- Issues relating to mass production, storage, and transportation of ethanol are resolved.
- Automotive and marine engine designers produce models better able to exploit ethanol blends.
- As with hybrid vehicles, the Federal Government and some states with poor air quality offer tax incentives to buyers of vehicles optimized for ethanol.
- Ethanol is adopted in all 48 contiguous states, slowly at first, then more swiftly as stations adapt (again, perhaps with Federal tax incentives) to handle the fuel.
- Over the next few years, petroleum drops in value by 50%. Smaller OPEC powers collapse, devouring themselves in riots.
- The larger OPEC countries take note and conspire to engineer a biological weapon — a fungus, a gene-ripping virus, something — capable of destroying ethanol-biomass crops.
- Overly focused on security theater, the U.S. government continues to fight the most recent threat and fails to authorize protection for future ones. As with 9/11, foreign operatives take flight lessons, this time for light, crop-dusting aircraft.
- Land is purchased around the now-massive grain- and switchgrass-producing regions of America, hangars are discreetly built, and planes are purchased with OPEC money.
- Those in the know buy oil futures.
- One clear day, scores of Cessnas take wing and crisscross a complacent nation. . . .
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Dystopian Speculation in an Ethanol Future
LET'S SEE WHAT ONE possible future might hold if we began to derive a substantial percentage of our automotive fuel from agricultural biomass.