Another post to an AOL Environmental Poetry folder.

A few weeks ago Vivian asked for some solid suggestions on how to ensure that our environment does not get further degraded. In that vein, then, I've decided to write a series of little poems, and encourage any of the rest of you who have actual ideas - not just hand-wringing whining crap - to contribute in the same manner.

You'll find these ideas are, for the most part, not new. But they have merit nonetheless, and all of them can be implemented without vast social upheavals in our country or globally. There will be economic consequences, of course, and necessary changes to consumer thinking, but overall these ideas of mine will make at least some allowance for that.

Again, nothing original.

With no further ado, here is the first poem, entitled Suggestion #1. You can sing it, if you like, to the tune of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'."

Suggestion #1

James R. Muri

Copyright 1996

Come Exxon, Standard, Gulf & BP
And listen up Arco and Union to me.
Who'll be the first of you all to see
That profits are there for the taking?
See, the Heartland's a pool
Of renewable fuel
If it's ethanol pure that you're making.

So build lots of shiny new midwestern stills,
And raise sugar crops on our plains and our hills.
Leave petroleum crude all snug in its wells;
It'd be the well-drillin' game you're forsakin'.
'Cause the Heartland's a pool
Of renewable fuel
If it's alcohol pure that you're makin'.

The chemists all tell us the air'd be more clean
If we didn't burn diesel or car gasoline.
Perhaps ADM will see what I mean,
The time's about done for debating.
'Cause the Heartland's a pool
Of renewable fuel
If Everclear's not just for drinking.

Now Chrysler, Ford, GM and all
Know how to build engines with power and pull
That run like a dream on pure alcohol
But it's market-share fears that they're facing.
Still, the Heartland's a pool
Of renewable fuel
And rewards could be large for risk-taking.

There's no new technology needed for this
No magic wands, no Let's-Make-A-Wish
All this has been done far in the past
It isn't new ground that needs breaking.
And the Heartland's a pool
Of renewable fuel
For new engines our nation needs making.


- For the record: The principal products of methyl carbonol (aka ethanol, ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, or just plain booze) combustion are water and carbon dioxide. There are others as well - much smaller amounts, but there nonetheless - like aldehydes and ketones. There are, as you would expect from the simplicity of the alcohol molecule, no complex hydrocarbons emitted. Additional benefits include no disastrous oil spills from foundering tankers, no expensive exploration and drilling expeditions, and no limit on how long we can continue to use this fuel before we start running out. This fuel is already required in slightly modified passenger cars in Brazil (I think it's Brazil - one of those South American countries, anyway) and works fine. No petroleum fueled cars are used there. And along with this move, one could argue that we should shift one hundred percent to synthetic (non-petroleum based) lubricants for the bearings of engines and industry. Again, no new technology is needed.

I invite you all to participate. You might number your poetic suggestion, along with whatever editorial comment you choose, sequentially. For example, the next poem would be Suggestion #2. If you write it and post it first, think about using that title. That way, down the road about eleven jillion suggestions, we can create an anthology with suggestions # 1 through suggestion # 11 jillion and send it to congress, or something.

But please, be constructive, be realistic, and try to avoid such things as stone-throwing.

Copyright, 1996 by Jim Muri

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