Saturday, February 09, 2008

Alternative universe?

Associated Press/KATU TV December 31, 2007: By September, all Oregon cars will run on fuel that contains ethanol

Under a law passed this year by the legislature, the renewable fuel standard for ethanol kicks in when Oregon's ethanol production has the capacity to reach 40 million gallons a year.

The state achieved that goal this summer when Pacific Ethanol began producing at the Port of Morrow.

By Jan. 15, the blended fuel will become mandatory in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook, Yamhill, Polk and Marion counties. Portland has its own requirement for ethanol-blended fuel already in place.
. . .
As of Sept. 16, the only gasoline to be sold in Oregon without the ethanol requirement is fuel used exclusively for aircraft, Wyckoff said.

Advocates of blending gasoline with ethanol say it helps the environment, reduces dependency on foreign oil and, hopefully, will drop the price of motor fuel.

But Ethanol Worsens Global Warming

Washington Post February 8, 2008:

Clearing land to produce biofuels such as ethanol will do more to exacerbate global warming than using gasoline or other fossil fuels, two scientific studies show.

The independent analyses, which will be published today in the journal Science, could force policymakers in the United States and Europe to reevaluate incentives they have adopted to spur production of ethanol-based fuels. President Bush and many members of Congress have touted expanding biofuel use as an integral element of the nation's battle against climate change, but these studies suggest that this strategy will damage the planet rather than help protect it.

It also helps starve a third world child every five seconds.

Washington Post July 2, 2006:

Finally, considering projected population growth in the United States and the world, the humanitarian policy would be to maintain cropland for growing food -- not fuel. Every day more than 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes -- one child every five seconds. The situation will only get worse. It would be morally wrong to divert cropland needed for human food supply to powering automobiles. It would also deplete soil fertility and the long-term capability to maintain food production. We would destroy the farmland that our grandchildren and their grandchildren will need to live.

Or how about: obese people and smokers should lobby to have taxes raised on fit and thin people who are driving up their health care costs.

Associated Press February 5, 2008:

It costs more to care for healthy people who live years longer, according to a Dutch study that counters the common perception that preventing obesity would save governments millions of dollars.

On average, healthy people lived 84 years. Smokers lived about 77 years, and obese people lived about 80 years. Smokers and obese people tended to have more heart disease than the healthy people.

Cancer incidence, except for lung cancer, was the same in all three groups. Obese people had the most diabetes, and healthy people had the most strokes. Ultimately, the thin and healthy group cost the most, about $417,000, from age 20 on.

The cost of care for obese people was $371,000, and for smokers, about $326,000.

The results counter the common perception that preventing obesity will save health systems worldwide millions of dollars.

"This throws a bucket of cold water onto the idea that obesity is going to cost trillions of dollars," said Patrick Basham, a professor of health politics at Johns Hopkins University who was unconnected to the study. He said government projections about obesity costs are frequently based on guesswork, political agendas and changing science.

He said government projections are frequently based on guesswork, political agendas and changing science? Nah! Only in the alternative universe.

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