ethanol

Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" caused by ethanol production

Thursday, October 28, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: dead zone, ethanol, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Healthy 12-year-old girl dies shortly after receiving HPV vaccine
Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Ben & Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces
BREAKING: CDC whistleblower confesses to MMR vaccine research fraud in historic public statement

Delicious
(NaturalNews) Ethanol, billed by Congress as a "green fuel," may be responsible for the second-largest dead zone in the world.

The foremost cause of aquatic dead zones is fertilizer runoff from agricultural operations, which leads to an explosion of algal growth. Eventually this algae dies, decaying on a scale so massive that it consumes all the oxygen from the surrounding water. All oxygen-breathing life that cannot flee the area suffocates. With a constant influx of fertilizer, the algal boom-bust cycle continues, steadily depleting oxygen from a larger and larger area.

The world's largest dead zone is in the Baltic Sea, while the second largest spans the U.S. Gulf Coast from Alabama to Texas. This dead zone has doubled in size since the 1980s, and keeps growing every year. Scientists estimate that it will soon cover 8,500 miles.

How does ethanol contribute to this ecological calamity? Ethanol, increasingly used as a fuel additive, is produced from the fermentation of corn. And corn is one of the most fertilizer-intensive crops grown in the Mississippi River basin.

"Subsidies are driving farmers toward more corn," said Gene Turner of Louisiana State University. "More nitrate comes off corn fields than it does off of any other crop by far. And nitrogen is driving the formation of the dead zone."

Because it can be produced domestically, ethanol is a perennial favorite alternative fuel in Congress. That scientists have increasingly questioned whether it actually reduces petroleum use or fossil fuel emissions has had little impact on this policy. In 2007, Congress mandated that U.S. ethanol production increase threefold in the next 12 years. The lawmaking body handed out $17 million in subsidies to the industry between 2005 and 2009.

The National Corn Growers Association has seized on the catastrophic Gulf oil spill to launch an ad campaign for ethanol. But according to Nathaniel Ostrom of Michigan State University, the dead zone may actually be a bigger problem.

"It's a really tough call," Ostrom said.

Sources for this story include: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=....

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.