I am still new to the world of Ethanol even though Ethanol itself has been around for more than a century. It has been called a lot of things, grain alcohol, moonshine, you name it. But one thing it is being called lately is savior. However is it possible to convert our energy needs for our vehicles from oil to ethanol?
Optimists in the industry say absolutely. They say it is very possible to convert corn, soy and other organic products into ethanol, where as pessimists say it would be too costly and would require too much of our food supply to do it. One side of the argument claims that our own wealth, safety and environmental issues are too great to continue using oil, where the other side says lets just drill here at home to remove ourselves from foreign oil.
So that leaves us as to which side are you on? I have this philosophy when it comes to oil. There is no question that the United States of America is addicted to oil. Not just some slight “ooh I’d like to have it” addiction, but a full blown, hooked on crack addiction. And just like a crack addict, just because you can make your own crack at home does not mean you are any less of a crack addict.
We need to get off of oil. Ethanol is just one piece to that puzzle. There are a variety of energy sources that we can tap into besides using our own food supply to turn it into what we need. For instance we can tap into the Midwest wind power. Apparently the Midwest has the strongest winds in the world and those strong winds stretch from Texas to North Dakota and can supply up to 25% of the U.S. electrical supply. We can tap into geothermal energy which is power from the earth itself. Solar has been around for decades and as it becomes more advance it becomes better, cheaper and more efficient.
Let us not forget we can use our own garbage as a means to generate power. In Florida they have a garbage recycling facility that burns its garbage at high temperatures which generates electricity. The left over product is then combined with gypsum and then that product is used to repave roadways.
There are a variety of innovative ways to create the energy we need besides Ethanol and we must be able to use them all if we expect to have any chance to get off of oil. Now we also must do our part and become more of a conservative nation when it comes to resources. We must build vehicles that require less energy. We must design homes and commercial buildings that require less energy and recycle a lot of energy it already has. For example if every household in the country switches their light bulbs to the more energy efficient ones, we could cut consumption by nearly 20% according to one study that I read.
These are just a few things that we can all do to get on board with being the leaders of green energy and energy conservation. Hopefully you do your part as a lot of people I know have towards using only what we need.
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