August 7, 2008

Ethanol A Disastrous Green Revolution That Should Not Be Trailed After

Ethanol is no wonder a controversial product, actually all biofuels expect biogas are controversial. Ask a 100 people and 50 of them would find themselves confused while answering if ethanol is an environment friendly, sustainable product or not?

If you are a corporate giant or a farmer who cultivates corn or sugarcane then ethanol is the king for you, but if you’re an environmentalist or an economist with an eye on food insecurity then ethanol is nothing but instant type of fossil fuel to you. I’ve been suffering with this agonizing dilemma of choosing the side I’m with when it comes to ethanol and other biofuels.

Thanks to the recant food [wheat] insecurity in Pakistan and recant enlightenment about the fact that we produce 7000 new babies every day in Pakistan with no technology to void the need to be feed my dilemma is over. In fact I’ve already chosen the side I’m on and my belief on this Brazilian green gold is over.

Many argue that hybrid vehicles are a step towards Eco sustainability, I disagree only on the grounds that if some batter technology & solution is already available in the form air and electricity powered engines then why not invest in there development, instead of cashing the transactional period from fossil fuel to zero emission electric, hydrogen or air powered ones.

Similar is the case with ethanol and bio fuels, if clean renewable energy can be attained through solar, wind or hydro resources then why bring a silly shift like brazil from one type of carbon emitter to another; with the mare difference of fossil fuel being drilled out of earth while ethanol requires chopping Amazon for raw material production. Depriving our children from a simple satisfying meal of backed corn.

Yup! They are expensive and efficiency is low when it comes to adopting renewable energy but its one time investment. For nations like Pakistan there are other efficient and safe solutions such as atomic power plants; after all what are they going to do with all that uranium? One year of food insecurity brought inflation to about 28 % in Pakistan and maybe another great depression is about to hit USA. Switching to renewable resources of energy slowly and steadily will ensure sustainability and progress for nations in the future. As sustainability is not measure by the number of sky scrapers in a city but by the well feed population living in them.