Ethanol Health Risks

Angela for­ward­ed me a sim­i­lar arti­cle on some resent research which states that ethanol may have greater health risks than gaso­line as a auto fuel. From the arti­cle I tagged in del.icio.us from New Sci­en­tist (see low­er right, titled “Warn­ing: Bio­fu­el may harm your health”), it appears that the num­ber of deaths increas­es by 185 going to an ethanol fleet from a gaso­line fleet in the Stan­ford researchers mod­el. That’s out of about 10,000 deaths annu­al­ly, or less than 2%. Frankly, I have reser­va­tions against believ­ing that one mod­el can real­ly pre­dict with­in 2% (maybe if this was a sum­ma­ry of sev­er­al stud­ies). But assum­ing it is accu­rate, there’s always the ques­tion about what car­bon emis­sions will do as well. Will more than 185 peo­ple die as a result of not switch­ing to bio­fu­els. Frankly, I think that a switch to non-car­bon based fuel sources or gen­er­a­tion of ener­gy (e.g. – wind, solar, hydro, geo, etc.) is the only long-term, sus­tain­able answer in any case.