Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Killing The Gulf Of Mexico With Kindness

Damn it people I'm sick of hearing about biofuels. So many world leaders are promoting the virtues of producing ethanol to power our cars, yet they are either too greedy or ignorant to realize that for the most part, it is a sham. It takes just as much energy to produce the fuels as it saves us in pollutants when people drive their cars on it. Now pouring your old vegetable oil in the tank is one thing, but mass production is another. There are so many negative side effects, but to the people that live around the Gulf of Mexico, they know the dead zone first and foremost.

From RawStory:

A planned increase in US ethanol production from corn would spell environmental "disaster" for marine species in the Gulf of Mexico, said a co-author of a science study published Monday.

A boost in corn production will worsen the Gulf's so-called "dead zone," an area with so little oxygen that sealife suffocates, said Simon Donner, a geographer at the University of British Columbia in Western Canada.

"Most organisms are not able to survive without enough oxygen," Donner told AFP. "All the bottom-dwelling organisms that can't move away are probably going to die, while fish will migrate if they can."

Donner and Chris Kucharik of the University of Wisconsin used computer models to conclude that growing enough corn to meet US biofuel goals set for 2022 would cause a boost of 10 to 34 percent in nitrogen pollution in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers, which run into the Gulf of Mexico.

Not only do we need to focus more on clean energy (wind and solar) but the way farming is done must be changed. For two centuries or more our nation's farmers did not use the abusive chemicals that we see today in their soil. Those nitrates flow into the rivers and create the death zone in the Gulf that we know today.

Too many people think biofuels are the answer. I say direct your kindness of the environment in other directions and wakeup to the realities of ethanol.