Tuesday, July 22, 2008
There's a secret history regarding alcohol that you won't hear on the six o'clock news:
- Cars and everything else running on internal combustion engines can run on alcohol at least as well as they can run on gasoline. Indeed, engines were built back in 1870 that could run using either alcohol or gasoline
"Autoists Discuss Alcohol As Fuel; Great Future Ahead For Use In Commercial Wagons, Says Prof. Lucke. Tests With Motor Truck E.R. Hewitt Tells Engineers Of His Results With Gasoline And Alcohol In Same Engine"
- Henry Ford said that alcohol was "a cleaner, nicer, better fuel for automobiles than gasoline" (James Brough, The Ford Dynasty: An American Story, p. 118, and cited in "Ford - The Men and the Machine", p. 365). The Model T Ford had a knob right on the dashboard to adjust the fuel-air mixture for either alcohol or gas
- Alcohol does not corrode or shorten the lifespan of modern cars, and an inexpensive adjustment to regular cars will make them run smoothly and inexpensively on alcohol
Well, John D. Rockefeller, under the ruse of Christian temperance, gave 4 million dollars to a group of old ladies and told them to fight for Prohibition (they successfully used the money to buy off Congress). Why? Rockefeller owned Standard Oil, the main company pushing gas as an alternative fuel to alcohol. By getting Congress to pass Prohibition laws, Rockefeller eliminated his competition. And see this.
Moreover, those in the know actually are using alcohol as a fuel today. For example, there are many millions of cars being driven in Brazil that run on alcohol.
And many government and car fleets are actually required to be able to run on either alcohol or gas. The car companies simply forgot to tell the American consumer that these kind of cars are available. See this and this.
But Food Costs are Already Too High Because of the @#$_%! Ethanol Subsidies, Right?
My first reaction when I heard that cars and other machines could run on alcohol was that this was a really bad idea. Specifically, as everyone knows, all of the ethanol subsidies have caused many acres of farmland which used to grow a variety of food crops to all be put into corn for use in ethanol. Food has already become astronomically expensive because of the darn ethanol subsidies, and so I would be totally opposed to anything which sraises food prices further.
But the leading proponents of alcohol as fuel are not talking about corn. Corn is a lousy crop for making alcohol, and there are many other crops that are much more efficient. Indeed, the leaders in this field promote growing a wide variety of crops (appropriate for whatever specific climate you live in) , and many of the crops they suggest are also valuable food crops.
And you don't even need to use plants . . . you can make alcohol fuel out of donuts.
Whole books have been written on this, but the bottom line is that using alcohol as an alternative to oil would actually drive down food prices, help enrich the soil, and have a lot of other benefits. (Again, ethanol subsidies are contributing to high food prices and destroying our economy because they are corrupt, too big, and done totally wrong, but not because of any inherent problems in using alcohol as fuel. Indeed, stopping all of the ethanol subsidies might be smart. I think we should stop any subsidies which raise food prices. While you're at it, stop the multi-trillion dollar military expenditures in the Middle East, which are oil subsidies).
But How Does Alcohol Fight Fascism?
Fascism is the centralization of power (the word fascism comes from the "fascia", a bundle of sticks wrapped around an axe, with the sticks representing the people all held together by the axe -- the leader). Decentralization is the opposite of fascism. See this.
There would be no invasions of other countries to steal their booze. Since alcohol is so low-tech and easy to make, everyone can make their own fuel.
And anyone who doesn't want to go to the time to make their own can just buy it from a local alcohol fuel farm or cooperative. When enough people learn that alcohol can run cars and other machinery cheaper and better than gas, alcohol production will spread everywhere, the price will drop even further, and it will be easy to buy in your own hometown.
See this book and this website for more information on using alcohol as fuel.