By: Fshhead , 6:19 AM GMT on February 22, 2007

This is my continuing blog on global warming. If you are new visitor, please look at last couple of blog entrys also on global warming!!!!

"There are so many arguments proving & disputing global warming that people can't seem to agree completly on it. But for all the preperations that we make for hurricanes & other disasters, what do we have to lose if we prepare for global warming as if the worst might come true?
The answer is pure common sense. We should try to eliminate the variables that cause global warming instead of just arguing about it. It's like a hurricane- if we prepare for the worst, it can only save lives & money. If it does not come, no one will have been hurt & we may even have a healthier Earth."

Book I recommend reading:

Videos I recommend:
"Who killed the electric car?"
HBO'S "To hot Not to handle"
"Inconvienent Truth"

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501. MisterPerfect
7:39 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
Also, hate to RACE-UP your blog, but NASCAR newcomer Toyota leads the other "Big Three" American auto makers in bio-friendly manufacturing. Is Toyota's entry into NASCAR a push to get the American auto industry to become more bio-sensitive?
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500. Fshhead
7:42 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
Silicon Valley's 'Best Brains' Work on Energy
MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley have been searching for the next big thing in high-tech for years, but now many have switched to greener pursuits -- finding technology to help cut global warming.

Although commercial success could take years, venture capitalists are pouring cash into solar power, fuel cells, wind energy, biofuels, new lighting microchips, "smart" power grids, and other innovative energies.

"The best brains in the country are no longer working on the next pharmaceutical drug or the next Silicon Revolution. They want to work on energy," said Vinod Khosla, a top venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.

While there is competition from Canada, Germany, China, India and other nations, traditional energy companies have been relatively quiet.

"It is under-researched. There are easy pluckings. Oil companies spend no money on research, especially outside of how you discover more oil. All their efforts are token or nominal. The same is true of the coal business," Khosla said.
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499. MisterPerfect
7:37 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
Yes they did. That is old news lol. Unleaded gasoline, restrictor plates, and soon ethanol.
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498. Fshhead
7:28 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
lol another thing I found out. Just so happens it is about Nascar. They JUST switched to UNLEADED fuel this year. Read an article where they were saying it was tough & very expensive????????? I cannot believe they were still using LEADED fuel. BTW not very expensive or complicated to make the switch. So anyways they are a ways off from ethanol useage unfortunately......
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497. MisterPerfect
7:24 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
I believe it. And Nascar will soon follow FISH.
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496. Fshhead
7:02 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
Corn-based ethanol contains less energy than standard gasoline, and engines must use more ethanol than gas to go the same distance

Funny thing about that statement, thats what I always heard. When I went to the IRL season opener in Homestead, I got a different answer. Hope you all saw it when I posted earlier that the Indy Racing League made history being the 1st racing series to use straight ethanol for fuel. Anyways they were all saying that if the compression ratios for the fuel combustion is raised they actually get better mileage with the ethanol. They are going to reduce the size of the fuel tanks because of the better mileage. They were also saying that they get more power out of it also.
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495. MisterPerfect
5:54 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
If you prefer, I don't mind the back and forth, it keeps the issue on the front page, so to speak. No offense taken on this side of the fence..
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494. snowboy
5:27 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
thanks MP, and I'll try to take the edge off of some of my posts as well..
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493. MisterPerfect
5:10 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
MisterPerfect, I'd appreciate it if you refrained from getting personal.

I appologize Snowboy. Though we may not see eye to eye politically, it is wrong of me to make you out to be an enemy of free states. I was out of context and for that, I must be contrite.

I too would be interested in viewing the per capita energy consumption of countries world wide. I have a feeling the US leads it.
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492. snowboy
4:57 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
We do for sure have higher per capita CO2 emissions in Canada, because we produce the energy and raw materials you consume in the US. We're also in a much colder climate, and burn way more fuel to stay alive.

I'd be very interested to see per capita consumption figures for people around the world in their personal lives (as opposed to for the societies at large).
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490. rwdobson
4:35 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
As I said, it depends on how the feedstock is grown, and also how the ethanol is produced. Also, some ethanol plants are beginning to use corn-based waste products to replace natural gas. For example, see

You also have to remember that there is considerable energy (and water) used in the extraction and refining of petroleum.
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489. GulfScotsman
4:34 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
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488. snowboy
4:10 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
MisterPerfect, I'd appreciate it if you refrained from getting personal. The case against ethanol being a global warming panacea was convincingly made long before any positions were taken by Castro or Chavez (who incidentally are both jackasses).

Rather than respond to your hapless ad hominem attacks, I've pasted in a thoughtful article from AberdeenNews, which is situated in farm country in S.D. If you wish to provide a response to the real issues raised then please be my guest.


Global warming threatens - corn-based ethanol not solution

We should have known better. Why didn't we anticipate that pollution from cars and trucks would eventually create problems? Didn't high school science teach us that Earth is a closed system, like a large room, and shouldn't we have grasped that these pollutants would impact our atmosphere, our weather, our way of life?

We must now admit that internal combustion is at least partially responsible for a pivotal global crisis that especially threatens our progeny.

For decades, environmental groups promoted conservation, more efficient vehicles and alternatives to fossil fuels. But that advice was dismissed, even ridiculed as interfering with our lifestyle and the goals of auto manufacturers, oil companies and other businesses. Even today, automakers emphasize sales of gas guzzlers, and Exxon Mobil, the oil company that just posted the largest single-quarter earnings - $10.7 billion - of any U.S. corporation in history, has spent millions trying to discredit the science proving global warming.

Cheap energy used liberally, absent-mindedly and carelessly has made our lives easier and financially prosperous. Combating global warming requires us to acknowledge the consequences of using fossil fuels and internal combustion. We will be forced to redefine responsibility in this new age.

Is corn-based ethanol a responsible pursuit? Is it a sustainable energy source that significantly decreases pollution? Is it being pursued to protect the environment or as a market for corn and a financial opportunity?

Considering that many in our region have monetarily profited from corn-based ethanol, attacking this booming industry is awkward. But there are reputable and independent scientists and energy experts who refute the appropriateness of corn-based ethanol. They make valid points that should cause us to question corn-based ethanol.

For starters, it is untrue that corn-based ethanol is a renewable energy source. Corn is a needy plant, and it's very hard on soil. How renewable is topsoil? Corn sucks enormous amounts of fertility from the soil, and requires more synthetic nitrogen (fertilizer derived primarily from natural gas) and more petroleum-based pesticides (primarily atrazine) than other farm crops. Roundup-ready corn is also burdened by concerning consequences, and its use portends a range of environmental problems. Has the production and use of pesticides and nitrogen caused severe air and water pollution? Absolutely. Our goal should be to use less of both.

Corn-based ethanol contains less energy than standard gasoline, and engines must use more ethanol than gas to go the same distance. Burning one gallon of gasoline releases about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air. (That is one reason driving fuel-efficient vehicles is so important.) Ethanol's carbon dioxide contributions remain disputed, but according to reliable estimates, it is either only slightly better or slightly worse than standard gasoline.

The "net energy balance" for corn-based ethanol (comparing energy output to the inputs necessary to produce energy) is also highly debated, but best-case scenarios aren't encouraging. Doesn't it require, for example, considerable pollution-causing energy to plant, fertilize, harvest and transport corn? What about ethanol's cooking and production process? That's more energy needed and more pollution created. Some research suggests ethanol's net energy is negative.

Corn-based ethanol relies on fat taxpayer subsidies (more per gallon than standard gasoline) and it diverts land from bio-diverse habitat or food growing to fossil fuel supplementation. Because of its chemistry, ethanol cannot be transported in pipelines. Trucks carry ethanol long distances, further diminishing the "net" value of its energy contribution.

The natural gas required to "cook" ethanol is increasingly unavailable in North America, and the price of natural gas has quadrupled in the last 10 years. Ethanol producers say they can use coal for the cooking energy they need, and despite the careful rhetoric of coal utilities, using coal is a dirty enterprise, releasing carbon dioxide and other undesirables into the air.

Ethanol factories are thirsty, consuming at least three or four gallons of water per gallon of ethanol produced. A plant generating 50 million gallons of ethanol requires 500 gallons of water per minute to operate. What happens during prolonged drought?

At best, corn-based ethanol is a rickety bridge to wiser energy sources. Ethanol could provide an alternative to a small percentage of imported fossil fuels, but it is far from a "green" energy source. It is false that drivers using ethanol are aiding the environment. In reality, they are doing - at a debatable minimum - no less harm than drivers using standard gasoline.

With much at stake and with limited taxpayer and private dollars available to help identify and develop environmentally-friendly energy alternatives, corn-based ethanol takes us in the wrong direction.

The expensive infrastructure now being built and the political machine now promoting corn-based ethanol will make it hard to reverse course. Big Corn and industrialized agriculture are shaping a new energy status quo. It follows the same resource-extractive business model as big oil, and the big-picture environmental ramifications aren't much different.

Peter Carrels lives in Aberdeen. His writing about people and the environment has appeared in books, magazines and newspapers.
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487. rwdobson
4:00 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
Ethanol does have net benefit with respect to global warming. That benefit varies depending on how the feedstock is grown, but there is still some benefit. Even if the benefit is small, it is still better than extracting petroleum from the ground, refinining it into gasoline, and burning it. Petroleum automatically has a net negative energy balance, because not only do you burn the fuel itself, it takes additional fuel to extract and refine it.

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486. MisterPerfect
3:23 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
1 + 1 = 2
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485. MisterPerfect
3:17 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
No where in that article does it state that Bush is advancing the ethanol project to combat "global warming". It is a plan to reduce dependency on gasoline. Castro and Chavez are the misguided ones and if you follow their logic please, Snowboy, stay away from my country and the other FREE nations as well.
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484. MisterPerfect
3:13 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
coming from a Canadien leftist...I'd expect that from you.
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483. snowboy
2:30 PM GMT on April 04, 2007
Ethanol has nothing to do with right or left - it's all about indirect farming subsidies. And ethanol has no net benefit from a global warming perspective. Just like Bush to get this one wrong too..
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482. MisterPerfect
1:04 PM GMT on April 04, 2007

Venezuela's Chvez makes a U-turn on ethanol
With President Bush supporting ethanol initiatives, some leftist leaders have altered their stances to reflect anti-U.S. policies.

Miami Herald

CARACAS -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chvez was on the ethanol bandwagon. Until, that is, President Bush jumped aboard. Now, it seems, ethanol is a threat to the poor.

In August 2006, the Venezuelan state oil corporation PDVSA signed an agreement with its Brazilian counterpart, Petrobras, for ''long-term'' supplies of ethanol as a renewable substitute for gasoline.

Until just a few weeks ago, the leftist Chvez was pressing ahead with a five-year project to sow almost 700,000 acres with sugar cane to produce ethanol with the technical support of Brazil and Cuba -- 15 new sugar mills were planned to produce 30,000 barrels of ethanol a day.

Even in early March, Havana and Caracas announced an agreement to build 11 ethanol plants in Venezuela, using Cuban expertise. The agreement also included the modernization of 10 plants in Cuba and the construction of a further eight, based on Brazilian production methods.

But after Bush visited Brazil and signed an ethanol deal with President Luiz Incio Lula da Silva, both Chvez and his close ally, Fidel Castro, converted to the anti-ethanol camp. Chvez is among the most vocal critics of Bush and has frequently referred to him as ``the devil.''

Toward the end of a Latin American and Caribbean tour in which he dogged Bush's own regional trip, Chvez said in Jamaica that there were ''ethical'' reasons to oppose ethanol production.

''When you fill a vehicle's tank with ethanol, you are filling it with energy for which land and water enough to feed seven people have been used,'' Chvez said. Instead of food, he said, the land was used to fill ``rich people's cars.''


The significance of the U-turn was underlined when Fidel Castro used his first article for the Cuban Communist Party's newspaper, Granma, since falling ill July 31 to slam Bush's ethanol plan.

Accusing the U.S. president of condemning more than 300 billion people ''to premature death'' by converting ''food into fuel,'' Castro wrote that the production in Cuba of alcohol from sugar cane -- using the predominant Brazilian method -- was ``no more than a dream or a delirium.''

Castro made it clear that he was not criticizing Chvez, whose aim was to ''improve the environment'' by using ethanol as an additive to gasoline less polluting than others.

Nonetheless, a question mark now hangs over Venezuela's ethanol plans, despite the fact that Chvez himself had promoted its use.


On March 15, agriculture minister Elas Jaua partially clarified the picture when he announced that Venezuela would continue to produce ethanol as a fuel additive but opposed its use as an alternative to gasoline.

He also sharply reduced the amount of land to be dedicated to the production of sugar-cane ethanol. ''We are talking of some 100,000 hectares,'' or about 250,000 acres, Jaua said, ``because we don't grow agricultural products to feed vehicles.''

Many analysts, however, see the change of heart by the two leaders as a product of political rather than environmental considerations.

''What's hidden behind the ethanol issue is a game of geopolitics,'' said Edgar C. Otlvora, an economist, historian and former diplomat. ''Rivalry with the United States'' is the explanation, Otlvora argues.

``There are many contradictions in [Chvez's] discourse -- being simultaneously an environmentalist and an oil-producer is a contradiction in itself.''

Venezuela is the world's fifth-largest crude oil producer.

The fallout from the ethanol row may have even spread beyond Venezuela and Cuba.

Nicaragua's leftist president, Daniel Ortega, who was scheduled to visit Brazil in mid-March to discuss a bilateral ethanol deal, called off his trip at the last minute. The sudden suspension was officially attributed to a mechanical problem with the plane he was to use.


Central America, the Caribbean and even Africa are all areas in which Chvez has achieved considerable influence through his oil diplomacy, and which Brazil and the United States are looking to sign up for their ethanol program.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim even proposed last week that Cuba join forces with his country in promoting the fuel. ''We will be open to programs with Cuba that benefit African countries,'' Amorim said.

Chvez, however, has promised to take ''the earliest opportunity'' to convince his Brazilian counterpart of the error of his ways. If not before, he will have a chance to do so at the upcoming South American energy summit on the Venezuelan island of Margarita on April 16.

'I don't think there will be a split between `brothers' Chvez and Lula,'' said Edgar Otlvora. ``Unless Caracas demands unconditional loyalty and begins to attack Brazil.''

So far, both Venezuela and Cuba have been careful to limit their criticism to the United States.

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481. Fshhead
7:49 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
well think I am going to hit it too, gonna watch the daily show, y'know that left wing liberal trash lol.........
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478. snowboy
7:37 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
Randrewl, we are more similar than you would maybe be comfortable with - and I have to say that I salute your spirit and stubbornness and sheer feistiness. And at the end of the day, even when I disagree with your every word, your posts always have good entertainment value.. G'NIGHT.
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477. Fshhead
7:40 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
Take it easy north of the border my friend!!!!
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476. Fshhead
7:39 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
Like I have said if I was well off you can bet yourmyspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics
that I would be getting an electric car, my house would be green with solar & wind powering house & car & maybe just selling some power back to the poor old power companies lol.
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475. snowboy
7:34 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
anyhow, I've got to sign off as I'm putting the finishing touches on a report with a 9 am deadline - good to see ya as always Fshhead. And if Randrewl comes back, my apologies for maybe speaking my mind more openly than usual.. Ciao.
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472. Fshhead
7:32 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
Like I always say, the pleasure is mine....
Awareness is the key, get everyone talking about it no matter which side they are on....
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471. snowboy
7:26 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
Not your fault personally Fshhead, and for sure you are one of the ones trying their best! I salute you for hosting this blog, which has get quite a few people thinking hard..
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470. Fshhead
7:27 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
Here, Here Snowboy well said!!!!!!
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469. Fshhead
7:26 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
y'know when we all get together like this we should hit the chatroom, its faster.....
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468. snowboy
7:20 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
Randrewl, glad to hear you're a fellow capitalist. I am too. Run my own small business, invest like a fiend, and try my damndest to not pay more than I have to in taxes..

But I recognize that I'm better off than 99% of the world's population, simply because I was lucky enough to have been born in the right country to the right parents at the right time. With that recognition comes the realization that if there is going to be any hope at all for this world, then it's folks like me and you who have the means who have to actually get out there and make a difference.

No use moaning and waiting for the Chinese or the rich or the right or the left or the greens or whoever else to take the lead - it is up to each of us to do what we reasonably can. And that includes not bridling at "restrictions" if they're going to help make this world a cleaner greener place.
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467. Fshhead
7:24 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
lol well Snow they always say pollution makes better sunsets????
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465. Fshhead
7:20 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
LOL oh yea Snow I forgot, I wanted to apoligize for all the crap floatin' over the border. Guess you see what the problem here might be "ahem" lol
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464. Fshhead
7:19 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
I understand why you would invest in oil & no its no crime.....
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463. snowboy
7:11 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
You've got your best friends on the planet occupying half the continent to the north of you. So what does the US do to show its gratitude for having a neighbour other countries could only dream of - you pollute our waters and air with your industries, and generally diss us or ignore us when we politely ask that the mess be cleaned up. Ooh aaah - we might face restrictions if we had to stop putting crap in the air and water. Makes me sick.

Get a grip on reality man! Get away from the computer, go out and see with your own eyes what a mess the US is generally making of the environment, and then get with the program of trying to turn things around instead of sitting there all pompous and cynical and working yourself into a lather over "restrictions"..
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462. Fshhead
7:17 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
ahhhhhhhh excuse me are we not trying to make a difference here raising awarness??? I do know that my views have "touched" a couple people here!!!!!
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460. Fshhead
7:10 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
:O what????? Rand, no wonder you always have opposing views..............
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459. snowboy
7:08 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
If the US lived by the bible the world would be a much better place..
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458. Fshhead
7:09 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
OOOOH, I would if I could....
cold fusion.... the holy grail!!!!!!
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455. snowboy
7:06 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
Randrewl you wouldn't invest in a Canadian or European company even if they had bona fide cold fusion happening..
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453. Fshhead
7:04 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
Not so fast on the Iraq comment Rand, if the dems. actually controlled the senate it would be different scenario... Still cant believe it wasn't heavier democrat to restore the checks & balances... Man don't even get me started on that one!!
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452. snowboy
6:55 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
The "GW crap" is being hefted on the US, because while the Europeans run a stronger more efficient economy, the US is the world's biggest carbon emitter. Time for y'all to clean up after yourselves, and not use the world as your ash tray.

Central Canada has thousands of formerly pristine lakes dead or dying from US acid rain. In my part of the country, if the wind turns to the southwest and blows from the US then our otherwise brilliant blue skies turn a milky yellow-white from all the crap American coal-fired power plants are putting into the air.

Know where in Canada the worst air quality is? You'd think in downtown Toronto (center of an urban area of more than 5 million people) or in one of our industrial cities. In fact, the worst air quality is usually measured (again on days with southwest winds) in rural Ontario along the north shore of Lake Erie - which gets the fallout from all your huffing and puffing cars, industries and power plants.

So you can get of your high horse and stuff your resistance to "restrictions" somewhere dark - try instead as a country to conduct yourselves in way that you can be proud of, and then the rest of the world won't have to keep nagging you to do the right thing..
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451. Fshhead
7:01 AM GMT on April 04, 2007
Funny you bring that up rand, my brother always is looking for investments. I keep telling him to invest in alternative companies....As far as us leadin' I would have to research that...
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