Why think about it?

Why not just do it?

Boris Johnson was already considering scrapping the mandated use of E10 over concerns that it is adding to the global food crisis by displacing land that could be used to grow crops to feed people. The UK sources around a fifth of the crops for its biofuel from Ukraine.

Land for biofuel for the UK alone could be used to feed around 3.5 million people, according to analysis from the think tank Green Alliance. Halving the amount of biofuel used by the UK, US and EU could free up sufficient grain to replace all exports from Ukraine.

28 thoughts on “Why think about it?”

  1. Don’t be silly! That would require leadership qualities, and a plan beyond ‘Do whatever the focus groups and lobbyists say will allow me to cling on to power’.

    And apart from Brexit, when has Boris shown that he has any?

  2. This whole E10 business is just one huge balls up. It really annoys me – there are no, none, nuffink,upsides to using this stuff and the Govt and oil companies won’t give the consumer a choice whether to use it ir not. Because they know that we won’t.

    The Italians had the right idea about politicians and petrol stations.

  3. My 15 year old car doesn’t like it, even though the government website says it should be fine (with the E10, it tends to stall when setting off from traffic lights).

    But the higher octane premium fuel is still E5. So I’ve found it works nicely with a mixture of mostly regular E10 plus about 15% of the higher octane stuff.

    Any greenies like to explain why that’s better for the environment than just using the old regular petrol?

  4. Carrie has told him, you don’t need that much for food production if people are going to eat crickets. I think the choice for Bojo is do the right thing or his sex life.

  5. ‘Do whatever the focus groups and lobbyists say will allow me to cling on to power’.

    This was ScMo’s mistake in Oz. He allowed the ratbags to gaslight him instead of going for coal as he did the last time.

    When I consider how the great electricity fuss was postponed until Albo won, if ScMo had been on his toes he could have campaigned on ‘Do you want Labor’s windmills, or do you want me to keep the lights on.’

    This would have given the voters a real choice. And who knows, we might all have voted for him.

  6. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    For the same reason the Dutch government is going to force through its policy to slash food production by 30%, right now, into the teeth of obviously rising food prices, and a foreseeable global famine.

  7. As I have mentioned before, ‘Super Unleaded’ fuel is not required to contain ethanol, so except in a couple of parts of the country, Esso Synergy Supreme doesn’t contain the stuff although it says E5 on the pump.

  8. They talk as if increasing grain production was within their power. It isn’t, its down to the individual business decisions of the arable farmers of the UK. And as things stand many will be loath to try and go all out for extra production, despite the record high grain prices, because the input prices are equally high, and you have to buy the inputs for hard cash well before you get the grain off the field and can sell it. So it entirely possible that you could spend a fortune on expensive inputs (fuel, fertiliser, seed, agro-chemicals) putting the crop in the ground only to find that in the 9 months between planting and harvest the Ukraine situation has been solved politically and the price of grain has dropped through the floor. Leaving you with massive losses, that would probably bankrupt most farmers. And of course farm subsidies are being phased out at the moment, so there isn’t even that safety net any more, because the real UK PM (Carrie Antoinette) has decreed that UK food production isn’t needed and we should all just grow birds and bees and trees instead.

  9. Thank goodness there’s a futures market in grain where the risk of SMO being over and production/trade from the great european plain being back to more normal levels has been calculated in by speculators.

  10. Fat Blair did try to get bioethanol madness stopped at the G7 summit in June. Joe Biden briefly paused his gerontological eructions to tell Boris to fuck off, so he did.

    The new plan is to work with Germany, the home of green cuckoldry, so it’s got about the same chance of success of getting off the ground as the Rwanda meme flights do.

  11. Steve

    Ah, well, I’m not sure what the situation is now. But in 2010 the Jerries tried to introduce E10 and it led to a huge consumer revolt and people refused to buy it. It wasn’t withdrawn completely but it was reduced to one pump in four or six so that gullible Greens could still buy it.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    “ Carrie has told him, you don’t need that much for food production if people are going to eat crickets. I think the choice for Bojo is do the right thing or his sex life” with his wife.

    For a serial adulterer like Boris, who apparently once bragged he found getting a shag so easy he didn’t need to wank, that shouldn’t be a problem.

  13. B7 diesel in the UK, which is what all the pumps are labeled as, is “up to 7% biodiesel”. What the actual percentage is is anyone’s guess and quite possibly varies between retailers and successive deliveries. Summer and winter blends are different anyway to stop it freezing or jellying in winter and that may impact the bio content.

  14. ” I think the choice for Bojo is do the right thing or his sex life.”
    I reckon it’s gone far past that. He’s concerned about getting is eardrums burst. Amid a spray of hazelnut shell fragments.

  15. @Tractor Gent, the problem with diesel jellying up even occurred in Iran. I remember in winter time, that truck drivers would light a small fire under the fuel tank to get things flowing again.

  16. Bongo: “Thank goodness there’s a futures market in grain where the risk of SMO being over and production/trade from the great european plain being back to more normal levels has been calculated in by speculators.”
    ________
    Well, it might be that the futures market is in fact illustrating the problem. If the farmer’s production costs are x, and the futures market is pricing in a decent chance of the situation being resolved, then a likely currently quoted price for the farmer’s crop will be x minus y. So, the farmer can indeed see he’s facing ruin if he plants.

    Of course, a further part of the equation is determining the likelihood of various governments abandoning or continuing their biofuel mandates. It’s just yet another example of how state planning causes the economy to run as though it’s attached to a length of elastic band.

  17. Wait, didn’t we figure this out like 10-15 years ago with that e85 ethanol nonsense? Why am I starting to see YouTube ads from the biofuel industry again?

    Oh yeah, because Biden’s in office. That’s the price of nice tweets.

  18. Joe Biden briefly paused his gerontological eructions to tell Boris to fuck off, so he did.

    Isn’t this a domestic issue for him though? Because Iowa farmers are hopped up on US ethanol subsidies and it’s tough to win through to the Whitehouse without making a decent stand in the Iowa caucuses, which he’d still need to win if he wants to get re-“elected” in 2028?

    Or is this just the whole Green Deal boondoggle which he doesn’t understand and just nods through?

  19. JG – Biden doesn’t need to worry about the Iowa caucuses (Pete Buttplug and Bernie Sanders came first and second last time around, which indicates how much Iowa matters). In 2016, Ted Cruz beat Trump to win the Republican Iowa caucuses even though Ted was unapologetically campaigning against ethanol subsidies.

    Biofuels are part of the controlled demolition of the American economy green new deal tho, so it matters from that pov. In fact, the Biden regime is doubling down on ethanol, while banning oil pipelines. Shades of the Kraut masterminds who think more solar panels will replace Russian oil and gas, it’s like a live-action retarded version of Atlas Shrugged.

  20. Thanks @Steve. I suppose a bigger question is “Does ethanol make any sense at all”? My only direct involvement with it was a Swedish co-operative that had an ethanol plant it used to process excess grain and as a balance against the grain price (if prices for grain were too low they just converted it to ethanol and flogged it to the local refinery).

    So, excess grain when demand/prices are low I can understand, but surely when demand/prices are high then that should be fed into the food chain as a priority, rather than some dubious CO2 substitution argument for fuel use?

  21. “Thank goodness there’s a futures market in grain where the risk of SMO being over and production/trade from the great european plain being back to more normal levels has been calculated in by speculators.”

    Ah, yes, selling grain forward. Another way for the multinational conglomerates that control food processing and retailing to screw over the producers. If you had any experience of food production you’d know that when a farmer sells grain forward, the contract will only ever be honoured by the buyer if it suits them to do so, ie the price has risen above the contract price. If the bottom has fallen out of the market and the processor is facing paying 2X for its inputs when the market price is X, its amazing how the testing done at the factory gate suddenly starts to find that the grain isn’t up to the contract specification and that they might agree to take it but only at a heavy discount to the contracted price………the grain processing industry in the UK is utterly corrupt, an effective cartel, but no-one ever does anything about it, because that would rattle too many nice little earners for big business and politics alike.

  22. Now I think I understand why my Swedish farmers co-operative set up their own ethanol plant…to prevent being phuqed by the agricultural conglomerates.

  23. @ Jim

    It’s the prisoner’s dilemma – the farmers should tell the processors/retailers to fuck off if they fail to honour the forward contract. But of course, they all want to be the last one standing so aim to screw over their fellow farmers (prisoners).

  24. The NFU and all its member farmland owners and Conservative MPs who are onside with them can’t bring a suit against grain processors who are acting as a cartel, or are in breach of contracts or both.
    Not convinced.

    But the futures market is still a thing. If x-y is a negative number, then that’s your comparative advantage information. Go plant the thing where x-y is the least negative number even if it’s a frigging nitrogen fixer only.

  25. “It’s the prisoner’s dilemma – the farmers should tell the processors/retailers to fuck off if they fail to honour the forward contract. But of course, they all want to be the last one standing so aim to screw over their fellow farmers (prisoners).”

    No, they just need the money. The industry grain contract is heavily in favour of the processors. Regardless of however much testing the buyer does on farm each load is (allegedly) tested on entry to the factory or mill, of course that is done by the employees at the facility, and not in the presence of the farmer (who could be hundreds of miles away). Its a process entirely open to fraud and sharp practice. There have been documented cases where a farmer has received a phone call to tell him that his lorry load of grain has been delivered but has failed the test at the mill, and what does he want to do about it, only for the farmer to reply ‘Thats funny, the lorry broke down and its currently still sat in my yard’…….

    ‘The NFU and all its member farmland owners and Conservative MPs who are onside with them can’t bring a suit against grain processors who are acting as a cartel, or are in breach of contracts or both.
    Not convinced.’

    The NFU is part of the corruption. There is a merry-go-round of buggins turn for nice sinecure jobs between the NFU, the AHDB (the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board, a statutory industry research and development body) and the AIC (the Agricultural Industries Confederation, the trade body for grain processors and millers) and Red Tractor (a farm assurance scheme that is a de facto monopoly in the UK). The NFU operates on a bizarre system of ‘democratic’ governance that basically means the people at the top can control the entire thing without the mass members being able to do anything about it. Its an ongoing (and depressing) joke that anyone who rises to the top of the NFU will inevitably get a cushy little job in one of the bodies mentioned above once they retire from office, as a way of ‘keeping it in the family’ so to speak. Its all a complete stitch up, but there is no way of changing it, because 3 of the bodies are not subject to any democratic control, and the 4th, the NFU is impervious to change due to its byzantine governance structure. It has also been captured by the food processing, retailing and agricultural supply industries – it probably gets more in ‘corporate’ membership fees than it does from real farmers. It is never going to rock the boat, neither are the few Conservative MPs with farming interests, because they are precisely the sort of people who infest the top of the NFU anyway.

  26. Ethanol in petrol was all about raking in more for the exchequer. Your mileage is worse with E5 than with pure dino-petrol, and E10 is worse than E5, so as duty is calculated per litre and you need more litres for the same number of miles, that’s more duty for the same mount of driving.

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