Re: “Future car may come from farm, not factory,” Mar. 20.
Yesterday’s article glosses over some serious issues associated with the use of crops to make plastics and other consumer goods such as car parts.
I agree with Mark Winfield of the Pembina Institute that we have to consider the energy usage associated with producing crops for fuel or plastics, but we can’t ignore the issue of land use.
If we grew enough corn to make a significant shift from fossil fuel to ethanol or to make our car parts out of vegetable fibre and oil, we could easily divert the entire base of arable land in North America and still not meet the demand.
While it’s a nice idea to think of cleaner alternatives that allow us to continue our current consumptive lifestyle, maybe it’s time we consider a radical idea — use less! Where will our food come from if all the land is used to grow cars and water bottles?