I am so sick and tired of hearing all the criticism of the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan and President Bush. The critics say the war is a mistake, it is not right. I don't know for sure, but time will tell. But, what is right?
Once, just once, I would like to hear what one of these critics would have done after 9/11. What they would do now, and what they would do in the future to fight terrorism. They completely avoid the issue. Do they feel we should do nothing? Should we just let those people do as they wish?
If there is anyone out there that has come up with a better solution to this situation, something constructive, I would like to hear about it. I would readily change my opinion, attitude, and back that person. Til then I wish they would back off.
Ethanol requirements are madness
The spectacular rise in wheat prices to the $15/bushel range is matched by recent record prices for corn and soybeans. All this is the inevitable result of the competition for the same crop land between the world's 800 million or so affluent motorists and 2 billion hungry poor. To feed continuous E-85 (85 percent ethanol) fuel to an average SUV or light truck requires allocating every harvest from at least two acres of Minnesota corn land. Wide use of E-85 would require planting corn from Minnesota to the Pacific. At 5 to 10 percent of gasoline, ethanol is a useful octane supplement. Although even that level stresses food supplies. And it is not enough to save us from the Arabs.
We also learn this week from University of Minnesota professors Hill, Tilman, etc that ethanol-driven land use changes are hurting the environment more than any benefit from lowered use of fossil fuels (Biofuels deemed a greenhouse threat, New York Times, Feb. 8). All this is occurring at the current U.S. ethanol production rate of 7-8 billion gallons/year. The recent congressional requirement for 36 billion gallons is madness.
Rolf E. Westgard
ROLF E. WESTGARD is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.