[permaculture] what about lubrication?

Harmon Seaver hseaver at gmail.com
Sat Mar 29 00:27:46 EDT 2008

Toby Hemenway wrote:
> So Brazil imports about 62 million bbls a year of oil; that's hardly "no 
> oil." And a little googling shows that Brazil produced about about 700 
> million barrels of oil in 2007, so they are as oil-dependent as the rest 
> of us. They produced 21.3 billion liters of ethanol, or, I think, 133 
> million bbl for the year, which means they are using five times as much 
> oil as ethanol. I assume they use petroleum for lubricants.

    Where are people getting this "no imported oil" stuff from? The book
says that they don't have to import any oil *for gasoline*, but that
over half of Brazil's vehicle fleet is diesel, and they do import oil
for about 15% of the diesel fuel.

> Dave Blume's book, people tell me, is great on how to make ethanol (I'm 
> not qualified to judge), but he does exaggerate (polite word) in his 
> numerical arguments. As one example, he argues that demand for ethanol 
> isn't the reason corn prices are going up, using some suspect numbers. 
> Blume wrote that "only 7.5 % of US prime cropland is used for growing 
> corn," out "1.5 billion acres."  But the whole US is only 2.3 billion 
> acres. To arrive at his 1.5 billion acres of "prime cropland,"

   Uh, where are you getting these figures from? I'm looking at the book
right this minute, and I can't find where he says that the US has "1.5
billion acres" of cropland, let alone "prime cropland". On page 26 he
says that, according to the USDA, the US has 434,164,946 acres of
"cropland", (which they define as that land suited to what we call
industrial agri-business) but then the USDA also says that besides that
"cropland" there is 939,279,056 acres of "farmland". And that the
acreage devoted to corn (which is changing, as we know) is only 72.1
million acres. , or  about 16.6% of the "cropland", or about 7.45% of
the total "agricultural" acreage -- and last I know of, the USDA
considers forests and rangelands "agricultural".

   Maybe some of you should try reading the book before posting about
it, eh?

Harmon Seaver

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