Ethanol a 'Solution'? Think Again.

In an important article in today’s Wall Street Journal, the brilliant George Gilder deconstructs many of the pious falsehoods promulgated by dangerous "green energy" lobbyists, corporate subsidy-seekers and politicians on both sides of the aisle who ignorantly pander to them. The article uses California as a poster-child to show how so-called "green energy" is paving the way to national bankruptcy and irrelevancy.

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Among Gilder’s targets is ethanol, a destructive fad sustained by generous government hand-outs to politically powerful farm interests, and costly mandates imposed on the rest of us. Alas, all for nothing, as revealed by even a casual examination of the magnitudes of energy required by industrial civilization:

Even if all Americans stopped eating (saving about 100 thermal watts per capita on average) and devoted all of our current farmland to biofuels, the output could not fill much more than 2% of our energy needs.

Michigan politicians have inflicted the cost of plenty of state ethanol subsidies on residents here as well. Some of these are listed here, with links to which legislators voted yes and which voted no.

Our Legislature has also imposed "renewable" electric mandates that Gilder calls "disgraceful," and which are also dishonest because they’re so manifestly impossible to attain. lists how legislators in the House and Senate voted for these requirements.

Gilder concludes: "But the green campaign wastes scarce and precious technological and entrepreneurial resources indispensable to the nation's future. Now it is debauching America's most precious venture assets. It must be defeated, not appeased."