I just wondered where you stood on the whole, ‘it’s the end of the world as we know it’ ethanol in petrol debate.

In response to readers’ queries I have written a few minor features on it and been doing a teeney bit of research on the subject. On the face of it this seemed a massively wrong-headed Euro dictat inspired by some half-baked impression of being green. 

Oh I almost forgot to mention what the big deal about squirting alcohol into our petrol is all about. Well, it melts your engine. Especially if it’s an older one. All the rubber and plastic bits of a certain vintage will just fade away, leaving your old Aston floundering. Even worse than that it will kill your mower. It eats little engines for breakfast and classic bikes and cars for dinner plus for tea it will cramp your mpg style by 10 per cent apparently. So there does not seem to be any upsides at all, not least growing crops we don’t actually need.

Historically though, the Model T ran on pure alcohol, the states have had it in their fuel and it’s the staple fuel in Brazil. There are miracle bottles of additive that make the bad things go away. So technically it is possible to live with Ethanol. But do you really want to?