Mich.

	I did not address any of the questions you raise about energy
costs of using grain for ethanol production, though I should note here
that your claim of needing to use "Petro-chemical fertilizers to get the
nitrogen" is also untrue.  People grew grains for centuries without
petrochemicals, and can still do so.

	--Barb



 On Thu, 23 Jan 2003, Lowell Prag wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> On Wed, 22 Jan 2003, Barbara Jean Madsen wrote:
>
> ... see below ...
>
> Hello Barbara,
>
> I don't entirely agree with your analysis of my opposition
> to using Michigan farm lands for ethanol production.
>
> There are a couple of problems:
>
> Our meat consumption is much, much higher than third world countries, and
> that is not going to change. Hence, for each serving of meat an individual
> eats, I would estimate that at least four people could have been fed if
> the grain to get that meat, was eaten.
>
> Also, global warming, drought, civil wars, drug wars, AIDS, poverty, etc.
> are all contributing to greatly reduced food production in many parts of
> the world. In this regards, there is a real shortage of food.
>
> More to the point, ethanol production from grain, has many hidden factors
> which also contribute to the energy problem, other than just removing the
> grain from the food supply.
>
> i.e: after you add up all the energy factors to get the grain and then
> convert it to ethanol, are you really any further ahead in solving the
> energy problems?
>
> For example, add up the nitrogen required to grow the grain, the energy
> needed in produce the petrol-chemical fertilizers to get the nitrogen,
> the energy required for the conversion to ethanol, the transport and
> storage costs, etc.
>
> On the other hand, if all the organic by-products like chaff, straw,
> manure, etc. were used instead on our farms in Michigan, to get methane
> via anaerobic composting, we have a net energy gain instead of a net
> energy loss.
>
> I think that type of argument should be presented, opposing
> the use of our Michigan farm lands for ethanol production.
>
> Lowell Prag
>
> On Wed, 22 Jan 2003, Barbara Jean Madsen wrote:
>
> > Lowell,
> >
> > 	Actually, the world produces more than enough food to feed
> > everyone; the problem is in the use and distribution of food.  Enough food
> > is wasted in the U.S. every day to feed some whole countries, and vast
> > amounts of grain are used to feed animals instead of people.
> >
> > 	This myth about "not enough food" is frequently used by biotech
> > companies to argue for production of genetically engineered crops that
> > will supposedly produce more food (even though they also require more
> > fertilizer and/or are simply too expensive for poor farmers to afford).
> >
> > 	--Barb Madsen
> >
> >
> > On Wed, 22 Jan 2003, Lowell Prag wrote:
> >
> > > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>
> > > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > This topic has come up before.
> > >
> > > There is a certain insanity in using farm land to
> > > produce fuel, when half the world is still starving.
> > >
> > > Lowell Prag
> > >
> > > On Wed, 22 Jan 2003 HAMILTREEF@aol.com wrote:
> > >
> > > > Local ethanol-production plant is in early talk stages
> > > >
> > > > OLIVE TOWNSHIP -- An agricultural township between Holland and Grand Haven
> > > > soon could become a site for the production of ethanol, a fuel made of corn
> > > > and other agricultural byproducts.
> > > >
> > > > http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/
> > > >
> > > > base/news-1/1043250430206380.xml
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
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