In his State of the Union speech, Bush said he wanted us all to cut our gas consumption by 20% by the year 2010. He proposed more fuel efficient cars and more ethanol as the means to get there.
I don’t understand why conservation wasn’t part of it. If only 1 in every 5 people who commute to work carpooled, then that right there is a big part of the 20%. When I drive to work, and I am waiting for a turn to drop off one of the guys in my carpool, maybe 20 to 30 cars drive past me on their way to work. I’d be damn surprised if one of those cars has more than one person in them, and most are huge SUV type things. I understand that in many places, people are coming from many different outlying suburbs to get to work. But here, at least, most of these people are neighbors, coming from very close by developments. It would add at most 10 minutes for them to pick up someone.
Or, people could plan their week better and make one less trip to the grocery store. I mean, it wouldn’t be that hard to conserve gas. It might not add up to 20%, but it would get us damn close.
Ethanol has a lot of problems. It is not very environmentally friendly. Beyond the green house gases that burning it causes, the mere fact that it requires fertilization means that the nitrogen cycle gets impacted to a very large degree. That has a lot of consequences for the environment.
The only real long term solution to solve these problems (environmental concerns and dependence on foreign fuel supplies), it seems to me, is to start just using less of the damn stuff. Stop putting so much pollutant in the air. And one real way to start doing that is to conserve. To carpool. To plan our days better. That will help a hell of a lot more than ethanol.