Speak Out 1/17/08

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ethanol fallout

ANYONE WITH adequate ability to reason realizes that food prices have and will continue to increase due to ethanol, which is bad for our economy. The government, which is essentially us citizens, are subsidizing the production of ethanol. Instead we should be drilling more, building more refineries and moving toward nuclear power like the French. Ethanol has been backed by our politicians because it gave them an easy way to say that they are doing something about the high price of fuel. But fuel prices have not decreased because of ethanol, and food prices will continue to skyrocket. Give it a year or two and we may see that many people will not be able to purchase as much milk, eggs and meat as they would like or need to eat.

Good for the economy

EVERYONE KNOWS that Saudi Arabia is an exporter of oil. And everyone knows that it benefits Saudi Arabia when the price of oil goes up to record levels. It is good for their country. In a like manner, the U.S. exports grain. It benefits the U.S. when our grain prices go up to record levels and we keep exporting for foreign money. It is good for the U.S. that corn prices are up and China is buying our corn. It makes the entire economy better.

Protect the children

IN REGARD to the smoking ban in Illinois: Parents should be banned from smoking around their children. Secondhand smoke causes ear infections as well as breathing problems and who knows what else. I don't think anyone should have to be subjected to smoke, least of all young children who have no say.

Planet doctors

I AM a geologist. My research specialty is in paleoclimate. A recent comment claimed Al Gore is portraying climate change as something new. We "rabid environmentalists" are not trying to be fearmongers. It doesn't matter if global warming is anthropogenic or not. Climate change causes extinctions, and the fact is Earth's atmosphere is changing rapidly. This could put many modern life forms in a precarious position. The point isn't to place blame. We accept that some action needs to be taken in order to preserve ourselves. If that means cutting down emissions, so be it. We aren't wasting tax dollars. Think of us as doctors for the planet. We're trying to save lives. That's ultimately the point of scientific research, after all.

Corn subsidies

"NONE OF the government subsidies for the making of ethanol goes to the farmer or the plant that makes the ethanol." True enough. However, coffers full of subsidies go to corn farmers for raising the crop, and corn is used in the making of ethanol. True?

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