I feel I must respond to the Mailbag letter by Dieter Oelschlaeger in the May 23 issue [“Corn problematic as renewable resource,” Page 9]. I could not believe what I was reading! Was this some type of joke or just a fountain of misinformation?
Yes it does take gasoline to move a tractor. But it also takes diesel to bring in crude from Saudi Arabia, electricity to refine it and gasoline to deliver it again to a chemical company. But then again, maybe we can convert those tractors to solar power?
Mr. Oelschlaeger then states he is worried about how topsoil has eroded away over the last 500 years. I do not believe this is from farming. Do you think it could be from years of unregulated clear cutting of forests, strip mining, construction sites, landfills or acid rain, just to name a few?
Every farmer I know does everything he can to prevent erosion of his land. His land is his workplace and without it he is out of a job. And besides, there will always be farming if Americans want to eat every day. Is Mr. Oelschlaeger suggesting that we buy our food from foreign sources also?
He asks: Which stream would be brown in color, one from farmed land, or one from unfarmed land? I personally have never seen a brown stream in farmland. But my question to him is: Which body of water is black, one that had an oil spill from a supertanker, or one that has never seen oil transport? Can you guess?
Mr. Oelschlaeger then declares that we should use up every last barrel of someone else's nonrenewable crude oil. Well, Mr. Oelschlaeger, if we did that, where would we get our fuel to go to and from work? How would we travel? Best of all, we would not have gas to run the tractors to plant all that bad corn and every other crop that Americans depend on every day.
We need to research and develop alternatives now, because I for one am tired of seeing more and more landfills spring up all over America due to the fact that our current petrochemical plastics are not biodegradable.