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The burning question of biofuels 19 Mar, 2008

Biofuels are a hot topic. And rightfully so. Recent research has indicated that farmers prefer biofuels instead of edible crops because of the high yields – resulting in food shortages. But there’s more.

CNN recently reported that “energy crops destroy natural forests that actually store carbon and thus are a key tool in the fight to reduce global warming.”

Ecologist Joseph Fargione continued the same thread in a Scientific American article, saying that “Any biofuel that causes land clearing is likely to increase global warming.”

Wall Street Journal’s “Environmental Capital” blog notes that “Ethanol appears to come with a higher greenhouse-gas price tag than previously thought — higher, indeed, than fossil fuel.”

And there’s more reading, like “Climate Change and Energy - The True Cost of Biofuels” at nature.org, and “Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt” + “Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change” at sciencemag.org.

There’s seldom smoke without fire. We predict that the combustion engine will go bust sooner than later. Seems like our planet sure wouldn’t mind.