World Views and Politics

Methanol or food, choose. – Faith_Warrior



Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
So this is the plight facing the world, with the desire to be “environmentally friendly” we regulate (kill) production of oil for fuel to keep the western world functioning. In it’s place, we chop down the crops of corn and turn that into fuel. Go figure, no corn left to eat…

Earlier this year I was made aware that the US was gearing up to export corn to Mexico for relief due to the fact that they over produced methanol from corn and now was too short to feed all their people, and it seems that the US is in the same boat now as well so prices are going up dramatically in corn, milk, eggs, cheese and meat. Expect to see a 30% rise in prices on these commodities with milk peaking at $5 (USD) per gallon. This is of course because most farm animal feed is made from corn.

Why not drill for oil domestically and refine the oil here, we have oil. Some speculate that we have enough oil to fuel ourselves in the US for over 100 years. But that is not really the biggest problem, the biggest problem is that it is just impossible to build a refinery in the US due to environmental regulations, the last one built was built over 30 years ago. Much of the high price we see today in the US is due to the inability of refinery production.

I wonder how it would mean to the US if gas was cheap and food was plentiful in the US, would we generally care what takes place in the middle-east? Apparently now we do and there is no end in sight, but if we kepped up with domestic production maybe the middle-east would be just full of broke terrorists that didn’t even have money to buy a ticket to get to the us and smash big jets into large buildings!

Now we sit on our collective butts, watch gas and food prices basically break us, fear being nuked by rich terrorists and take concern when the whacko environmentalist try to tell us it’s all our fault!

I’m sorry, but France has one over on us here, what did they do? They made nuclear reactors to power their nation. What do we do? BURN COAL!!! We make billions of tons a year in slag, radioactive waste and other byproducts from coal while France nearly has no waste from running nuclear reactors. The waste for a family of four from a nuclear reactor over one year will fit inside of a shoebox. Coal produces TONS of waste. Yet the whack job environmentalist tell us that nuclear power is messy and destroys the environment.

So we starve, freeze, walk bare footed, radiate, and choke from the waste released into the air (which nuclear power does not), it’s just good environmentalism.

I choose food.

I’m on the PETA hotline right now…
Animals are not ours to wear… on rockets… after being shot from... from CANNONS!!
*Grabs a container of red paint and splatters the computer screen*



Posts: 1668
From: USA
Registered: 06-06-2006
Totally agree with you.

Nuclear power is amazing, yet people still listen to the fearmongering eco-nuts that say it's sooo dangerous.

And this whole ethanol scam is pathetic. Why do people buy into this stuff?!



Posts: 358
From: Moldova
Registered: 12-04-2006
I disagree with you on the bit about expanding the oil refining capacity. As a whole I think oil has had it's time and is too messy for the technological age we're entering. Imagine having New York today filled with carts instead of cars. Image all the problems (including the poo =]) it would cause. I'm not taking sides with the alarmist environmentalist who keep screaming we're running out of time. I don't believe global warming is caused by us, humans.

Using methanol instead of oil is an utopia. Growing plants for fuel is worse than using oil.

I fully agree with you on nuclear power plants.
I think people should stop the fuel hysteria. The problem does cause pressure on the peoples pockets but that's normal, it's an incentive for pursuing new technologies.

Check my C# libraries

[This message has been edited by Calin (edited June 15, 2007).]



Posts: 1398
From: Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Registered: 10-23-2006
I'm definetly with you on changing reactors. I watched some TV on vacation (nearly never at home, but when few people are up, the TV is) and it was talking about how much coal, and oil it cost. We haven't built any new nuclear reactors since that incident, but we have like 20 of them left, and they power like 20% of the US. At that rate it appears the just 100 nuclear power plant would power the US.

However another interesting fuel source is solar power. But unlike the typical daylight only stuff, send a satellite into space, and then have that transport it either in battery form, or in energy form. Another thing we could do is for Airplane fuel, have engines, but place them further forward, and reuse the "lost" energy in the thrust.

Another thing we could do for airlines is using this technology: It basically requires a launcher to start it, but it takes in colder air, and pressurizes in and shoots out hotair.

MM out-
Thought travels much faster than sound, it is better to think something twice, and say it once, than to think something once, and have to say it twice.
"Frogs and Fauns! The tournament!" - Professor Winneynoodle/HanClinto

I reserve the full right to change my views/theories at any time.



Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
One thing that people might find very interesting is looking at the technology of breeder reactors. In short, they can produce more fissile material than they consume.

Jimmy Carter outlawed them during the cold war, because one of the things they produce is plutonium, which they thought would be an increased risk of nuclear weapons.

It doesn't appear that breeder reactors actually produce the kind of plutonium that is needed for weapons, but the nuke scare is still in effect, so we either bury our spent fissile materials or we ship that nuclear "waste" over to France where they actually *buy* it, to use it in their breeders.

But you might ask, "Clint? Why would they *buy* waste?"

That's a very good question. It's because spent uranium is not "waste" -- that's a word used by scaremongers. If it's still hot enough to cause damage, then it's still hot enough to use -- you just have to use it in the proper reactor (such as a breeder). It's like saying that the coals of a campfire are waste because they aren't actively flaming -- no -- you just have to burn them in a different way, and there is still quite a lot of wonderful energy left in them to power our homes.

I recently found a fantastic article on this subject, in case anyone is interested in learning more.

</personal tirade>


P.S. Another article on the safety of nuclear power (the previous was about nuclear waste and breeder reactors)

P.P.S. I'm not sure, but I think the subject line should be about Ethanol, not Methanol.

[This message has been edited by HanClinto (edited June 15, 2007).]



Posts: 1902
From: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Registered: 04-28-2002
it doesn't even have to be a choice---we have so much unused land here in the US we could just add more farms---here in Montana we are the 4rth largest state and we have less than a million people here---if I remember correctly someone stated once we actually have bits of land here no one has ever set foot on (mostly in mountain areas)---and we have tons of flat-land that could be used---altho here (in Great Falls) we are the windiest city in the US (like 2nd int he world) so we are building windmills now to harness that--they look pretty sweet hehe----but yeah--I don't see it so bad about France beating us (I hate people who chose to hate any region of the world just because it is 'that region'--that is unGodly and idiotic) but they are a small area--it is much easier for them to adapt and accept new technologies---a French dude eplained that to me once when he showed me his cell phone---I complained about how cool it was and why don't we get it here and he said because the costs of putting up new towers in the US is so much that it is unreal--but in France they only have to put a few up and basically change overnight--so our massive size can work against us unfortunately--although the French dude (who lives here now) was told 3 years ago that it would be like 15 years before Great Falls got GSM phone technology (which is what his phone ran off of) but we now have had it for like 1 and a half---so yay I can use the Iphone here hehe! Although, I have to buy it unlocked from Cingular then get it locked into the GSM provider here--so some extra steps but it beats using phones the rest of the world had for 10 years.




Posts: 518
From: Janesville WI
Registered: 08-31-2006
Its time for nuclear cars!

j/k there is enough oil in the U.S. for hundreds of years, but IMHO the eco-nuts wont ever let it happen. There are other alternatives. On a brighter note though, its about time that the farmers got to be in control and have a higher demand a price for their product.



Posts: 1902
From: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Registered: 04-28-2002
Originally posted by kenman:
Its time for nuclear cars!

j/k there is enough oil in the U.S. for hundreds of years, but IMHO the eco-nuts wont ever let it happen. There are other alternatives. On a brighter note though, its about time that the farmers got to be in control and have a higher demand a price for their product.

LOL around here it seems the farmers have it well off--I mean they are well off dude--but either way I say lets switch because Oil companies are just giving us the shank anyways so lets add competition--plus renewable energy will mean our grandchildren or whoever won't have to freak and invent something on the fly--as long as it works as well who cares? I am all for cold fusion tho--that'd be sweet!




Posts: 2337
Registered: 02-01-2005
99% of my feelings exactly, Faith.
Nuclear power is the most secure and clean power source available right now. I mean common most of the mistakes in the US and other countries were human errors. Now we've got computers managing our infrastructure and computers don't make human errors. Bugs are a very minor problem, but if you open source the code you'll find many a geek finding flaws and bugs. You will also find a terrorist or two trying to screw things up, hehehe.

The 1% quibble I have with what you wrote Faith, and Mene, is that it's not cheap to go looking for new forms of oil. Sure the enviro-people have shot themselves and the entire country in the foot, but there aren't too many springs (or whatever large bodies of crude oil are called) of oil these days. Sure there's plenty of oil, but a lot of it is too useless to power cars (Guatemala has oil, but it's only good enough to make plastic) or it's in sandy soil. The cost of developing a cheap way to extract oil from that sandy soil is immense so there's no profit in it.

As for solar panels in space or wind mills in the jetstream... well the enviro people will complain about that. See, in order to send the power wirelesly down to earth you will probably be using micro-waves or somesuch that tend to kill living tissue. Next thing you know there will be grilled pigeons and other birds falling from the sky onto your picnic table. Using wires and especially filling up batteries is way to expensive because there's a lot of R&D involved. Unless that R&D has already been done and there's a cheap way of doing it... the power companies are going to loose lots of money.

Here's my amazing plan
There should be more Nuclear power plants for the electricity. 1/2 the country gets electric cars, the other get's ethanol from sugar cane. Cuba is just dying to get rid of sugar cane. Now I know the policy against Cuba, but why not just buy 1/3 your sugar cane from Cuba and the other 2/3 from Latin America? Latin America has lots of sugar to export too.

My most brilliant plan is to get 1% of the cars to run on coffee and caffeine. Asia has plenty of cheap cheap coffee to export and Latin America has the good tasting stuff.

Now let me explain my brilliant plan's effects on the economy:
Prices in the US go down, the economy flourshes more because people can travel more cheaply. The US will be sending less aid to 3rd world countries in Asia and Latin America because the US will be buying corn/sugar/coffee from those countries. The Arab countries will pay more attention to what the US wants because the US won't be using much (if any) of their oil so they no longer have control. Everyone except the Arabs win.

Now on to real life. I personally don't get Mexico or the US's problem. Their fault for not regulating corn exports/crops sacrificed for ethanol. If the US is in that much need of corn, there's millions of people in South and Latin America who are willing to sell extra corn for cheap. Those who don't have corn can sell sugar once the idea catches on that both corn and sugar work.

Now on to reality: Some people don't care. Some people know more than we do about economy, some people think that more expensive food but less expensive fuel might balance out and make life cheaper than really expensive Arab oil. Some people wrote laws to prevent things like this. Some new people will be elected.

PS> Ever notice that you can buy things online easily now? If you can't walk to your favorite mall or to Old Navy you can buy online. 1 delivery truck that drops off packages for 100 people saves a lot more money than 100 people buying 1 package. I do all my buying online. If it's a tad more expensive than driving, I buy it anyways because it's cheaper than the price of gas to get $0.50 off. Mail in rebates help too.

[End tirade/rant/and what was supposed to be quick and to the point. Criticize please I'd love to see your opinion]

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"Oh, bother," said the Borg. "We've assimilated Pooh."

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My Programming and Hacker/Geek related Blog



Posts: 298
From: St. Louis, MO
Registered: 11-22-2002
According to various reports, there is more oil under the west-central US and Alberta, Canada than there is in the entire Middle East combined. It's called oil shale, and it needs to be heated to release the oil from the shale. Shell is working on methods of doing this in-ground. One has to wonder about the national loyalty of those who just live to block any idea that anyone here has to make the US not need to depend on energy from other coutries, countries that very often are, shall we say, somewhat less than friendly toward us.

However, on the claims of ethanol causing food shortages, I doubt that very much. In many cases, the food that gets shipped to other countries just sits on the docks and in warehouses and rots because the government couldn't care less about the people they rule over. Better to use that food for fuel than to let it rot in a warehouse, where it does no one any good at all.

Never Forget to Pray!

"...prayer itself is an art which only the Holy Ghost can teach us. He is the giver of all prayer. Pray for prayer---pray till you can pray; pray to be helped to pray, and give not up praying because you cannot pray, for it is when you think you cannot pray that you are most praying. Sometimes when you have no sort of comfort in your supplications, it is then that your heart---all broken and cast down---is really wrestling and truly prevailing with the Most High."
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, from the pamphlet, "Effective Prayer"



Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
Finally getting back to this. Most of the issues I hear from AM talk radio (usually guest speakers who are experts) so I had to find some supporting links, also my other sources are family since I have a number of family members that work for an oil company (privately owned), which I also did for a time as well.

Good point on the breeder reactors, I was going to include the mention of something along those lines but didn’t want to make the OP too long at the time. In the US we do currently waste, but yes there are procedures to eliminate the waste though we do not do such a thing for a host of really stupid reasons (it’s backwards logic imo). Now, breeders are a better step in the right direction compared to how things are done now (i.e. burning coal?? and dumping nuclear waste? Though not as much waste as they lead us to believe), but I would not have really mentioned breeders when I was considering adding a paragraph in for handling of waste as I was writing it. Mainly because it is a discussion/debate in itself especially in regards to what I back for the solution.

Breeders are a better step, but they are inefficient. Technology is improving nonetheless, so it’s not a bad alternative. For the time being I support recycling the waste. With recycling, the only byproduct created by this method is production of weapons grade uranium. Can’t you just hear the hippies chanting “no more nukes!” mow? So what is the difference in the world blowing up 20 times over or 100000 times over? They argue that due to the abundance of this byproduct, terrorists will get their hands on it. If this is so, why have they not gotten their hands on our existing stockpile of weapons grade uranium, already? It’s not that they really want to regulate the amount of weapons grade uranium, they want to have the US get rid of all uranium, completely. This is just not logical. So in doing so they shoot themselves in the foot and say that we are destroying the environment when in fact it is they that are doing it (not that it is REALLY being destroyed).

One real downside to making power by nuclear reactors however, is that it takes a lot to make a car move. We are talking small cars and there are few of those that even are full bred. Much of the real consumption is from freight movers, electric cars cant even pull a horse trailer at this point. Also, batteries are bad news, not only are they inefficient but they are bad for the environment… bad for human health. I’m sure at some point, maybe 20 or 30 years down the line, it may be ready, but not today, not by a long shot.

Anyway, beyond the needs for freight trucks, one serious problem in regards to waste is our freeway system. If a car is moving or standing still it uses fuel. As people continue to congregate in big cities the traffic becomes slower thus burning more fuel in travel time. Instead of widening the freeways to relieve traffic, they create car pool or pay lanes which don’t help the situation.

Moving on… Ok I asked for a choice made here, one or the other. Now I do agree, I would really love to see an efficient and clean energy source developed that can be realistically implemented without killing half the population to do it… but it does not exist. Until that time we are stuck with what we have, simple as that. The only real solution I see, though not reachable yet, is Hydrogen. Hydrogen (H2) is a great source for energy, but here on earth it is just too incredibly expensive to make so it is a pipe dream. However, the moon is rich in H2. Unfortunately we did not peruse moon exploration after the novelty of a bunch of lunar landings, and until we develop the means to set up bases on the moon, H2 is just out of reach.

What I’d really like to see developed is cold fusion, but until there is something already in place that can be substituted right now, it is something we cant switch to. If you buy a house, do you move into the moving van and wait for escrow to go through so you can move in… if it does go through. Would you stay at a place in-between such as a motel while you waited for escrow to go through (if it does, sometimes it doesn’t) while your old house stands half empty? Substitutes are just not ready, pushing development is bad economics, pushing the implementation of sub-standard and inefficient energy sources upon citizens when the current resource is stable is just flat out wrong!

Need I get into just how much of a farce methanol is? If the US took all the corn crops and devoted them to ethanol production, that would cover around 12% of our current fuel need. So, to meet that need 100%
(which I‘m sure is the environmentalist‘s plan), we will need to create 10 times the corn by making new farms. You can’t just convert existing farms to it, or there will be other shortages.. It takes a lot of additional fuel, water, energy, manure from live stalk which eat and fart too, run-off pollution etc… to create and maintain such new farms, so the impact will be much steeper than simply drilling for more oil and building more refineries.

Yes, refineries are in a bad situation, we have not built one in over 30 years, yet our consumption has gone up dramatically. We simply do not refine all our own oil any longer in the US, we import refined fuel. Refineries run at 100% capacity yet are not capable of producing 100% of the needed fuel. Twice a year they shut down to change over to a new mixture which is when we usually see the high spikes in prices each year which never fully recover.

Drilling for oil. Yes! The shale deposits are really something good to consider tapping into. I wrote about this some last year elsewhere, but the down side is that we don’t have the technology to get to that oil reserve economically. I think the R&D is the main issue, after they figure that out it will be a great source of oil. No reason to shoot ourselves in the foot, though. When we have the technology than that is when we have it, until then we have vast amounts of untapped oil reserves in Alaska and off shore of the US. Not just the untapped that we know of, but much of it has not even been explored due to restrictions. It is there though, that is not in dispute.

Now for the clincher. What nut came up with the idea that crude oil is from dinosaurs?!? Lord help us, it’s like using leaches to heal someone with an abdominal wound; it’s backwards thinking direct from the dark ages! I grew up hearing my Darwinist teachers claim that dinosaurs are responsible for all the oil reserves, that over billions of years as this evolutionary process was magically conducted that all these animals died and turned into oil. I started to buy into this “religious theory” for some time, at least it made me very confused.

Crude oil is a natural byproduct of the earth; it’s inorganic, not a true “fossil fuel”. As it moves up from deep within the earth, it goes through processes that make it seem organic when originally it was not. Over the course of time, as the earth produces more crude oil, it refills these cashes of crude oil in the ground. The replenishing is well noted in recent years; when oil wells were suppose to be drying up, they were coming back to life and in some cases with a variation in the type of oil that was being replenished, mostly because this was newer oil replacing the oil which had been removed after sitting for maybe thousands of years. It is just an obvious fact that we have not reached a peak in oil production, there quite possibly is no such peak since it seems to be replenishable.

As for switching to a self sustaining supply of fuel and power, at least in the case of letting the money fall into (sometimes/often) the wrong hands in the middle-east, it is not too late to be self reliant to keep from doing the same to other countries, such as Venezuela. Not entirely too late perhaps, but pretty much too late as we see yet another country (Venezuela) become rich and then threaten/plan to destroy the US. Corrupt countries just don’t have the direction to make money, by paying them for something we really do not need only makes their system of government successful when it should not be (self-destructing). Much of that has to do with powers in the middle east though, it’s all just dominos falling at this point. But in any case, there is just no good excuse why we should keep relying on foreign countries to supply us with energy, it’s just reckless. Basically we are just shooting ourselves in the foot by our misdirection and blind actions.

America’s untapped oil supply
article link

Vast oil reserves,1249,600125803,00.html

Origins of crude oil: it’s replenishable and not from dinosaurs

Sustainable oil

Refinery shortage

Senate rejects proposal on new refineries

Recycling nuclear waste

Nuclear reprocessing

America headed for a food shortage: Ethanol

Ethanol behind food shortage

Food shortage in Mexico

Bush to mandate increased production of methanol

More on food shortage in Mexico

Methanol damaging engines, lowers fuel efficiency


I could add more links, but it's already a lot to read. I read most of it, I skipped some opinion/spin paragraphs being mainly after facts. Take your time though.

[This message has been edited by Faith_Warrior (edited June 17, 2007).]