Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on February 26, 2008
I see a battle looming. The world will be split into two groups, vehicle-wise – cornophiles and cornophobes. The former will be centered in Scandinavia, the latter, who knows where. Right now I’m personally leaning cornophobe based on my self-proclaimed, meticulous scrutiny of ethanol’s evil side. Sweden, the maker of turbo-powered Saabs, is leaning towards cornophile, at least for the immediate future.
The car manufacturers in Scandinavia are leading the bio-fuel revolution in part because of a zero-emission target date of 2020, and they should be commended for their commitment to the environment. The only problem is that King Corn is arguably more destructive than drilling for liquefied dinosaurs.
From what I can tell (and I dug quite deep into this one), the plan of those building cars in Sweden is sound. It was developed by a commission on “energy independence” and sees corn ethanol as only a transitional phase, a necessary evil on the road to clean energy.
To contrast, the U.S. National Commission on Energy Policy recently supported funding for future coal development and gladhanded the president and Congress over the mediocre energy bill passed last year. Sweden is also strongly supporting biofuels from waste and from rapeseed oil (RME’s) as “first generation” biofuels, recognizing that the first generation fuels use more energy than they give off. The next generation includes turning forest products – without cutting huge swaths – into usable fuels in a system that reverses this negative energy cycle.
Let’s hope the Swedes don’t get stuck on corn. It’s hopeful to see a country take a strong stand against continued pollution.
If you want to dig deep, click here — but I warn you, it’s not light reading.