The Chiquita banana solution to energy independence

Discussion in 'Energy' started by thrimironaxe, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. thrimironaxe
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    thrimironaxe Member

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    In the 1800's United Fruit became immensely powerful in Latin America, earning the company universal dislike in those nations (this is one of many reasons why its name was changed to Chiquita in 1984). Despite its monopoly, there is one type of power that the company never acquired: pricing power. If the price of tropical fruit got out of hand, people could always eat other types of food.

    What does this have to do with energy? We can accomplish "energy security" the same way we accomplished "fruit security". We do not have to make our own ... as long as the global market is competitive (i.e. not a monopoly).

    How do you create a competitive global market in liquid fuels? OPEC controls oil ... so we need a non-oil alternative. Bio ethanol is the answer.

    The United States must stop protecting national corn-to-ethanol (this madness makes no thermodynamic sense and it makes no economic sense). Tropical sugar cane-to-ethanol is about 3000% more efficient from an energy surplus point of view (net EROI is 30% for corn and 1000% for sugar cane). It is also cost competitive against gasoline with no subsidy or government incentive at all.

    OPEC is terrified of sugar cane to ethanol - but they are not scared of corn to ethanol at all. That is because they can do the math just as well as I can. If OPEC knows that raising the price of oil will generate ethanol competition, they have an incentive to keep prices reasonable. Just like united fruit.

    Strangely enough, in this global economy, Iowa farmers are probably the last real friends that OPEC has left.
     
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  2. Denny Crane
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    Denny Crane Obama/Biden

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    Good post.:cool: Doing away with the corn based ethanol subsidies happens to be a policy that I agree with McCain on.The Brazil ethanol program is a good example of what can be done with sugar cane. If our government would lower the quota on ethanol from Brazil we could probably import it cheaper than producing it.
     
  3. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    I think we could probably make it with sugar beets.

    Or here's a thought...TRADE WITH CUBA.

    I still think solar, wind, tide and geothermal are the best long term approaches.
     
  4. random3434
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    random3434 Senior Member

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    Interesting. My daughter is in 8th grade, and came home yesterday telling me about something similar to this. Her science teacher told the class about it.

    (she loves her science teacher by the way, because he engages the students in discussions and experiments, not just dry text book same old.)
     
  5. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    Algae based ethanol can produce 10,000 gallons per acre vs less than 150 for corn. That's the direction we need to move as far as ethanol is concerned.
     
  6. thrimironaxe
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    thrimironaxe Member

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    I hope you are right.

    If the US stops micro-managing the exact method used to produce ethanol burned in the United States, we would be able to find out.

    Today, the cheapest ethanol in the world is sugar cane based. It is so much cheaper than corn based ethanol, that the massive tax on sugarcane ethanol was not enough to keep it out. So, now the US government imposes a tax and a quota.

    The only reason for this crazy policy is to buy electoral votes in mid west states.
     
  7. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    Commie pinko!! :eusa_angel:
     

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