Critique of “A Level-Headed Look at Ethanol and the Environment” from Yahoo! Green
I initially used “digg” to call attention to the title story on Yahoo Green, but after further reading, I ending up writing a critical note about it and the related study on this blog (below).
Some, but not all, of the problems with corn-to-ethanol operations are discussed on Yahoo Green and in the original Environmental Defense report. These problems include increased usage of water in areas already suffering water shortages and (unmentioned in this story) increased water pollution. Also an issue is the loss of land from the food agriculture supply chain as food and highly-subsidized ethanol compete for farmers’ attention. Finally, also unmentioned in the story: possible health problems due to formaldehye and ozone from ethanol combustion. So, I tried to address these issues in the post called “Environmental Defense report soft on ethanol” written yesterday and found below. I was pleased to have a note of clarification from Environmental Defense pointing out that they are the organization I have supported for many years and think of as the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF, apparently a 10-year old name, but, being 49 years old, what’s a decade or two here or there?). The comment from the former EDF also addressed the “narrow focus” of the report. I appreciate the responsiveness of the group in addressing my confusion over (their) identities. I understand the logic provided for the narrow focus of the report, but I’m not completely comfortable with it.
copyright 2007 James K. Bashkin