Imagine that ethanol had been invented before gasoline. The advantages of Ethanol would be pretty apparent, one can grow their own fuel while remaining independent of all other countries and entities. Seed, water, soil, and sun and one can grow corn to make ethanol, wow.
Now imagine the ethanol pioneers wanting to resell excess ethanol. To meet this goal, and to increase efficiency and profits, a huge ethanol plant is built. At first glance the ethanol plant is doing spectacularly well as all the local growers bring their corn in for processing. Sooner rather than later, the nearby seasonal supply of corn is depleted.
To keep the ethanol plant busy, and profitable, corn is pipelined in. Oh wait a minute, corn cannot be pipelined in, because it's corn. The lightweight, volume enhanced corn has to be trucked in. It soon becomes apparent that as the distance the corn has to travel before it is ethanolized increases, the potential profits are consumed simply supplying ethanol fuel to the truck that is carrying the load of corn in for processing.
The corn to ethanol ratio works best when the corn is nearby, and almost doesn't work at all as that distance grows. To make matters worse, not only does the truck have to go and get the corn from the farm and then bring it back, all the while burning ethanol, another truck has to then be used to transport the flammable fluid to it's final destinations. Ethanol also is used to harvest the corn, and sadly, the fertllizer used to help grow the corn uses petroleum products as well. The result is way too much ethanol being used, to produce ethanol.
Petroleum has always been able to mask the wrongness of using itself, to make more of itself, until now. The wrongness with petroleum comes into play when petroleum energy is used to make more products, that also are petroleum dependent. If petroleum was only used to create products that in turn run off of non-petroleum based fuel, the world and its future would look a lot better.
I happened to catch Tammy Bruce (June 22, 2008) on the radio last Sunday afternoon, and it was appalling to hear her try and claim that the United States' over consumption of petroleum is something the rest of the world should bow down to in gratitude because the United States fuels the world's economy. This is nonsense.
The worst thing the United States could be doing is encouraging every other country to follow our "petroleum addicted" lead. Sadly, we seem to be doing a great job of addicting the rest of the world to petroleum.
When we use petroleum to make products that rely on the burning of petroleum to function, we are no different than the farmer driving their load of corn a far enough distance to basically burn up all the product that was to be made from selling the corn for ethanol in the first place.
How does this relate to Wall Street?
Wall Street does not want to acknowledge the super simple rule that using petroleum to make other products that rely on petroleum will be the quickest road to a worldwide economic meltdown. If Wall Street continues down the path of rewarding petroleum based products that create more petroleum based addiction with higher stock value, the surface of the planet and the industrialized nations that enhabit part of it will just be wiped out at a faster than expected rate.
Those less addicted to petroleum will probably survive at a better rate than the industrialized nations.