Saturday, September 24, 2005

Indy cars tres nice to farmers

According to The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Indy cars soon will be fueled by ethanol. The Indy Racing League (IRL) is planning gradually (heh) to switch their cars over from methanol to ethanol by the end of next year.

But it's still expensive to produce the corn which produces the liquor the will run on, considering that you have to use diesel to chug through the fields for planting & harvesting. And, what with our drought, grain is rarer, this year, which drives the end price up. They increase the demand, the cost & price skyrocket. Ethanol may not be the economic dream it's touted to be by our legislators. But, if they figure out how to use our waterways to generate power for processing, maybe we'll get somewhere.

O'course, the whole thing is a gamble. Do we produce enough grain for a surplus, for production plus cattle feed (and use the methane to heat the farm wink wink), or do we cut back & go with soy (after all, it makes a really nice biodiesel, as well as every vegan's favorite tofu)? Or, do we sell the farms to big conglomerates & move to the Indianapolis, letting somebody else deal with the risks inherent in farming, while we watch funny-looking cars make lots of left turns?

I like the idea that IRL is promoting ethanol, though. Even if it's a long way from practical for the rest of us. At least it's a start on alternatives to fossil fuel.

(My friend "farm boy", says, "If only they'd start making our tractors run on it...")


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