Friday, February 8, 2008

The Harm Created by the Ethanol Scam

The Ethanol Scam has everything to do with money. Men are not evil to this degree just for the heck of it. The desire for wealth gives them an incentive to engage in this creation of hardship.

I've accumulated information (Click to see video) on some of the negatives associated with corn ethanol production. There's a lot. What I have is below. But there is much more information available.

With this information you are able to assess what the Bush Ethanol Scam has set upon you. You really need to take this personally. This was done to you.
You are going to hurt because of this. In fact you have already been hurt as the price of basic food stocks are rising now. That which you need the very most, food, has been made more difficult for you to obtain by the corn Ethanol Scam.

The harm caused by the promotion of Corn ethanol:

One way the American public has been harmed is by higher food prices. An injured aquatic ecology / fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico is another way. There are predictions of much greater loss of farm land due to erosion associated with the intensive farming needed to produce corn.

Further, i
n the course of corn ethanol production chemical additives that enter the soil create risk factors impacting humans and others in the environment. It is not only fertilizers which cause the problems or create the potential that results in the problems.

There are the poisons deliberately put into the ground in order to produce your food. These present an additional hazard to the environment. It can end up in the water supply due to run-offs from the fields they're used on. It can end up in our bodies as well as the bodies of our pets. Our entire lifestyle is under attack through the activity relating to the production of corn ethanol.

The herbicides, the government has warned, represent a potential health risk. The agricultural herbicides that are used in the cultivation of corn and other crops end up in our bodies. They are of course toxic.

Along with herbicides, there are pesticides which can harm humans as well as the environment in general. The poisoning of wildlife and pets is an example of that. Corn is an especially large consumer of agricultural chemicals.

'Cide' seems to have shown up multiple times in the preceding paragraphs. It goes along with sui'cide', and homi'cide'. When you see it, it means somebody, something, died. One chemical used, Atrazine, is highly dangerous to humans. "This information is important because this substance may harm you." is the warning from a Department of Health and Human Services website.

So poison is one way we have been placed at risk by the increased production of corn for ethanol. It is reasonable to think that if your poison is ending up in my body that you are hurting me in some detectable way.

But perhaps the most palpable and immediate way in which the ordinary citizen is being injured by the logic of the Ethanol Scam is associated with what they pay for groceries. The price of food is rising and is expected to continue to rise for the foreseeable future. Ethanol claims priority over the traditional use of corn for food.

We all need to eat. This is our common need. Making it more difficult to obtain food is not in our best interests. The manufactured scarcity of food is a tool long used by oppressors when trying to control a population. The potato famine in Ireland is an example of that. Those are the 'knowns' about the harm of ethanol to the average citizen. The 'unknowns' may be found to exist in the inscrutable genesis of diseases.

"The enormous volume of corn required by the ethanol industry is sending shock waves through the food system.... This might sound like nirvana to corn producers, but it is hardly that for consumers, especially in poor developing countries, who will be hit with a double shock if both food prices and oil prices stay high."

Chicken is definitely going to cost more.

Tyson foods in their first quarter fiscal report in 2008 states: "The chicken segment struggled with more than $100 million in additional grain costs."

"In November, we projected an additional $300 million in grain costs for fiscal 2008," Bond said. "We now think this year-over-year increase will exceed half a billion dollars. Because of these unanticipated and extraordinarily high corn and soybean meal costs, we have no choice but to raise prices substantially.

"The continued escalation of grain prices, driven largely by government mandates for corn-based ethanol, has caused a domino effect for other inputs. Cooking oil, flour and other feed ingredients are all on the rise. For the foreseeable future, consumers will pay more and more for food, especially protein, because grain represents a proportionally higher percentage of input costs compared to other foods."
The same is true for beef prices, and any product remotely related to corn.

The cost in dollars to the consumer is already astonishingly high. The increased cost of living associated with the production of ethanol from corn makes it especially difficult for those of us who need to eat, and who have loved ones that need to eat. All have all been affected by this policy; more have been harmed than benefited. I think this is a BETTER WAY

According to a study conducted and issued May 17, 2007 by Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa: "...the study finds that the increase in U.S. retail food prices could reach $20 billion annually under a scenario in which crude oil prices range from $65 to $70 per barrel and U.S. corn prices reach $4.42 per bushel, compared to the $2 per bushel that existed in mid-August 2006.

Under the high-price crude oil scenario, the study projects that U.S. ethanol production could reach 30 billion gallons by 2016, consuming more than half of U.S. corn, wheat and other coarse grain production and triggering higher meat prices for consumers, reduced production across-the-board for all segments of the meat sector, and even greater reductions in grain and meat exports."

This goes back to the designation of a scam. You have been maneuvered into paying more for your food under the pretext of benefiting yourself with ethanol. It's going to cost the citizens of this nation
$20 billion more annually simply to eat so that the policies of the United States can go forward. I find this unacceptable. This is going to hurt people in other nations as well.

But who will benefit? (This question needs to be answered.) Who will benefit from imposing hardship on us? What is the benefit from doing something like this to the people that live on the planet? I do not believe it has anything to do with national security. The men and woman who conceived this plan are not going to feel the impact of their activity in any way but positive.

It is most of us who need to work hard and try our best to keep our heads above water that are going to be hurt. We have already been hurt by the judgment reflected in these policies.

Free from dependence on foreign oil. That was the 'con'. Being insecure regarding oil futures was the pretext of the danger we were said to have faced which made us vulnerable. Therefore we are going to use food to make fuel for machines. That seems to have been the thinking on the subject. It does not seem plausible that those making the plans overlooked the effects of their activities on the family budgets around the world. I think what is more likely they did not think it mattered all that much.

Read the snow job the Senate sent you so you'd agree to raise the price of food you eat by $20 billion annually. They must be spending a lot of money because they have gone to the expense of producing this. These guys are smart. They could sweet talk a kid out of his toy and the kid would never be the wiser. Because this is designed to harm, under the pretext of being a benefit, the Ethanol Scam is a crime against the people of the world perpetrated by a few who control the financial interests that govern life here. Here is what I would designate as a description of the crime.

"David Pimentel of Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has argued that ethanol is a lousy choice because it takes more energy to produce ethanol from corn than the ethanol ultimately yields. It also takes a heck of a lot of corn to produce very much ethanol.
11 Acres = One Year’s Fuel. "

You don't pick out technologies and give them incentives," he says. "What you do is you make it a fair playing field." Incentives frequently lead to bad technology, because there's an economic reason for their development, and some argue that's exactly what has happened with ethanol.

Pimentel, who chaired a U.S. Department of Energy committee that looked into ethanol several years ago, says relying on corn for our future energy needs would devastate the nation's food production.

It takes 11 acres to grow enough corn to fuel one automobile with ethanol for 10,000 miles, or about a year's driving, Pimentel says. That's the amount of land needed to feed seven persons for the same period of time." This information is from the Energy Bulletin.

This article is well worth reading. There are thoughtful people in this world, and there are people who can connect the dots and see what appears.

The relationship of higher food prices, along with higher fuel prices, combined with an economy fighting for its life against a recession makes this hard on families. We all have to eat. Having more expensive food in this type of economy is not a plus from the average person's point of view. So for whom is the increase in food a positive change? Our place here on the planet has been made a little more difficult by those elected to look after us. You might wonder why the Bush Administration would want to do this to us. I'd say that greed is the reason and you do not mean anything to them but a way to finance your own demise.

That's the way it looks from here, anyhow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Bottom Of The Heap With the Foot Of Ethanol On Their Face

When we arrive there, the future will be seen to be the result of a series of steps taken by those who directed the course of society by the use of their specialized logic. Part of the purpose of this blog is to show how pernicious that logic is. The disgusting details of our path to where we are now become unavoidable as we recall them.

The lessons learned are begging to be implemented. We have the ability as collective humanity to recognize it for what it is. Stating the obvious is sometimes so radical a thing to do it sounds treasonous. Sometimes it is necessary if you want to see another generation or two appear.

There are reasons we don't criticize ourselves to harshly. As a new influx of immigrants, those who would become Americans began to dispossess those they found living here as soon as it became necessary. In the place they came from such activity was considered a crime. People as young as 9 were routinely sentenced to death or prison where they would be abused physically and sexually. This was common practice for crimes like burglary and petty theft. They weren't there anymore.

The new immigrants arrived with the attitude that they were on God's side or vice versa. It really doesn't matter. Apparently they felt 'Thou Shalt Not Steal' did not apply to them in the New World. After all He was leading 'them' to the Promised Land.

They soon came to a corporate opinion of themselves and the place they occupied in history. Along with this came the need to secure their future. It could be viewed as a national megalomania by someone looking on from outside as the nation rallied around the sentiment. This spirit that enchanted the entire nation from the poorest to the richest declared its Manifest Destiny.

It didn't matter if there were others already there. Those that were already there were heathen

It didn't matter to the immigrants, their God had done things like that before. This was providence. Any fool could see that." Go west young man."

Transplanting this sentiment onto American soil enabled them to influence the entire course of history. Since then behaving like this is generally identified as imperialism or 'just deserts', depending on who is making the accusation or plea for help.

That provides an important lesson about the nature of society, any society. What is generally understood to be 'SO' is first created in your mind by concepts someone else has given you. Then it becomes real in the physical world as those in the society labor to support it. Any organization like this becomes more efficient as time goes on.

If you know anything about scams you know that the ethanol initiative is a scam. It is a scam proposed by U.S. foreign policy and now penetrated into virtually every part of the world capable of growing the necessary crops,. Ethanol production is having the same effects of torture and virtual slavery associated with trade and monopoly capital in the past.

Bloomberg T.V January 24th at 7 and 9 pm will show a documentary on the abuse of the bottom level workers in the ethanol industry including also the toll on our precariously situated environment. There is a short trailer from the documentary that will air on Bloomberg TV January 24.
Deadly Brew: the human toll of ethanol. Click here.

The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association has responded. Despite the evidence, Brazill maintains that ethanol is a blessing.

"There is no reasonable explanation for phrases like 'cars run on
blood' or 'Brazil entering its industrial revolution' finding
their way
into a report produced by Bloomberg, leaving the
impression that its
professionals are not aware of what goes on in
Brazil, including its
current stage of industrialization.'

This is an essential document in that it aids in understanding how the
kind of decisions that result in the conditions of the sugarcane industry
are made and how the results are evaluated. When you are able to look at
the links you'll see about the conditions involving sugar cane production
in general. After seeing how the industry works in the countries it is
springing up in you will be able to better evaluate this industry response
and draw a conclusion as to the nature of those who think this way.
"Carlos worked with his father. As far as the owners of the plantations are concerned, he and many of the other children who cut cane are “helpers,” not employees. “They didn’t pay me; they paid my father,” he told us. “There are many children working with their fathers.”2 Characterizing the youngest children as “helpers” is convenient for employers—the minimum working age is fourteen in El Salvador, and both the labor code and international law forbid the employment of any child under eighteen in harmful or hazardous labor. We asked seventeen-year-old Moises B. if the foremen know the ages of their workers. “When people share the tarea they give you, then, yes, they know,” he said, telling us that plantation foremen know that some workers are under the legal working age. “Age doesn’t matter to them. What matters is the work that a person can do.”

Cutting cane is backbreaking work, and accidents are common. “There’s a high level of risk in sugar,” said Benjamin Smith, principal technical advisor with the International Labour Organization (ILO) in El Salvador, noting that sugarcane workers labor in direct sunlight and use machetes and other sharp tools. In addition, because cane is often burned before it is cut to clear away leaves, workers risk smoke inhalation and sometimes suffer burns on their feet.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a former labor inspector told Human Rights Watch that of all forms of agricultural work, sugarcane is the most hazardous. “Sugarcane has the most risks,” he said. “It’s indisputable—sugarcane is the most dangerous."

I wonder how a Christian or otherwise quasi religious person, or good old ethical human person could see or know of such things and then agree to participate. By doing so there seems to be an intentional blindness that results in the validation of the atrocities committed against these people. Everyday those creating the circumstances that result in experiences like this are making vast amounts of money as a result of the control of these activities.

The ability to logically regard the entire environment as a Collateral Damage zone when balanced against their priorities makes them a difficult entity to deal with. This is true because we are accustomed to viewing events through a common lens that as a culture we have agreed upon is the way things should be. And we have agreed upon a common picture of what we're up to.
Being able to avoid that influence and see things for what they are in a larger field of activity can bring about a different consensus. That is the only hope we, as humans have in the political sphere. It is often difficult to shake a long held belief that everyone around you refers to as the truth, even when the evidence is quite convincing. This is because the prior belief system precludes the obvious conclusion from being reached.

The enterprise entered upon by those who control the world through economic policies becomes criminal when it is juxtaposed to what the majority of humans regard as common human decency.

The way it expressed itself was interpreted through the common lens the world is generally viewed with. Today, thanks to the Internet there is more than one lens available to look through.
Brazil is one place to begin to look. But you will find this happening all over the world. The disenfranchised exploited, the planet ravished, and money being made hand over fist by a very few. This is how our society expresses itself based on its inherent logic. One only need to look to what occurred in England when the Industrial Revolution got underway. The amount of raw materials required was staggering once the steam engine transformed the enterprise. Along with that transportation systems needed to be in place. The railroad was initiated to augment the shipping by sea as unheard of amounts of natural resources were needed. The worker suffered greatly under the conditions that resulted from this economic expansion, and the simultaneous shock associated with the transformation of society in general, from rural to urban. 

Jump ahead to today and the same process has changed only by refining itself and its techniques to greater degrees of control over the natural resources of the world. John Perkins describes the way the process has been transformed perfectly in the book "Confessions Of An Economic Hitman". It doesn't matter to those involved in the operations of this and other scams who will be hurt.

That's the way it looks from here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Some of the Issues Underlying the Ethanol Scam

Click here for an excellent article that details a lot not being detailed today. Today you hear and read a lot about the economic benefit to communities affected by ethanol. This article written by Jeff Goodell dated 7/24/2007 on the Rolling Stone Website goes a long way in rectifying that lack of information. This article pretty much says all the things that all at once fit together and go with the word 'scam'.

As good as this article is, it does not go far enough. I have no fault with what he said, but that he did not say enough.

All of the harm that flows from this decision to take our food and turn it into fuel needs to be listed. There is a lot of harm suffered by a lot of people. The environment and industries are in peril as a result.

Alongside of this should be shown who benefited. Goodell names some names and he does show the relationships that are involved in perpetrating this upon the entire world. He just does not go far enough. Once the problem is clearly defined and the scope of harm examined a solution can happen.

Along with this there are a couple of books that are informative. They both go right along with this and they helped me understand quite a bit better why things happen the way they do when governments are involved.

The Shock Doctrine

Confessions Of An Economic Hitman

In future posts I'll be looking at the elements that have both gained and lost as a result of the ethanol scam. I'll make up a way of displaying the results and try to get that all in one post when I am done. At that time you should be able to understand completely why the whole ethanol scam is correctly labeled a scam.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Ethanol Domino Effect

An intrinsically flawed relationship with the natural order has allowed the policy makers to create the ethanol debacle that is upon us. This is because the health of the environment is dependent on all the features of the environment being healthy.

The environment can be understood to be comprised of all the relationships that contribute to maintaining life. The ethanol policy has disrupted the relationships on almost, if not every aspect of our living. The earth is being harmed. The health of the earth is fairly important to humans as well as those they share it with. Right there is the heart of the concept that has allowed this malicious ethanol policy to be shoved down our throats. Those who made the policy do not think of sharing the earth. They think of dominating and exploiting it for their private use.

The effects of the ethanol scam behave within this environment in the way a series of dominoes do. When one is pushed into its companion, the whole series topples one after another.

This can be seen easily by the act of flushing fertilizer run off into the Mississippi River. The Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico occurs. It has to.

When a food product is removed from the people, the people become hungry. When food becomes scarce it also becomes expensive. When the food becomes expensive the ability to maintain the lifestyle you've become accustomed to becomes impossible; or at best more difficult than before. So who is the enemy that is destroying our way of life?

This is so obvious that the policy to take our food and turn it into fuel takes on diabolical connotations.

Every area of human life on the planet will be affected negatively by the flawed energy mandates of the United States. This is easy to understand when you acknowledge that the health of the environment is dependent on the health of all the relationships within it. This is impossible to understand if you act on the premise that you can beat it into submission and not harm it. Or perhaps they understand and simply do not care if harm occurs.

Here's a short list of articles documenting the harm that has been done to us, as well as the potential for harm that will be caused by this policy.

The fishing industry and the workers in that industry have had their way of earning their livelihood disrupted.
When income is disrupted families suffer. A PhD is not necessary to realize that. This scientific study shows how proponents of ethanol think.

The quality and availability of drinking water is endangered. Aquifers have been placed under stress by the potential of the ethanol policy.

The ability to obtain food and to produce food has been impacted.

Taxpayers will have to give billions of their dollars to industries so that they can produce ethanol. Thats a slap in the face isn't it?
It should be a wake up call. There is an additional, hidden tax as well. The fuel made with ethanol will cost more.

All of the relationships involved in the planet are being negatively impacted by this policy.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ethanol And Its Dangers (some of them)

BBC science news has reported that associated with the move to ethanol there is an inherent danger to the environment.

Excerpts from the report.

The grain required to fill the petrol tank of a Range Rover with ethanol is sufficient to feed one person per year. Assuming the petrol tank is refilled every two weeks, the amount of grain required would feed a hungry African village for a year"

"Food prices are already increasing. With just 10% of the world's sugar harvest being converted to ethanol, the price of sugar has doubled; the price of palm oil has increased 15% over the past year, with a further 25% gain expected next year."

The environment includes the place we live and those that live there.

Some of the dangers include:

1. Deforestation, followed by diminished air quality and accelerated climate change.

2. Increased scarcity and affordability of food. Grain and cattle that are fed the grain.

3. Increased extinction of whole species.

4. Impaired and diminished water resources.

5. Destruction of ecosystems that provide food such as fish as well as grain.

6. Air quality.

What stands out in my mind about all of this is the way this is being shoved down our throats. It has been in the works for quite a few years. Reported in 2003 the Australian PM was implicated in an ethanol related scandal. The industry is taking root all over the world and the attendant environmental and fiscal harm to average inhabitants of the planet is following in its wake. This kind of development does not occur without a lot of planning and forethought. We could be developing the means to destroy our way of life while trying to save it. This predicament clearly demonstrates the efficacy of government policies and belies the intent they have stated as a need for ethanol.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Shock Doctrine In Practice

This entire article is revealing. What it reveals is the cancer inside. It discloses that which will kill us all. Unfortunately it reveals U.S. foreign policy that has become front and center since 2000 after the U.S. election process was compromised. I felt from that time onward that their had been a coup in the United States.

From Biofuels News:

"...notwithstanding the apparently good intentions driving this initiative, it must be said that biofuel projects in Colombia - especially the expansion of palm oil plantations - has played a negative role in the reintegration process. According to the IDMC, some palm oil cultivation projects are blocking the return of IDP's to their lands. This could be seen as an example of what Naomi Klein describes as the 'shock doctrine': (Click and view the film) after a catastrophe such as a civil war, people's lands, resources and livelihoods are taken over by large capital and the situation is presented as the only viable alternative to overcome the crisis.This goes to show that biofuel projects can cut both ways: if implemented smartly and within a framework of strong social and environmental policies, with control and power over the decision making process shared with rural communities and civil society organisations, they can contribute to rural development, social integration and poverty alleviation; if they are merely the object of big business interests and controlled by powerful elites, they can lead to land grabs, social injustices and social disintegration."

A lot of ordinary everyday people feel this way. Bruce Fealk posted this. It is exactly the same sentiment that came over me when I came into contact with Naomi Kleins book. I loaned it to a friend. He told me it was very depressing. Well it is depressing because it reveals that we are under attack by forces that we are required by law to support. It is depressing because you and I, the individual, have been subordinated to the context of 'labor power' without faces and without any real existence in the eyes of those dictating this subordination. The entity doing this is an inhuman construct, the purposes of which extend to the mutilation of humanity on the planet in exchange for money. It is the same vision George Orwell indicated in his book 1984 "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." George Orwell. This is exactly what we are watching happen NOW! Orwell had quite a way with words didn't he? He also had an astute knowledge of the way that things work. You can read some of his thoughts here.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Ethical Aspects Of Corn Based Ethanol

For some there is no ethical problem at all. The reason is a completely divergent view of what is 'good' from what has been traditionally understood in the annals of human ethical development. In the new view, what is good for the 'market' and the corporate entities associated with it is considered the greatest good. This has not always been the case in democracies. In Greece, the birthplace of democracy, "The Greek word demokratia is a marriage of demos , the people, and krateein, power or rule." This means that the people rule and have the power. Is that the way it is in the United States?

Of course not. So why all the talk of building democracies? There's a reason and we'll figure it out as this blog runs its course.

The ethanol initiative is completely at odds with every major humanitarian theme revealed in traditional religions and humanistic philosophy. It is an inimical concept when applied to what the American experience is said to be. It is at odds with the values that are found to arise naturally in the seat of human self knowledge.
It is a pernicious undertaking that seems to be hell bent on the destruction of the human being as we have always known him / her.

The abandonment and replacement of traditional moral / ethical constructs allows people to make administrative decisions such as the ethanol scam. For Christians, Jesus' idea was to treat others well, to seek their good. Buddhists have developed 'compassion' for others as the logical consequence of their way of life. Judaism requires that 'the stranger' you meet should be treated well, because his needs require it. It is often stated in the Old Testament that you should do well to 'others' because you were in the same boat at one time and God had mercy on you. Read the way this new, political morality plays out.

Compare it to the traditional views that have been with the human race from time immemorial.

This is a good video on the topic and shows you that you have a right to speak up.

The poor, of course, will always be hurt the most by this novel moral paradigm that has taken over the processes of the world.

There's more and it's not nice.