Originally Posted by DaveN007
Yes. I was thinking about ethanol. I haven't looked into the largescale bio-diesel thing.
I do believe that diesel has a bright future and expect to one day own a 700 ft pounds of torque car that will go 0-60 in 4 seconds with a CVT and get 40mpg. Seriously.
I would like to see the "math" on using up land to grow fuel, though. Let us not forget that petroleum is simply stored solar energy and is pretty damned efficient at this point compared to other alternatives. It is, in fact, renewable in the sense that new supplies are being created by natural processes as we speak.
The concept of plants grown for fuel calls to mind questions regarding water supplies, fertilizer use, and habitat destruction.
To claim that politics isn't part of this would be silly. Our usage and sources of energy cut to the core of everything we do. There is nothing inherently morally superior about raising soybeans and making bio-diesel versus drilling for oil.
Especially if we discover that the best place to grow soy is Saudi arabia. LOL.
For the math, check with just about any Ag department. A lot of large scale farms that are just letting some land set fallow due to market conditions are already gearing up. Also, the tobacco farms and cattle ranches are starting to convert. Many cattle ranches in the midwest appear to be running small herds for the acreage due again to market conditions and can do better on crops that turn 3X per year.
Since most of the land is currently already farm land, the only habitat that will be harmed would be the rash of McMansions that are multiplying like bunnies, eating up farm land. Interesting side effect of agriculture instead of McMansions is fewer environmental impacts due to a lack of additional asphalt, concrete, brick, metal, etc.