Listen for the New Drumbeat

By Mike Bryan | May 12, 2011

Ethanol provides a growing sense of independence in a world that is constantly being reshaped by war. Protectionism and isolationism are seldom good options in a global economy, but self-preservation and self-reliance are.

A large part of the oil-producing region of the world is in utter turmoil, with no real end in sight. And when the current strife does come to an end, if it ever does, what is to follow? To assume that because bin Laden is dead and countries in the Middle East are searching for a new form of governance means that all is well, and the future is bright, could indeed be a miscalculation of gigantic proportion.

There has never been a time in the 30 year history of the ethanol industry that has been more important. Important to our national security, important to our energy security, important to our economy, all of which are being threatened. Ethanol, no matter where in the world it is produced, promotes peace. No wars have ever been fought over ethanol. No invasions of other countries or clandestine operations have ever been launched because of ethanol.

I suppose that’s why it is so frustrating, baffling, even maddening at times, to see the articles, conjured-up reports and outright lies that are perpetrated about ethanol and renewable energy in general. It’s sad that it has come to this.

We need to act with an urgent sense of self-reliance by developing our domestic oil and natural gas reserves. At the same time, it’s imperative that we share the stage with domestically produced renewable energy. These are not mutually exclusive objectives. They can act in unison to build a stronger economy, a cleaner environment and a greater degree of self-preservation. Anyone who says otherwise, either has their head in the sand, or has an opposing vested interest.

As young people around the world exchange ideas and ideologies on the Internet, Facebook, Twitter and a host of other social networks, the world becomes much smaller. What happens in rural China does not seem so distant to a student in Central Europe or America. Viewing the world from a classroom in Libya can inspire those to act who can clearly see there is a better way.

The youth of today represent our future, and luckily they don’t cling to the ideas of past generations. Oil will once again become prehistoric, from whence it came. Ethanol and other renewable forms of energy that we have today will also give way to even newer, cleaner and more energy efficient solutions. Around the world, young people are rejecting the status quo as they always have, and demand that the world change to embrace new ideas.

Today’s energy sources are all just stepping stones to tomorrow. Stop for a moment and listen. You’ll hear the drumbeat of a new generation, a generation that’s connected on a global scale—a generation that will look at energy, the environment and, we hope war, in a whole new light. We’re like the infamous Hatfields and McCoys fighting for generations until eventually they forgot what they were actually fighting about in the first place. Let’s join the youth of the world and work towards freedom, peace, understanding and a better, cleaner environment and greater self-reliance. They’ll wait for us to catch up.

That’s the way I see it.

Author: Mike Bryan
Chairman, BBI International