Besides my suspicion that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a leading cause of the hike in diabetes in this country, we now have two more reasons reason to doubt why corn is the leading subsidized crop in this county.  First is the very low-key and low-publicized reports that switchgrass produces 540% more energy than was required to produce the fuel.  Article here: http://www.themoneytimes.com/articles/20080109/study_switchgrass_is_an_enormous_source_of_energy-id-1015539.html 

I love <sarcasm> how something this revolutionary, this important to slowing down global warming, and possibly stopping the world’s dependence on OIL, gets a total of 134 articles.  Why?  Because we’ve come to love our high fructose corn syrup diets and $3.50 a gallon way-of-life?  No, because harnessing these commodities doesn’t make sense to a greedy corporate America.  

And our government?  We would rather fight a war that we cannot win, that effectively closes down our society with fascist law, than change the subsidies that put us there in the first place. I have mixed reaction about this story, obviously.  It is good news, but will it go the way of the electric car because it does not satisfy some stockholder’s pocket book?  Here is another quote from one of the few articles on the subject:

Farmers in Nebraska and the Dakotas brought the U.S. closer to becoming a biofuel economy, planting huge tracts of land for the first time with switchgrass—a native North American perennial grass (Panicum virgatum) that often grows on the borders of cropland naturally—and proving that it can deliver more than five times more energy than it takes to grow it.

Working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the farmers tracked the seed used to establish the plant, fertilizer used to boost its growth, fuel used to farm it, overall rainfall and the amount of grass ultimately harvested for five years on fields ranging from seven to 23 acres in size (three to nine hectares).

“Cost competitive, energy responsible cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass or from forestry waste like sawdust and wood chips requires a more complex refining process but it’s worth the investment,” Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said at the Range Fuels facility groundbreaking in November. “Cellulosic ethanol contains more net energy and emits significantly fewer greenhouse gases than ethanol made from corn.” Full article here:   http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=grass-makes-better-ethanol-than-corn

I’m out–

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