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A Few Things (Among Many) I Didn’t Know About Brazil

I am flying to Brazil today for a very brief visit. The Wikipedia entry on Brazil is very good, if true, and now I feel a little bit bad about some of the Wikipedia posts I’ve written in the past. Here are a few interesting facts about Brazil that caught my eye:

1. “Major export products include aircraft, coffee, automobiles, soybean, iron ore, orange juice, steel, ethanol, textiles, footwear, corned beef and electrical equipment.” Corned beef? Alas, the corned beef from Brazil is not Carnegie Deli-style, but a less fantastic meat-in-a-can variety.

2. “With the 1973 oil crisis the Brazilian government initiated in 1975 the Pró-Álcool program … a nation-wide program financed by the government to replace automobile fuels derived from fossil fuels in favor of ethanol. The program successfully reduced the number of cars running on gasoline in Brazil by 10 million, thereby reducing the country’s dependence on oil imports.”

3. “Brazil is the third largest hydroelectricity producer in the world after China and Canada. In 2004 hydropower accounted [for] 83% of Brazil power production.”

While it may be that Brazil has something to learn from us about corned beef, it looks as if they are well ahead of the U.S. in energy policy.