George Will has an excellent piece today on the irrationality of global warming hysteria. The whole article is a must read, but one section was particularly important. Ethanol is heralded (most recently by the President) as the antidote to our energy problems, but, as Will writes, it has many problems of its own:
Ethanol produces just slightly more energy than it takes to manufacture it. But now that the government is rigging energy markets with mandates, tariffs and subsidies, ethanol production might consume half of next year’s corn crop. The price of corn already has doubled in a year. Hence the tortilla turbulence south of the border. Forests will be felled (will fewer trees mean more global warming?) to clear land for growing corn, which requires fertilizer, the manufacture of which requires energy. Oh, my.
Oh my indeed. There is no easy way to accomplish all the goals of energy policy. We all want low cost energy which is consistently available and that doesn’t damage the environment. Oh, and preferably we would want this without any using any oil from unsavory countries like Venezuela and Iran. Unfortunately, that can’t happen. Our best hope for the future is to reduce government interference in energy markets and allowing private entities to compete to find the best ways to meet America’s energy needs.