08 February 2008

Biofuel Emissions Undercounted

If 10,000 square metres of Brazilian rainforest is cleared to make way for soya beans – which are used to make biodiesel – over 700,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide is released. The saving generated by the resulting biodiesel will not cancel that out for around 300 years. In the case of peat land rainforest in Indonesia, which is being cleared to grow palm oil, the debt will take over 400 years to repay.
The New Scientist reports on two more studies that show again how mistaken the environmental lobby have been to campaign for more widespread use of biofuels. Somehow I doubt that will stop the madness quite yet, however...


Freelander said...

Someone is clearly optimistic that the human race will continue to survive - and rule - for another 300 or 400 years.

Nick Palmer said...

Just found this blog. As an environmentalist blogger Sustainability and stuff according to Nick Palmer it annoys me when people outside the environmental movement come out with patronising comments like "two more studies that show again how mistaken the environmental lobby have been to campaign for more widespread use of biofuels".

We are obviously in favour of more widespread appropriate use and development of biofuels but that is not the end of our position. When the commercial world, and government, tries to find solutions to problems it is not our fault if they continue to ignore basic concepts of sustainability to come up with idiotic pseudo-green ideas like trashing even more rainforest to grow yet more soya. They still haven't stopped trashing the rainforest to grow more soya to feed more animals to support the unsustainable appetite that some people have for excessive meat consumption.

The problem with the free market as it exists at the moment is that not enough factors are taken into account on the bottom line when profitability is assessed. Until full cost accounting procedures (using the ideas of disciplines such as ecological economics) are mandated, the free market will continue to make these monstrously stupid plans because their business models and profit forecasts are still based upon silly economics with shallow concepts that do not take the finite nature of the world and some resources into account, let alone peak oil, peak phosphorus, climate change and population growth.