Sunday, December 10, 2006

Biofuels - the truth!

Here's a letter I've just sent to the Independent:

"It’s time to nail the lie that bio-fuels are carbon-neutral. (Brown’s ‘green’ tax changes hit biofuel, 8th November) Growing crops for bio-fuel absorbs the carbon that bio-fuels emit, but it does not remove the emissions created in planting, fertilising, harvesting, transporting and processing these crops before they can be made into fuel.
Bio-fuels are not green. The EU demands that 5.75% of all road fuel should be biofuel by next year but we will have to import the crops to meet this target because Europe does not have enough agricultural land. In Brazil they cut down the rain forest to grow more sugar cane for ethanol; in Malaysia they cut down the rain forest to grow oil palms; in the US they subsidise the production of ethanol from wheat and maize, leaving less grain surpluses for needy nations.
The truth is that in the face of climate change and energy shortages we are desperately seeking substitute fuels so that we can continue our present lifestyles. It is time we managed energy demand rather than assuming we will always be able to expand supply. We must plan for fundamental changes; otherwise the imminent oil shock, gas shock, electricity shock and very-cold-houses shock really will be a shock."

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