Concerned about immigration? Don't support ethanol.

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Sharon in NY, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. Sharon in NY

    Sharon in NY Well-Known Member

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    We're experiencing a massive spike in grain prices all over the US - the US harvest was smaller than expected and the demand for ethanol greater than expected http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/2007/Update63.htm
    . Which means the price of meat and many staples will rise, but more importantly, the price of staple foods like corn will rise for the poor.

    http://www.boston.com/news/world/la..._mexico_feel_pinch_of_rising_demand_for_corn/.

    What happens when poor people in Mexico can't feed their families? They come here, looking for work. For those who are concerned about immigration, one of the best things you could do is prioritizing food for people over food for cars.

    The meat and dairy industries have been calling for limits on ethanol for several years now, because the corn feeding our cars is the same corn that feeds cows, pigs and chickens in the US. We can expect to see meat prices and staples rise for us, too, because we're feeding our insatiable need for gas.
    And there's considerable evidence that we're not really burning any fewer fossil fuels.

    Here's my own take on this: http://www.energybulletin.net/24169.html

    Sharon
     
  2. patnewmex

    patnewmex Jane of all trades

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    If I had to choose between more immigrants/higher prices for food (just corn based) and a less polluted planet, guess which one I'd pick in a heartbeat. Yup. The less polluted planet would win. There are other things to eat. There is only one atmosphere.
     

  3. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    Maybe instead we should move to a free market society, where corn etc. is not an artificially propped up comodity that is dumped in third world countries to keep the price high here for the corporate farms.

    This would enable farmers in other countries to get a proper price for their product. Maybe it should now be a global market place.
     
  4. crafty2002

    crafty2002 Well-Known Member

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    Dang if people can't find the stupidest things in the worls to fuss about and then even say the things you do. :rolleyes:
    What in the world had immigration got to do with ethanol????????? :shrug:
    This country would be far better off if all we used was "HOME GROWN FUEL".
    Heck, we wouldn't even be at war right now. That's all about the oil whether anyone cares to believe it or not.
    If we made our on fuel the arabs or whatever wouldn't hate us for trying to steal it from them, "AS THEY SEE IT" and we wouldn't be worried about them blowing our whole country up bit's at a time.
    You don't have to support athanol because that is your choise. I for one think it's the best thing going on right now.
    I don't care for the mexicans coming over the border the way they are, but it doesn't look as if it will ever stop.
    At least this way, thay will be paying taxes, hopefully any way :rolleyes: :shrug:

    Read the thread on here called is this any good and go to the website outlined.
     
  5. chicken

    chicken Well-Known Member

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    Sharon, DH and I just watched the Market to Market report and it makes me wonder if anyone thought about the broad based effects this ethanol push would have on our food prices. I have chicken and the price of a bag of feed went up $1.50! Now that talks to me. What if I had LOTS of chickens to feed. I say conserve the fossil fuel use. I like to eat. We'll see who's crying when the price of all food skyrockets :)
     
  6. Sharon in NY

    Sharon in NY Well-Known Member

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    E85 doesn't reduce pollutants at all, unfortunately. It takes *more* fossil fuel energies to make ethanol than ethanol gives back. So ethanol isn't enabling us to create less pollution or burn less imported oil at all. http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/July05/ethanol.toocostly.ssl.html.

    What ethanol *does* do is raise the prices of grain, which is good for US farmers, and bad for everyone else in the world, since grains are traded on international markets. Personally, immigration is not an issue of great concern for me, but there's ample historical evidence that when people in Mexico get poorer, more of them come here. And the rise in corn prices caused by ethanol is causing real economic problems in Mexico.

    Crafty, read the articles involved. We can't produce all "homegrown fuel" - we don't have enough land to feed ourselves and our cars. But even the "homegrown fuel" we're producing now is using plenty of imported oil and natural gas to produce it - more energy is going in than coming out. Take a serious look at the numbers.

    The world has real limits - at the rate we're going, by 2011 we'll have enough ethanol plants in Iowa to use every single grain of corn grown there. Well, right now, we're eating that corn in the form of chicken and beef - so if we use it to make gas, our meat prices will rise. And if we want to keep eating meat, we'll import corn. Now where will we import corn from...Mexico (among other places). What will that do in Mexico (is doing already)? Raise the price of corn, which is the staple food of almost all the poor people in Mexico. And what will people in Mexico do when they get hungry? Come here.

    Things have real consequences. This is one of them. If this is a consequence you are prepared to live with, ok. But at least be aware of it.

    Sharon
     
  7. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    Crafty,

    One of the points of Sharon's post is the fact when people in Mexico can no longer afford corn products, they're going to start immigrating here in large numbers. Their average income is about $18 a day.

    When the price of corn tortillas skyrockets, and they can't afford to feed their families, they'll leave to find a better life in the good old US of A. They'll be taking away jobs from citizens, getting free medical care and a free education for their children all on our tax dollars.

    This is an article from the Chicago Tribune.

    Mexicans Cope With Rising Tortilla Price

    By PETER ORSI
    Associated Press Writer
    Published January 13, 2007, 8:52 PM CST

    MEXICO CITY -- Soaring international demand for corn has caused a spike in prices for Mexico's humble tortilla, hitting the poor and forcing President Felipe Calderon's business-friendly government into an uncomfortable confrontation with powerful monopolies.

    The rest of the article can be read here.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/busin...rtillas,0,7620034.story?coll=chi-bizfront-hed
     
  8. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Hogwash,Brazil RUNS on Ethanol.Point to any study you want that it costs more to make ethanol than it produces.

    Brazil is DOING it on a National Level.

    They sure must be stupid in Brazil not to know that.And the Cornell Eggheads who ARENT doing it know its a net energy loser.

    BooBoo :gromit:
     
  9. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    As for the ILLEGALS,heres a plan...ENFORCE the LAW and send them BACK!

    BooBoo :gromit:
     
  10. Beaners

    Beaners Incubator Addict

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    This sounds like one of those "if I sneeze here in my home there will be a hurricane in [insert coastal region here]" things. It makes sense but there is more to it than that.

    I had someone in a supermarket this summer tell me sweet corn was more expensive because of ethanol. I didn't mean to laugh at them, but sweet corn and field corn aren't the same thing. Try switching them at a picnic and see if anyone notices. ;) Anyways, back on topic...

    I understand how this affects livestock feed and meat prices, but I really do think this is more complicated than this simple chain of cause and effect would lead you to believe. Just because it makes sense doesn't mean it is the main reason for the effect. I think there is a bigger picture here than this article implies.

    Kayleigh
     
  11. Ozark-Dew

    Ozark-Dew AMDG

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    I am afraid Missouri Folk won't have much option. It stinks too because the Ethanol gas makes our vehicle run shotty.
     
  12. Sharon in NY

    Sharon in NY Well-Known Member

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    Well, Booboo, first of all, Brazil runs on *SUGARCANE* ethanol - a totally different animal. Doesn't need the quantity of inputs that corn does, is semi-perennial, so it doesn't need to be planted every single year, has more sugars in it (duh) so that it produces more total energy than corn ethanol. It is true that ethanol is a net energy winner - for Brazil. In large part, Brazil can fuel so much of its economy on ethanol because it uses less than 1/10th of the gas we do - so even if sugarcane grew all over the US (which it doesn't), and even if we were making ethanol out of sugarcane (which we mostly aren't), even if we made as much sugarcane as brazil does, it would produce about 1/30 - 1/20 of our liquid fuel needs.

    *AND* Brazil has had a rise in grain prices and hunger because of its use of sugarcane as a fuel, *AND*, Brazil has been chopping down rainforest as fast as it possibly can in order to compensate for food growing land lost to fuel production. That is, when they started trying to increase their sugarcane growing, they took land away from food. Now Brazil has a lot of unused fertile land, unlike us. It just happens to be covered with rainforest - which desperately important to the life of the planet. But what's that compared to how important it is to keep the cars going :rolleyes: ?

    No one at Cornell has claimed that sugarcane ethanol is a net energy loser - it isn't. But we're not making ethanol out of sugarcane, we're making it out of corn, where it is a total loser - the only reason it is possible is because of the ridiculous subsidies we give to both industrial corn production and the ethanol industry. E85 creates *more* pollution when you add up all the energy costs. It burns *more* fossil fuels than straight gas. And it is only cheaper because of taxpayer subsidies (ie, it isn't really cheaper, either).

    Again, if we drop our oil consumption by 90%, it is not unlikely that like the Brazilians, we could produce 1/2 of our liquid fuels at home. But since we use 10 times the fuel that they do, the acreage required to fuel our cars is... the same acreage required to feed us, and then some.

    Do the math.

    Sharon
     
  13. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It doesn't matter if there is zero net gain, as long as the difference can be made up with valuable by products (brewers grains). Heaven forbid American farmers make a buck....... :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    BTW, whining is VERY offputting.
     
  14. deb

    deb Well-Known Member

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    We aren't using the same materials as Brazil. Brazil uses sugar cane and another grass to make their ethanol and it makes 10x more ethanol than corn does. Just think about it...producing ethanol from corn produces 1/10th the energy as sugar cane. That lower production rate along with the fact that we grow corn using a lot of expensive inputs (insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers) made from petrochemicals means we are way behind Brazil in production.

    The US spends more money & energy creating ethanol than it is worth. Sounds wrong? Yup, but who benefits the most? Big grain farmers and the big corporations that supply their inputs.

    Around here most little farmers can't play the ethanol game because the ethanol plants don't store corn. Ethanol plants expect the farmer to store the corn until it is needed then deliver it to the plant. Most little farmers don't have that kind of storage capacity nor can they absorb the cost of trucking the corn to the ethanol plant. Small farmers sell their corn to a commodity buyer and that person/company makes the real profits in selling to the ethanol plant.

    deb
    in wi
     
  15. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    LOL if cane is the way to go you can be sure the planted acreage will rise ,as for the net energy loss thing thats in the distilling proscess and can be fixed pretty easy.
     
  16. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    They are making more than I do!
    Does that mean I should do a reverse immigration and go to Mexico so I can make more money? :rolleyes:
     
  17. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As opposed to like it is now, when large numbers of Mexicans are not immigrating? :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  18. Sharon in NY

    Sharon in NY Well-Known Member

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    We have devoted 790 million dollars in the last decade to "fixing" it - no luck so far.

    I suspect we will grow more sugar cane for ethanol - but since sugarcane grows on comparatively little of American farmland, it isn't going to be a quick fix.

    Sharon
     
  19. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What's wrong Sharon, price of chicken feed go up and you need someone to blame? :rolleyes:
     
  20. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    Reverse immigration, to me, seems to not be the thing to do.

    Maybe you don't have a job because one of them has the job you should have. :shrug: