Technology with attitude

The Biofuel Boondoggle

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I said it before, and it bears repeating, biofuels aren’t the answer for the long term.

In the short term it can be argued they may be a useful way to ween ourselves off of foreign oil, but everything I’ve read so far suggests even if biofuel production was firing on all cylinders, we’d still have to purchase a ton of oil from the Middle East.

More from NY Times:

Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these “green” fuels are taken into account, two studies being published Thursday have concluded.

Together the two studies offer sweeping conclusions: It does not matter if it is rain forest or scrubland that is cleared, the greenhouse gas contribution is significant. More important, they discovered that, taken globally, the production of almost all biofuels resulted, directly or indirectly, intentionally or not, in new lands being cleared, either for food or fuel.

“When you take this into account, most of the biofuel that people are using or planning to use would probably increase greenhouse gasses substantially,” said Timothy Searchinger, lead author of one of the studies and a researcher in environment and economics at Princeton University. “Previously there’s been an accounting error: land use change has been left out of prior analysis.”

And so it goes…

Time to start thinking about nuclear energy?