The Sustainable Development Forum 2007 - Ethanol and Biofuels.

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by SouthAmerica, May 1, 2007.

  1. .

    April 30, 2007

    SouthAmerica: Today I went to a very interesting conference in New York City:

    The Sustainable Development Forum 2007
    A United Nations Association - Brazil and Forum das Americas Conference
    Hilton, New York - April 30, 2007

    Even though this was an event organized by Brazilian companies – I was invited to that event by The Bahrain Petroleum Company.

    Former president of Brazil Jose Sarney opened the conference – the conference also included about 10 governors from the various states in Brazil, and Paulo Bernard Silva the current Brazilian Planning Minister.

    In our table we had our host Sheik Salman Bin Khalifa –Chairman of Bahrain Petroleum, his cousin Sheik Al-Kalifa Chairman of Bahrain Airlines, the Ambassador of Bahrain, and a representative of the government of Saudi Arabia.

    Sheik Salman’s father is the Prime Minister of Bahrain, and he is also a first cousin of the Emir of Bahrain. They are interested in turning the fruit dates into ethanol. They have a large supply of dates in that area of the world.

    Former president Bill Clinton gave a speech during the lunch hour and he mentioned a friend of his some kind of government Minister in Ethiopia who told president Clinton recently that he want Ethiopia to develop ethanol from sugar cane and that he was using Brazil as the model for his ethanol development.

    When Bill Clinton was mentioning his story as a model for other people also to replicate the Brazilian model I was thinking to myself how the Ethiopian government will manage to find enough supply of an important input required for sugar cane production – WATER.

    The final speaker of the day was former president George H. Bush – the father of the current president. George Bush Senior did imply on his speech that global warming still open for debate. He also mentioned his son the former governor of Florida Jeb Bush and his involvement in some kind of ethanol project.

    The conference started at 9 AM and ended at 7 PM and during that time they had more than 30 people giving speeches about ethanol, biofuels, and the environment.

    One of the speakers was Dr. Frank Sherwood Rowland - he received a Nobel Prize in 1995 for his best-known work regarding the discovery that CFC contribute to Ozone depletion.

  2. .

    Billdick: “I am calling for the GLOBAL elimination of burning of petroleum by sugar-cane alcohol production by “All tropical nations.”


    March 31, 2008

    SouthAmerica: As I mentioned above: “Former president Bill Clinton gave a speech during the lunch hour and he mentioned a friend of his some kind of government Minister in Ethiopia who told president Clinton recently that he want Ethiopia to develop ethanol from sugar cane and that he was using Brazil as the model for his ethanol development.

    When Bill Clinton was mentioning his story as a model for other people also to replicate the Brazilian model I was thinking to myself how the Ethiopian government will manage to find enough supply of an important input required for sugar cane production – WATER.”

    Water is becoming a major scarce resource around the world and every country in our planet it will need to reevaluate its water resources in the coming years and the best way to use it and preserve for future generations.

    When a country is exporting agricultural products that country is exporting water indirectly.

    To grow sugar cane (which requires a lot of freshwater) to turn it into ethanol to feed car engines in other countries it does not make sense to me.

    Countries such Australia, a country that export a lot of agricultural products – they will need to reevaluate very soon if they want to continue exporting their water resources to other countries via agricultural products, since their own freshwater resources is declining very fast.

    I know that many countries want to replicate the Brazilian success story about ethanol, but most countries don’t have a major resource necessary for that to happen – most countries lack the necessary amount of freshwater for sugar cane production.

    I understand that desalinated water – dead water – it is not good for use in agriculture.

  3. billdick


    As I do not know how to link to specific post in another thread, I copied most of my last post in “Central Banks and US Dollar” thread here to continue the “ethanol” discussion with SA in a more appropriate thread as he suggested. This post is the one SA is replying to with his immediately above about water requirements etc. (Sorry it now appears after instead of before his.) I had posted in old thread:

    SouthAmerica:I am against Brazil exporting ethanol to any other country around the world. … Brazilian government should create an export tax to discourage anyone from exporting the Brazilian ethanol made from sugar cane.

    The first two sentences of my SUMMARY {in old thread} were:
    “World needs both a less-polluting liquid fuel and more food and also to cease de-sequestering Carbon for release as CO2 into the air. Brazil can export some of this needed fuel and food and sequester Carbon while producing them, but so can essentially all nations in the tropics.”

    I am calling for the GLOBAL elimination of burning of petroleum by sugar-cane alcohol production by “All tropical nations.” No where do I suggest Brazil can achieve this alone. I said petroleum should be reserved mainly as a chemical feed stock with minor use as a lubricant. Obviously, this requires Brazil to export alcohol and you oppose this because you, like some others, are concerned with the reduction of food production. I agreed food production by Brazil should be EXPANDED, but noted that the total conversion of ALL sugar cane fields to the production of food stocks could increase Brazil's food production by less than 20%. I also noted that Brazil is the largest exporter of Beef and some other meats, either first or second largest.

    If you are serious about using a high export tax to increase food production capacity of Brazil, then tax the Brazilian meat industry out of existence, not the alcohol export industry. As approximately half (0.5) of Brazil's agricultural land is pasture or producing animal feed and the per acre production of food calories in meat is only 1/6 as much as if the eatable crops are grown, then the total elimination of meat production would increase Brazil's crop production of calories by a factor of 3; or 15 times more than the 0.2 of your suggestion! (0.5x 6 = 3) So that is why I called your ill-thought-out 20% increase a "crazy" destruction by taxation of the export alcohol industry when destruction of the meat industry is a 15 times more effective way for Brazil to deliver more food calories. (0.5x6/0.2 =15)

    Note to achieve that 20% expansion of Brazilian food crops requires TOTAL elimination of ALL alcohol production in Brazil, even for the huge domestic consumption. Neither of us wants to see Brazilian car switch back to gasoline. As 90% of Brazil's alcohol production is for the domestic market, the 10% reduction of export alcohol production could increase the calories produced by Brazil by only 2% not the 20%. Thus, destruction of Brazil’s meat industry would produce 150 times more exportable food calories than you your recommended tax to destruction alcohol exports. Consequently, given an alternative that is much more effective, I still think your suggestion is "ill-thought-out and crazy." However, I do not advocate the taxation of the Brazilian meat industry to destruction. I only used that to illustrate that your suggestion of taxation of the alcohol export industry to destruction was an, ineffective choice, producing approximately 0.3% as much expansion of Brazil's food calorie capacity as destroying the meat industry would. (BTW, I am not a vegetarian - just rational.)

    To eliminate the burning of petroleum is a very ambitious project, and only has a chance of being feasible if most tropical countries do grow sugar cane on a large scale. I do share your concern for the potential impact that would have on global food production. The solution to this conflict is clear: The two numbered steps I gave in my prior {in old “Central bank & US Dollar thread} post, which in excessively brief summary are:

    (1) Greatly reduce the number of animals raised for food. - That is inefficient indirect production of food calories. Actually, the meat industry is more accurately described as the “profitable destruction of food calories” to reduce shipping expenses. (By converting crops into a less-massive, higher-priced food.)

    (2)Free birth control, for everyone desiring them (including the rich, to avoid any associated acceptance stigma) plus regular distribution to fertile mothers of already hungry, mal-nourished children of some agent (like Barr's FDA approved non-prescription, "Plan B" morning after compound) in "cookies" (or other free food items they desire) by registered drug store pharmacists and health clinics etc.

    In{old thread} prior post I noted that petroleum is not "produced," it is "DE-sequestered" and adding huge amounts of CO2 to the air. In contrast, using alcohol as fuel actually sequesters some CO2 now in the air. (See my prior post for how.) I now note that the meat industry produces considerable atmospheric CH4 (methane in cow farts mainly) which is approximately an order of magnitude worse contributor to global warming than CO2 is.

    Now just a brief comment on his "cane needs water" point: Yes it does, but significantly less than corn and many other food crops especially and obviously, most types of rice. There is some type of sugar beet now being introduced in India which requires less water than cane. I am not trying to require or imply sugar cane is everywhere the most suitable crop for alcohol production. My point is that if all the tropical countries (and even semi-tropical near tropic regions) were to produce alcohol (and other things like smaller cars, urban electic public transport, more telecommuting to work, etc were done) then it is possible for petroleum to be used only for lubrication and chemical feed stocks - LETS CEASE BURNING IT FOR HEAT AND MAKING CO2 ASAP!

    Also I do not know what you mean by "dead water" - presumably that is pure H2O without the normal micro-organisms? But if that is what you mean, it will be "live water" the instant it hit any soil. I.e. very rich in micro organisms so what is your concern with using it for irrigations (other than cost, but many "waste waters" can be used free and some are more benefiical than rain. (which I guess you also call "dead water" as it is "sun distilled"
  4. Re-post....

    What is also of interest is not only energy independence and secure supplies....but to retain monies within the countries....who currently are spending over 25% of their GDP on oil....and also causing havoc when the smaller currencies have to convert to pay ....

    It is a very dissapointing sight to see how wealth has to be continually shipped out....whereas it could be retained by cane ethanol production....

    I think that the idea of a Brazilian style mandate should be pushed even by the likes of the IMF....who really should have already grasped this it would increase wealth as well as provide evergreen energy needs....Instead of raising taxes , taxes could actually be reduced by this type of policy....

    In other words ....everything would improve...

    Also what one must note that it is not clear that sugar cane would replace food production because quite a significant amount of cane ready land is not currently in production.....Also a lot of the local indigenous foods are not grown where cane is grown....

    Let us remember that these countries still have sovereignty and their own currencies....

    Some of these countries could handily improve ratio wise to literally become small Switzerlands in terms of favorable economic ratios.

    I would love to see some of the exotic currencies more than double versus the Bush dollars....


    The point is relatively simple....The non oil producing Carribbean and Latin American countries would fare a lot better, and have a much higher overall financial standing if 15 to 27% of their money did not have to leave their countries for oil payments.

    The smaller countries have vast areas of unused cane acerage that are remnants of the big sugar days gone by....along with the old rusted out plants....

    Also since a very high portion of the electricy is oil based as well....the cane based electricity would be very significant....

    Most Carribbean houses use less than a 10th of what US houses use.....More than 50% do not have hot water heaters....and in one country you never see electric stoves....only gas.....Most already use the new low usage light bulbs....and more than 50% do not have air conditioning....And there are no electric heaters to be found....

    Also the vehicle counts are relatively low....

    This is why cane ethanol can create little Switzerlands in the Carribbean.....Also, if the money stays at home....internet based education could be in front of every child....

    Now add the word haven....and some of these countries will dramatically change their poverty less than 10 years....
  5. .

    April 1, 2008

    SouthAmerica: Reply to Billdick and Libertad

    In the last 3 years I posted a lot of information on this forum about Brazil and ethanol.

    You can read some of the discussions that we covered on this subject on the following threads otherwise we would be repeating all the same discussions once again.


    Here is why the world’s smart money is being invested in Brazil.

    September 16, 2006 - today Brazil has 357 sugar refineries operating for the production of sugar and ethanol, and they also have another 50 sugar refineries under construction to supply the expected growth on the Brazilian market for these commodities.


    June 26, 2006 - Meet the Press with Tim Russert – a discussion about ethanol


    Brazil the New Emerging Global Power

    Fri Apr 21, 2006 - “New Rig Brings Brazil Oil Self-Sufficiency”


    GM and Ford: are Bankrupt and Out of Business.

    November 23, 2005 – about flexible-fuel cars that uses ethanol.

  6. billdick


    To SA: Thanks for links but too busy with US taxes now to read -I will later, but I too follow this closely (partial as I hold 2500 shares in San Martino, third largest producer of Sugar/alcohol in Brazil, I think, and one with nearly all its cane fields level enough for mechanical harvest, which is on its way to being mandated, I think.
    I agree 110% with your points. It would be much better than "foreign aid" (which increases Joe American's taxes also) if US imported alcohol from tropical lands, instead of the huge economic cost of producing it inefficiently from Iowa corn, which actually increases the consumption of oil as it is slight loss of energy. - I.e. burning gasoline, terrible as that is for reasons already stated, is to be preferred to Iowa corn alcohol. See more of why in next paragraph:

    Few know that the nitrogen in the fertilizer used for that corn is converted to NOx by soil bacteria and make the corn alcohol about 8 times greater pollution source than gasoline. - This according to recent though study by Nobel Prize winning expert in the field of these bio-chemical soil processes.
  7. SA, you do realise ethanol is a complete joke in energy terms, and that the love-fest you attended was for the investors, nothing more.
    Who were the speakers, again?

    There is nothin sustainable about it, suggesting tropical (third world) countries should step up and produce the goodies is absolutely, utterly reprehensible, corrrupt, cowardly and obscene, I cannot beleive you would regurgitate this pap here, its BULLSHIT dude.

    Utter BULLSHIT, talking about water in the same sentence as ethanol from third world countries, you might as well, maybe should, paint a fucking swasticka on your forehead, what you are suggesting here is TOTAL RUBBISH and an utter insult to anyone who gives a crap, who the fuck gave you a press pass????????

    You make it sound like you advocate this shit, say it aint so, joe.
  8. billdick


    For Iowa corn based alcohol, yes that is true. (Another of GWB's stupid decisions, designed more to build another large group of campaign contributors while appearing to do something about US's energy dependency on the Mid East, but actually as corn based alcohol is "net energy negative" his more than two decade love fest with the Saudi Royal family will be strengthen by the increase of US needs for petroleum Iowa corn based alcohol will make.

    BTW that foreign family paid for a small oil company they gave via GWB's father to GWB. An early clue as to how inept GWB is the fact that in a few years as CEO of it, GWB was able to bankrupt even an oil company. - His "training ground" for bankrupting the entire USA later (very soon), I guess.)

    Sugar cane grown in tropical lands yields 8 times more energy than required to grow it. (The solar energy not being counted of course. It is actually the cheapest and best form of solar energy, with the possible exception of wind power in some favorable locations, which is also, of course, solar energy in disguise.)

    Thus, the most intense BULL SHIT I have ever seen posted at this forum is the remained of your post. :mad:
  9. .

    Acronym: Utter BULLSHIT, talking about water in the same sentence as ethanol from third world countries, you might as well, maybe should, paint a fucking swasticka on your forehead,


    April 1, 2008

    SouthAmerica: Based on your reply to the above posting it seems to me that you are not playing with a full deck of cards.

    Anyway, as I mentioned on the original posting the “government Minister in Ethiopia who told president Clinton recently that he want Ethiopia to develop ethanol from sugar cane and that he was using Brazil as the model for his ethanol development.”

    Then go and help the Ethiopians to develop their sugar cane plantations (without much water) to turn it into ethanol.

    Maybe you can invest some of your money in such a project since you are so smart.

    Note: To grow and maintain a sugar cane plantation it is required a lot of freshwater.

  10. billdick


    Do you have any relative data? For example, if considered as an "energy crop," how much water does each unit of alcohol energy from sugar cane require compared to that same unit of energy in diesel fuel from soy beans. Would be nice to see their relative annual energy yields per hectar (per acre) if water is abundant, as often Brazil's case. Also of interest is the relative cost of production of a "unit of energy." Do you have any of this?

    I think that it is about the same, but do not know. Almost sure, corn based alcohol requires more that sugar cane based alcohol.

    Got any related reference to support you claims about sugar cane? (Claims implying at least that cane takes significantly more water than other crops). I doubt that is fact because cane is a natural tropical weed. Most such weeds are endowed by nature to be at least "tollerant" of water shortage, but may need more to grow rapidly than just to survive. I.e. lets have some referenced facts.

    P.S. I have read that some variets of sugar cane are tollerant of brackish water; I think India is investigating them as well as some beet that requires little water (compared to sugar cane, corn etc.) but forget where I saw that.
    #10     Apr 1, 2008