Monday, February 11, 2008

More bad news for biofuels

A new study will be released showing that biofuels actually create more greenhouse gases (GHG) rather than offset GHG from fossil fuels. Biofuels have been heralded as the way to reduce GHG emissions and reliance on foreign oil. However, it does not have the environmental benefit as originally thought and it is creating a problem in food supply. Crop land is being diverted to produce heavily subsidized biofuels, like corn ethanol. A good article in IHT gives a good account of the issues. The study it refers to is from the journal Science and is titled "Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt" if you have access to the journal somewhere.

Biofuels are a product of our thought process when trying to solve problems. We are not looking at the cause but the effect. We, as citizens of the world, need to start making our voices heard and being the catalyst for change.


BBC said...

I'm not keen on them. They are no cheaper to make and making them creates pollution even if it is claimed that they burn clean.

Maybe if they were made from cheap, fast growing crops like hemp? I think it's just a passing fad though.

My way of approaching it is to use as little fuel as possible, the last tank has lasted over a month.

I do a lot of walking and biking, but people are greedy by nature so will keep destroying things.

I'm sure the planet won't miss them.

Schultz said...

This is misleading. Biofuels are not worse if they are grown on land that is not suitable for food crops. A company here in the Pittsburgh area is growing biofuel crops on brownfield sites that are not suitable for development because of the toxicity of their soil.

William Wren said...

this was obvious from the start, where would all the land come from to grow the stuff, its limited enough as it is

FeButterfly said...

The main problem I have is with the subsidies surrounding all forms of energy. The ethanol subsidy grossly distorts, in my opinion, it's value as part of the solution to our energy needs. Further to your point of growing on otherwise unsuitable land I think that is a great idea. I just don't see how brownfields of ethanol crops in old steel towns across North America will offset a significant enough amount of energy.