Barbara Hirsch, recording engineer for the UCSB Music Library, sustainability change agent, and author of Ecofacts.

By some estimates, peak oil has happened, which means that oil production will be ever decreasing, its prices ever rising. Oil is used for pretty much everything in modern society – transportation, home heating, electricity, manufacturing – the process and the goods, agriculture, commercial fertilizers and farming equipment, so much.

Biofuels may seem like a new topic but already grain, such as corn, is being grown by the millions of acres to ease our dependence on oil. Of course grain is also used as feed for livestock and us, and it requires tons of energy to be grown and turned into fuel. Recently food prices have been increasing and global grain stocks decreasing.

If one were to fill an SUV tank with Ethanol, the corn or grain that it took to make that fuel would feed a person for a year. Nothing but corn for a year is not appealing to us but it sure is better than nothing, which is what some people have. So, SUV owners could either donate a tankfull’s worth or…. hopefully fuel of the future will be produced from far less energy intensive (to produce) materials, like garbage, cellulose or algae.

Isn’t it great that there still are activities that are not dependent on any fossil fuel energy? Some of them are even productive and/or pleasurable!

Citations and Links:


Energy Bulletin

Christian Science Monitor

Science Daily


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