Tuesday, November 18, 2008
If you order a pint of beer in an English pub, it will cost you about $5.00. Yes! Five dollars! That’s outrageous! Unless something is done, five-dollar-a-pint beer will be coming to America.
Ethanol is the reason for the big run-up in the cost of beer. Farmers are switching from other crops to grow corn to be made into ethanol. That has pushed up the price of food around the world and the cost of beer.
In theory ethanol seems like a good thing. The more ethanol we put into our gas tanks, the less petroleum. We reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help the environment at the same time. When gasoline costs $4.00 a gallon, ethanol costs less than gas, a win-win situation.
The problem is, when gas costs $2.00 a gallon, it is cheaper than ethanol. But that isn’t the real problem. The real problem is that ethanol really isn’t any better than petroleum for the environment. When woodlands are cleared to make room for corn crops, we lose the carbon dioxide absorbing quality of all those trees, thus releasing more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. So ethanol made from corn costs motorists more than gasoline, and its influence on the environment in the long run is the same of that of petroleum.
The influence of ethanol on the economy is negative. Food costs more and becomes scarcer in third-world countries. And the price of beer keeps going up.
Let’s stop this madness before beer becomes too expensive for Joe the plumber and other ordinary Americans.