Should We Burn Our Food for Fuel?

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Bashir Muttawa
Ecology essay
Nov 16
Should we burn our food for fuel?

Contents
Introduction3
Why do we do this3
Conclusion4
Bibliography4

Why do we burn fossil fuels
Introduction
 
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates that by 2022 36 billion gallons of biofuels will be produced in the United States.  15 billion gallons of this biofuel is expected to come from corn. (1) This will require the sacrifice of enough food to feed 166,000,000 people--over half the current population of the United States.  This doesn't even take into consideration that it takes at least 2/3 gallon of fossil fuel, by the US Department of Energy's own figures, to produce one gallon of ethanol. (2)  (Ethanol producers do not use ethanol to produce ethanol because it is too expensive.)

Why do we do this

Why do we do this?  Because our policy makers have come to believe that the air-born plant food carbon dioxide is a “pollutant” (3) that must be reduced or severe damage will be done to the biosphere. Acting on this belief the US government is planning on turning enough food into fuel by 2022 that could feed half the population of the United States!  Even if carbon dioxide were a “pollutant” the use of biofuels produces little or no net reduction in carbon emissions since by some estimates it takes more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than what one gets back from it when it is burned.  "Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion to ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make 1 gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTU." (4)   Apart from the highly controversial notion that carbon dioxide has the power to regulate the Earth’s temperature, what is it?  In one word “food”—food for plants, which becomes food for animals, including human beings.  Carbon dioxide is food because carbon is one of the essential building blocks of organic life (Organic - “Belonging to a family of compounds...
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