Eric Kerby: Photography, Web Design, Programming

Archive for the 'Ethanol' Category

Go Native, Avoid Invasion

November 22nd, 2007

Many people have heard the concept of "native species" as it refers to the plants in their backyards or the wildlife around their homes. I don't think enough people realize, however, the devastating effects that non-native species can have. An article on "The 5 Worst Invasive Species in the World" by Environmental Graffiti reminded me how bad the problem can become. Luckily, considering native species seems to be more and more common in landscaping projects. Some scientists are also having great luck replacing corn-based ethanol with cellulosic ethanol produced from switchgrass, a native Prairie grass.

Way to go, Brazil!

September 13th, 2007

Get ready for another one of my ethanol discussions. It seems Brazil is moving forward to have the World Trade Organization investigate the United States' outrageous farm subsidies. The part that made me happy is the special mention of ethanol and corn subsidies. For those of you who are not well versed in my archive of posts about ethanol, let's just say that corn-based ethanol production is certainly not on my list of things our government should be supporting. The research Brazil and Canada have done to further ethanol production from raw material other than corn is quite impressive. We really need to send a message to our government to stop supporting the inefficient, wasteful, environmentally unfriendly process of corn-based ethanol production that is stifling progress in other forms of alternative energy. Ethanol may help reduce our dependency on Middle East oil, but it WILL NOT be a long term solution. I'm all for using ethanol derived from sugar cane, switch grass, and other biomass until battery and/or hydrogen power displaces it, but if we continue investing in corn, our country will regret the investment down the road. Be sure to read the AP's article on the topic.

Ethanol has a public image

July 4th, 2006

Ethanol on the front lines

Happy Independence Day! This past weekend we drove up to Virginia's northern neck to see my aunt, uncle, cousins, and their new pug puppy. When we stopped for gas before the trip, I had to snap a shot of a sign on the pump, "Contains up to 10% ethanol." Originally, I thought this was to feed off of recent somewhat positive media exposure, but it seems more is involved. If you want a good read, follow my link to this PDF from the Virginia Petroleum, Convenience and Grocery Association. By the way, my Treo 700p's camera seems to work quite nicely outside. Read on for more info and another photo. Read the rest of this entry »

Last word from RIT

May 26th, 2006

This will be my last update from RIT until the fall! Exams are over, and I am quite happy with my grades. Now that I don't have to worry about school work, and all my stuff is pretty much packed, I can get a good night's rest for the drive home with Dad. It's sure to be a hefty task getting all my possessions home and unpacked, so in the meantime I have some websites of interest. First, regarding my Ethanol rant a few posts ago, check out this article from BusinessWeek that takes a well-rounded look at some of the issues I raised. The second article demonstrates one reason I am very happy being at RIT. It ranks universities based on visits from the campus network to, a site that uses the Google Maps API to display the map of the extremely popular online game World of Warcraft. RIT landed third on the list, which does not surprise me at all given how wired this place is. 😀

Corn Ethanol Rant

April 26th, 2006

Before I start, let me warn you this is a longer post, but please read it all. There has been a lot of mention of alternative fuels in the news lately due to the ever sky-rocketing fuel prices. Always included in the discussion is ethanol, the grain alcohol often made from corn that is currently being mixed with gasoline across the country generally in proportions of less than five percent. If any of you knew me in my senior year of high school and heard my senior speech, you may remember that I am quite opinionated on the topic of using ethanol. Not much has changed since I gave that speech, but I think it worth a little rant to bring everyone reading this site to the same level. First, read this article by Popular Mechanics and this article by U.S. News & World Report. Then make sure you come back and read the rest of what I have to say. Read the rest of this entry »