April 7, 2008

"People are starving in Africa so that American politicians can court votes in farm states."

Biofuels have been a "terrible mistake," says Paul Krugman.
[E]ven on optimistic estimates, producing a gallon of ethanol from corn uses most of the energy the gallon contains. But it turns out that even seemingly “good” biofuel policies, like Brazil’s use of ethanol from sugar cane, accelerate the pace of climate change by promoting deforestation.

And meanwhile, land used to grow biofuel feedstock is land not available to grow food, so subsidies to biofuels are a major factor in the food crisis....

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: All the remaining presidential contenders are terrible on this issue.


Kurt said...

Hey, what do you know?!? I agree with Paul Krugman's current column. Oh well, as the saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Seriously, though, the people who try to put ethanol forward as a biofuel option are seriously deluded. Not only is it incapable of solving the problem of energy independence, it does nothing to decrease greenhouse gas emissions (for those who care about such things) because it takes a lot of energy to produce.

Kurt said...
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Original Mike said...

My God!, Paul Krugman said something intelligent? The Apocalypse is nigh!!

dbp said...

For once Krugman is right about something! Had to happen sometime.

Roger J. said...

Increased demand for oil as India and China come on line as consumers, and increased demand for ethanol because of US legislative action mandating its use in gasoline refining: the price of gas will continue to rise. That damn supply and demand thing, coupled with the law of unintended consequences, keeps biting us.

MadisonMan said...

Biofuels are great for farmers -- commodity prices are up up up. The wife's family farm has never been so profitable! For the rest of us, eh, not so good.

The energy to produce biofuel is high -- and so are water costs. And the impact on food prices and availability? Well, have you priced five pounds of flour lately?

Eventually, like the Stock bubble and the Real Estate bubble, the biofuel bubble will burst.

Original Mike said...

No worries, Roger. President Obama will save us by building windfarms. I hear Ted Kennedy will spearhead the initative (oh, wait...)

peacelovewoodstock said...

Gee I used to think corn-based ethanol was the biggest scam since Milli Vanilli but if Krugman is criticizing it I must rethink my position, there must actually be something to it.

The Drill SGT said...

I disagree with one part:

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: all the remaining presidential contenders are terrible on this issue.

Here's a late Dec 2007 story just before the Iowa vote:

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., opposes government subsidies to help private companies and farmers develop ethanol.

The presidential candidate voiced his opposition to ethanol subsidies during a recent speech before an energy group in Virginia and during a debate this week in Des Moines, Iowa.

Ethanol is a corn-derived alternative to petroleum-based gasoline. Proponents want federal and state governments to encourage ethanol production to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil.

McCain has said he supports creating a market environment to encourage production of ethanol and other alternative fuels, but not government subsidies.

McCain is a strong backer of nuclear energy, possibly including a second nuclear power plant in Arizona. He has opposed new oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Ethanol is popular in Iowa's agriculture-heavy economy. McCain sits in fifth place among GOP presidential contenders in Iowa and Florida, according to new polls by Rasmussen Reports.

Synova said...

Flour and milk.

I'm shocked at how much bread costs but you figure it's highly perishable and not very dense (for shipping and distribution this increases per pound cost of food) but I'm even more shocked at the price of flour. Minimally processed as food goes and it keeps so it ought to be reasonable.

And milk is just outrageous. I'm thrilled when there's a sale price around $4 a gallon.

john said...

Madison Man -

When the biofuels bubble pops will your wife's family switch to tulips?


Original Mike said...

Good catch, SGT. Maybe the praise for Krugman was premature (I shoulda known better).

Synova said...

But... I don't think it's about courting votes in farm states nearly as much as it's about making the right save the earth noises.

Alternative fuels, you know.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

As long as the biofuel/ethanol thing doesnt extend to barley and hops, I will be happy.

MadisonMan said...

building windfarms.

I don't see much a downside to windfarms. They are built of mostly US parts -- good for the steel industry. They produce clean energy. The aforementioned family farm is a proposed wind site. I'm hoping that happens.

roger, I've read of serious hops shortages. Was it because farmers have switched to biofuel crops? I can't remember.

The Drill SGT said...

what Krugman doesn't say is that the Dems have it almost enirely wrong on energy/food.

Imported oil bad
ethanol good
Nukes bad
hydro bad
Alaska oil bad
offshore oil bad
incentives for US production or research bad
wind good, except where rich people live
coal bad
new refinery bad
solar good (till you have to make those cutting edge plastics)

Synova said...

The farmer has to decide to grow barley instead of corn.

I'm glad to hear that McCain is pro-nuclear. Split some atoms and use the fields to grow food instead of fuel.

MarkW said...

Here's a late Dec 2007 story just before the Iowa vote

And here's a story after McCain caved on the issue in Iowa:


George M. Spencer said...

"Midwest farmers will get rich, the air will be cleaner, the planet will be cooler, and, best of all, we can tell those greedy sheiks to fuck off. As the king of ethanol hype, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, put it recently, "Everything about ethanol is good, good, good

"This is not just hype -- it's dangerous, delusional bullshit....

Sen. Barack Obama pleased his agricultural backers in Illinois by co-authoring legislation to raise production of biofuels to 60 billion gallons by 2030."

The Ethanol Scam, Rolling Stone, August 2007.

This is also the cover story of this week's Time Magazine. It makes a glancing reference to Sen. Obama, and I think says nothing at all about Clinton or McCain.

George M. Spencer said...

"President Hosni Mubarak has ordered Egypt's army to bake bread for the public, following the deaths of at least six people since March 17 -- some succumbing to exhaustion during the long waits, others stabbed in vicious struggles for places in line [to buy bread]....

The mood of the people is angry," said Amr Elshobaki, an analyst at Cairo's Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. "I think it's near collapse, the state."

Ralph L said...

The flour mills here in NC aren't contracting any 2008 wheat at market prices--they say they won't pay it. Corn acreage was going to be way down from last year, but with the price up to $6, some people are changing their minds.

The people screaming for alternative fuel subsidies and mandates the last few years are now wising up--for the wrong reason. Let's see if they'll suck it up and beg for nukes.

Roger J. said...

MM: I think it was some kind of wilt or virus; about 10 years ago, the Yakima Valley hops yards were hit hard. The Yakima Valley produces 25 percent of the world's hops.

Original Mike said...

I don't see much a downside to windfarms.

Me neither. I think we should build lots of them. It's just that they're not going to make much of a dent in our energy needs, and as The Drill SGT says, how many of the the other things that we need to do does Krugman support?

Peter V. Bella said...

This is nothing new. About two years ago several energy experts were saying the same thing; alternate fuels cost more to produce and there will be an economic- higher food prices- impact. Krugman is behind the eightball.

Of course he has to blame those evil Chinese too for becoming meat lovers. Better they stayed vegetarians.

rhhardin said...

If roads were widened, cars could be wind powered like the traditional prairie schooners, though you'd probably want to limit them to three sails, and have pretty tough right-of-way rules to regulate tacking.

What kills Africa is free stuff sent there, wiping out any possibility of a local business starting or surviving in the same commodity.

Cost doesn't affect them, contra Krugman. It's free.

High cost would be good for them! A business could start and thrive.

Daryl said...

Biofuels are just one part of the Global Warming scam. It's easy to see how big companies benefit, so even Paul Krugman can see it for what it is.

Where are the scientists? Why aren't they speaking out about the folly of biofuels?

Probably the same reason they won't speak out about the folly of other great idea from the left about how to combat global warming. Because they're cowed, submissive, and weak.

When scientists stop acting like scientists, they lose their credibility as such. If scientists aren't going to tell the truth about this angle of the Global Warming scam, why should we trust them to tell the truth about any other part of it?

Al Gore won half of a Nobel Peace Prize for his movie "An Inconvenient Truth." It was full of lies and distortions. Why haven't any scientists on the alarmist side of the global warming debate spoken out about those lies and distortions? Like I said, they aren't acting like scientists. So we don't have to accord them the deference that scientists are due.

Henry said...

Drill Sgt., nice callout on McCain. McCain's stance on ethanol (and its cost in Iowa caucus votes) is pretty widely known, so Krugman's blanket swipe against "all the remaining presidential candidates" is a painful -- and obvious -- obfuscation.

Would it cost the man so much to acknowledge the occasional Republican advantage on economic and trade issues? Apparently it would. Not too long ago the one-time staunch defender of free trade wrote a column pleading with other economists to please not criticize Obama and Clinton so much on their anti-Nafta hackery.

mickey said...

I have an idea.
Let's eat our food.
And use FUEL for FUEL.
Another idea would be to drill our own oil and use it or ever sell it.
Can you imagine that concept!
We could SELL oil to those who want it. And all the lefties could use rickshaws if they so chose.

Cedarford said...

Ethanol was an unholy alliance between hippie purists that see any "exciting alternative energy" as a magic elixer that allowed them to be anti-coal, anti-oil/gas exploration and especially antinuclear - and agribiz, farm states, and Bush corporatists seeing big money from subsidies, fuel price and food runups..

And dead silence from the "leaders" of the environmental movement, much like their "omerta" pact on the environmental damage and habitat loss of unchecked mass immigration taking America from 225 million in 1973 to 420 million in 2050.

Like oil, arable land is a precious, limited commodity 100% exploited in many countries. And if we turned 100% of our grain into ethanol and used every fallow acre of arable land in the US for production of grain to ethanol, it would cover only 15% of our energy needs until mass famine drove demand down..That was well-known in 2006, when that was the result of Scientific American and numerous think tanks from Australia to Russia debunking "exciting biofuels".

That evidence of course was no match for the "magic" enthusiasts or the big money lobbyists to Agribiz and whores to them like Harkin and Grassley and the other Senators. But now with grain tripling in price and the American voter about to get hammered with 7.00 a gallon milk on top of 4 buck a gallon gas - all the dippy hippies and Senate whores are no match for the stupid, but motivated voter who bears just as much responsibility for sitting back and letting America become so wastrel, feckless, irresponsible in it's actions..

The bitch is that there isn't a magic spigot that will turn on juice and provide gas tanks from nuke power plants, refineries, oil exporation off our coasts and in Alaska that will take at least a 5-year time horizon to realize.

Suffer, fellow Americans, knowing YOU were responsible, WE were responsible for sleep-walking our way into a multitude of domestic messes because we let Courts and co-opted politicians block all remedies for 25 years...You indulged yourselves into pretending that deficits didn't matter, tax cuts for the rich were just the ticket, gutting America's industries would make us all richer and allow us to fill our houses up to the rafters with ChinaMart stuff. You thought you could oppose any new energy production except wildass picayune "exciting new" sources that at best would cover 3-4 million citizens with high-priced energy..and still expect the energy stuff you got would stay cheap and eggs would cost 99 cents a dozen. And that your health insurance will get a whole lot worse in costs as well as higher taxes soon to pay off Dubya's Bank of China IOUs..

Your fuckup, American public. Now go back to obsessing about Iraq and the noble Iraqi people and our "heroes" like you have been doing ineffectually and like a broken record for 6 years.

Richard Dolan said...

It's the "so that" that isn't true (indeed, obviously false). Little words are often the source of the biggest problem. Krugman's misuse of them here is a case in point. Over the weekend Ann was extolling the virtues of studying philosophy as a preparation for law school. It's good for more than that, of course, and would have helped Krugman quite a bit here.

Cedarford said...

rhardin - What kills Africa is free stuff sent there, wiping out any possibility of a local business starting or surviving in the same commodity.

No, what is killing Africa, figuratively and literally, is overpopulation. Something that "polite societies" hate discussing. Africa went from 120 million in subsaharan Africa to over a billion today. The wars there are now mostly about overpopulated areas chasing too little water or arable land. Too many people are the root of the Rwandan genocide, the mass death in Sudan as nomads and settled farmers fight over resources, the Zimbabwe civil war. Conflict in the Horn of Africa and all along the Sahel.

A dangerous brand of pro-growth delusionists emerged from Reaganism that held that there could be unlimited growth in people which would cause unlimited growth in GDP and debt would be cancelled by higher growth, and less taxes and unlimited resources would be natural because "High-Tech solutions" and increased productivity would make it so.

So we had no objections to masses of 3rd worlders fleeing Malthusian traps coming here. We ignored Norman Borlaug's 1960s warnings that his Green Revolution was a one-time miracle and his teams only gave the world a respite to get populations in check.

So we kind of ignored modern medicine and new welfare making large families practical and even lucrative for the indolent - and continued high breeding rates make too many people for too few jobs in places like Mexico and all the Muslim countries (Muslim nations had full employment in the 60s. Now the unemployment rate of young Muslim males in Arab lands is 30-40% and even KSA has outbred it's ability to hand out jobs and maintain a good standard of living. Muslim population globally has tripled since the 50s.).

America was a major petroleum exporter until our population growth used up spare margins once exported. In 2006, we also passed another remarkable inflection point, importing more food products in value than domestic production we consumed...

I'm Full of Soup said...

Sorta reminds me of the missionary pleas back in grade school. We were admonished to finish our food "because Pagan babies were starving in Africa".

FWIW I think Krugman has officially jumped the shark once again.

reader_iam said...

This put a big old smile on my face. I love it!

I live in Iowa, and for a long time one of the things that seemed to unite many of the liberals and conservatives of my personal acquaintance was this support of ethanol. This put my husband and me in a decided minority, in our circles, of those who have been calling the ethanol subsidy/movement precisely what it is: unscientific, dishonest, counterproductive, a boondoggle and a scam.

I'd probably going around the rest of the day with a silly grin on my face, if the consequences of this folly weren't so decidedly unfunny. And if I weren't so convinced that Krugman's spitting in the wind will lead to precisely zero change, as all such spitting has.

So it goes.

reader_iam said...

I do think Krugman's being shallow on the starving African point.

Original Mike said...

FWIW I think Krugman has officially jumped the shark once again.

AJ, I think you can only "jump the shark" once. And in Krugman's case, that shipped has sailed, that train has left the station, that ...

Chip Ahoy said...

I believe I discovered on YouTube the answer to the biofuel problem. Apparently this is big with German boys. Similar videos tagged "furz" are all over the YouTubes.

Laura Reynolds said...

Sometimes it can be difficult to detect political B.S. and sometimes idealogy gets in the way, but "ethanol" politics is an easy one. There is no scientific or broader economic rationale for it, period.

And with all due respect to "reader" whom I know to be a reasonable person, as demonstrated here, this is one more reason to bury the Iowa Caucus to the back row of presidential politics

Eli Blake said...

The smartest thing we've done in decades was to finally pass an energy bill in Congress last year that raises CAFE standards (did you know that a model-T Ford got 25 mpg? Surely we could have developed something more efficient in the past ninety years had we invested in doing so.)

We dithered and dragged our feet on alternative energy research, investments in mass transit, etc.

So now we have $110 per barrel crude oil and gas prices this summer likely to flirt with $4.00 per gallon.

And I suspect that $4/gallon gas will provide much more of a spur to alternative energy production and mass transit than anything the government has done or tried to do over the past quarter century.

Kirby Olson said...

Won't the methodology get cheaper as time goes on? The earlier computers were big clunky and not very good. Won't we get better at transforming corn into ethanol? Might not the situation improve from what it is at present?

rhhardin said...

I've proposed using glass as a fuel (``vitriol'') but so far no lobby has formed. You'd think the politics would be easy.

I'm Full of Soup said...


I know one time is the standard hurdle but Krugman is creating his own new rarified category.

Sloanasaurus said...

Aghast. Krugman is right about ethanol and is wrong about McCain. McCain indeed took last in Iowa because he could not find it in his heart to support even more subsidies.

Still I will have to take everyone elses word for it. I cant get myself to read a Krugman column (although he lies less than Frank Rich).

Anonymous said...

"Ethanol will save us." is just one more in a long line of stupid Green ideas characterized by the absence of serious economic considerations or possible side effects. In other words, it makes them feel good about themselves and consequences be damned. Such has always been the situation, and any real good that may dribble out of their delusions is purely coincidental. Global climate control, anyone?

Original Mike said...

Eli - You don't see the disconnect between: And I suspect that $4/gallon gas will provide much more of a spur to alternative energy production and mass transit than anything the government has done or tried to do over the past quarter century.

and: The smartest thing we've done in decades was to finally pass an energy bill in Congress last year that raises CAFE standards...


Peter V. Bella said...

MadisonMan said...
I don't see much a downside to windfarms. They are built of mostly US parts -- good for the steel industry. They produce clean energy. The aforementioned family farm is a proposed wind site. I'm hoping that happens.

The problem with wind farms is people, especially well heeled celebrity and political environmentalists. The best place to build windfarms is where the wind is. The coastal areas, the mountain and hill areas and other places where these people live. Malibu would not allow a windfarm anywhere near it. Those uber envionmentalistws, the Kennedys, stopped a windfarm from being built because they ddid not want to view unsightly towers when they went sailing.

It is OK as long as it is not in anyone's backyard, especially if that back yard belongs to people named Streisan, Kennedy, DiCaprio, Gore, and fill the name of your favorite celeb or pol.

It is called NIMBY- not in my back yard. Windfarms will be like the housing projects. "Do not put them in our neighborhoods or anywhere near us." We have to protect our environment- property values.

Crimso said...

"Because they're cowed, submissive, and weak."

I find a much higher percentage of people amongst scientists that are skeptical of AGW than I do amongst the general population (admittedly, this is anecdotal). Many of us do give our opinions, but it's as though no one is listening. Remember, the science is settled and there is no debate.

Kirk Parker said...

All you guys expressing (mock) shock at Krugman saying something intelligent just have poor memories. This is exactly the way Krugman wrote before he got his NYT gig (for which, apparently, mindless partisan bashing is part of the deal.)

Though I concede that he let a few partisan tics slip in, anyway.

Original Mike said...

Kirk said: This is exactly the way Krugman wrote before he got his NYT gig

So I've been told, which just means my opinion of Krugman is even lower than if I thought he'd been like this all along.

AllenS said...

Ford headquarters has said that the original Model T got 13 miles per gallon in the city and 21 MPG on the highway.

In the early 70's I tore the lath and plaster out of my house so I could insulate and rewire. I found an old seed catalogue from 1930. One of the advertisements in it is from the Whirlwind Manufacturing Co., Milwaukee WI. It claimed that using the Whirlwind over the mountains from Los Angeles, 559 miles on 11 gallons of gas. Fits all cars.

Forget the windmills, install the Whirlwind!

dbp said...

Even though Krugman is right in this case, he just can't help himself and still throws in some "facts"

"...but the invasion of Iraq — which proponents promised would lead to cheap oil — has also reduced oil supplies below what they would have been otherwise.

And bad weather, especially the Australian drought, is probably related to climate change. So politicians and governments that have stood in the way of action on greenhouse gases bear some responsibility for food shortages."

Iraq produces roughly the same amount of oil today as it did before the war.


Given that there hasn't been any warming in the last 5 years, why would there be a drought this year but not the 4 years before that?

Krugman: Even when he is right, he can't help but throw in a cheap shot.

P_J said...

There were reports last year, IIRC, about the poor in Mexico struggling to afford tortillas because of skyrocketing corn prices.

I'm all for energy independence, but not at the cost of starving the poor.

This was entirely predictable given market realities of supply and demand and the ridiculously optimistic "selling" of corn biofuel.

JohnAnnArbor said...

"...but the invasion of Iraq--which proponents promised would lead to cheap oil..."

Um, I don't remember that, certainly not as a primary reason. It would have been a pretty crass argument to make.

AllenS said...

I'm not sure how this is going to make me look, but last fall I plowed about 3 acres so I could plant some corn this spring. I'm going to use it in my corn burning furnace.

JohnAnnArbor said...

It is called NIMBY- not in my back yard.

Dutch windmills were built for practical reasons and are now iconic. Why doesn't some forward-thinking community take ownership of the modern windmill as a symbol and set a bunch up?

mickey said...

Yes, it appears Krugman cannot leave his lib bias out of a story that rips ethanol.
He re-writes history in the fashion of Thighs Rodham.
Proponants of the Iraq liberation, and ouster of Saddam Hussein (not Obama) were telling us of cheap oil.
The left were the only ones that included OIL in the Iraq equation.
If you will recall, this war was for us to STEAL Iraq's oil. G.W.Bush was frothing at the mouth for more Texas Tea. Right?
Well we haven't taken drop one yet.
So naturally Krugman creates a figment of his own imagination and makes it reality.
Next thing you know Krugman has snipers firing on him and his daughter Chelsea.

JohnAnnArbor said...

I'm going to use it in my corn burning furnace.

If you burn the cobs and maybe the dried stalks, too, you're being more useful than ethanol from corn.

mickey said...

Allens!!! Aldi has a sale on canned corn! .39 a can!!
I use the creamed corn in my furnace. It burns real clean.
Sod busting is for suckers.

Original Mike said...

I use the creamed corn in my furnace.

And you can recycle the can! It's a twofer!

mickey said...

You mean you're supposed to take the creamed corn out of the can before burning it???
No wonder I got frostbite.

Hector Owen said...

That Model T weighed 1200 pounds and had a 22 horsepower engine and mechanical brakes. Comparing it to even the smallest modern car is nugatory. More here.
Also, adding oxygenating agents to fuel gives fewer miles per gallon, so comparing mpg of pure gasoline to mpg of gas with MTBE or ethanol is another bad comparison.
The Tata Nano should be out soon, with a 33 hp engine. It will get better mileage than a Model T. It won't meet US safety standards, but neither does a Model T. So you could compare the Nano to a Model T; but neither is a car that could be sold in America today.

AllenS said...


You have to use kernel corn. There is an auger that runs from the hopper to an opening so that the corn can fall into the burning pot. I can regulate how fast the auger runs which in turn will increase the output of heat.
I have been mixing the corn with wood pellets. 2/3 pellets, to 1/3 corn. I noticed last week that the wood pellets went from $3.48 per 40# bag to $3.70. Last Thursday, I bought an old Fisher wood stove, for $150, and am thinking about putting a small addition on the house and also using wood for heat. I have about 9 acres of woods. I have a new propane furnace if I feel lazy.

dbp said...

AllenS said...
I'm not sure how this is going to make me look, but last fall I plowed about 3 acres so I could plant some corn this spring. I'm going to use it in my corn burning furnace.

Why not sell your corn at $6/bu and then turn around and purchase coal with the money? Here is a place that sells 50lb bags for $10. Probably cheaper in bulk

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't see much a downside to windfarms

Other than the fact that they don't work well when the winds die down, I think that there are a lot of migratory birds that might disagree with you.

People didn't see much of a downside to hydro power in the Pacific Northwest until almost all the salmon had disappeared from the rivers.

Time reveals all unintended consequences. Unfortunately for the fish and the birds it's usually too late to fix the problems we have caused. Especially when there may be more reliable and efficient alternatives.

dbp said...

Ah, if you have 9 acres of woods you are all set: We had 3 acres when we lived in Vermont. Heated exclusivly with wood for 4 years and never made a dent in our woods.

AllenS said...


I live in west central WI. The shipping costs would be huge. Also the coal would have to be the size of kernel corn for it to work in my present furnace. I don't know how many people are old enough to remember coal burning furnaces, but like burning corn, you have a daily chore of removing the clinker.

mickey said...

Ahhhh yes, the migratory birds and salmon argument.
I wasn't aware of the Salmon shortage. Should I cut back on my salmon intake too?
I'll bet you got real emotional when you found out about the dinosaurs going extinct too.

Anonymous said...

I stopped for lunch near Minneapolis one Saturday afternoon last summer. The guys at the next table struck up a conversation. They were chemical engineers working for Cargill. The conversation got around to corn-derived ethanol.

Between snickers about politicians, these guys pointed out that corn was about the least efficient way to create ethanol, and that even artichokes could produce more ethanol-per-acre than corn.

Their preferred source of ethanol? Either prairie grass or wheat stalks. Prairie grass requires no fertilizers, no watering and re-seeds itself. It yields more than 8 time the ethanol per acre than does corn.

Wheat stalks are a waste product, left over when wheat is harvested. It has zero additional growing cost. It yields more than five times the ethanol per acre than does corn.

The pols, however, cannot be bothered with simple scientific facts when there are votes to be purchased from the corn growers, processors, market makers, etc. Morons.

Revenant said...

I don't see much a downside to windfarms.

They're an eyesore, and the mechanics of their use pretty much prevent their being hidden from view.

mickey said...

Allens, I've got some good news for you.(I think).
With all this global warming and stuff, Chippewa Falls will be the Pacific coast line. Your property values are sure to rise.
I hope you don't live west of Chippewa falls or you're going to get wet.

paul a'barge said...

Wow. Krugman is right. Imagine that.

mickey said...

Can we take a vote?
Why we can't have windfarms.
2)They are an eyesore, and coal plants are much neater looking. All high tech and such.
3)We really don't want solutions we just want to bitch.
4)It doesn't matter anyway, the worlds coming to an end. H/t Jack Van Impe.

Revenant said...

I wasn't aware of the Salmon shortage. Should I cut back on my salmon intake too?

Rainbow trout have been threatened for quite a while now. Other species are as well, I think.

AllenS said...

Say it ain't so! The Leinenkugel's brewery is in Chippewa Falls.

mickey said...

Oh dear, the trout too??
Maybe they can make a "trout substitute". You know, kind of like that fake crab meat?
I hear cockroaches have plenty of protein.
I think all of this fish threatening is awful.

Bob said...

Another case where America is responsible for all the world's ills. Might someone point out that Africa seems to have some significant good governance problems that may, just may be contributing to the woes on Africa.

Peter V. Bella said...

mickey said...
Can we take a vote?
...3)We really don't want solutions we just want to bitch.

I think you hit the nail on the head.

Revenant said...

2)They are an eyesore, and coal plants are much neater looking. All high tech and such.

Coal plants take up little space and can be hidden from view. They can also be built anywhere. Wind farms take up a lot of space and cannot be hidden from view. That's why they are eyesores relative to coal plants.

But in any case comparing wind to coal is a false dichotomy. We're talking about alternatives TO coal. The valid question is "is wind a good replacement for coal", and the answer is "no" -- nuclear is the intelligent way to go.

I'm Full of Soup said...


My vote is for #3 - we all enjoy beeeyyathcing.

reader_iam said...

When we first moved into our old house, there was still a chute into the old coal cellar, which is adjacent to our massive early 20th-century boiler (which had been converted at some point prior to our purchasing the house--probably by the people we bought it from, who had rather obviously converted the coal cellar into a growing room, if ya know what I mean).

Every once in a while I wonder if we erred in removing the chute and redoing the surrounding masonry. Because you never know ... .

mickey said...

revenent, I'm with you. Even though I don't understand what "dichotomy" means. I'm sick and tired of all these windmills popping willy nilly ruining my view of the freeway.
Coal is the way to go. Coal mines are beautiful man.

JohnAnnArbor said...

The blades on modern windmills don't go fast enough to be too much of a bird hazard.

Bugs are a problem, though. The efficiency of a new turbine often goes down a bit a few weeks after installation because of bug crud.

mickey said...

reader iam, you aren't suggesting that those peeps were growing wacky tobacky are you?
That stuff burns real real real clean. But it gets all those birds real high, and then they fly into the windmills.
Maybe they used it for cancer pain management.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I wasn't aware of the Salmon shortage. Should I cut back on my salmon intake too?

Well, Mickey, I guess you aren't aware of many things. Don't worry. Your salmon intake will be cut back soon for you.

The collapse of several industries not to mention the almost extinction of a species just so some butthole in Los Angeles can heat his swimming pool and fire up his computer to surf for porn.

My vote on why we shouldn't buil a a lot of wind farms has to do with:

1. They are unreliable and unpredictable. If the wind dies so does the power generated.
2. Don't generate significant amounts of electricity and are not a replacement for other sources.
3. Don't save electricity and instead encourage more usage. Electricity isn't stored. It's a use it or lose it proposition.
4. They are unsightly. Of course you don't care because you don't have to look at them
5. They interfere with migratory patterns of birds and mammals. Again, why should you care as long as you get to play your video game or whatever you do on the net.

mickey said...

Johnannarbor, is it okay to kill bugs but not birds?
I'm confused as to the new rules.
First we have all the dams/damns killing off our trout and salmon, then the birds are all being decapitated. Now you tell me that we've got a bug holocaust.
Oh, I almost forgot about the migratring caribou in Alaska.
We are evil

Hazy Dave said...

There have been a couple wind turbines along Hwy 41 South of Fond du Lac for a while, but dozens more have sprouted just recently. Kinda freaky. A few of them were even rotating yesterday. In about three months there's going to be a hell of a lot of corn growing in their shadows, too.

mickey said...

dust bunny queen,
Don't worry about me, I've got a bunker built behind my house and plenty of clean water.
When the sky falls, I'm going to be ready. And when the sky falls all those migrating birds will be tasty.

mickey said...

Hazy dave, I see those 2 wind mills as I drive by H2 to Packers games driving 85 mph.
I'm driving my gas guzzler so fast that I take out migratory birds like nobodies bidness.
I think I once hit a trout near Oshkosh.
But seriously. Corn production is being cut back to keep prices high.

Elliott A said...

I recently saw an interview with the governors of North Dakota and Montana. They want to build LOTS of CTL (coal to liquid) plants in their wide open spaces. The beauty of this system is that the CO2 produced in the process is placed in the pipeline and sent back to Oklahoma and Texas where it is injected into old oil wells. You get bonus oil out and the CO2 stays 2 miles underground. (For those foolish enough to believe it matters) They can make a profit producing the fuel (runs in diesels) and selling it for the equivalent of a $40 barrel of oil. They were complaining because the Feds and congress continue to stall them. They could produce enough out of our own coal to fuel every diesel in the US. Yet, we are stuck with ethanol mandates that reduce our performance and mileage and are pricing our food out of the reach of our own citizens, let alone the effect on world prices.

Sofa King said...

Mickey, there's no reason to be such an ass. Wind power is great and everything but it is not a good replacement for baseline coal plants or even peak-demand turbines. It is supplemental at best.

Consarn it, I was really hoping Freder would jump in here and give us all a physics lesson on energy conservation. Where could he be?

Peter V. Bella said...

My home was built in 1899. In the basement there is an old cast iron garbage burning water heater that originally provided hot water to heat the radiators. Recycling before it was fashionable.

Hazy Dave said...

mickey, you're going to be amazed at how many more windmills have joined that first pair along there. You can't see them all from the freeway, but apparently 47 out of 88 are already built, with completion scheduled for the end of May. Somebody must be getting some tremendous tax incentives for a project this size.

mickey said...

Sofa king, I'm shocked and outraged.
I'm only thinking about the birds and salmon.
And you call me a donkey?? How rude.
I'm more like an elephant.

P.s. Get over yourself.

mickey said...

Hazy dave, you mean they are an eyesore that I/eye can't see?
Any word on the total number of bird carcasses as of yet?

titusbette davis eyes said...

One thing I forget to say about my trick on Saturday night.

He was 23.

So after all the stress the thing caused the one redeeming facet of the experience was that I am still able to snag a 22 year old.

Life's not that bad.

titusbette davis eyes said...

Sorry I meant snag a 23 year old-type o.

Also, he had a tatoo of the Virgin Mary over his entire big muscled back-that was kind of hot too.

KCFleming said...

INSERT LEFTIST GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION HERE have been a "terrible mistake," says Paul Krugman.

I could write a column with that template every day for twenty years and not repeat myself once.

MadisonMan said...

Dust Bunny Queen -- it's not clear to me from that linked story that power production is behind the decline in Salmon fishing. It looks more like irrigation is. Or altered weather patterns.

I also a little perplexed at how fishing can be called a sport (Hello? You're standing in the water! Or you're sitting on a boat!) but that's just me.

reader_iam said...


Not only that, but when the real estate agent--who turned all shades of red, by the way--first showed the house and gave us a tour of the attic, we found a half-eaten cookie and a whip in the quasi-cedar closet up there. As God is my witness, I'm NOT making this up.

When we finally met the owner, she said she was glad the house was going to us, on account of the karma.

We've come to understand that she really meant "curse," but that's a story for another day (think "The Money Pit," without Tom or Shelley).

reader_iam said...

Or money.

Kirby Olson said...

Maybe they'll find some plant that converts to ethanol more cheaply than corn. Also, perhaps as the icecaps melt we'll have more water available so that this doesn't become such a crisis.

I love to go for a drive, and wish it would be super-cheap and eco-friendly.

I'm afraid of nuclear power plants because of what happened at Chernobyl and at Three mile island, and what with a terrorist lurking around every corner, it doesn't seem sensible to put one on every corner like the bars of Chicago used to be on every corner, or bookstores in Paris.

What happened to flying carpets?

former law student said...

1. I'm still waiting for all the vegans, who write letters to the editor telling how wasteful it is to feed cattle with corn instead of feeding corn to people, to write such letters regarding ethanol.

2. The ethanol you buy is unaged whiskey. Burning whiskey for fuel sounds insane. Plus distilling sour mash into whiskey takes a lot of energy compared to pumping oil out of the ground. Not to mention the fuel to plow, disc, and harvest the corn, or the synthetic fertilizers and herbicides used on the crops. I wouldn't be surprised if each gallon of ethanol represents a net energy loss.

3. Wheat and barley acreage is being diverted to corn. An oversupply of hops some years ago has already caused many hops farmers to grow something else, so that now there is a shortage.

4. Ethanol is naturally higher in octane but lower in energy content than ordinary gasoline. Therefore miles per gallon will be less.

5. Windfarm death counts show that the problem of bird grinding seems to be limited to the Altamont Pass windfarms in California. The biggest problem for researchers is getting to the carcasses before the vultures, etc. do, to prevent undercounts.

former law student said...

madisonman: fishing is a sport, but it's not a game, like football or basketball.

Trooper York said...

Fishing is a vocation, sacred since the dawn of time.

PoliShifter said...

We have a food crisis already. If we go whole hog into biofuels it will make 10,000 times worse.

We need solutions. We need to get off oil for sure. But clean coal and biofuels are not the answers. They might be bridges to a solution but that's it.

Trooper York said...

Striped Bass from the beach in the hamptons. Porgies from the little dock behind the Kovettes in Stepplechase. Bass in the Catskills. Shad in the Delaware. Blue fish off Block Island. Snappers in the morning dew off the lighthouse in the sound. Weakfish in Peconic Bay. Fluke and Flounder from the party boats from Sheepshead Bay. Amen.

Original Mike said...

Sofa King said: Consarn it, I was really hoping Freder would jump in here and give us all a physics lesson on energy conservation.

Freder: What?!? Energy is conserved?!?

mickey said...

Chernyobl? What state is that in?
Being afraid of nuclear energy because of Chernyobl is like being afraid of cars because Ted Kennedy is a lush.
This is America, not hte former Soviet Union.
There are no perfect solutions, save for all liberals moving onto a collective farm in Siberia and leaving us to our own devices.
But then who would work at McDonalds?

reader_iam said...

One fish
two fish
Red fish
Blue fish.

Black fish
Blue fish
Old fish
New fish

This one has
a little star.

This one has a little car.
Say! What a lot
of fish there are.

Original Mike said...

Being afraid of nuclear energy because of Chernyobl is like being afraid of cars because Ted Kennedy is a lush.

And Mickey knocks it out of the park!

reader_iam said...

""There is a natural hootchy-kootchy motion to a goldfish."--Walt Disney

reader_iam said...

"Bragging is not an attractive trait, but let's be honest. A man who catches a big fish doesn't go home through an alley."--Ann Landers

reader_iam said...

"You must lose a fly to catch a trout."--George Herbert

reader_iam said...

"As for what you're calling hard luck--well, we made New England out of it. That and codfish."--Stephen Vincent Benet

The Drill SGT said...

barely on topic.

apparently Pulitzers were announced today.

NYT = 2
WaPo = 6
other papers 6 total

NYT stock in the toilet
WaPo stock is a money maker

Great work Pinch

Daryl said...

Tom Maguire made a good catch on this:

Oh, and in case you are wondering - Krugman is lying.

Obama has consistently supported ethanol subsidies and voted in favor of those subsidies in a 2005 energy bill.

Hillary favors some subsidies but opposed the relevant 2005 amendment.

And John Sidney McCain has consistently opposed ethanol subsidies and voted on Hillary's (losing) side in 2005.

Yet they are "all terrible"?

Sen. McCain is NOT terrible on this issue. He is opposed to subsidies. Krugman is a liar.

Since you have published an unfair, untrue smear, however inadvertently, I'd say that you owe Sen. McCain a correction. He's certainly not going to get one from the liars at the NYT!

AllenS said...

"A fool and his money are soon parted."--AllenS, corn furnace owner.

Trooper York said...

Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.

But teach a man to fish, then he has a place to go where his wife or girlfriend doesn't want to go because she don't want to get up so early and puting worms on the hook is icky and taking the fish off the hook is gross and it's really smelly and why does everyone drink so much beer on the party boat.


mickey said...

Give a man a fish, and he believes he is entitled to you giving him a fish for the rest of his natural life.
Give a man free government healthcare and ditto....

Mickey 2008.

Lindsey said...

FYI but for some magical Costco reason, milk there costs $2.90/gallon, not 6 like everywhere else. They're prescriptins are also far cheaper than basically everywhere else.

Lindsey said...

Jesus. THEIR prescriptions...are also much cheaper than everywhere else.

Ralph L said...

They're prescriptins are also far cheaper than basically everywhere else.

That's because they recycle old cans instead of those little plastic bottles with the nasty caps.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Mickey must be laboring under the delusion that I'm a liberal tree hugger.

But teach a man to fish, then he has a place to go where his wife or girlfriend doesn't want to go because she don't want to get up so early and puting worms on the hook is icky and taking the fish off the hook is gross and it's really smelly and why does everyone drink so much beer on the party boat.

Really, why so much beer when scotch is so much better?

Trooper is under the illusion that women don't like to fish. For a couple of summers I worked on a project in the Sacramento river above Colusa where we would catch white sturgeon using ghost shrimp and 5 pound weights. The greenies we just let loose since they taste like mud anyway.

This meant we spent all night on the boats in the middle of the river and hoped to hell a tree wasn't coming down stream in the dark. Lots of beer, scotch and cribbage. We would take the roe from the females and send it to a lab for fertilization so they could make fingerlings and repopulate the rivers and for sturgeon farms. My job was to sew the fish back up after the roe was removed, inject them with antibiotics and watch them for a few weeks in a tank to make sure they were healing and then let them go back into the river. White sturgeon under 3 feet went back into the river too.

If they didn't make it (and some few didn't) oh, well sturgeon steaks for everyone!!! The biggest one that I caught was over 7 feet long most were only 5 feet or so.

Original Mike said...

Milk is $2.69/gallon in Madison. Does it really cost $6/gallon elsewhere?

AllenS said...

$3.68 in New Richmond, WI this morning. Is whole milk more expensive?

Revenant said...

Mickey must be laboring under the delusion that I'm a liberal tree hugger.

I think he's just laboring under the influence of alcohol. :)

Roger J. said...

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day--teach a man to fish.......and he will stay out on the boat all day drinking beer.

Trooper York said...

I know that some woman like to fish, it's just that the ones I have dated and married were not the outdoorsy types. Their idea of roughing it is when the sun is too strong at the pool at the Bellaigo. Think Jane from Men in Trees.

Fishing is just a wonderful solitary pursuit. Especially bottom fishing which is not what Titus does on Saturday night or bottom feeding which is of course Cyrus's specialty.

Original Mike said...

I don't know, AllenS. $2.69 is what I paid for skim on Saturday.

titusbette davis eyes said...

Hello, I snagged a 23 year old last weekend.

What's it take to get any props around this place.

Respect, over here, bring it.

Trooper York said...

What kind of fly did you use?

titusbette davis eyes said...

Just my worm Troop.

Trooper York said...

I have been trying to catch this huge catfish in the Minisink river for the past 20 odd years and he won't go for any lure or worm or bait.

Trooper York said...

I wouldn't eat the catfish, but I do want to catch the bastard, kick him a few times and then throw him back. You know, Rodney King'em.

The Drill SGT said...


I bet I'm the only one on this blog that knows where Colusa is :)

I was born in Oroville, which is a bit NE of Colusa. Well I was actually born in Chico because Oroville didnt have a hospital. Anyway for your hydrology lesson of the day, Oroville is on the Feather river, which flows into the Yuba river and joins the Sacramento rive near Knights Landing

Kirby Olson said...

So, what's the correct political answer?

No to ethanol.

Nuclear power is what the contender should say?

So we're going to have nuclear automobiles, too?

A bunch of illegal immigrants to push the car? What would a good rightie say about this?

I see you guys are all aligned against ethanol. The hidden water costs was something that no one seemed to foresee.

Isn't there any environmentally sound solution to this?

I think the Republicans should out-green the reds.

Otherwise, we'll have a thousand Chernobyls on our hands every time somebody starts their atomic car and the car explodes leaving a mushroom cloud. There goes the neighborhood.

All because you guys didn't want farmers to get rich. Me, I want them to get filthy rich.

Revenant said...

All because you guys didn't want a few large corporations to get rich. Me, I want them to get filthy rich.

Fixed your typo.

The Drill SGT said...


want green?

nuclear power, on the grid, on demand, and electric cars once batteries on fuel cells make it to the big time. Nuke power with battery or fuel cell storage.

as for wind, you can use wind when it blows to do things like pump water up hill for power generation later. storage technology

titusbette davis eyes said...

Memphis or Kansas?

I would like to see Memphis win but think Kansas will.

titusbette davis eyes said...

I had Baked Alaskan for dindin tonight.

I feel a loaf coming on.

titusbette davis eyes said...

Althouse, when I am going to be invited to your house for dindin?

I am thinking of something with leeks, shallots, tripe, some wine reduction, fois gras and bowtie pasta.

As well I would expect only organic produce from special farmers in Ogdensberg or Utica.

Also, fresh fruits, appropriately spaced on fine china with special cuts in the shapes of things like a duck or something like that.

Vin, natch.

If you could work on something I would greatly appreciate it.

titusbette davis eyes said...

Fresh cut exotic fleurs would be appreciated also.

Lindsey said...

Around here (Richmond,VA) for some reason, yes, a gallon of milk is $6.

My brother's health insurance recently expired. His Ritalin prescription is $15 at Costco. Around $65 everywhere else. I needed some skin cream the dr prescribed me. Insurance wouldn't cover it. At Target, $33 for one tube. Costco: 3 tubes for $33. Costco is MAGIC!

Odd question: I've read before that there is a carcinogenic chemical in corn in very small amounts. I have no clue about whether said carcinogen survives the food to fuel process, but it might be important to find out. I plead total ignorance on the science of the matter.

former law student said...

Milk is $2.69/gallon in Madison.

Wisconsin is the Vatican of milk, the place from which all other milk is measured. Actually, federal milk marketing orders set a price floor for milk all over the lower 48, based on the dairy's distance from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

former law student said...

Around here (Richmond,VA) for some reason, yes, a gallon of milk is $6.

Have you ever looked into keeping a family cow? A Dexter cow stands between 36 and 42 inches at the shoulder, and weighs not more than 750 pounds.

Dexters Yield Easily-Digested Milk

Dexter cows produce about 1 ½ to 2 gallons of 4% butterfat milk per day, over a full 305 days lactation, when fed for production. Some exceptional cows will put out up to five

gallons per day at the height of lactation. When producing just for the calf, the cow’s milk production will adjust down to the calf’s needs.The fat globules in Dexter milk are very small, which makes the milk more easily digested.

Dexters are a small-boned breed which marble well without excess cover fat. They produce tender meat with excellent flavor.

Grain-fed Dexters will yield carcasses of 250 pounds at 12 months, and 475 to 500 pounds at 24 months, or at least 60% of live weight. These results can be obtained by supplemental feeding of only five to seven pounds of grain per day for two to three months. Grass-fed animals yield a carcass of about 55% of live weight.


I'm Full of Soup said...

Acme milk was $3.29 for 1/2 gallon of fat free. Just looked it up on my receipt dated 4/06/2008. Can that be right ?

Sounds very high to me- guess I should start paying attention to this stuff. Can I blame it on Bush & Co?

How soon can this be fixed by Obama or Hillary???? Free milk for everyone! Heh.

Lindsey said...

Bush is stealing milk from babies LOL.

Thanks for the cow tip. A mini-cow might get along better with my cat.

Ann Althouse said...

"something with leeks, shallots, tripe, some wine reduction, fois gras and bowtie pasta."

That's absurd.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Ann said:

"that's absurd"...hell Titus I bet Ann hasn't even turned her stove on since she has been in NYC. Except maybe to brew some tea.

Revenant said...

Personally I like soy milk better than the squirted-out-of-a-cow kind.

Ann Althouse said...

"I bet Ann hasn't even turned her stove on since she has been in NYC"

ha ha. close!

Ralph L said...

I had Baked Alaskan
male or female?

I doubt that aflatoxin in ethanol from corn would harm you unless you drink it, in which case the gasoline will kill you first.

PJ said...

Perhaps Mr. Krugman does not consider Mr. McCain to be a remaining presidential contender?

titusbette davis eyes said...

You guys are correct.

I have never turned on my oven-how funny.

I do have a collection of over 100 take out restaurants though.

I don't cook...anything.

I was being absurd.

I go out for every single meal or order take out.

My hair burner was trying to persuade me to buy some chicken and "bake" it. I was like you are confusing me with all this bake talk.

titusbette davis eyes said...

Also, I don't drink tea or coffee-no brewing going on here.

titusbette davis eyes said...

I don't even have a pan to bake chicken.

I have really cute Prada items though and some wonderful Mui Mui items.

titusbette davis eyes said...

I don't eat leftovers either.

It never tastes the same.

titusbette davis eyes said...

Oh, you aren't talking about me about cooking.

You know what name I love Baltzhar Getty. How how is that name?

titusbette davis eyes said...

I meant how fabulous is the name Batzhar Getty?

So fabulous.

blake said...

I love the word "nugatory". I'm going to use that in a conversation. And when the person asks what it means, I'm going to say, "resembling the inside of a Milky Way bar".

Folks, I don't know how to put this but:

energy = civilization

More precisely, the ability to concentrate energy at a particular point in time and space--whether you're building a pyramid or a Big Mac--is civilization.

Efficiency is not a bad goal, but asking for reduction of work done (even when the "work" is the powering of a television or computer or heating of a pool) is asking civilization to unmock itself.

blake said...

And when I say "I don't know how to put this" I mean "I know exactly how to put this but not in a way that makes it palatable to those raised on the virtues of conservation."

Anonymous said...

Suppose we all owned electric or ethanol powered cars and some genius invented gasoline; and incredible substance, one gallon of which can propel a 4,000 car a distance of 30 miles at a speed of 65 mph.

Our politicians would be screaming for gasoline production so we could end the use of our food supply to manufacture fuel.

They'd demand that oil companies tap the jillion-gallon proved reserves under the Dakotas using clean drilling technologies, and forever protect our food supply from conversion to ethanol (exceptions: wine, beer, booze)

They'd hold hearings about eliminating electric cars, which shift pollution to massive coal-burning power plants and create an ecological nightmare with their very toxic and nearly unrecyclable batteries.

Nah, that'd never happen. It makes too much sense.

Ralph L said...

asking civilization to unmock itself.
Did you mean "unmake?"

Fossil fuels are thousands of years of distilled solar energy on one spot of the earth. Biofuels are a few months of sun (a few years for trees), so the area of the earth must be enormously greater to get the equivalent amount of energy.

I wonder if it's more efficient to just burn the corn in a steam engine than to convert it to ethanol.

MadisonMan said...

How odd that John McCain, a senator from a state that doesn't grow corn, opposes Ethanol subsidies whereas Barack Obama, a senator from a state that has corn from horizon to horizon, supports subsidies.

Who would have thought it!?

Milk is the one thing I splurge on, and we buy it in glass bottles at $4.50 for a half-gallon. I think I saw skim milk at Sentry for $2.70 a gallon. Skim milk should be cheaper -- they're selling the fat from it, after all, in other things.

reader_iam said...

MadisonMan, I just want to say one acronym to you - just one acronym - are you listening?


(Not that you didn't already know that, but I just felt moved to thrown in a Graduate allusion along pointing out the regionally obvious to those from outside the region.)

Original Mike said...

Not only ADM, MM, but Iowa caucus. But you knew that, too.

$6/gallon. Wow. I'd be hurting. I buy almost as much milk as I buy gas. Maybe this expensive milk is organic?

I'm looking forward to comparing whole and skim next time I'm at the store (I've never noticed). They may get to sell the fat, but they also have to do more work to remove it, don't they?

MadisonMan said...

The milk isn't organic, but it is sustainable. And incredibly tasty. The cream they sell is just the best cream in the whole wide world.

I'm not sure how skimming is done -- but it's probably one big machine that skims and homogenizes, so it's not much more work.

I have a relative who works for ADM -- not in grains, but at the company started by the Otto Schoenleber. Mmmmmm. His daughters knew my grandparents so my Mom got huge chocolate bars all the time growing up.

Original Mike said...

Where do you buy it, MM?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I bet I'm the only one on this blog that knows where Colusa is :)

Then I bet you are the only one who knows where Jarbo Gap is. I lived near there in my hippie dippy days.

MadisonMan said...

You can get Blue Marble milk at Sentry (in Hilldale) or at the Regent Market Co-op. There are other places too, but the two above is where I go. They also sell at the Farmer's Market that's by the DOT Building off Segoe and University.

The killer is the bottle deposits ($3!) But once you have bottles, it's not bad.

I'm Full of Soup said...


I have a pretty good memory. Is it up near Folsom? Would I go through there on the way back to Reno?

I think I stopped in Colusa once and bought a postcard. What is it known for Drill Sgt?

Revenant said...

How odd that John McCain, a senator from a state that doesn't grow corn, opposes Ethanol subsidies whereas Barack Obama, a senator from a state that has corn from horizon to horizon, supports subsidies. Who would have thought it!?

Let's concede the point that pure self-interest might be the reason why Obama favors ethanol subsidies and McCain doesn't. But the fact remains, Obama favors them and McCain doesn't -- which means that Krugman's claim that the candidates are "equally bad" on this is bullshit.

In Krugman's defense, though, he probably doesn't actually know what any of the Republican positions on ethanol are. Since he knows he'll be against them regardless of what they are, actually learning them wouldn't be a productive use of his time. :)

Paul Ciotti said...

"If roads were widened, cars could be wind powered like the traditional prairie schooners, though you'd probably want to limit them to three sails, and have pretty tough right-of-way rules to regulate tacking."

Even witout sails, the wind blows boxcars pretty good. I've heard of cases where a brakeman forgot to set the brakes on a string of empty boxcars and the next thing anyone knew they were 70 miles downwind.

Paul Ciotti said...

Milk, rice, corn, wheat, pasta and bread are all going up. Thankfully Two Buck Chuck merlot is still $2 at Trader Joes.

MadisonMan said...

Two buck chuck is $3 at the Trader Joe's in Madison.

Unknown said...

I think I need to investigate this biofuel stuff more. We need to examine the true benefits of it because I have also heard of the World Food Organization complaining that we are using the wheat for biofuel rather than feeding the starving. come on!

Michael McNeil said...

An article in the journal Nature last year discussed a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences (based on 14 good-quality studies) on the environmental effects of windpower projects (Emma Marris and Daemon Fairless, “Wind farms' deadly reputation hard to shift,” Nature Vol. 447, Issue No. 7141 [10 May 2007], p.126), notes that “the average death toll attributable to an average wind turbine” is 3% of a bird per year — that is, “it takes 30-odd turbines to reach a kill rate of one bird a year.”

The Drill SGT said...

AJ Lynch said...

I have a pretty good memory. Is it up near Folsom? Would I go through there on the way back to Reno?


Sacramento is at the intersection of the Sacremento and American rivers

The Sacramento River runs North south, basicly from Mt Shasta in the North down beyond Sacramento before it turns Wset into the Bay. Colusa is North of Sacramento, on the river

The American river is basicly an East-West stream. Running from Sacramento up into the Sierra's, through Folsom. Gold was discovered at Sutters Mill on the American. So if you were going to Reno and passed Folsom, that was the American. My Mother lives on the American.

what's it known for? It's the County seat of Colusa County :)

a 5,000 person farming town in the great central valley. I expect peaches and nuts, but am not sure.

Nichevo said...


titusbette davis eyes said...

Althouse, when I am going to be invited to your house for dindin?

I told you: lay off, she's mine. (Ann, I can cook.)

2) Corn waste (bagasse) would be useful if we could make alcohol out of cellulose. Enzuymes - working on it.

3) Nuclear power could be use, especially off-peak, to make synfuels. This would also be a useful way to store the rather random capacity of wind, solar, etc.

4) What kind of cookie? Was this in Delaware by any chance?

Unknown said...

I think we need to weigh our options. There are about 40 million people starving in Africa. Should we care more about humanity and keeping the population/African lineage alive or about energy independence. Basic aid such as emergency food assistance seems to be the most logical but there are also long-term changes that need to be enacted (helping the farmers deal with the drought and climate conditions). I think we should look further into decreasing gas emissions, as our planet is so polluted and melting fast, but provide short & eventually long-term assistance to the starving.

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