Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

Biofuels - Jan 25

Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


Biomass, part II
Better agronomy for energy crops

Vinod Khosla, Gristmill
I believe improved crop practices are a vital aspect in meeting our cellulosic feedstock needs. There are a few areas that offer significant potential:

1. crop rotation,
2. the use of polyculture plantations,
3. perennials as energy crops, and
4. better agronomic practices.

We address all four issues here. Though none of these have been extensively studied, early studies and knowledgeable speculation point to their likely utility. Further study of these techniques is urgently needed, especially the use of grasses or other biomass-optimized winter cover crops.
(24 January 2008)
In the same series by Vinod Khosla: Biomass, Part I and Biomass, Part III.


Critique Mounts against Biofuels

Charles Hawley, Der Spiegel
The European Union has announced plans to increase the use of gas and diesel produced from plants. But the critique against biofuels is mounting. Many say they are even more harmful than conventional fossil fuels.
---
..."The biofuels route is a dead end," Dr. Andrew Boswell, a Green Party councillor in England and author of a recent study on the harmful effects of biofuels, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "They are going to create great damage to the environment and will also produce dramatic social problems in (tropical countries where many crops for biofuels are grown). There basically isn't any way to make them viable."

The evidence against biofuels marshalled by Boswell and other environmentalists appears quite damning. Advertised as a fuel that only emits the amount of carbon dioxide that the plants absorb while growing -- making it carbon neutral -- it actually has resulted in a profitable industrial sector attractive to countries around the world. Vast swaths of forest have been felled and burned in Argentina and elsewhere for soya plantations. Carbon-rich peat bogs are being drained and rain forests destroyed in Indonesia to make way for extensive palm oil farming.

Because the forests are often torched and the peat rapidly oxidizes, the result is huge amounts of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. Furthermore, healthy peat bogs and forests absorb CO2 -- scientists refer to them as "carbon sinks" -- making their disappearance doubly harmful.
(23 January 2008)
In the current issue of Der Spiegel: The Choice between Food and Fuel

Food prices are skyrocketing. Arable land is becoming scarce. And forests continue to disappear across the globe. The world must decide between affordable food and biofuels.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.

 

This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.


What’s a Carbon Farmer? How California Ranchers Use Dirt to Tackle Climate Change

For many climate change activists, the latest rallying cry has been, …

Nature's Way: A Path to Ecological Agriculture

Allen White and Wes Jackson explore a new agricultural paradigm that mimics …

A Floating Food Forest Prepares to Set Sail in New York City

Half public art project, half tourist destination, a floating food forest …

My Agricultural Grandparents

It is not uncommon for farmers to talk about the influence their …

City Centre Milking Parlour Provokes Discussion

Finding innovative ways to provoke discussion and engage people with where …

The Revolution will not be Market Gardenized: Some Thoughts on Jean-Martin Fortier

It was suggested to me recently that I might like to pen some thoughts on …

A Recipe for Change

In Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, Michael Pollan describes his …