Amusing Friday afternoon comic:

Corn_industry

See also:

The craze for maize
The Economist,May 10th 2007
http://www.economist.com/printedition/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=9149882

Category: Commodities, Markets, Real Estate

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

19 Responses to “Corn Industry”

  1. Robert Cote says:

    The various homebuilders cancelling raw land contracts are doing essentially that are they not?

  2. Tom B says:

    “The various homebuilders cancelling raw land contracts are doing essentially that are they not?”

    Wish they’d do that in my neck of the woods. To be sure, I don’t want MY house to go down in value, but every time I blink the thugs are clear cutting another forest…..

  3. Estragon says:

    LOL – That’s funny on so many levels.

  4. Funny, not so funny. I sent a former co-worker the link to this post, here is his response.

    “This is happening I saw horse pastures being planted to corn in Oxford, PA”

    Stewart Ramsey
    U.S. Agriculture Service
    Global Insight, Inc.

  5. Estragon says:

    Michael Donnelly – I think it’s the sheer absurdity of it all that makes it funny.

  6. donna says:

    I’m sick of growing suburbs, too. And corn – we have too much of it.

    How about building sustainable housing that is walkable to work, schools and shopping and decent public transportation? No, I guess that’s too hard for AMericans to understand.

    We need our wildlands, woods and watersheds – not more suburbs.

  7. grodge says:

    “…housing that is walkable to work, schools and shopping and decent public transportation.”

    Ford, GM and big oil made sure that that didn’t happen in the middle part of the last century. When Europeans were building efficient light rail systems, our congressmen were getting kickbacks to build the Interstate Highway system.

    Too many interests have been benefiting from the wasteful use of fossil fuel for anything sustainable to happen.

  8. Robert Cote says:

    How about building sustainable housing that is walkable to work, schools and shopping and decent public transportation? No, I guess that’s too hard for AMericans to understand.

    Or perhaps “AMericans” read the BTS data dating back to 1972 showing that public transit consumes more energy per passenger mile than private transport? No, I guess that is too much data for transit advocates to accept.

  9. brion says:

    From Wikipedia 2020

    Ethanol:
    American Taxpayer Boondoggle # 3,544,374

    Scam energy agri-fad circa 2007

    Quote: “It’s the feelgood gravy train of the summer!” Farmer Brown of the Kansas Corn Cartel

  10. Estragon says:

    Robert Cote – energy per passenger mile by itself is a useless metric for making a case for (or against) public transit.

    In order to begin to make a case either way, the nature of the built environment and patterns of travel have to be taken into account. Transit works well between high density urban nodes. It doesn’t work well at all in sprawling suburban and exurban areas. Unfortunately, sprawling suburban/exurban growth has been the norm for about 60 years, and transit systems are often mandated to serve such areas. The result is empty buses rolling around the suburbs, fewer buses available to serve high density nodes, declining ridership, and revenue-deprived transit systems failing to invest in modern technology.

    Low density sprawl is now the predominent built environment, so the debate is moot anyway.

  11. cm says:

    Robert Cote, Estragon: In parts of Europe there are similar issues with sprawl, and public transit “not working”, which means in order to participate in the current paradigm of social/economic affairs you have to use a car as transit will simply “take too much time” to accomodate commuting to a remote office (with an often more than 40 hours workday), plus shopping (everybody carrying bags in the bus?), plus doing evening pursuits.

  12. Plangineer says:

    Robert and Brion,
    There is no silver bullet, one size fits all solution to our transportation and sustainability problems in the US. There are numerous factors including poor land use choices that are contributing to the growing fuel and air quality problem. While Ethanol is not a perfect solution to our fuel needs, it can help supplement our foreign oil dependency. Just look at Brazil. We also have the technology to make pure electric and hydrogen/hybrid vehicles viable. (Check out the Chevy Volt on GM’s website.)And while transit is not going to be efficient if you’ve got empty diesel buses driving around, there are many transit systems and routes that are successful. (Not to mention many people cannot afford a car or cannot drive for other reasons.) We should be focusing more on transportation CHOICE. Multimodal choices such as walking/bicycling/bus/rail/aviation as well as vehicle choices are needed. Just try to go to your local dealership and buy an Electric, E85 or BioDiesel vehicle. Or try to walk or ride your bike to work and see if you have sidewalks, bicycle lanes or a multi-use path to get you safely to your destination. Try taking the bus and see how long it takes and how close you get to your desired destination. As citizens, we need to demand more from our government representatives with regard to transportation funding and infrastructure needs. As consumers, we need to vote with our wallets and force the auto market to adapt.

  13. Robert Cote says:

    [E]nergy per passenger mile by itself is a useless metric for making a case for (or against) public transit.

    I agree. What enumerable metric do you suggest? Waiting.

  14. tjofpa says:

    Are U saying that electric trollies were uneconomical?

    Just Google Archer Daniels Midland if U want U’re answer.

    Try the Cato link for starters. Its still the 5th one down.

  15. RW says:

    I don’t have a great deal of patience with the entire corn/ethanol pork barrel proposition but would like to point out that comparisons to Brazil are specious: Brazil is a tropical country where the primary ethanol source, sugar cane, grows much faster than corn and also requires significantly less preparation, care and feeding.

    The energy equation for corn to ethanol production in North America is deeply negative: It requires more energy to grow and convert corn to ethanol than the ethanol so produced gives back when burned and we have not even gotten to the infrastructure costs — ethanol can not be transported or stored in the same system as gasoline — or costs associated with farmland converted to non-food production yet.

    We are not talking capitalism here; the corn-ethanol giveaway is socialized subsidy and taxpayer ripoff on a scale that would make a French or Japanese farmer grunt in admiration.

  16. brion says:

    Plangineer-Don’t get me wrong. I’m a hard-core enviro wacko (in other words, a “realist”;)It’s just that american corn is an inferior source for Ethanol compared to Brazillian cane.
    Also I’ve seen car prototypes that run on air-solar-hydrogen or boring old plug-in hybrids that run on GAS (and get 150 MPG).
    With higher fleet mpg requirements alone we could tell a good sized middle eastern country or two to kiss our ass.
    Corn ethanol is just a good old fashioned American gravy train and a relative waste of time and money imo.

  17. brion says:

    Oops. Sorry RW. I just read your post (a good one)…..

    like rw said…

  18. wunsacon says:

    Cote,

    >> Or perhaps “AMericans” read the BTS data dating back to 1972 showing that public transit consumes more energy per passenger mile than private transport? No, I guess that is too much data for transit advocates to accept.

    >> [E]nergy per passenger mile by itself is a useless metric for making a case for (or against) public transit.

    >> I agree. What enumerable metric do you suggest? Waiting.

    How about simply “annual energy spent on transit per capita”? You don’t need to travel many passenger miles when you live in a place like NYC or most European cities. Focusing on “energy per mile” doesn’t take into account the differences in layout when you build highways/garages/suburbs versus denser towns built around public transport.

    And those times you walk instead of drive? Helps keep the weight off.

  19. Estragon says:

    Robert Cote – “I agree. What enumerable metric do you suggest? Waiting. ”

    There IS no single metric. Advocates of various modes of development and transportation policy like to spew apples and oranges metrics like this to support their simplistic ideologies, but the fact is that each case is different and the choices are complex.

    As I said before though, the pattern of development in most US metro areas is pretty much set, and the choices have been made. Time will tell if they were the right ones.