The recent outcry of scientists regarding the sudden increase of pollutants due to ‘green’ fuel production due to the effects of high oil prices which translates into high gasoline costs. The effect of the oil’s sudden increased price has gasoline going up from less than two dollars to almost four at the pumps. The shift to more environmentally friendly options such as ethanol and Nuclear power has many worried about their environmental impacts which are almost comparable if not more than oil-based fuels.
Ethanol plants eat up a lot of energy which they take of the grid before they can invest in enough equipment to become self-contained and make their own power. The EPA has singled out ethanol plants as one of the highest polluters around for they produce pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (which is responsible for acid rain, respiratory and heart problems), nitrogen dioxide (which contributes more to global warming) and volatile organic compounds which have the ability to cause cancer. All these pollutants would increase if there was a sudden shift into widespread production without necessary pollution control methods. Such is the impact of grain production on the environment such as the sudden increase of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico which is attributed to increased nitrogen in the water from corn plantations.
More study needs to be done to allow the reality of a clean and green fuel source that would alleviate our dependency on oil and it’s by-products for as the supply dwindles prices will continue to go up. Responsible business is the key and they should on themselves, place the environment before their profits with enough drive and pressure from the public regarding their activities which will hopefully allow this earth to recover from damage already done in the short time we have been here. Nature has created a wonderful and naturally sustainable environment which man has managed to sometimes irreversibly destroy in a couple of decades.