The General Motors: ‘Live Green, Go Yellow’ Campaign

B25588 / Tue, 30 Oct 2007 21:02:33 / Corporations

We’re all about outing the Exxon-Mobil shills that deny anthropogenic climate change altogether, but what of the CO2 centric viewpoint touted by General Motors amongst others, who are lobbying Congress and sponsoring major media efforts to promote the current corn to ethanol boom?

Is this national taxpayer subsidized program environmentally sound?

Is it ethically and morally responsible or straight up reprehensible to fuel vehicles with the food from hungry mouths?

Just what are we buying, or better said, being sold into?

The MSNBC section dedicated to climate change is now sponsored by the General Motors Live Green, Go Yellow Campaign.

Some facts:

More than 20 million acres of U.S. cropland was cultivated this year solely for the production of corn that is to be converted to ethanol.

The 2007 “ethanol to corn” harvest is expected to be well in excess of 3 billion bushels.

An acre of corn transpires 4,000 gallons of water per day.

The total projected U.S. corn crop for 2007 was grown on approximately 85 million acres planted in corn, for an estimated record yield of 13.4 billion bushels. That required a lot of water. (vapor)

A single bushel of corn can be used to produce 68 boxes of cereal for human consumption or just shy of 3 gallons of ethanol and about 18 pounds of distillers grains that is suitable as feed for livestock.

The corn to ethanol distillation process requires about 4 gallons of water per gallon of ethanol as well.

3,000-4,000 gallons of water are required for corn plant transpiration to grow a single bushel of corn.

The best highway mileage of the GM flex-fuel fleet running on E-85 is attained by the Chevrolet Impala V-6 engine which is estimated to get 21 mpg highway and 14 mpg city.

Check the government mileage figures for E-85 as compared to straight gasoline mileages for these corn fed, flex fuel follies.

Most of the “flex fuel” fleet will average about 10 to 12 mpg on E-85.

That’s approximately 100 gallons of water that was transpirated to water vapor per average mile run on E-85. Or about 52 feet per gallon.

Water consumption that’d make a steam powered car blush.

Water vapor, the most significant greenhouse gas, plays a fundamental role in the energy and water cycle processes that determine weather and climate.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked the “greenest” and “meanest” 2007 cars based on fuel economy and emissions — as well as the estimated impact of those emissions on health and global warming.

The greenest car marketed in America today? Manufactured by Honda who incidentally doesn’t build any corn fed, flex fuel vehicles.

On this green side of the equation, you’ll note that there’s not a single flex fueled vehicle in the top 12, even by those taking the standard CO2 centric viewpoint of CO2 as the primary cause of global warming and climate change.

I am personally in favor of gasoline and diesel hybrids (good), CNG powered and/or hybrid vehicles (better), pure plug in electrics (best) for the transportation sector and as for the future utilization of biomass playing any significant role in solving the renewable energy problem, I strongly favor gasification of non-food biomass over any biomass to ethanol distillation process for the production of liquid fuels for a variety of economic and environmental reasons.

Peace?

RECENT COMMENTS

Exxon-Mobil lying doesn’t mean that GM is telling the Truth.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 10/30/07 23:41:12
GWHunta @ 10/31/07 06:10:05

Corn?
Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp Hemp
How many times does the obvious need to be stated?

DeltronZero @ 10/31/07 11:16:38

Sorry to burst your bubble, as I am also an advocate of hemp legalization and utilization, but only 10% of current energy needs can be met in a sustainable manner utilizing land based biomass.

Wind, wave, tidal, direct and passive solar must ultimately become our energy base.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 10/31/07 12:32:54

The situation in the greater Middle East heats up as the corn is hitting the crib. Food or fuel?

GWHunta @ 11/03/07 12:14:01

Sorry to burst your bubble, as I am also an advocate of hemp legalization and utilization, but only 10% of current energy needs can be met in a sustainable manner utilizing land based biomass.

Cite plz.

Farming only 6% of continential U.S. acreage with biomass crops would provide all of America’s gas and oil energy needs, ending dependence upon fossil fuels.

Manahan, Stanley E., Environmental Chemistry, 4th edition.

Hemp is Earth’s number one biomass resource; it is capable of producing 10 tons per acre in four months. Hemp is easy on the soil,* sheds its lush foliage throughout the season, adding mulch to the soil and helping retain moisture. Hemp is an ideal crop for the semi-arid West and open range land.

* Adam Beatty, vice president of the Kentucky Agricultural Society, reported instances of good crops of hemp on the same ground for 14 years in a row without a decline in yield. Betty, A., Southern Agriculture, C.M. Saxton & Co., NY: 1843, pg. 113. USDA Yearbook, 1913.

Hemp is the only biomass source available that is capable of making the U.S. energy independent. Ultimately, the world has no other rational enfironmental choice but to give up fossil fuels.

Each acre of hemp would yield 1,000 gallons of methanol.

HEMPforVICTORY @ 11/03/07 12:38:40

^ amen to that…

DeltronZero @ 11/03/07 17:34:33

Similar evapotranspiration and eventual soil depletion issues with hemp as with any other annual crop turned biofuel.

Again, I’m an advocate of hemp legalization and utilization, especially as a replacement for cotton and wood pulp for paper. Gasified hemp leftovers could supplement the natural gas supply and provide CNG for a transportation fuel or be converted chemically to methanol replacing corn ethanol in gasoline.

But, hemp cannot replace oil, coal and nuclear power at the current rates of use.

That is fantasy.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 11/03/07 23:08:06

If you really want to understand the corn to ethanol push, think in terms of how to plan for the use and extend the utility U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Then ask yourself why this reserve has been stockpiled with far more sour than sweet crude?

Sometimes no Peace

GWHunta @ 11/04/07 08:36:25

“But, hemp cannot replace oil, coal and nuclear power at the current rates of use.
That is fantasy” GWHunta

A funny thing is, that the current rates of use (coal\oil) ARE fantasy… burning down your house to keep warm.
I’m not saying hemp can compete with unsustainable suicidal consumption.

Hemp will however provide a means of food, fuel, and fiber to those that choose to utilize it in a sustainable manner, while those who religiously refuse will doom themselves to tiff and War over dwindling petrol supplies….

DeltronZero @ 11/07/07 12:49:36

while those who religiously refuse will doom themselves to tiff and War over dwindling petrol supplies_

Themselves?

Or U.S.

Sometimes no Peace

GWHunta @ 11/07/07 16:51:26

Did you get the 100 gallons of water turned water vapor per mile to power the corn based ethanol flex fueled vehicle part?

Talk about energy inefficient. That’s like the gasoline equivalent of about 6.75 gallons per mile.

Imagine trying to market a car that required almost 7 gallons of gasoline to go a single mile.

Because this energy sequestered comes to the earth as “free” incoming solar, GM tells us we can afford this high rate of inefficiency, but because this heat is sequestered in the troposphere as the latent heat of vaporization and is only later transformed into sensible heat, then radiated back to space and during its residence time, this additional water vapor then warms the earth, as water vapor is the principal GHG.

Over 809,000 BTU’s worth of incoming solar energy was converted to the latent heat of vaporization and dumped somewhere into our troposphere to get the average corn fed flex fueled folly a single mile down the road.

Now figure this in terms of additional heat energy sequestered in the atmosphere for the average driver to travel 12,000 miles a year in a E-85 powered vehicle.

That’s over 9.6 billion BTU’s of latent heat energy dumped into the trosphere for a single flex fuel vehicle driven just 12,000 miles a year.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 11/09/07 17:58:46

Put another way.

The energy transformations required to produce sufficient corn to yield enough ethanol to power a flex fuel vehicle running on E-85 down the road a single mile will melt a block of ice weighing 5,645 lbs.

“Live Green, Go Yellow” = woe for the Arctic.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 11/09/07 18:08:55

Chevy Tahoe Hybrid is ‘Green Car of Year’

Cadillac CTS is Motor Trend’s car of the year

It’s proof that Detroit can still build a world-class sedan, magazine says

When will we ever learn?

The “Green Car of the Year” should have been the Honda Civic GX

Gasification simply makes more sense.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 11/20/07 10:28:53

And then of course there is the electric car?, ultimately the best solution overall based on new advancements in battery technology.

Leave it to Toshiba.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 12/14/07 07:00:49

And then of course there is the electric car?, ultimately the best solution overall based on new advancements in battery technology.

I tend to agree. At this point, there’s no technology that can incorporate truly green generation methods, involve a minimum of energy transformations, and achieve real-world usability like battery EV’s. A hatchback electric car the size of a Volkswagen Golf would take care of 90% of my transportation needs; I could rent a trailer with a little CNG-fuelled generator to take care of the rest.

Hydrogen? Don’t make me laugh. Biofuels? There’s not enough arable land to satisfy our food needs and any but a tiny fraction of our fuel needs at the same time, without massive price upsets on the food end of the scale. At this point, we need to massively fund battery research. And we need to see an EV on the road for $30k, soon.

Snark @ 12/14/07 09:19:53

I’d also like to raise the issue of nitrogen emissions from farm fields. Everyone knows that to get adequate yields in a temperate climate on depleted soils, we need to fertilize the living hell out of our farmland. What not everyone knows is that about 5% of that nitrogen fertilizer actually gets to the plant. The rest is eaten by microbes, who shit out nitrous oxides. Nitrous oxides are 238 times more potent as greenhouse gases than CO2 is, and has a longer residence time.

Take home message? Your farm field producing a gallon “carbon neutral” ethanol is actually producing more greenhouse gases (in the form of NOx) than just burning a gallon of dirty gasoline does in the form of CO2.

And that’s not even factoring in the energy expended to sow, harvest, ferment, purify, distill, and transport that ethanol.

Flex-fuel? Flex-fail, more like.

Snark @ 12/14/07 09:25:01

Each acre of hemp would yield 1,000 gallons of methanol.

Is there a reliable reference for this?

Snark @ 12/14/07 09:34:27

You know what gets great gas mileage? Your feet when you use them to get where you need to go instead of driving.

EGisJUICE @ 12/14/07 10:49:03

Though Snark is demonstrating a different and welcomed tack on my fundamental points about GM’s recent abandonment of the EV-1 and current push of these flex-fueled follies that have recently been receiving undeserved accolades in the mainstream media, the bottom line is that industrial agriculture, not simply tailpipe and smokestack emissions are directly responsible for most of the anthropogenic climate influence.

Live Green, Go Yellow is an environmental bust.

General Motors needs to abandon ethanol in the same manner it walked away from the EV-1, get with Toshiba and come on line with a Volt plug in that’ll give us a 120 mile range and is capable of recharging in 5 minutes.

The technology to do this is here today.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 12/14/07 12:05:18

Tahoe Hybrid 2008 Green Car of the Year

The 2008 Tahoe Hybrid SUV was named the 2008 Green Car of the Year by the Green Car Journal.

Read full article

…….wide is the path to destruction…….

Sometimes no Peace

GWHunta @ 12/14/07 12:20:33

One last comment, though a few minutes ago I was in basic agreement with Snark regarding the future of hydrogen in the personal transportation sector, leave it to Honda to come up with what should’ve been
the Green Car of the Year the Honda Clarity.

Once again it appears the Detroit has some serious catching up to do.

One of the biggest hurdles to more widespread use of fuel-cell cars, is the lack of infrastructure — there are very few places to fill a car with hydrogen.

But with the advent of Honda’s Home Energy Station, Honda is working on a solution. The fourth generation of the experimental Home Energy Station was on display at the LA show, and when it reaches production it will have the potential to change the way we live.

Hooked up to a home’s natural gas line, the Home Energy Station would convert natural gas to hydrogen for filling a fuel-cell vehicle. The conversion process would also supply the home with heat and electricity, reducing energy costs both at home and on the road.

With the ability to create hydrogen anywhere there is a natural gas line, the question, “Where do I fill up my fuel-cell car?” answered, the future of the fuel cell automobile may be closer than we thought.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 12/14/07 12:32:44

GWHunta @ 12/14/07 20:23:30

Zero emissions? How about that water vapor?

Kidding?

Actually no, but this fuel cell Honda is far better for the environment than the corn-fed flex-fueled follies currently being pushed upon the public by General Motors and the U.S. government.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 12/14/07 20:28:06

The best answer however for moving to an economy based on truly renewable energy is the plug in electric.

fortwo

GWHunta @ 12/18/07 18:22:23

Why Electric?

According to the Department of Energy, enough excess generating capacity exists at night in the U.S. to charge 180 million EVs without adding any new capacity.

GWHunta @ 12/18/07 18:51:18

“Your feet when you use them to get where you need to go instead of driving.”

True, but it would take me over an hour to get to and from work every day (providing I could run 20 consecutive 5 minute miles each morning and night…which I am gonna say I probably could). That’s just too long a commute for me.

banthis @ 12/18/07 21:03:15

…….providing I could run 20 consecutive 5 minute miles each morning and night…which I am gonna say I probably could.

If you can run forty miles in a single day, in two 20 mile marathons each one taking you an hour and forty minutes, that’s a 12 mile an hour average speed, which though possible for some to do for a mile or two, it is all but inconceivable to consider running 40 miles in a single day at that pace.

Day two would require a superhuman effort to simply get up and walk the next day, let alone repeat this performance.

Biking this same commute each day at the rate of which you speak would require an athletic effort of which most people simply aren’t capable.

If you could actually make these runs, you shouldn’t need to commute to work, you should be a professional athlete.

Then you could afford to drive one of these electric cars.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 12/19/07 00:37:57

But let’s be clear: both eco-consciousness and the Toyota Prius have moved beyond fads, into fully blown trends. (Federal legislation sealed the deal.)

The Chevy Volt and the Toyota Prius must ultimately
compete in the automotive mainstream, where the Volt is at a supreme price disadvantage.

Unless GM is willing (or able) to heavily subsidize the Volt for many years, no matter how good it is, the Prius will kick its ass.

Sometimes no Piece

GWHunta @ 12/14/08 13:47:50

GWHunta @ 12/24/08 00:24:04
GWHunta @ 12/24/08 00:27:36

For those brave souls who’ll rock a two seat three-wheeler, this should pull the plug on a Volt.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 12/24/08 00:34:02
GWHunta @ 05/05/09 12:35:21

I watched an interesting video where an alleged oil insider said that OPEC nations except Iran Iraq and Venzuela signed an agreement to sell the US oil on the condition that they trade in US dollars AND use a portion of the earnings TO BUY THE US NATIONAL DEBT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This means that the less oil that is sold to america the more national debt piles up. THis seems like a really strange arrangment that I need to think through. But ultimately the solution is to dismiss the “national debt” as it is….how you say…. er ehhh…bullshit. It isnt valid. Its a trick pulled on the people, a hidden contract that people entered into unwittingly.

COS @ 05/06/09 14:14:16

COS,

That’s how it works with the Saudis and apparently the Chinese as well, though only one exports oil to the U.S.

I’m not against using less oil. The production and use of corn based ethanol is simply worse for the environment that burning gasoline.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 05/06/09 14:21:38
GWHunta @ 05/23/09 08:05:50

I think maybe a solution to these environmental prollems with industrial toxins is to decentralize certain industries so that individuals, like those guys who design their own alt-power engines etc., can create micromanufacturing, kinda like microbreweries.

I say this because I think that a nation or world full of hydrogen cell cars could create such humidity and heat it could create a real global warning crisis if there isnt one really. Just imagine if 80% of the cars on the road right now were generating heat and hot water as exhaust. How hot a summer would we be in for?

COS @ 05/26/09 12:03:42

Hemp for Victory !!!

FauxAnarchist @ 05/26/09 12:05:52

Im with you.

COS @ 05/26/09 12:10:57
GWHunta @ 06/06/09 10:21:23

The chemical equation below summarizes the fermentation of glucose. One glucose molecule is converted into two ethanol molecules and two carbon dioxide molecules:

C6H12O6 © 2C2H5OH + 2CO2

GWHunta @ 07/05/09 19:57:51

You should note from the equation above that the fermentation process prior to the distillation of ethanol from any food-stock spews CO2 back into the atmosphere before any of the ethanol even gets to market, then the remainder is returned as CO2 through the tailpipe.

While the CO2 end is a clearly “renewable” chemical process, the materials, transportation and additional energy inputs to process the product are inefficiency defined.

Then one must weigh the environmental costs of the anthropogenic water vapor, fertilizers and energy inputs to grow the feedstock.

Bio-fuels aren’t going to cut it.

It is bio-folly.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 08/04/09 07:07:03

Biomass is another energy source that has increasingly drawn attention as a source of liquid hydrocarbon fuels (16, 17).

It can also be a solution to the problem of CO2 emission from the transportation sector because CO2 released from vehicle exhaust is captured during biomass growth from atmosphere.

However, it has been estimated that the United States can fulfill only 12% of its total gasoline and 6% of its diesel demand by converting all corn and soybeans currently produced in the country to ethanol and biodiesel, respectively (18).

Other options include gasification of biomass to obtain synthesis gas (syngas), a mixture of CO and H2, and its conversion to liquid fuels using the FT process.

A quick estimate can be made for the land area required to support total current oil consumption of 13.8 Mbbl/d by the United States transportation sector.

Using the “current case” biomass growth and gasification data provided in the recent National Research Council (NRC) report on H2 (6) and assuming that the conversion of syngas to diesel is 100% selective, one can estimate the optimistic land area requirement to be ©5,296,000 km2.

This required land area is 58% of the total United States land area.

Just to put the numbers in perspective, the currently used cropland area in the United States is 1,792,000 km2 (6), which is roughly 20% of United States land area.

It will be challenging, if not impossible, to supply the energy need of the total United States transportation sector by using bio-energy crops as a sole source of energy.

(link)

(and if we could triple the amount of arable land and convert it to bio-fuel production, from where would we then import all of our food?)

GWHunta @ 10/26/09 00:37:30

Just imagine if 80% of the cars on the road right now were generating heat and hot water as exhaust.

Almost 100% of vehicles are emitting water vapor and carbon dioxide in roughly equal proportions, as well as heat.

The exceptions are EV’s.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 10/26/09 00:43:15

Anthropogenic alterations to natural hydrological cycle are the primary components of AGW and the combined effects of billions of point sources of both heat energy and additional water vapor from the combustion of fossil and bio fuels as well as similar contributions of water vapor (steam) created by the burning of forests, both naturally occurring and intentional, exceed a full percentage of the natural hydrological cycle in the summer months in the northern hemisphere.

Peace,

GWHunta @ 10/26/09 16:14:57

11 Responses to The General Motors: ‘Live Green, Go Yellow’ Campaign

  1. rogerthesurf says:

    There might be global warming or cooling but the important issue is whether we, as a human race, can do anything about it.

    There are a host of porkies and not very much truth barraging us everyday so its difficult to know what to believe.

    I think I have simplified the issue in an entertaining way on my blog which includes some issues connected with climategate and “embarrassing” evidence.

    In the pipeline is an analysis of the economic effects of the proposed emission reductions. Watch this space or should I say Blog

    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    Please feel welcome to visit and leave a comment.

    Cheers

    Roger

    PS The term “porky” is listed in the Australian Dictionary of Slang.( So I’m told.)

  2. gwhunta says:

    During combustion ethanol reacts with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, water, and heat:

    C2H5OH + 3 O2 → 2 CO2 + 3 H2O + heat

  3. GWHunta says:

    Facts about Corn Ethanol Production
    http://zfacts.com/p/60.html
    More Facts about Fuel Ethanol
    http://zfacts.com/p/870.html

  4. GWHunta says:

    Myths about industrial agriculture
    (Rainfed) Organic farming is the “only way to produce food” without harming the planet and people’s health.

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