Biofuels

Mandated Biofuels = More Greenhouse Gases

Politicians adopt a policy that does the opposite of what they supposedly intended to do.

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CornTankBiofuelsAndreblaisDreamstime
Andreblais/Dreamstime

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump agree on at least one thing. Both support the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which mandates the production of billions of gallons of biofuels.

When asked at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition banquet if he supported it, Trump replied, "Yes, and a very strong yes. There is no reason not to. We need it. We need every form we can get. Ethanol is terrific, especially with the new process. And I am totally in favor of ethanol 100-percent and I will support it." In a 2015 Cedar Rapids Gazette op-ed, Clinton declared, "The United States should also continue supporting—and improving—the Renewable Fuel Standard and other federal incentives that have been a success for Iowa and much of rural America." Trump is more interested in biofuels as replacements for imported oil, but Clinton notes that they "can also play an important role in reducing carbon emissions." (Clinton may now be backtracking on her support of the RFS.)

The RFS was passed as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and it mandates the production of 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates that substituting biofuels for gasoline and diesel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 138 million metric tons by that time.

Not so fast, a group of University of Minnesota researchers say in a new study for the journal Energy Policy. They argue that the biofuels mandate is more likely to increase than reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. transportation sector. Why? The rebound effect.

The rebound effect can be illustrated by a consumer who buys a more fuel-efficient car, sees that the fuel costs of driving have been reduced, and thus drives more, partly negating the energy and greenhouse reductions that are supposed to result from fuel-efficiency mandates. In some cases, the rebound is greater than the initial energy savings, so consumers end up using more energy and emitting more greenhouse gases than before. This phenomenon is known as "backfire." The Minnesota researchers' study calculates that that is what will happen with the RFS—that it will backfire and result in more rather than less greenhouse gas emissions.

"The amount of fossil fuel displaced by a low-carbon fuel is determined by the economic forces of supply and demand," the authors observe. "In general, an increase in fuel supply causes a decrease in fuel prices, which in turn encourages greater fuel consumption." The authors conservatively estimate, based on an extensive survey of previous research, that about a half-gallon of gasoline is displaced by the energy equivalent of a gallon of biofuel. In other words, they assume a 50 percent gasoline displacement rate.

The RFS has different tiers of biofuels. Conventional biofuels, such as corn ethanol, are supposed to emit 20 percent less greenhouse gases than gasoline. The advanced biofuels used to replace diesel are supposed to emit 50 percent less, and cellulosic biofuels 60 percent less, than burning gasoline.

The researchers first calculate what the effect on greenhouse gas emissions in 2022 would be if each gallon of biofuel fully replaced a gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel. In other words, no rebound effect. They get a reduction of 110 metric tons of greenhouse gases, which is pretty close to the EPA's estimate.

After crunching the numbers this means that the biodiesel mandate in which the fuels are supposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent of the fossil fuel equivalent is a wash—no increase in emissions, but no reductions either.

Focusing on the biofuels that aim to substitute for gasoline by 2022, the researchers find that the cellulosic biofuels should cut emissions by 12 million metric tons annually. This seems a bit optimistic, since the Energy Policy Act mandated the production of 4.25 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels by this year, and EPA projects that only 230 million gallons will actually be produced.

In any case, the researchers calculate that burning mandated conventional biofuels—those whose emissions of greenhouse gases are 20 percent lower than a gallon of gasoline—will backfire with respect to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The RFS mandates that 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels be blended into the U.S. transport fuel supply by 2022. Remember that a gallon of these biofuels is expected to displace only half a gallon of gasoline. So instead of cutting gasoline consumption by 15 billion gallons, they will reduce it by 7.5 billion gallons. The upshot is that rather than decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 23 million metric tons annually as intended, this part of the biofuels mandate will actually boost emissions by extra 34 million metric tons each year.

Presupposing that burning cellulosic biofuels offsets those emissions by 12 million metric tons, the mandate's emissions backfire is an additional 22 million metric tons of greenhouse gases per year. Due to the fuel market rebound effect, cumulative greenhouse gas emissions will rise 431 million metric tons instead of falling 749 million metric tons by 2022.

The researchers conclude that if politicians really want to cut greenhouse gas emissions, they will have to increase the price of fossil fuels. They recommend a carbon tax as the most efficient way to achieve that goal. Instead, politicians adopted a policy that actually lowers fuel prices and thus ends up increasing greenhouse emissions: the exact opposite of what they supposedly intended to do.

For more on background on energy rebound, see my article "The Paradox of Energy Efficiency."

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  1. A consequence cannot be unintended if it is easily predicted. Someone here said something like that once.

    1. There might even be a law…

      1. Made out of… metal?

        1. Molybdenum, I think. Or was it Zinc? Strontium maybe…

    2. My work here is almost done.

      *wipes solitary manly tear of pride*

      1. But… I object to this article, ’cause I find the photo to be just entirely TOOOoooOOOooo corny!

    3. Anybody can earn 450$+ daily… You can earn from 9000-14000 a month or even more if you work as a full time job…It’s easy, just follow instructions on this page, read it carefully from start to finish… It’s a flexible job but a good eaning opportunity.. go to this site home tab for more detail… http://bit.do/ctDjs

  2. GayJay is open to a carbon tax.

    Go TEAM LP !

    1. Aren’t you too busy shoving your nose up trumps rectum to type?

      1. Trump thought it was his *tongue*!
        SIV, STFU. You’d be a one-trick pony if it was a trick. Now you’re just a one pony-shit pile, repeated constantly.

  3. Plus, it makes the cost of red meat like 10 fucking dollars per pound, even for the shitty parts of the cow.

    *Goes back to eating disgustingly over-seasoned turkey burger*

    1. Good thing i went vegan! Chickpeas are cheap as… well… beans.

      1. Sorry to hear about your eating disorder.

        1. It’s ok. I mean, its way better than getting Trumps steamy shits right in my mouth everyday like you’re used to.

          1. That’s what ‘pivot’ tastes like.

          2. Eat vegan or eat shit?

            …contemplates suicide.

            1. No. Siv just eats shit shot as a result of living so close to Trumps colon for his occupation.

          3. With so much being used for biofuel, how else is he supposed to get some corn?

      2. Man, i love chickpeas. Coat ’em in spices and roast ’em till they’re crisp – delicious. And they make a great side for a nice masaman curry with lots of beef and potatoes in it.

        1. Chhole masala ftw.

        2. Chickpeas are pretty awesome. They’re better with meat, though, not as a substitute for it.

          Double-roasted and many-flavored chickpeas are an awesome snack (unfortunately almost exclusively available in Turkey, in any real quantities or quality).

          Unless some enterprising Turk or Turkophile can point me to a domestic source of leblebi.

          1. Falafel is the perfect food.

          2. Best of all with some long pig!!! With a nice chiante..

        3. ” I love chickpeas ”

          What the hell is wrong with you people? If you want beans its black beans with pork or gtfo. OK, baby field peas with snaps and pork is also acceptable.

          I just don’t understand some people’s desire for animal feed.

          1. You live in Louisiana and you didn’t mention red beans?

            1. Red beans and rice with some andouille sausage?

              Wait, that’s not vegan.

      3. Trust me, you don’t want me going vegan. I love me some Hummus and lentils but my eating a diet heavy in them is going to increase our CO2 and H2S emissions by more than any fuel savings could offset

        1. Well hell’s bells, man, global warming concerns are fine by me, but your problem is EXERCISE!!! Now sit on your couch after all that hummus and lentils, and absorb the carbon into yer body, like a GOOD human carbon sink, do NOT exercise, and you’ll be keeping all that them thar evil carbons OUT of that them thar atmosphere!!! Keep ’em in yer body!!! That’s what I do, and y’all can thank me later…

      4. Good thing i went vegan!

        Nothing says, “Fight the oppression!” quite like voluntarily subsisting on food normally reserved for the livestock.

        Give me liberty or give me death, then give me kale.

        1. What good is liberty if not allowing choice of consumption? Also, meat and dairy, combined with executive job and young kids, has bloated me to unacceptable levels of roundness. I don’t work in half measures.

          1. Also, meat and dairy, combined with executive job and young kids, has bloated me to unacceptable levels of roundness.

            Meat and dairy* didn’t make you fat.

            * = unless you ate a lot of “nonfat” dairy which is just sugar by a different name

          2. I don’t work in half measures.

            What’s the point of free speech and being vegan if you can’t give people shit about it, right?

            All of the ‘most conclusive’ data suggests that pesco-vegetarians are enjoying the most longevity from their diets. Also, there’s plenty of evidence that suggests being overweight is isn’t good, but it all also indicates that being underweight is worse (esp. as you grow older) and the harder you work to transition from overweight to underweight, the worse it is for you.

            Pretty much, unless they’re already threatening to cut your feet off, the harder/more extremely you work to lose weight, the worse it is for you medically (quality of life is another matter). Ironically, gastric bypass is shown to be one of the safest methods.

            Not saying you shouldn’t be vegan, just that I know *very* few vegans who genuinely don’t like meat because meat. If they could eat meat and be healthy or eat meat without murdering animals or depriving poor kids in India of their karmic meat allotment or whatever, they would and, it turns out, all of those stances are really more state of mind than state of fact or art.

            1. I like meat too much, but i don’t miss it. The cheese and yogurt are tough. I dont give a shit about animals or poor people. I just want to get healthy and, so far, going vegan is working. It makes mr think about what I’m eating, as well as lowering caloric intake without starving me.

  4. Mandated cornholing?

  5. Biofuels = The worst public-policy in America. It fucks consumers, auto companies and the environment, but provides an excuse for the Federal govt to lavish cash on crony Agricultural interests, ergo is AWESOME

    1. Globalization being a thing, it also actually starves people to death in Africa by driving up the price of staple crops worldwide. Yay gummint!

      1. I think this claim is dubious.

        1. No it isn’t. Biofuels have displaced lots of US exports of cheap grains that somehow have to be made up elsewhere. There are plenty of news articles out there that explain it. Try google.

        2. I think saying anything “directly” starves people to death in Africa is dubious. But anything that meddles with commodity prices certainly adversely affects nations which rely on global ag exports

          But its not much different from the “butterfly-flapping-its-wings causing-tornadoes”-reasoning many people use to claim that US policy affects so many other things around the world (like “Creating ISIS”)

          1. Are you saying biofuel created ISIS!?!?

            1. I’m saying that the invasion of Iraq caused global warming.

              1. I thought global warming caused the invasion of Iraq?

                1. I think we can all agree that global warming and the invasion of Iraq are existentially intertwined.

              2. Nonsense. The rise and fall of pirates is correlated with the fall of global temperature.

                1. damnit – “and rise” after fall

            2. Yes! Let’s roll with that.
              Biofuel is the founder of ISIS!

            1. Yeah, he done beat up that strawman good.

      2. Absolutely.

        I have tried to explain to several climate chicken littles that biofuels drive up the cost of food globally. So we are starving the poorest people in the world to make American progressives feel good about driving the family around in an SUV.

        If always falls on deaf ears.

        1. That’s because the reward for being “green” has always been the smug fuzzy feeling you get. When you dare disrupt them with inconvenient hate-facts, cognitive dissonance sets in and the sentiment from their tribe always wins over the factual information from an outsider such as yourself. I mean they can’t just go against their tribe. It would be social suicide. Hence, humans have an amazing ability to voluntarily delude themselves.

        2. You think starvation is an unintended consequence? I think it is very much intended.

      3. Pretty much all the environmental groups have decided its utter horseshit as well (mainly because they don’t see dime one of that gelt, so why bother?)… and there’s not an economist on earth who thinks its an excusable economic transfer…. and there’s no engineer who likes the stuff for efficiency or engine-life either.

        Its a purely political policy. If the public can’t be convinced to turn this bullshit around, i find it really fucking hard to be optimistic about almost *anything* else. because there’s literally no good reason for it to exist other than to grease some corn-businesses.

        1. no good reason for it to exist

          My biofuel gets aged in a freshly charred oak barrel for GT 4years and is one of the bestest reasons to exist.

    2. More corn in the midwest means less oxygen in the Gulf of Mexico, another unintended consequence that fucks the environment.

      1. Is this a real thing? I’ve not heard this one before.

        1. It’s a theory. The idea is that all the nitrogen and phosphorous containing fertilizers dumped on corn crops all over the midwest every year, a lot of that N and P has to go somewhere, and where it ultimately ends up is in the Mississippi river, which empties you know were. So all that extra N and P nutrient causes algae blooms, and not the good algae. Which in turn causes plankton below to die, thus lowering O2 levels. It’s actually called eutrophication. It’s why Louisiana fishermen are (or were) all pissed off at midwest farmers.

          1. Oh, and when the algae bloom does die off (it always does), it sink to the bottom of the Gulf and is metabolized by bacteria, who need O2 to metabolize all that biomass, thus further lowering the O2 content in the water.

            Alternative energy has crated some strange conflicts – take wind power. Pits Audubon Society against those who think wind power is great for the environment. To me, it’s just fascinating to see it all unfold.

            1. Yup – I lived in Iowa for most of my life, and in the past few years they have been building those migrating bird cuisinarts in every corner of the State. Birds that fly under 350 feet pretty much have to run the gauntlet to get to Minnesota in the spring.

          2. Thanks–I wasn’t thinking fertilizer, I was trying to figure out how corn itself would reduce available oxygen (like co2 sequestering) and was coming up blank.

            1. Yeah, I made a longer link than maybe I should have.

              1. Nah, it’s interesting stuff. A lot of space there for not just conflicts, but actually unintended consequences.
                My personal favorite is the opposition to solar plants in the desert. If you can’t build a solar plant in the middle of thousands of square miles of rock and desert, I’m pretty sure you can’t build one anywhere.

                1. I get the distinct sense that some folks ire, at a fundamental level, simply opposed to human life on earth.

                  1. Congratulations! It is of course terribly frowned upon to mention that looters are anti-life. It is the one thing Ayn wrote that made her a baaaad peeeerson to the sheeple, yet none can summon the courage to mention that specific item, much less contest or debunk it.
                    “And even man’s desire to live is not automatic: your secret evil today is that that is the desire you do not hold. Your fear of death is not a love for life and will not give you the knowledge needed to keep it.”
                    Scary, huh?

              2. Explained it well though.

    3. If you want an example of a vampire policy, (As in it just won’t fucking die) you just have to look at biofuels. Libertarians and conservatives hate it because it’s a subsidy, Greens and liberals hate it because it causes more pollution than it stops.

      But it just keeps going on. The only political groups that still think it’s a good idea are the farmers that cash the the checks for biofuels, and the politicians they vote for.

      1. No one wants to be the one to fuck with Iowa because of its outsized influence on Presidential politics.

        1. It’s the only fucking leverage we have

        2. Ted Cruz fucked with the ethanol mandate and still won Iowa.
          Maybe the “conventional wisdom”, isn’t so wise.

    4. It cant be the worst public policy if all the other policies fall into that same category. See green energy. Ethanol. Every construction project ever. Defense contracts. A welfare system that delivers 7 cents on the dollar to recipients…shall I go on?

  6. American bureaucracy is what you get when you marry capitalist wealth with Soviet-style five year planning. I want to go back in time and punch Nixon in the dick.

    1. That’s the second thing every time traveler does, right after they kill Hitler.

      1. Actually, even before our little buddy Adolf, I would have liked a word or two with our meddling progressive Prez Woodhead Wilson…

        1. F. D. Fucking R.

          1. Nixon, Hitler, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were all christian altruists to the core of their being. Perhaps that common denominator is what matters, and not the personality cults?

      2. I would try and get the George Washington and let him know what a cluster fuck slavery will lead to.

        1. I think he and a fair majority of the FF were on to that, in addition to the hideous moral crime that it is.

          1. I wonder how the US would look today without the civil war and the legacy of slavery.

            1. Sounds like an easy to to be accused of racism, longing for a white country with no imported blacks.

    2. totally ot

      I have to tell you all this. It must be shared.

      There is a 27-year-old woman in my outer circle of acquaintance that is planning on naming her child “Nixon.”

      When she was asked why she was naming her child after such a shitty president, she replied in all seriousness “There was a President named ‘Nixon’?”

      1. When she was asked why she was naming her child after such a shitty president, she replied in all seriousness “There was a President named ‘Nixon’?”

        Please tell me this “acquaintance” is really an Axotl Tank.

        1. Friend of a friend. I met her at a party at few years ago and she was a wreck. The linking friend dropped by to tell me this because she knew I’d be flabbergasted.

          1. See my response to GILMOUR. Maybe your friend thought the sheer power of derp would kick start those dormant beta cells of yours into working again.

            How come the none of these geniuses ever think of harnessing derp as an alternative power source? There’s quite an abundance of it.

            1. Derp is one of the most volatile substances to work with. Hande it wrong and it’s all knees and elbows and cake.

      2. That is roughly the same level order of jaw-drop as when an Occupy Wall St protestor responded to my comment, “You’re not fit to carry Abby Hoffman’s jockstrap” with =

        “Who’s ‘Abby Hoffman’? Your CEO Corporate Overlord!?”

        I think your example is more ridiculous.

        1. I think your example is more ridiculous.

          My wife is in her mid to late 30’s, doesn’t speak English, and has never stepped foot on USA soil, and SHE knows who Richard Nixon is, GILMOUR. Abby Hoffman, not so much. Saccharin Man’s example is…. words FAIL me.

          Ponder that on the SJW Totem Pole of Grievance.

          1. My wife is in her mid to late 30’s, doesn’t speak English, and has never stepped foot on USA soil, and SHE knows who Richard Nixon is, GILMOUR. Abby Hoffman, not so much.

            I am not surprised that a foreigner might be familiar with former US presidents, yet draw a blank on “young activist-leftist-protest icon of the 1960s

            I would hold young american activist leftist protestors to a slightly different standard.

            1. I would hold young american activist leftist protestors to a slightly different standard.

              Though you will impressed to know she *does* know who Ira Einhorn is, I certainly was.

            2. Steal This Derp

            3. Andreas Baader? Ulrike Meinhof? Patty Hearst?

      3. You hangout with dumb people.

        *looks at self, then around H&R*

        I stand by this statement.

      4. just name him DICK

      5. I don’t whether to be more alarmed at her ignorance, or at the fact that such ignorance will be passed along to another generation.

        1. It’s really a “six of one, half-dozen of another” situation.

          My initial response was “That shouldn’t be the name of a child, that should be the name of a pet’s asshole. Like, ‘Christ, did you see what came out of Sam’s Nixon this morning? You really need to stop feeding him Flaming Hot Cheetos.'”

  7. Oh yay! They recommend artificially raising prices on vital commodities. No way that can backfire.

  8. Do you want the truth or do you want to carry Iowa?

    1. Rand Paul chose the former.

  9. Only a politician would be stupid enough to mandate that good quality distilled spirits be blended with good gasoline to make inferior gasoline instead of being aged in barrels to make good whiskey.

    And how does putting millions of acres into growing corn or even switchgrass do any good for the environment? It’s nonsense on stilts.

  10. Someone help me out here. Corn ethanol is made from, well corn, that is fermented to produce ethanol. I do this myself. Except I use malted barley and wheat. NOW, I know I ain’t no sciency type but when I do it ethanol isn’t the only thing produced from the fermentation…wait for it…but CO2 is also produced. In LARGE quantities. Now, I been told that CO2 (ya know that stuff we all breath out every few seconds) is a dangerous poison gas that is killing mother Gaia. And that generating it is bad. So how do the ethanol folks excuse the production of CO2 from ethanol?

    1. It’s amazing what becomes okay if you’ve got right, goodthinkful intentions.

      1. The weather gods, like the economic animal spirits, pay close attention to intent.

    2. Duh, it came from corn, which is a plant, and when plants release CO2 from fermentation, it’s natural. Like nature. And stuff. You know other plants inhale that CO2, right? We’re feeding Gaia her stored CO2 for all those plantlings, like suckling her Green Teat. Or something.

      But when mammals do it…. EVILZ! UNNATURAL!

    3. So how do the ethanol green folks excuse the production of CO2 from ethanol?

      When you say ‘ethanol folks’ do you mean the watermelons concerned with optics or the crony capitalists concerned with cashing in on crops? I presume the answer is ‘Yes’.

      1. yes

    4. To say nothing of the water needs for Ethanol. It’s basically sucking the Ogallala aquifer dry.

    5. Consider: 97% of all ethanol consumed as beverage during national prohibition (beer was a felony) was produced from corn sugar, yeast and water. This illegal industry had revenues 20% larger than those of the federal government it hired to increase its revenue through prohibition. How many here imagine this all simply went away when the 21st Amendment was ratified?
      Prohibition and the Crash go together like… like… Cause and Effect.

  11. Does that… does that car have a boner?

    1. +1 cornhole.

    2. No you idiot, it clearly has a corn cob stuck in its ass. Geez, Paul, what the fuck happened to you? And to think you were in my Groovy Top Ten List of All-Time Greatest Reason Commenters (complete with Casey Kasem voice).

      1. And to think you were in my Groovy Top Ten List of All-Time Greatest Reason Commenters

        You set a low bar, sir.

        1. I know, that’s why I had to whittle it down to Groovy Top Five List of All-Time Greatest Reason Commenters. Which the exception of one spot (since that occupant is now commenting in the hereafter), those spots are subject to change at a whim.

          1. Wistfully dreams:

            Someday, when I am no longer a senary commenter, Groovus and the RuKrainian goddess will bestow upon me most awesomest of cool groovy stuff commenter status…
            — FoE comes bursting into dream —
            NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

            a boy can dream…and drink.

      2. *blinks twice*

        What the-

        *leaves desk for afternoon coffee*

        1. Thank you. That is an excellent idea.

    3. If only it had a vagina.

      1. That is exactly the smirking face I expected a guy like that to have.

    4. Ohio Man is too drunk to care.

      (referencing earlier link)

      1. I see 0x90 used the same reference.

        1. …and RBS.

          Truly, great minds think alike, and so do theirs.

    5. I wonder whose car that is in the reason parking lot. Robby? Lizzie?

      1. Robby: Fiat 500.
        Lizzie: VW Bug.

        1. Welch: ’78 Chevette
          Tuccille (visiting): Ecto 1

          1. KMW: 2010 Dodge Minivan
            Doherty: ’85 Yugo

            1. ’85 Yugo is pretty swanky for a Libertarian. Does it have 65 LP bumper stickers on it?

              and c’mon, we all KNOW Rico drives a Prius.

              1. I thought we already concluded that Rico drives an Aztek. Bailey probably drives a Prius. Or a Volt. Hmm.

                1. Rico drives nothing. He has bitches all lining up to give him a ride to the salon.

          2. Gillespie: Prius

            1. Prius motorcycle?

          3. Citizen X|8.19.16 @ 2:21PM| block | mute | #

            Welch: ’78 Chevette

            he lives in Brooklyn. He probably doesn’t have a car. BUT! if he did? You’re damn close. I’d have chosen an AMC Gremlin.

          4. Welch: Ford Maverick. Color: Anti-Establish Mint

          5. I happen to know for a fact that Welch used to drive a Chrysler K car. But he said that went up in flames on La Cienega Blvd or something.

        2. Nick: Triumph Motorcycle

          1. Nick: Welch.

            He rides him like a pony.

          2. Threadwinner. Either that or an original Indian.

        3. Ok, let me try one.

          Ron: Tesla Model S P90D, and he works it into every single conversation at the office

      2. I must say, the (un)coordinated lack of ethnic or culturally-stereotypical vehicles (e.g. trucks of any type, Kias, Subaru Outbacks, etc.) , as well as the distinct absence of overt bourgeois is awesome.

        1. Subaru

          Are there any lesbians working for Reason? Or only the Robby-curious?

  12. IIRC, despite all fossil fuel talk being centered around how much our automobiles impact the environment, they are a small fraction of the total use. I believe fuels used in manufacturing are the biggie, but the Catholic guilt of “driving to yoga is killing Gaia” must get more eyeballs. I’ll find the source when I’m not sneak reading at work

    1. As our coal and natural gas fired power plants, another big addition to the total CO2 (and SO2, NO2) output. BTW – cows are really effective at turning grass into methane, I see a business plan in action…

    2. Why does guilt have to be Catholic?

      Guilt isn’t specific to any worldview. It’s a natural emotion, a healthy reaction to sin.

      For Catholics, balance is the key. Guilt can be a healthy reaction if it is genuine and it leads to true sorrow, not just an emotional reaction. Genuine guilt flows from an understanding of what sin really is. Sin is the free decision to turn away from God and others. Let us remember, however, that some things are not sinful and therefore are not cause for guilt. For example, spontaneous feelings or reactions such as impatience: for these one should not feel guilty. We must adopt a sense of responsibility, saying, “I am answerable for what I choose to do.” Responsibility implies a conscious, free decision. It is just as unhealthy to deny real guilt as it is to indulge in false guilt.

      “True guilt leads us to sorrow and repentance, not to remorse. In Scripture we see the example of Judas who sinned and had feelings of remorse, but not of true contrition. Saint Peter, on the other hand, sinned and experienced true guilt that led to sorrow. Remorse is a selfish and proud reaction ? “me” is the focal point. True sorrow is the realization that we have offended God and others ? contrition. True contrition, sorrow for our sins, leads to repentance: a radical change of heart (metanoia), the desire to change, to reform.”

      1. It doesn’t *have* to be, but you’ve raised it to such an art form, we relinquish all rights.

      2. Catholics invented guilt and have kept an monopoly on it for centuries. Everybody knows this Eddie.

        1. Jewish mothers all over the world disagree, Your Suthenship (((including mine))). THEY own the market on guilt; they gave the Catholics a lease on the guilt concept with an option to buy.

          1. You’re Jewish? How do the non-Jewish Ukrainians get along with you?

            1. (I ask because gentile Ukrainians don’t exactly have the best reputation where relations with Jews are concerned)

            2. Yes, Eddie, a Jewish doctor. That’s certainly never happened before.

              Honestly, Eddie, we don’t tell them (and I only told my wife – in-laws don’t know), since we attend the Russian Orthodox Church (and I am a Christian convert); Mama Maximus and I had lapsed from Judaism many years ago. Though there are a couple of SPECTACULAR temples in UKR, there are very few practicing Jews in UKR (less than 1% of the population of ~~48 million IIRC).

              Especially since anti-antisemitism is in full swing in Euro-Landia. A few years ago, a prominent Jewish university professor was stabbed to death by an Islamo-Mohammedan, and it’s been somewhat downhill ever since.

              1. Sorry to hear about the anti-semitism, but I hope your parish has some good folks…best wishes!

      3. I meant the Catholic brand of guilt, which is the Coca-Cola of guilt. Also I wanted a lengthy reply so I lit your signal.

        1. I like it, because I then have to look up some more or less reliable Catholic source…I learn a good deal about my faith researching answers to H&R snark.

    3. They aren’t. Transportation is a significant consumer of primary energy.

      1. Majority of or something less? Maybe it was personal vehicles and not commerce related then. Not sure

        1. Petroleum is about 40% of total energy and the vast majority of that is for transportation. Let’s call it a third of total energy.

  13. See I thought bio fuels on a per volume basis were less emitting. However people drive in distances…not gallons of gas. And fuels with biofuels have less energy capacity…thus more gallons are then used to go distance x. In other words ehthanol makes cars less efficient in mpg. Though the article about Minnesota claims bio fuels get better efficiency?

    1. And on a distance basis are less efficient

      1. Greater emitting as well

    2. There are a lot of problems with biofuels. A lot of time, there’s no consideration about what it takes to produce them. Because their subsidized, they’re probably by definition, a drain on the environment, ie, using more carbon to produce than they save.

      For instance, can you produce biofules using only biofuels as the energy input, and end up with a surplus of biofuel?

      1. A buddy of mine designs ethanol plants. People tease him endlessly by asking “Say, if ethanol is such a good fuel why do you put fuel oil tanks in the plants?”

      2. I read an articles a few years back that said at best your are burning and equal amount of diesel to produce an identical amount of ethanol, so no.

      3. A lot of time, there’s no consideration about what it takes to produce them.

        ‘Clean’ water is a massive concern. Corn ethanol especially, requires hundreds of gallons of relatively clean water per gallon of fuel. Cellulosic ethanol (not exactly part of the mandate) requires less than a gallon but the water still has to be relatively biologically-friendly and it’s still like an order of magnitude above volumes required for tar sands extraction.

      4. For instance, can you produce biofules using only biofuels as the energy input, and end up with a surplus of biofuel?

        I think one could pull off a ‘surplus’ of biofuels if such was in a closed-loop society. Ultimately, one would end up with a solar-powered society very labor and water intensive. Think ancient Rome, but swap BTU’s consumed by the oxen and horses to heat-cycle engines instead, which would be rare and expensive – tools of power and privilege not meant for the shitty unwashed.

        Sounds like a prog-dream, actually.

      5. Yes, but barely. Ethanol has a return of about 1.3. Biodiesel is over two. That’s pretty marginal compared to the 10~50 of conventional fuels. We won’t bring up nuclear because that’s just too embarrassing.

    3. Every C-C bond and C-H bond is identical to every other C-C bond and C-H bond and all contain the same amount of energy. You are going to have to break exactly the same number of them to get some required amount of energy; the energy needed to move X mass from point A to point B. It doesnt matter if those bonds are in a Ethyl alcohol molecule or a Octane molecule. The same number of carbons will bond with a couple of O’s for the same output of CO2. The same number of H’s will bond with O to form an identical amount of water.

      You are correct, Octane and related hydrocarbons (Alkanes) are more bond dense than Ethyl alcohol, i.e. less energy per gallon in alcohols.

      Greenie logic is nothing if not magical thinking.

      1. The same number of H’s will bond with O to form an identical amount of water.

        In context of US ethanol, the ethyl H’s have magic benefit of being converted from water originally in underground aquifer, into available H-bond, then back into water. This enables greenie to exhale one more tiny bit of the Olagallala Aquifer out the back of their Prius, right below the bumper sticker proclaiming their desire to ‘save’ it.

        All ultimately solar-powered of course (not counting the CH4 feedstock Haber-sourced nitrates).

      2. Too bad heat engines aren’t just bomb calorimeters. The efficiency of the cycle matters. IF (big if because you need variable compression ratios) you can react one fuel at a higher temp than another your efficiency goes up as does useful work. Ethanol has 2/3 the energy density of gas but because it has a higher ‘octane’ rating (without the octane) you can use higher compression ratios ehich means higher temps. That means the properly used a gallon of ethanol has about 85% the useful energy of gas.

        1. If one wants most efficient cycle from a biofuel, I would guess biodiesel beats everything.

          1. Yes, but production sucks.

      3. Close enough – you do also have C-O and O-H bond in ethanol that have different bond energies. And as I think about it, overcoming the polar and H bond attractive forces of ethanol vs. strictly hydrocarbons, is an added energy that must be put into the system. Ethanol combustion is a somewhat different chemical process than straight chain or branched hydrocarbon combustion.

        1. Yes, the Delta H of vaporization is a measure of those non-covalent forces. The is why water has an anomalously high boiling point.

          1. And expands when it freezes – in fact, the liquid temperature range of an 18 AMU molecule of water is pretty incredible considering how small and light it is. Those H-bonds are pretty strong. If it weren’t for that range, and the fact that it expands when it solidifies, earth would be a very different place.

      4. Every C-C bond and C-H bond is identical to every other C-C bond and C-H bond and all contain the same amount of energy.

        Not exactly. For example, H-CF3 is a much weaker H-C bond than in H-CH3. HOCH2-CH3 is a weaker C-C bond than in H3C-CH3 (by 2 kcal/mole). Even the primary and secondary carbons’ C-H bonds in octane have different energy. Not hugely different in that case, but different.

        1. Yes, this is true. And let’s not get into aromatic C-C and C-H bonds…

          1. Alky is a bandaid for poor chamber design.

  14. “They recommend a carbon tax as the most efficient way to achieve that goal. Instead, politicians adopted a policy that actually lowers fuel prices and thus ends up increasing greenhouse emissions: the exact opposite of what they supposedly intended to do.”

    A tax on carbon? Well, I suppose since there’s already a ‘life tax’ in the ACA we might as well double down on a ‘breathing tax’.

    Also, and this is purely for the record you understand, fuck these guys sideways with a ten foot pole.

  15. Some of us like to call the ‘rebound’ effect by its 150 year old name: jevons paradox.

  16. “Politicians adopt a policy that does the opposite of what they supposedly intended to do.”

    See O-care, for example.
    (now looks to see if scooped)

    1. Doesn’t look like it.

  17. In the ’90s, a friend of mine had a house across the street from an apartment rented by a group of Iowa college dudes. Summer weekends for these guys revolved around taking out their kick-ass jet boat. The one with “CORN POWER” emblazoned across the side.

  18. RE: Mandated Biofuels = More Greenhouse Gases
    Politicians adopt a policy that does the opposite of what they supposedly intended to do.

    Well of course politicians adopt a policy that does the opposite of what they supposedly intended to do.
    Isn’t that why they’re on the ballot?

  19. I’m really fucking sick of nearing about greenhouse gasses. I’ll “believe” (that its a problem) when It starts having a noticeable impact on my life. and the terms we (either side) use to talk about it (believer, denier) sound a lot more like religion than science.
    Reality, however, refuses to stop being real.

    1. The people pushing the greenhouse gas idea lost any hope of convincing me when they started to use the phrase “The science is settled.”. Science is NEVER settled. Add to that the number of time they have been caught cooking the numbers, and I’ll believe them when they start moving out f coastal areas like New York City, London, and Los Angeles and not one second before.

      1. Lots of science is “settled”, but there’s a difference between “settled” and “unchallengeable”. Experimental evidence can challenge any “settled” theory. Reconciling theory with evidence is the most difficult and interesting aspect of science and is the area where the most important breakthroughs are made. Small differences between predicted and actual led to relativity and quantum mechanics.

        The difference between the warmist predictions and actual temperature changes will, if not impeded by politics, lead to a better understanding of the earth’s energy budget.

  20. The core issue here is not whether this government mandate is justified, but that government is by nature unsuited to manage anything as mercurial as the market. It can try to make sure that contract laws are enforced fairly, but attempts to steer the market itself, because of some perceived good that will come about thereby, tend to become clusterfucks.

    There would seem to be a possible exception to this rule where it comes to the construction of networks; government support of railways, road systems, rural electrification, and the internet seems at a glance to have greatly benefited society, and there is evidence to suggest that efforts to make such networks pay for themselves fail. But that is a subject for a Ph.D. dissertation in history or economics or both.

  21. and NONE of the above even mentions that the entire “greenhouse gas” issue being due to carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is one of the biggest red herrings ever foisted upon an ignorant public.

    Nor does it mention that both biodiesel (B12) and methanol laced gasoline both reduce engine power and efficiency by just a touch more than ten percent, thus negating any alldeged benefit claimed. This whole bit of nonsense is a government driven boondoggle, and there are some souls who likely should be in federal prison somewhere for perpetrating this fraud.

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  23. Consider the words of the man Comrade Obama hired as his top adviser on science and technology, John P. Holdren:

    “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to DE-DEVELOP the United States. Resources and energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries.De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation. This effort must be largely political.”

    “Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations,” wrote Obama’s future science adviser, along with Paul and Anne Ehrlich, “is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided to every human being.”

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