It is amazing the extent that “chicken littles” have dominated the discussion about energy supplies over the last century:
The problem with these people is a failure of imagination and ingenuity. Human progress, if left alone, will continue to find better and more efficient ways of finding and using energy. Here is an example of some very good news for the United States. The key point:
You’ll notice I qualified human progress with the phrase, “if left alone.” Gasohol (ethanol made from corn) started out in the Carter administration as a way to stretch oil (and gas) supplies. Even though we have plenty of gas (which can run autos just fine and is cleaner than oil), plenty of coal, and steady reserves of oil, the EPA wants us to use more corn to make more gasohol, even though this creates more pollution and uses more, rather than less, energy.
How much less expensive is gas? Here is a graph of prices for the past year:
|Courtesy: Wall Street Journal online|
Meanwhile, corn prices continue to soar:
Given the growth of energy-dense natural gas supplies, and given the tightening world food supply, could we please go back to using corn for food?
Hat tip: Bishop Hill