Thursday, September 13, 2007

FIU Energy and Business Forum on E-85 Ethanol

South Florida, preparing for the arrival of E85

FIU's Energy and Business Forum and General Motors held an open symposium discussing the status of E85 ethanol in South Florida. Presentations about E85 ethanol infrastructure, technology, and availability was discussed by senior engineers from General Motors, and distinguished panelists from the areas of academia, government and industry. An announcement was made about the first Ethanol gas station in Miami, FL: the U Gas at 210 NW 79 Ave. Read more about it here:

For future events on Energy or Business go here:

Attending this forum was not only educational but motivational! Seeing the growing support for Energy Independence helped fuel my already growing enthusiasm and excitement of executing on our vision: "To serve as an economic engine that will drive us to become energy independent."

However, with excitement there is always some negatives that are discovered. Most people argue that certain technologies are not efficient enough or they create more negatives than positives. Ethanol is a great example of this. Most critics argue that it uses more energy than it produces and that it uses food stock and water inefficiently and inappropriately. These critics fall in various places in the spectrum and while their criticisms are valid to a certain extent, it does not solve the broader issue of environmental degradation and energy independence.

Technology, just like education and just about everything else in this world, does not exist in a vacuum. In order for it to become better, people must buy and comsume those products. In turn, they will complain along with those famous critics to make the product better. Technology evolves; it does not jump from one extreme of the spectrum to the other. There is a middle ground that must be traversed. In that middle ground, prices change (mostly declining) as the product improves.

If we sit by and wait for the technology to become "perfect" then it will never get there. All it does is hinder the process. Everyone knows that there are three types of people in this world:

1. Those who make things happen,
2. Those who watch things happen, and
3. Those who wonder what happened.

Which one are you?

Be a part of the solution NOT the problem. While serving on active duty in the military, I always made my guys come to me with a possible solution to whatever problem they were having. This had the effect of catapulting the issue to successful mitigation. The same can be true of the challenges we face today.

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