Thursday, 21 February 2008

THE PROBLEM WITH BIOFUELS

A coalition of environmental groups is worried about the growth in the use of biofuels, even suggesting the EU should reject targets of expansion. As biofuels appear to be eco-friendly, is this strange? No, not really.
Biofuel is a valid alternative to fossil fuel. But as with everything else, a good idea can so easily be turned into a disaster by businesses eager to capitalize on the idea. And this is certainly beginning to happen today.
The problem is, in many areas, agriculture has been damaged so much that farmers want to turn to biomass as a valid alternative to food production. The upshot of this will be a scarcity of food stuffs, and rise in prices.
Biofuel needs to be introduced in graded, planned stages, rejuvenating agriculture as it goes along. In this way, we have a clear alternative fuel, and still have ample food. Come on, guys, it isn’t rocket science.

© Anthony North, February 2008

6 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

I think that currently the only really environmentall friendly biofuel is that made from waste oils, its great to see busesrunning on waste oil from restaurants for example. You can also buy little converters for domestic use, you put in your cooking fat and out comes biofuel for your car.

anthonynorth said...

Yes, I've heard of this one. Hopefully it will catch on - it is something that can be done on the small scale, thus unaffected by Big Biz, who I'm convinced are only interested in 'cosmetic' environmentalism, to make people think they're doing something.

Brian said...

Biofuels are not a replacement for fossil fuels. They have less energy output, use more energy to produce, are more damaging to the environment and cost more by any measure used.

Exchanging crops for food to grow crops for fuel has to be one of the dumbest ideas humans have ever come up with. Are we that in love with our vehicles that we would rather starve than walk?

anthonynorth said...

Hi Brian,
Personally, I think we'll eventually have to move on from the internal combustion engine. Infact, if it wasn't for the power of the oil companies, we already would have.
Yes, it's madness to deplete food stocks for biofuel, as I say in the post, but production costs, etc, would improve if it became popular - and that's a big 'if', admittedly.

ara0062 said...

The city I live in reuses the biofuels to run busses, dump trucks, and fire trucks. It has worked well, cutting costs on these public services.

I agree with you on this Anthony, big business is determined to ruin the bio-fuel market as well as the food market, all for someone to make a buck.

anthonynorth said...

Hi ara0062,
This is true. Once upon a time capitalism had the ethic of service alongside profit. Not no more. Profit is all, regardless.
One day, this must change.