Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Biofuels and the environment

George Monbiot writes about some of the environmental aspects of the biofuels scam (see also here). Note that this is a different problem than the problem with using corn to make fuel, as that problem is that the whole process of growing, transporting, and converting the corn to fuel requires more energy than is produced. This is only economically possible because of obscene agricultural subsidies given to North American corn producers, subsidies which have added to third-world poverty while creating a surplus of corn. The agribusiness solution to the corn surplus is to waste more energy turning it into trendy biofuels (biofuels also serve as a crutch so people can ignore the conservation issue while feeling virtuous as they refill their SUV with 10% corn and 90% oil, and is thus paradoxically part of the advertising program of Big Oil). Now we find that the chic biofuels will further endanger the poor countries of the world - not to mention everybody else - by destroying their forests to grow palm trees. Biofuel - simply the worst idea anybody has ever had!

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