Reading The Lima News editorial page on Sept. 7 and 11, I concluded that some of your correspondents are unaware that, according to the USDA, over one-third of the US corn crop is used to produce ethanol. The USDA also reported that over 90 million acres are planted in corn annually, thereby allowing us to calculate that more than 30 million acres of farmland are used not for food, but for energy.
Why haven’t your correspondents expressed alarm at this? It has been going on for years.
Add to this the estimate that all the electricity used by the US could be generated on 14 million acres of solar panels — all the electricity we need by placing panels on less than half the farmland currently used for ethanol! And, we would remove over three trillionpounds of carbon dioxide now spewed into the air annually by carbon fuels.
Solar farms increase and diversify natural habitat compared to cornfields, which are neither natural nor diverse. And, though cornfields absorb carbon while growing, that carbon is largely released when the corn is processed. And imagine how much better our land and water would be if we did not not apply herbicides, fertilizers, and pesticides to those millions of acres anymore.
Add to this the knowledge that an acre of solar panels propel an average electric vehicle more than 70 times farther than ethanol from an acre of corn will propel a car with average fuel economy! We simply cannot afford to dismiss technology that provides a 7000% increase in efficiency.
As Gov. DeWine has indicated and farmers understand: follow the money or follow the science, solar makes sense.