Gov't Ethanol Programs Linked to Massive Grassland Loss - More terrible corn ethanol
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America points to some unintended negative consequences of government ethanol programs.
In the report, called "Recent land use change in the Western Corn Belt threatens grasslands and wetlands," Christopher K. Wright and Michael C. Wimberly, of the Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence at South Dakota State University, found that more than 1.3 million acres of grassland have been lost from 2006 to 2011 in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa.
.The rate of conversion of grassland to farmland has been comparable to the rates of deforestation in Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia in the 1980s and 1990s, Wright and Wimberly found.
There other negative effects as well, when environmentally sensitive grasslands are destroyed to grow corn or soy for fuel.
"In aggregate," they wrote, "conversion has been concentrated on more marginal lands characterized by high erosion potential, shallow soils, poor drainage, and less suitable climates for corn/soy production."
Wright and Wimberly suggest that, instead of planting corn and soy for ethanol, farmers plant mixed-grass prairie to harvest and convert to ethanol.
But we still can not break this hard hearted and completely insane mandate.
Again, just let methanol compete. Free market economics will take care of it. Without a forced mandate it will go away as our economy is allowed to do. Exactly why we do not have our government directly involved in business.