RE: Calories and Economic Value

From: altamira (
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 22:35:39 MDT

Hey Spike,

Has this study been published? I'd be really interested in seeing it. Do
you remember when the study was done? I haven't had time to look for the
references on fossil-fuel/food ratio, but I'll try to make the time over the
next few days.


-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Spike Jones
Sent: Friday, June 09, 2000 10:07 PM
Subject: Re: Calories and Economic Value

> > At 10:14 PM 6/6/00 -0500, altamira wrote:
> >
> > >The predominate method of food production used these days requires an
> > input of several calories of fossil fuel for each calorie of food
> [snip]

I saw a study done by a pretty cluey group that showed that
corn could be grown, distilled, some of the alcohol used to
run the corn processing machinery with plenty of alcohol left
over to run internal combustion engines that are currently running
on petrol. The notion was that we could estimate the amount
of land and water available and calculate a maximum possible equivalent
price of fuel, regardless of the supply of petroleum. They calced
it was in the neighborhood of 6 bucks U.S. per equivalent gallon,
and this was a few years ago, early 90s, and that with economies of
scale it could only go lower. This is expensive of course, but realize
that this is the highest logical energy price we should ever expect.
With the advent of hybrid cars, even a total loss or embargo of
fossil fuel is not the end of high tech society as we so fondly know it.

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