Random mutterings, observations, and comments on what ever comes to mind. Photos will be posted.
Looks a bit chilly but definitely gives new meaning to the phrase, "plumes of smoke filled the air"! Hope you're having a good day!
Hi Lowell, this is steam produced from distilling ethanol, not really smoke. This steam cloud is larger in cold weather. One concern is that ethanol plants consume vast amounts of water from the Ogallala aquifer and pump these steam clouds into the air 24/7. There are 17 such plants in eastern SD which purchase 40 percent of our corn crop to produce one billion gallons of ethanol annually.
It's scary when we have to turn food into fuel.
Andy, this country has produced an ocean of corn since the post WW II years. In the 1950s there was a question of what to do with this surplus. The government bought corn to support the price, and there are still old grain bins scattered across the Midwest where it was stored. The decision was made to feed it to animals to turn it into meat. That worked sort of, but also has negative consequences. Now we are turning food into fuel, and I don't think we have seen the last of those negative consequences. At the same time the world population is rapidly expanding so demand for food will increase, but only for those who can afford it.
I'm tired tonight, so I will sidestep the economic and social issues today. Your photos are nicely done.