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Hagerty Employee

The damage done by "renewable" fuel to classics ... and the planet

( This opinion piece from our valued author David C. Holzman does not necessarily reflect the position of Hagerty or Hagerty Media. Please enjoy it with an open mind - jb) "Cars often arrive at the shop leaking fuel from everywhere," said Greg Pellegrino, proprietor of Vintage Motorsports Garage, a car service and restoration company in Holliston, Massachusetts.

Interesting article. I looked up something else to get some perspective on corn alternatives (taking a food crop and using it this way seems backwards).

Seems the problem is the tech has not advanced at the rate needed to get us to the "better place" of using superior options to corn.

Examples I read about included marginal land growing weeds, invasive species (one was a bamboo relative), algae and so on.

Considering a fair bit of the EV push to success also requires multiple tech advances to happen soon it's a bit of a cautionary tale?

With rapid inflation and shortages it makes no sense to mandate ethanol. Let the corn go to food which the world needs. But government makes policies based on it looks good rather than is it actually any good.

It's a shame a really good article has to degrade in the middle to preach that ICE cars are the only fun car. My answer would be the Tesla Roadster over the Boxster. But the real 2 points are 1) climate change will affect the quality of life of hundreds of millions of people if we don't get off our ass and do something about it, and 2) ICE collector/hobby cars, with their paucity and relatively few miles driven are an insignificant part of the problem. So we need some real solutions, not like adding ethanol to our fuel that was strictly an industry subsidy or taking my Miata or the author's Boxster second cars off the road.

the only Solution for the ultimate Disaster would be finding a way to curb the over population of our Planet Good Luck with that

Don’t laugh. 

They already have made it a crime to have too many children in some countries. 

They already have abortion and assisted suicide.


Now after Covid I see it killed the weak, the obese, the very old and the ill. Hmmm to me it looks like something one would use to decrease the population while keeping the young and strong. 


I am not a conspiracy guy but I do have to say it gave me pause to consider a virus like this from a lab and what it would be used for.  

Advanced Driver

The quoted figure of 6.5 to 8¢/kwh is not the cost of generation. Those figures were published in a report of how commercial and single-purpose generators were being compensated for their contribution to the system loads. Since it is a price of the sale of the power, the low figure is not a good thing; it represents that the solar and wind generation is viewed by the system dispatchers as nuisances, since they are plentiful when not much needed and usually hard to find when most needed (Needed as in 7pm on a winter weekday when surburbs are heating air and water, cooking and washing clothes/dishes; not present because the winds are calm and the sun has set. Not needed on a weekend mid-day when industry is **bleep** down; present when breezes are gusting and the sun is gloriously shining.)

So few people understand that the grid doesn’t store energy. It doesn’t move it from one region to another without significant losses either.

This article tells me what I've known for years. "Everything the government says are based on lies". Example: The government, (EPA), has been telling the press for years now that Toxic Algae Blooms are a direct result of Climate Change. Thank you Mr. Holzman for the best ammunition of all, The Truth!

All part of a master plan: starving people won't need (or be able) to drive cars.  Problem solved.  Don't worry, we're from the government and we're here to help.  Mission is on schedule - just be patient!

Intermediate Driver

The situation appears obvious, the wrong people are making decisions they should NOT be allowed to make. A very dangerous mentality has griped this nation. If we do not change that immediately the damage may be irreversible.
Advanced Driver

Climate hemming and hawing is meaningless if we don't invest in competent, nation-wide public transit. Want to cut greenhouse gasses? Eliminate the need for cars. 40% of the people in this country live in coastal counties. That's a huge mass of people who could realistically see measurable benefits from high-speed rail. You could cut emissions, de-congest the roadways, reduce anxiety for people who live in population centers (and therefore can't charge an EV at their home) and tout it as a crowning national achievement. Of course...that reeks of socialism, so 50% of the country will stomp their feet and insist on it failing...

Taking away one's personal transportation is taking away one's freedom. Depending on Mass Trans is like depending on the government. They'll both take you for a ride but your never gonna get there. Carbon neutrality is a government pipe dream and will never happen. Earth is a carbon producing planet and without carbon we all will perish. Carbon is a necessary element and fossil fuels are a necessary energy. Without either we go broke and starve to death.
Pit Crew

Removing the option of public transportation is taking away one's freedom to use it instead of driving.

I never mentioned the elimination of public transportation.
Advanced Driver

Around a decade ago, I wrote an article on policies to reduce carbon emissions. Two experts in the US and one in Europe told me that as a policy to reduce global warming, mass transit was far too expensive compared with other GHe-reducing policies, but said it was reasonable to promote it for other reasons--such as enabling transportation for people who didn't want to, or couldn't drive or didn't want to own cars.
American sprawl makes cars much more necessary than they are in Europe, where cities are more densely populated, and easier to cover with transit. It has enabled a large reduction in the number of cars circulating in Paris and other European cities.
Despite high coastal densities, I think it would take years of enforcing denser zoning, and building networks of rails to enable coastal New Englanders to abandon their cars. But it's an interesting idea.
Pit Crew

We don't have to insist on it failing. It will all on it's own just like it always has.

Climate hemming and hawing is just politics. The whole Climate Change movement is starting from a bad premise. No one knows what the climate is supposed to be, in any place, on any day. The Climate has always changed, it always will. The planet is dynamic, not static. To think you can control or even steer the planets climate is an ego trip of EPIC proportion.
Also, carbon is what plants eat and use to put oxygen back in the air for all of us who breathe oxygen. I seem to remember; when they have taken cores from thousands to millions of years old ice: It showed that the earth was far more lush and green an had much higher levels of carbon and oxygen in the air, then today. Carbon is NOT the enemy, any more then mankind is.
Intermediate Driver

the idea of ethanol is a sham and pointless - follow the money. It's less efficient than gas, hurts our beloved classics guts too. Growing GMO corn monocrops doesn't do our farmland any favors either.

Moron hypocrites like algore who've been pushing their climate alarmist agenda for decades have managed to brainwash a good portion of the population. algore buys carbon credits from his own company did ya know? Stealing plant food is what he's promoting. These people don't 'walk their talk'. They just want most of us dead or enslaved.

All those touting EVs with lithium batteries - most people choose ignorance or cognitive dissonance over knowing how much more environmentally destructive EVs are to build AND dispose of compared to ice cars. Plus, where y'all think the electricity to charge them comes from?

You know what I would support? Hydrogen powered conversion for our ice cars. It's been done. It's just not widely supported yet. Makes far more sense to me, but hey i'm just a simple caveman.

Toyota has been putting a lot of money into hydrogen.


Hydrogen production can be 100% controlled by the country that wants to go that route --just saying.

New Driver

Thank you for this article. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The truth is there is a major dishonest group with an agenda that is uding climate and even health and other topics for globalization. 

I expect them to use the economy now as their next tool. 

The key to globalization is to preach we are not all equal. Then to use the tolls to try to bring down the economic centers and then give that money to countries that are not as well off and more poorly run. 

It is kind of like the government coming to your neighborhood and taking from you and giving to your neighbor that is not taking advantage of the opportunities to get a head. 

We see it in the Economic Union. Great Idea but the reality is some are going to end up paying for others. All are not equal. 

The same is being done on climate. We are now as clean as we have been in over 150 years but yet China and India are as dirty or more dirty than ever. 

We are being punished and some in our government have been trying to give our own governing of our climate and emissions to others. That is like giving our military to UN control. 

The key to this is we are all different and while we should be good stewards but also we need to be economically responsible to our economies and our citizens.


Like EV products. Help them grow but don’t force them on people in a short time span. Cars actually are one of the least offenders. 

We should focus on new generation plants now as we know wind and sun are not fully going to fill the needs. 

Ethanol is not going to work as it has been tried and you get beyond the E 85 it is inefficient and ever more so damaging to existing products. You do realize why most weed eaters fail anymore it is due to the fuel. So what you save in a little air is lost on production to replace these tools and other products. 

To get America in line with the global agenda they have bought and paid some of our leaders. To get us in line they must damage us to a point we are willing to submit to their plans. 

The meeting in Europe recently they spoke of how soon they will be able to track each of our carbon foot prints. This will be used against us. 

Also guard against the lies. They blame so much on climate that is only partially true.  Much of the media, education system and entertainment industry is controlled. Many mfgs are afraid to speak out do to bring canceled and attacked. 

This is a deal where we need to plan carefully and balanced to seek a safe and economical out come. We need to stop listening to crazy ranting 14 year olds that are held up as profits. 

To learn the truth each of us must seek it out as you are not going to get the truth from late night comedians or even many networks anymore. 

Some of the basics need to be accepted. One, the earth is able to reclaim much faster than given credit. We have evidence all around on this. 
Two, climate is a variable and has been through out history. The earth is in a fine imperfect balance and cycles happen. 

Three, many changes like lake Mead going dry has as much or more to due with facts like A: it was not a natural lake and B: more people live in this region and are using more water than this system ever supplied. 

Knowing the truths changes all so be educated and read. Make proper decisions as there are many who wants to steal Americas lunch and eat it. Don’t let them do it. 

Intermediate Driver

I think we can all agree that the climate is changing constantly. There is nothing wrong with that and we cannot control it anyway. The conclusion of the uninformed, (and I include politicians, the media, the entertainment industry, and the gullible in this group) is that a changing climate will lead to catastrophic results for mankind. Nothing is further from the truth and this can be verified if one takes the time to read and research the subject. Our climate is far more robust than these people give it credit for. I remember when I was a kid, these same climate frauds were promoting the idea of global cooling and it was only going to be a few years before we would all be encased in a solid block of ice. Never happened, and like global warming, is the hoax of the day promoted mostly by politicians to grab more of our hard earned money and limit our God given freedoms. Ethanol like global warming is just another example of government's continual need to solve a problem that never existed in the first place that then results in a bigger problem. Well written article Mr. Holzman - thanks.
Advanced Driver

Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it.
I do have to say that I first learned of global warming in a class at UC Berkeley in 1975, and although the notion of global cooling was in the media that year, serious scientists, such as my professor, were not taking it seriously.
But because the physics of global warming is obvious to anyone who has studied the relevant sciences (physics, chemistry), it had been predicted as early as the late 19th century that combustion would cause a warming of the earth. CO2 in the atmosphere works like the windshield on your car on a hot day, to let in the rays from the sun that heat the car, and to keep that heat in the car, rather than letting it radiate back out into space.
As a result, glaciers all over the world are melting. Everywhere. (Road and Track had a terrific article by our own Sam Smith, from before he came to Hagerty, examining the melting of glaciers in Glacier National Park over the last 3/4s of a century or so.)
And I can see how sea level has risen since I was a kid due to warming, along places I've always frequented on the Massachusetts coast.
I wish it weren't so. I love internal combustion engines, and I have little desire to drive electrics.
Advanced Driver

lovely thoughts, but the CO2 is probably a far lesser driver of warming than the change in global albedo caused by land clearance and deforestation. (Been reading the recent literature a bit ..?)
Means the IPCC folk are pounding on the WRONG rock.


I’ve told this before but no one is mentioning how much energy it takes to turn corn or switchgrass or biomass anything into ethanol. One company that I flew in a corporate airplane was considering building an ethanol plant near a coal mine in Wyoming, far from the corn they were using. When asked why, they said it didn’t make a difference ship the corn or ship the coal to power the plant.