Turning plants such as corn, soybeans and sunflowers into fuel uses much more energy than the resulting ethanol or biodiesel generates, according to a new Cornell University and University of California-Berkeley study.
Neither increases in government subsidies to corn-based ethanol fuel nor hikes in the price of petroleum can overcome what one Cornell University agricultural scientist calls a fundamental input-yield problem: It takes more energy to make ethanol from grain than the combustion of ethanol produces. (August 7, 2001)
An increasingly popular commercial corn, genetically engineered to produce a bacterial toxin to protect against corn pests, has an unwanted side effect: Its pollen kills monarch butterfly larvae in laboratory tests, according to a report by Cornell University researchers.
A few bad actors among the more than 30,000 non-indigenous species in the United States cost $123 billion a year in economic losses, Cornell University ecologists estimate. "It doesn't take many trouble-makers to cause tremendous damage," Cornell ecologist David Pimentel.
From one ecologist's perspective, the American system of farming grain-fed livestock consumes resources far out of proportion to the yield, accelerates soil erosion, affects world food supply and will be changing in the future.