Friday, February 08, 2008

Two More Studies Zap Biofuels as an Answer to Global Warming

The case against using biofuels to fight global warming has grown stronger with the publication of two studies in the journal Science which show that the destruction of natural ecosystems to produce the plants for fuels actually increases greenhouse gas emissions when compared with using regular fuels. In an International Herald Tribune article the lead author of one of the reports notes that the one exception may be sugar cane grown in Brazil, because relatively little energy is needed to turn this crop into fuel. These findings once again illustrate the wide gap between scientific knowledge and actions by the U.S. government as exemplified by the recently passed energy bill which requires a substantial portion of vehicle fuel in the future to be biofuel. In all likelihood most of this biofuel will come from growing corn. The politicians like to point out that using corn to make biofuel will increase America’s energy independence, which appears to be true, but they neglect to mention that with regard to the much bigger issue, global warming, their policies will probably only make the problem worse. It seems the habitability of the planet is being sacrificed for votes in the corn belt. In other words, the most important thing of all is that the politicians hang on to their jobs. The fate of the Earth appears to be a secondary consideration.

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