This has been a long time coming. Tires made in large part from soybeans. Oh, don’t write this one off as some socks-in-sandals wearing tree hugger cause. I’m not pushing it here because I grew up on a farm and believe it will help the soybean market. Whether you want to buy the story or not, this is a national security issue.
Care to doubt me?
You child, must have failed high school history, especially the World War II portion. Civilians really couldn’t buy tires during World War II. Early on Japan seized the islands which were our primary source of rubber. Any rubber American could acquire from other sources had to be put toward the war effort while lots of scientists were put to the task of creating synthetic rubber.
In short, we have been down this road before. Now we have the possibility of North Korea sprouting a giant mushroom cloud above these very same islands. During WWII we just had to expend lives and resources retaking the islands. If they are nuked, retaking is rather pointless until the soil heals and enough bacteria returns to make the soil fertile again. This also assumes the islands themselves don’t slip under the ocean as water levels rise due to Climate Change.
America’s farmers approved and pay what is called a soybean checkoff. This fund, while viewed early on as a slush fund for politicians, has born fruit time and again. The people on the board engage in international marketing and help fund research to come up with creative new ways to utilize this tiny thing called a soybean. You can read a bit about the six year effort here. Yes, there are quite a few magazines reprinting some flavor of that article, but this one is hosted on the official United Soybean Board site.
Some of these tires were unveiled at this year’s Farm Progress Show. They will be available this month, if not on the shelves of your local tire store already.
Yes, Goodyear has done all kinds of testing, but, as with all things automotive, the next phase of this research requires you. Not the other guy, you. Each and every one of you. It requires you purchase these tires instead of the cheapest hunk of shit Walmart sells. All of the lab and track testing in the universe can never account for all real world conditions. As a species we need to see just how these hold up in the real world.
You read that correctly, as a species we need to know how these hold up. You don’t need to care one whit about the environment or the fact some day we will run out of dead dino. At some point there will be a war (hot or cold) which dramatically, if not totally, cuts off supplies of both crude oil and rubber. (I’m told there are quite a few petrochemicals involved in creating today’s tires.) We need the ability to create high quality tires from things we grow within our borders and the only way to know that is to have each size and formula get millions of miles put on it all across America.