What? You say jets don’t burn ethanol? Well, Time Magazine is trying to blame Global Warming, and they don’t burn that either. I think there’s a better argument for ethanol.
Did global warming dump U.S. Airways flight 1549 into the Hudson River by attracting more geese to New York airports? Time Magazine says yes. Time notes a four-fold increase in airplane bird strikes since 1990, and blames global warming and destruction of wild bird habitat for the increased collisions.
Time reached the wrong conclusion. Research indicates we should blame the prosaic corn harvester-and perhaps our attempt to expand corn production for biofuels. Canada geese numbers have increased five-fold since 1970 for one overwhelming reason -farmers’ expanding use of those big corn picker-shellers. The big bright-colored harvesters now roar across the fields every autumn, picking the ears and shelling the corn kernels. With millions of tons of loose corn, some inevitably trickles to the ground, where the geese cheerfully snack it up.
Canadian researchers found the geese had switched their food supply almost entirely since 1970, from a diet of marsh plant rhizomes in winter and early spring to eating mostly corn and young grass shoots. The marshes aren’t overgrazed, because the extra geese are feeding in fields and pastures.
Maybe a better word for what brought down flight 1549 is GREED. (follow the money)
Meanwhile, farmers have been planting still more corn, on every possible corner of the eastern seaboard, to get their share of those ethanol subsidies. Corn planting expanded about 50 percent in the mid-Atlantic States from 2002-2006, according to Virginia Tech, with comparable increases in New York and Pennsylvania.