Corn fuel and wishful thinking

This week's editorial from Black Press writer St Salkeld on climate plans.

An energy-related gaffe that’s been going on south of the border for about 10 years now jumped back into my mind after reading a recent green-lobby press release.

In a recent story by Global News, readers were told “The Pembina Institute and a number of green energy firms say in a letter to Premier Rachel Notley and others in her government that the province has shown strong leadership in its Climate Leadership Plan.

“But the letter says there are questions about how the targets will be enforced and what considerations would lead to a deviation from the targets. The groups that signed the letter are asking the Alberta government to turn that target into law.”

Nothing could be further from the truth about Notley’s NDP government “showing strong leadership.” Strong leadership means doing what’s best for Alberta and Albertans rather than going down the Council of Canadian’s manifesto like a grocery list.

The green groups are rushing to make major decisions that should include all stakeholders, not just members of lobby groups that are in bed with the NDP.

But mistakes like this are made all the time in politics, as political lobbyists such as the Pembina Institute encourage weak politicians to make critical decisions with little or no forethought of consequences. As I said, this brings to mind another politician from the same political stripes, with the same habit of making critical judgments with little or no forethought, screwing it up, backtracking and then declining to take any responsibility.

U.S. Democratic President Barack Obama in the fall of 2015 made a decree about reducing the mandatory amount of ethanol (corn gasoline) in fuel. Years ago U.S. politicians who were doing everything they could to reduce the American addiction to foreign gasoline brought in this “ethanol” requirement, which mandated the use of ethanol to a certain level in gasoline.

Another apparent “benefit” touted by Obama was that ethanol is “green,” whereas other gasoline isn’t. This is where a serious logical error occurred. The premise was flawed. No thought put into idea at all, obviously. Hilariously incompetent.

According to a brilliant story on www.organicconsumers.org, “Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion to ethanol, 131,000 Btu are needed to make 1 gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 Btu. “Put another way,” Cornell University agricultural scientist David Pimentel said, “about 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in ethanol. Every time you make one gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 Btu.”

Think of it this way: what kind of equipment is used to harvest cornfields? Tractors burning fossil fuel.

The same logic applies to wind-farms (how long do the turbines last, how much do they cost for upkeep?) and solar power (how long do panels last, what happens to them in a bad hail storm?). A reasonable, logical Albertan wonders if questions like these are included in the green-lobby’s Grade 2-mentality demands.

There’s a term for what Obama and his corn fuel fantasies (which applies equally to the NDP and their idealistic green-lobby buddies) actually are.

It’s called wishful thinking. “Having or expressing a desire or hope for something to happen based on impractical wishes rather than facts.” (Oxford online dictionary)

Stu Salkeld is the editor of The Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.

 

Just Posted

PHOTO: Eyes turn to heavens to witness super blood wolf moon

These two photos show the lunar eclipse about 30 minutes apart from each other.

Ponoka Stampeders zero for two against Stettler Lightning

Stamps prepare for Sunday home game against the Cochrane Generals

Ponoka cowboy Vernon (Bud) Butterfield passes away

The Ponoka Stampede Association announced his passing Friday

Ponoka’s ag event centre busy with show jumping event

Equine show jumpers came to the Calnash Ag Event Centre for a show jumping event

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

Most Read