I think most people in America would agree that gas prices have gotten ridiculous. All it takes to see the gas prices skyrocket upward is to have the price of oil go up and the oil companies/gas stations will tell us that even though what is in their tanks is the cheaper stuff that they will need to adjust their prices in preparation for the higher prices. Of course when the price of oil goes down they don’t lower it, because what is in their tanks is the more expensive stuff. And all the while the oil companies are putting up bigger and bigger profits. Gee, I wonder why?
Now I know that our European friends will gladly say that it is about time we experience the higher prices. In fact, I recently met with a friend of mine who lives in Ireland for lunch told me that very same thing. And in some ways I have to agree. I know that for me personally it has caused me to rethink my car buying decisions and gotten me to buy more economical cars, which in turn means my cars are greener than my previous cars. And I don’t plan on going back to buying any gas guzzlers even if the price of gas dropped back below a dollar a gallon again.
Now we are having a new alternative for gas with the E85 made from corn converted into ethanol. I think that the ethanol option is a good way to not only get us off of our dependency on foreign oil and will be a greener fuel, but I am not so sure that a food source is our best option for creating gas. Instead of paying farmers to grow corn so we can burn it in our cars why not pay them to grow corn so we can feed people instead that need food. I heard somewhere that the amount of corn it takes to fuel a SUV for one week with E85 is the same amount of corn it would take to feed someone for a year. Is corn the best option for ethanol?
I love editorial cartoons, because I think the give us a nugget of truth in a humorous way. Matt Davies is becoming my favorite editorial cartoonist. On 4 March 2008 He drew an editorial titled Against the Grain that you can see here.
It really does make you think.
There are better ways to create ethanol than using a food source like corn kernels. Brazil has been using sawgrass and other plants to produce ethanol since 1975 and sawgrass makes a much better grade of ethanol that corn and can produce up to 7X more ethanol than corn kernels. (Article here) So I say we keep growing the corn but let’s give it to people who need food and make or ethanol from a non-food source.
Just some of my personal gaseous thoughts.