ROFL: Random Outbursts From Lar! LarryNocella.com

30Jun/06Off

Setting the agenda – Part 1A: Ethanol

Bitch bitch bitch. I’m sick of political commentators bitching all the time. Not that they are incorrect to whine and complain about the way things in the USA are going right now, but so many people who despise the president still let him determine the agenda.

I’m always amazed by how many people claim to distrust the mainstream media, yet still seem to follow it like a shadow when it comes to topics of discussion. Sure, they may complain, they may refute, but they’re still following: whatever the mainstream discusses, they discuss. They’re still allowing their opponents to set the topics. It’s not a bad rebellion, just not as full as it could be.

To defeat an enemy, you must counteract their actions. This could be why violence often doesn’t end violence. Now if only I’d actually believe that.

So rather than chasing the bad guys, I always try to remind the good guys (you know, like myself) that we need to set our own agenda. Instead of discussing the latest lies and smacked-assery of the white house crew, I’d like to bring up topics and let the smacked asses shadow me.

So, given the opportunity - Actually, is there anything stopping us? Can’t we just force the issue? It would take unity, okay, but still, the opportunity does not need to be waited for, anyone can speak up at any time.

All right already!

So, TAKING THE OPPORTUNITY, there’s lots of things to discuss. In the context of this blog and my own mouth, the microphone is before me, so, what is the most important issue facing the USA?

There can be great arguments made for several topics: a basic health-care safety net for everyone, pure water, etc. There’s so much to choose from, it’s like being an asshole connoisseur at a white house fund-raiser! (Are there asshole connoisseurs? Don’t answer that. I’d do a web-search but chances are, I’d find something. Something VERY disturbing. Especially if I did one of those image searches!)

Anyway, I’m going to treat myself and start with one of my own faves: energy. Specifically, renewable energy. Is there a way we can live on the earth without destroying it? Or at least treading more lightly? Two sub-topics come to mind: ethanol and nuclear power. Today we’ll discuss ethanol, next time, nuclear power.

On a recent business trip to the ever-thrilling state of Iowa, as I was loading up the rental car with gas I saw a notice about ethanol and flex-fuel. I also recall reading about a guy who fuels his car with potato chip oil. Everyone’s talking car-fuel alternatives these days. These thoughts combined in my brain and I reached an inescapable question: why now?

WHY NOW? What took everyone so long?

Why has the USA waited until now to use ethanol as a fuel? What was the breaking point? Is it because investors have finally decided that oil is running out, or is becoming too expensive to harvest (due to dwindling supplies and never-ending social strife?) Or is it because China’s demand is stronger than the USA, and that’s what is driving up the prices?

Regardless: Why now? Since the USA could (maybe even does) grow enough corn to feed the whole world, why has ethanol as an alternative fuel never hit the mainstream until now? It’s not as though petrol-fueled bloodshed just began yesterday. Seems since the day I was born, from the earliest current events memory of my whole life, there has been trouble between the USA and what we call the middle-east, or what the Chinese refer to it as the middle-west. (Actually I just made that up, but if we think of geopolitics as a big family, the middle-east/west is the middle child, with all the angst that comes from that. Talk about over-simplification, LarBlog! So what would Africa be? The red-headed step-child?)

Bottom line here: all this time, all during the era of the oil wars, the USA has had a viable fuel of its own: ethanol. And it was never used fully until now. This blows my mind. Think of all the lives that could have been saved, all the violence prevented if the USA never took on an addiction to Middle-East petrol.

Imagine, back in the day, when strife first arose between the USA and the Middle-East, if the USA, instead of saying, well we’re going to take the oil from you, military-style, the USA policy was: oh yeah, well we’re going to become energy-independent, and fuel our cars with ethanol, made from USA-grown corn. The entire world would have changed.

So, all along, prior to 9/11, WAY prior to 9/11, we Americans could have been fueling our cars with a fuel made right here in the USA. Farm boys would be cruising the world in yachts instead of terrorist financiers. We could have been using a fuel that didn’t come mixed with the blood of Arabic children. All along, corn was the answer. (Sing with me, my fellow hippies: Corn... is the answer!)

Okay, full disclosure here: I don’t entirely know what I’m talking about. Was it possible that back then, engines could only run on gasoline? Was it possible that back then, corn-based fuel wouldn’t work in the engines?

I suppose that is possible, but I’m not buying it. I think it’s a matter of where you divert your energies. I have total faith in America. If the government said back when the strife all began, whenever that was, here’s a ton of grant money for anyone who can make an engine out of corn, we’d all be fueling our cars with nacho chips today.

This situation has the bloody fingerprints of big-business all over it. Why else would presidents extract a resource from a zillion miles away in a land where the people are hostile to Americans, instead of taking a resource right inside America - unless big business had a hand in it? When convenience and logic are trumped as they so often are in American history, who is behind the trumping? Big biz. Infallibly.

Am I saying the USA could have prevented 9/11? Maybe I should switch to passive voice and say it is possible 9/11 could have been prevented. The endless war, cold or hot, that has been going on between the USA and the Arab nations could have been avoided.

I don’t know all the forces behind gasoline or the market, but I do know a bunch of power-hungry idiots at the Project for a New American Century were (and are) completely in favor of USA control of the flow of oil. And some of them are in the white house now. (Web research assignment for you: Project For a New American Century. Check out the members.)

War. All because the oil barons wanted their fuel. Instead of looking to the Mid-East, we could have been looking to the Mid-West. Let history show that the oil barons, and anyone who supported petroleum over ethanol, led to one of the greatest evils in human history.

Historians have their own way of categorizing things and some stick and some don’t. When you base your description around wars, they seem to stick, so let the era of the 1970s through the present be referred to as the years of The Oil Wars. That has been the backdrop for my lifetime. Next car I buy is going to be hybrid, or flex-fuel. Something to get off the crack addiction that is Middle-East oil.

Next LarBlog: Being a Proud Nuke Neighbor.