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Keeping focus: (a) biofuel myths; (b) hydrogen myths.

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  • Eric Britton
    1. I thought this was pretty solid, and would invite comments particularly if you spot weak points. 2. Can you suggest anything that in a few pages does the
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 12 10:52 PM
      1. I thought this was pretty solid, and would invite comments particularly if you spot weak points.

      2. Can you suggest anything that in a few pages does the same kind of let's call it severe honesty for our friend hydrogen technology as a motive source?

      In our work under the New Mobility/Climate Emergency Project (www.climate.newmobility.org) -- and bearing in mind the tough 2007-2012 focus, it is important that we are clear on what is going to work, and why not, in this tight horizon. These summaries come in useful. Also for you I hope.

      The biofuel myths
      By Eric Holt-Giménez

      Tuesday, July 10, 2007
      The term "biofuels" suggests renewable abundance: clean, green,
      sustainable assurance about technology and progress. This pure image
      allows industry, politicians, the World Bank, the United Nations and
      even the International Panel on Climate Change to present fuels made
      from corn, sugarcane, soy and other crops as the next step in a smooth
      transition from peak oil to a yet-to-be-defined renewable fuel
      economy.

      But in reality, biofuel draws its power from cornucopian myths and
      directs our attention away from economic interests that would benefit
      from the transition, while avoiding discussion of the growing
      North-South food and energy imbalance.

      They obscure the political-economic relationships between land,
      people, resources and food, and fail to help us understand the
      profound consequences of the industrial transformation of our food and
      fuel systems. "Agro-fuels" better describes the industrial interests
      behind the transformation, and is the term most widely used in the
      global South

      Industrialized countries started the biofuels boom by demanding
      ambitious renewable-fuel targets. These fuels are to provide 5.75
      percent of Europe's transport power by 2010 and 10 percent by 2020.
      The United States wants 35 billion gallons a year.

      These targets far exceed the agricultural capacities of the industrial
      North. Europe would need to plant 70 percent of its farmland with fuel
      crops. The entire corn and soy harvest of the United States would need
      to be processed as ethanol and biodiesel. Converting most arable land
      to fuel crops would destroy the food systems of the North, so the
      Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development countries are
      looking to the South to meet demand.

      The rapid capitalization and concentration of power within the
      biofuels industry is extreme. Over the past three years, venture
      capital investment in biofuels has increased by 800 percent. Private
      investment is swamping public research institutions.

      Behind the scenes, under the noses of most national antitrust laws,
      giant oil, grain, auto and genetic engineering corporations are
      forming partnerships, and they are consolidating the research,
      production, processing and distribution chains of food and fuel
      systems under one industrial roof.

      Biofuel champions assure us that because fuel crops are renewable,
      they are environment-friendly, can reduce global warming and will
      foster rural development. But the tremendous market power of biofuel
      corporations, coupled with the poor political will of governments to
      regulate their activities, make this unlikely. We need a public
      enquiry into the myths:

      Biofuels are clean and green.

      Because photosynthesis performed by fuel crops removes greenhouse
      gases from the atmosphere and can reduce fossil fuel consumption, we
      are told they are green. But when the full lifecycle of biofuels is
      considered, from land clearing to consumption, the moderate emission
      savings are outweighed by far greater emissions from deforestation,
      burning, peat drainage, cultivation and soil-carbon losses.

      Every ton of palm oil generates 33 tons of carbon dioxide emissions -
      10 times more than petroleum. Tropical forests cleared for sugar cane
      ethanol emit 50 percent more greenhouse gases than the production and
      use of the same amount of gasoline.

      Biofuels will not result in deforestation.

      Proponents of biofuels argue that fuel crops planted on ecologically
      degraded lands will improve rather than destroy the environment.
      Perhaps the government of Brazil had this in mind when it reclassified
      some 200 million hectares of dry-tropical forests, grassland and
      marshes as degraded and apt for cultivation.

      In reality, these are the biodiverse ecosystems of the Atlantic
      Forest, the Cerrado and the Pantanal, occupied by indigenous people,
      subsistence farmers and extensive cattle ranches. The introduction of
      agrofuel plantations will push these communities to the agricultural
      frontier of the Amazon where the devastating patterns of deforestation
      are well known.

      Soybeans supply 40 percent of Brazil's biofuels. NASA has correlated
      their market price with the destruction of the Amazon rainforest -
      currently at nearly 325,000 hectares a year.

      Biofuels will bring rural development.

      In the tropics, 100 hectares dedicated to family farming generates 35
      jobs. Oil-palm and sugarcane provide 10 jobs, eucalyptus two, and
      soybeans a scant half-job per 100 hectares, all poorly paid.

      Until recently, biofuels supplied primarily local and subregional
      markets. Even in the United States, most ethanol plants were small and
      farmer-owned. With the boom, big industry is moving in, centralizing
      operations and creating gargantuan economies of scale.

      Biofuels producers will be dependent on a cabal of companies for their
      seed, inputs, services, processing and sale. They are not likely to
      receive many benefits. Small holders will be forced out of the market
      and off the land. Hundreds of thousands have already been displaced by
      the soybean plantations in the "Republic of Soy," a 50-million hectare
      area in southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay and eastern
      Bolivia.

      Biofuels will not cause hunger.

      Hunger results not from scarcity, but poverty. The world's poorest
      already spend 50 to 80 percent of household income on food. They
      suffer when high fuel prices push up food prices. Now, because food
      and fuel crops compete for land and resources, both increase the price
      of land and water.

      The International Food Policy Research Institute has estimated that
      the price of basic staples will increase 20 to 33 percent by 2010 and
      26 to 135 percent by 2020. Caloric consumption declines as price rises
      by a ratio of 1:2.

      Limits must be placed on the biofuels industry. The North cannot shift
      the burden of overconsumption to the South because the tropics have
      more sunlight, rain and arable land. If biofuels are to be forest- and
      food-friendly, the grain, cane and palm oil industries need to be
      regulated, and not piecemeal.

      Strong, enforceable standards based on limiting land planted for
      biofuels are urgently needed, as are antitrust laws powerful enough to
      prevent the corporate concentration of market power in the industry.
      Sustainable benefits to the countryside will only accrue if biofuels
      are a complement to plans for sustainable rural development, not the
      centerpiece.

      A global moratorium on the expansion of biofuels is needed to develop
      regulatory structures and foster conservation and development
      alternatives to the transition. We need the time to make a better
      transition to food and fuel sovereignty.


      --
      With all good wishes,

      Eric Britton
        
      The Commons: Open Society Sustainability Initiative at www.ecoplan.org        
      Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara                  75006 Paris, France, Europe

      T: +331 4326 1323          
      E: eric.britton@...        
      E Back-up: fekbritton@...  
      Free call via Skype.com to ericbritton

    • Ian Wingrove
      Bio-fuels are not one thing, but a range of different products. The criticisms of some of these crops are spot on and we shouldn t touch them. However there
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 13 7:06 AM
        Message
         
         
        Bio-fuels are not one thing, but a range of different products. The criticisms of some of these crops are spot on and we shouldn't touch them. However there are other fuels - chip fat oil and possibly fuel from garden waste, which seem sensible, but will hardly power the world. Then there are some on the margins which might be acceptable and the possibility of others being okay which haven't been fully developed yet.
         
        What we need is a very tough set of criteria for truely sustainable bio-fuels and a 100% certfification process so that we know if they meet those criteria. My sense of the current market is that this would effectively create the desired moratorium, whilst allowing the better stuff to develop.
         
        Cheers
         
        IW
         
         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Eric Britton
        Sent: 13 July 2007 06:52
        To: WTP&P List; NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] Keeping focus: (a) biofuel myths; (b) hydrogen myths.

        1. I thought this was pretty solid, and would invite comments particularly if you spot weak points.

        2. Can you suggest anything that in a few pages does the same kind of let's call it severe honesty for our friend hydrogen technology as a motive source?

        In our work under the New Mobility/Climate Emergency Project (www.climate. newmobility. org) -- and bearing in mind the tough 2007-2012 focus, it is important that we are clear on what is going to work, and why not, in this tight horizon. These summaries come in useful. Also for you I hope.

        The biofuel myths
        By Eric Holt-Giménez

        Tuesday, July 10, 2007
        The term "biofuels" suggests renewable abundance: clean, green,
        sustainable assurance about technology and progress. This pure image
        allows industry, politicians, the World Bank, the United Nations and
        even the International Panel on Climate Change to present fuels made
        from corn, sugarcane, soy and other crops as the next step in a smooth
        transition from peak oil to a yet-to-be-defined renewable fuel
        economy.

        But in reality, biofuel draws its power from cornucopian myths and
        directs our attention away from economic interests that would benefit
        from the transition, while avoiding discussion of the growing
        North-South food and energy imbalance.

        They obscure the political-economic relationships between land,
        people, resources and food, and fail to help us understand the
        profound consequences of the industrial transformation of our food and
        fuel systems. "Agro-fuels" better describes the industrial interests
        behind the transformation, and is the term most widely used in the
        global South

        Industrialized countries started the biofuels boom by demanding
        ambitious renewable-fuel targets. These fuels are to provide 5.75
        percent of Europe's transport power by 2010 and 10 percent by 2020.
        The United States wants 35 billion gallons a year.

        These targets far exceed the agricultural capacities of the industrial
        North. Europe would need to plant 70 percent of its farmland with fuel
        crops. The entire corn and soy harvest of the United States would need
        to be processed as ethanol and biodiesel. Converting most arable land
        to fuel crops would destroy the food systems of the North, so the
        Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development countries are
        looking to the South to meet demand.

        The rapid capitalization and concentration of power within the
        biofuels industry is extreme. Over the past three years, venture
        capital investment in biofuels has increased by 800 percent. Private
        investment is swamping public research institutions.

        Behind the scenes, under the noses of most national antitrust laws,
        giant oil, grain, auto and genetic engineering corporations are
        forming partnerships, and they are consolidating the research,
        production, processing and distribution chains of food and fuel
        systems under one industrial roof.

        Biofuel champions assure us that because fuel crops are renewable,
        they are environment- friendly, can reduce global warming and will
        foster rural development. But the tremendous market power of biofuel
        corporations, coupled with the poor political will of governments to
        regulate their activities, make this unlikely. We need a public
        enquiry into the myths:

        Biofuels are clean and green.

        Because photosynthesis performed by fuel crops removes greenhouse
        gases from the atmosphere and can reduce fossil fuel consumption, we
        are told they are green. But when the full lifecycle of biofuels is
        considered, from land clearing to consumption, the moderate emission
        savings are outweighed by far greater emissions from deforestation,
        burning, peat drainage, cultivation and soil-carbon losses.

        Every ton of palm oil generates 33 tons of carbon dioxide emissions -
        10 times more than petroleum. Tropical forests cleared for sugar cane
        ethanol emit 50 percent more greenhouse gases than the production and
        use of the same amount of gasoline.

        Biofuels will not result in deforestation.

        Proponents of biofuels argue that fuel crops planted on ecologically
        degraded lands will improve rather than destroy the environment.
        Perhaps the government of Brazil had this in mind when it reclassified
        some 200 million hectares of dry-tropical forests, grassland and
        marshes as degraded and apt for cultivation.

        In reality, these are the biodiverse ecosystems of the Atlantic
        Forest, the Cerrado and the Pantanal, occupied by indigenous people,
        subsistence farmers and extensive cattle ranches. The introduction of
        agrofuel plantations will push these communities to the agricultural
        frontier of the Amazon where the devastating patterns of deforestation
        are well known.

        Soybeans supply 40 percent of Brazil's biofuels. NASA has correlated
        their market price with the destruction of the Amazon rainforest -
        currently at nearly 325,000 hectares a year.

        Biofuels will bring rural development.

        In the tropics, 100 hectares dedicated to family farming generates 35
        jobs. Oil-palm and sugarcane provide 10 jobs, eucalyptus two, and
        soybeans a scant half-job per 100 hectares, all poorly paid.

        Until recently, biofuels supplied primarily local and subregional
        markets. Even in the United States, most ethanol plants were small and
        farmer-owned. With the boom, big industry is moving in, centralizing
        operations and creating gargantuan economies of scale.

        Biofuels producers will be dependent on a cabal of companies for their
        seed, inputs, services, processing and sale. They are not likely to
        receive many benefits. Small holders will be forced out of the market
        and off the land. Hundreds of thousands have already been displaced by
        the soybean plantations in the "Republic of Soy," a 50-million hectare
        area in southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay and eastern
        Bolivia.

        Biofuels will not cause hunger.

        Hunger results not from scarcity, but poverty. The world's poorest
        already spend 50 to 80 percent of household income on food. They
        suffer when high fuel prices push up food prices. Now, because food
        and fuel crops compete for land and resources, both increase the price
        of land and water.

        The International Food Policy Research Institute has estimated that
        the price of basic staples will increase 20 to 33 percent by 2010 and
        26 to 135 percent by 2020. Caloric consumption declines as price rises
        by a ratio of 1:2.

        Limits must be placed on the biofuels industry. The North cannot shift
        the burden of overconsumption to the South because the tropics have
        more sunlight, rain and arable land. If biofuels are to be forest- and
        food-friendly, the grain, cane and palm oil industries need to be
        regulated, and not piecemeal.

        Strong, enforceable standards based on limiting land planted for
        biofuels are urgently needed, as are antitrust laws powerful enough to
        prevent the corporate concentration of market power in the industry.
        Sustainable benefits to the countryside will only accrue if biofuels
        are a complement to plans for sustainable rural development, not the
        centerpiece.

        A global moratorium on the expansion of biofuels is needed to develop
        regulatory structures and foster conservation and development
        alternatives to the transition. We need the time to make a better
        transition to food and fuel sovereignty.


        --
        With all good wishes,

        Eric Britton
          
        The Commons: Open Society Sustainability Initiative at www.ecoplan. org        
        Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara                  75006 Paris, France, Europe

        T: +331 4326 1323          
        E: eric.britton@ ecoplan.org        
        E Back-up: fekbritton@gmail. com  
        Free call via Skype.com to ericbritton

        GLA approved disclaimer
         

        GREATERLONDONAUTHORITY

        EMAIL NOTICE:
        The information in this email may contain confidential or privileged materials. Please read the full email notice at  http://www.london.gov.uk/email-notice.jsp
      • clean.air
        Hi Eric, A disasterous downside not yet identified in moving to Biofuels, is the large increase in commodity prices occuring, for example corn, like any other
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 13 1:47 PM
          Hi Eric,
           
          A disasterous downside not yet identified in moving to Biofuels, is the large increase in commodity prices occuring, for example corn, like any other plant based materials used in conversion of sugar to biofuels, is displaying negative this effect as a result of its populality, used in biofuel production.
           
          In New Zealand there are large price increases now occuring in these foods, being blamed on a rush to buy up all available corn plant based comodities that are used in conversion to biofuels,
           
          "False economics", maybe? so we starve and/or cannot afford fuel to get around?
           
          Biofuels will also increase global warming, and pollution levels as conventional fuels are, and common sence dictates this, consider that just using biofuels generates heat that will warm the earth surface markedly, so where is the rationale in reducing our energy/heating footprint?
           
          Cheers,
          Ken Crispin,
          Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre, N.Z.
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Friday, July 13, 2007 5:52 PM
          Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] Keeping focus: (a) biofuel myths; (b) hydrogen myths.

          1. I thought this was pretty solid, and would invite comments particularly if you spot weak points.

          2. Can you suggest anything that in a few pages does the same kind of let's call it severe honesty for our friend hydrogen technology as a motive source?

          In our work under the New Mobility/Climate Emergency Project (www.climate. newmobility. org) -- and bearing in mind the tough 2007-2012 focus, it is important that we are clear on what is going to work, and why not, in this tight horizon. These summaries come in useful. Also for you I hope.

          The biofuel myths
          By Eric Holt-Giménez

          Tuesday, July 10, 2007
          The term "biofuels" suggests renewable abundance: clean, green,
          sustainable assurance about technology and progress. This pure image
          allows industry, politicians, the World Bank, the United Nations and
          even the International Panel on Climate Change to present fuels made
          from corn, sugarcane, soy and other crops as the next step in a smooth
          transition from peak oil to a yet-to-be-defined renewable fuel
          economy.

          But in reality, biofuel draws its power from cornucopian myths and
          directs our attention away from economic interests that would benefit
          from the transition, while avoiding discussion of the growing
          North-South food and energy imbalance.

          They obscure the political-economic relationships between land,
          people, resources and food, and fail to help us understand the
          profound consequences of the industrial transformation of our food and
          fuel systems. "Agro-fuels" better describes the industrial interests
          behind the transformation, and is the term most widely used in the
          global South

          Industrialized countries started the biofuels boom by demanding
          ambitious renewable-fuel targets. These fuels are to provide 5.75
          percent of Europe's transport power by 2010 and 10 percent by 2020.
          The United States wants 35 billion gallons a year.

          These targets far exceed the agricultural capacities of the industrial
          North. Europe would need to plant 70 percent of its farmland with fuel
          crops. The entire corn and soy harvest of the United States would need
          to be processed as ethanol and biodiesel. Converting most arable land
          to fuel crops would destroy the food systems of the North, so the
          Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development countries are
          looking to the South to meet demand.

          The rapid capitalization and concentration of power within the
          biofuels industry is extreme. Over the past three years, venture
          capital investment in biofuels has increased by 800 percent. Private
          investment is swamping public research institutions.

          Behind the scenes, under the noses of most national antitrust laws,
          giant oil, grain, auto and genetic engineering corporations are
          forming partnerships, and they are consolidating the research,
          production, processing and distribution chains of food and fuel
          systems under one industrial roof.

          Biofuel champions assure us that because fuel crops are renewable,
          they are environment- friendly, can reduce global warming and will
          foster rural development. But the tremendous market power of biofuel
          corporations, coupled with the poor political will of governments to
          regulate their activities, make this unlikely. We need a public
          enquiry into the myths:

          Biofuels are clean and green.

          Because photosynthesis performed by fuel crops removes greenhouse
          gases from the atmosphere and can reduce fossil fuel consumption, we
          are told they are green. But when the full lifecycle of biofuels is
          considered, from land clearing to consumption, the moderate emission
          savings are outweighed by far greater emissions from deforestation,
          burning, peat drainage, cultivation and soil-carbon losses.

          Every ton of palm oil generates 33 tons of carbon dioxide emissions -
          10 times more than petroleum. Tropical forests cleared for sugar cane
          ethanol emit 50 percent more greenhouse gases than the production and
          use of the same amount of gasoline.

          Biofuels will not result in deforestation.

          Proponents of biofuels argue that fuel crops planted on ecologically
          degraded lands will improve rather than destroy the environment.
          Perhaps the government of Brazil had this in mind when it reclassified
          some 200 million hectares of dry-tropical forests, grassland and
          marshes as degraded and apt for cultivation.

          In reality, these are the biodiverse ecosystems of the Atlantic
          Forest, the Cerrado and the Pantanal, occupied by indigenous people,
          subsistence farmers and extensive cattle ranches. The introduction of
          agrofuel plantations will push these communities to the agricultural
          frontier of the Amazon where the devastating patterns of deforestation
          are well known.

          Soybeans supply 40 percent of Brazil's biofuels. NASA has correlated
          their market price with the destruction of the Amazon rainforest -
          currently at nearly 325,000 hectares a year.

          Biofuels will bring rural development.

          In the tropics, 100 hectares dedicated to family farming generates 35
          jobs. Oil-palm and sugarcane provide 10 jobs, eucalyptus two, and
          soybeans a scant half-job per 100 hectares, all poorly paid.

          Until recently, biofuels supplied primarily local and subregional
          markets. Even in the United States, most ethanol plants were small and
          farmer-owned. With the boom, big industry is moving in, centralizing
          operations and creating gargantuan economies of scale.

          Biofuels producers will be dependent on a cabal of companies for their
          seed, inputs, services, processing and sale. They are not likely to
          receive many benefits. Small holders will be forced out of the market
          and off the land. Hundreds of thousands have already been displaced by
          the soybean plantations in the "Republic of Soy," a 50-million hectare
          area in southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay and eastern
          Bolivia.

          Biofuels will not cause hunger.

          Hunger results not from scarcity, but poverty. The world's poorest
          already spend 50 to 80 percent of household income on food. They
          suffer when high fuel prices push up food prices. Now, because food
          and fuel crops compete for land and resources, both increase the price
          of land and water.

          The International Food Policy Research Institute has estimated that
          the price of basic staples will increase 20 to 33 percent by 2010 and
          26 to 135 percent by 2020. Caloric consumption declines as price rises
          by a ratio of 1:2.

          Limits must be placed on the biofuels industry. The North cannot shift
          the burden of overconsumption to the South because the tropics have
          more sunlight, rain and arable land. If biofuels are to be forest- and
          food-friendly, the grain, cane and palm oil industries need to be
          regulated, and not piecemeal.

          Strong, enforceable standards based on limiting land planted for
          biofuels are urgently needed, as are antitrust laws powerful enough to
          prevent the corporate concentration of market power in the industry.
          Sustainable benefits to the countryside will only accrue if biofuels
          are a complement to plans for sustainable rural development, not the
          centerpiece.

          A global moratorium on the expansion of biofuels is needed to develop
          regulatory structures and foster conservation and development
          alternatives to the transition. We need the time to make a better
          transition to food and fuel sovereignty.


          --
          With all good wishes,

          Eric Britton
            
          The Commons: Open Society Sustainability Initiative at www.ecoplan. org        
          Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara                  75006 Paris, France, Europe

          T: +331 4326 1323          
          E: eric.britton@ ecoplan.org        
          E Back-up: fekbritton@gmail. com  
          Free call via Skype.com to ericbritton

        • Stefan Langeveld
          This article points out the main downsides of agrofuels, as they should be called. and
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 16 5:30 AM
            This article points out the main downsides of agrofuels, as they should be called.
            and < the  profound consequences of the industrial transformation of our food and  fuel systems.>
            Indeed it also applies to our food system, where a lot of land and resources are needed to produce meats.  We should move  back to animals grazing in fields nearby (mixing livestock with agriculture) or the backyard, or the park.
            Another characteristic of the agro-industry is its creation of surplusses. Marketing has long been crucial to promote the uptake of new products made with corn, milk and/or sugar.  The agrofuelsurge fits in with this type of production. 

            And hydrogen is going nowhere fast.
            BP's only UK hydrogen filling station has been demolished after only three year's use. 
            There are several links on Baluw to H2-analyses . 


            --- In NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Eric Britton" <eric.britton@...> wrote:
            >
            > 1. I thought this was pretty solid, and would invite comments particularly
            > if you spot weak points.
            >
            > 2. Can you suggest anything that in a few pages does the same kind of let's
            > call it severe honesty for our friend hydrogen technology as a motive
            > source?
            >
            > In our work under the New Mobility/Climate Emergency Project (
            > www.climate.newmobility.org) -- and bearing in mind the tough 2007-2012
            > focus, it is important that we are clear on what is going to work, and why
            > not, in this tight horizon. These summaries come in useful. Also for you I
            > hope.
            >
            > The biofuel myths
            > By Eric Holt-Gim�nez
            >
            > Tuesday, July 10, 2007
            > The term "biofuels" suggests renewable abundance: clean, green,
            > sustainable assurance about technology and progress. This pure image
            > allows industry, politicians, the World Bank, the United Nations and
            > even the International Panel on Climate Change to present fuels made
            > from corn, sugarcane, soy and other crops as the next step in a smooth
            > transition from peak oil to a yet-to-be-defined renewable fuel
            > economy.
            >
            > But in reality, biofuel draws its power from cornucopian myths and
            > directs our attention away from economic interests that would benefit
            > from the transition, while avoiding discussion of the growing
            > North-South food and energy imbalance.
            >
            > They obscure the political-economic relationships between land,
            > people, resources and food, and fail to help us understand the
            > profound consequences of the industrial transformation of our food and
            > fuel systems. "Agro-fuels" better describes the industrial interests
            > behind the transformation, and is the term most widely used in the
            > global South
            >
            > Industrialized countries started the biofuels boom by demanding
            > ambitious renewable-fuel targets. These fuels are to provide 5.75
            > percent of Europe's transport power by 2010 and 10 percent by 2020.
            > The United States wants 35 billion gallons a year.
            >
            > These targets far exceed the agricultural capacities of the industrial
            > North. Europe would need to plant 70 percent of its farmland with fuel
            > crops. The entire corn and soy harvest of the United States would need
            > to be processed as ethanol and biodiesel. Converting most arable land
            > to fuel crops would destroy the food systems of the North, so the
            > Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development countries are
            > looking to the South to meet demand.
            >
            > The rapid capitalization and concentration of power within the
            > biofuels industry is extreme. Over the past three years, venture
            > capital investment in biofuels has increased by 800 percent. Private
            > investment is swamping public research institutions.
            >
            > Behind the scenes, under the noses of most national antitrust laws,
            > giant oil, grain, auto and genetic engineering corporations are
            > forming partnerships, and they are consolidating the research,
            > production, processing and distribution chains of food and fuel
            > systems under one industrial roof.
            >
            > Biofuel champions assure us that because fuel crops are renewable,
            > they are environment-friendly, can reduce global warming and will
            > foster rural development. But the tremendous market power of biofuel
            > corporations, coupled with the poor political will of governments to
            > regulate their activities, make this unlikely. We need a public
            > enquiry into the myths:
            >
            > Biofuels are clean and green.
            >
            > Because photosynthesis performed by fuel crops removes greenhouse
            > gases from the atmosphere and can reduce fossil fuel consumption, we
            > are told they are green. But when the full lifecycle of biofuels is
            > considered, from land clearing to consumption, the moderate emission
            > savings are outweighed by far greater emissions from deforestation,
            > burning, peat drainage, cultivation and soil-carbon losses.
            >
            > Every ton of palm oil generates 33 tons of carbon dioxide emissions -
            > 10 times more than petroleum. Tropical forests cleared for sugar cane
            > ethanol emit 50 percent more greenhouse gases than the production and
            > use of the same amount of gasoline.
            >
            > Biofuels will not result in deforestation.
            >
            > Proponents of biofuels argue that fuel crops planted on ecologically
            > degraded lands will improve rather than destroy the environment.
            > Perhaps the government of Brazil had this in mind when it reclassified
            > some 200 million hectares of dry-tropical forests, grassland and
            > marshes as degraded and apt for cultivation.
            >
            > In reality, these are the biodiverse ecosystems of the Atlantic
            > Forest, the Cerrado and the Pantanal, occupied by indigenous people,
            > subsistence farmers and extensive cattle ranches. The introduction of
            > agrofuel plantations will push these communities to the agricultural
            > frontier of the Amazon where the devastating patterns of deforestation
            > are well known.
            >
            > Soybeans supply 40 percent of Brazil's biofuels. NASA has correlated
            > their market price with the destruction of the Amazon rainforest -
            > currently at nearly 325,000 hectares a year.
            >
            > Biofuels will bring rural development.
            >
            > In the tropics, 100 hectares dedicated to family farming generates 35
            > jobs. Oil-palm and sugarcane provide 10 jobs, eucalyptus two, and
            > soybeans a scant half-job per 100 hectares, all poorly paid.
            >
            > Until recently, biofuels supplied primarily local and subregional
            > markets. Even in the United States, most ethanol plants were small and
            > farmer-owned. With the boom, big industry is moving in, centralizing
            > operations and creating gargantuan economies of scale.
            >
            > Biofuels producers will be dependent on a cabal of companies for their
            > seed, inputs, services, processing and sale. They are not likely to
            > receive many benefits. Small holders will be forced out of the market
            > and off the land. Hundreds of thousands have already been displaced by
            > the soybean plantations in the "Republic of Soy," a 50-million hectare
            > area in southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay and eastern
            > Bolivia.
            >
            > Biofuels will not cause hunger.
            >
            > Hunger results not from scarcity, but poverty. The world's poorest
            > already spend 50 to 80 percent of household income on food. They
            > suffer when high fuel prices push up food prices. Now, because food
            > and fuel crops compete for land and resources, both increase the price
            > of land and water.
            >
            > The International Food Policy Research Institute has estimated that
            > the price of basic staples will increase 20 to 33 percent by 2010 and
            > 26 to 135 percent by 2020. Caloric consumption declines as price rises
            > by a ratio of 1:2.
            >
            > Limits must be placed on the biofuels industry. The North cannot shift
            > the burden of overconsumption to the South because the tropics have
            > more sunlight, rain and arable land. If biofuels are to be forest- and
            > food-friendly, the grain, cane and palm oil industries need to be
            > regulated, and not piecemeal.
            >
            > Strong, enforceable standards based on limiting land planted for
            > biofuels are urgently needed, as are antitrust laws powerful enough to
            > prevent the corporate concentration of market power in the industry.
            > Sustainable benefits to the countryside will only accrue if biofuels
            > are a complement to plans for sustainable rural development, not the
            > centerpiece.
            >
            > A global moratorium on the expansion of biofuels is needed to develop
            > regulatory structures and foster conservation and development
            > alternatives to the transition. We need the time to make a better
            > transition to food and fuel sovereignty.
            >
            >
            > --
            > With all good wishes,
            >
            > Eric Britton
            >
            > The Commons: Open Society Sustainability Initiative at www.ecoplan.org
            >
            > Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara 75006 Paris, France, Europe
            >
            > T: +331 4326 1323
            > E: eric.britton@...
            > E Back-up: fekbritton@...
            > Free call via Skype.com to ericbritton
            >
          • Richard Layman
            in a blog entry I wrote about this a couple years ago, I termed it next generation asphalt nation. The search for some technological energy fix is designed
            Message 5 of 5 , Jul 16 8:56 AM
              in a blog entry I wrote about this a couple years ago, I termed it "next generation asphalt nation."  The search for some technological energy fix is designed to allow current transportation and land use paradigms to continue forward unimpeded. 
               
              Richard Layman
              urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com

              Stefan Langeveld <slangeveld@...> wrote:
              This article points out the main downsides of agrofuels, as they should be called.
              and < the  profound consequences of the industrial transformation of our food and  fuel systems.>
              Indeed it also applies to our food system, where a lot of land and resources are needed to produce meats.  We should move  back to animals grazing in fields nearby (mixing livestock with agriculture) or the backyard, or the park.
              Another characteristic of the agro-industry is its creation of surplusses. Marketing has long been crucial to promote the uptake of new products made with corn, milk and/or sugar.  The agrofuelsurge fits in with this type of production. 

              And hydrogen is going nowhere fast.
              BP's only UK hydrogen filling station has been demolished after only three year's use. 
              There are several links on Baluw to H2-analyses . 


              --- In NewMobilityCafe@ yahoogroups. com, "Eric Britton" <eric.britton@ ...> wrote:
              >
              > 1. I thought this was pretty solid, and would invite comments particularly
              > if you spot weak points.
              >
              > 2. Can you suggest anything that in a few pages does the same kind of let's
              > call it severe honesty for our friend hydrogen technology as a motive
              > source?
              >
              > In our work under the New Mobility/Climate Emergency Project (
              > www.climate. newmobility. org) -- and bearing in mind the tough 2007-2012
              > focus, it is important that we are clear on what is going to work, and why
              > not, in this tight horizon. These summaries come in useful. Also for you I
              > hope.
              >
              > The biofuel myths
              > By Eric Holt-Gim�nez
              >
              > Tuesday, July 10, 2007
              > The term "biofuels" suggests renewable abundance: clean, green,
              > sustainable assurance about technology and progress. This pure image
              > allows industry, politicians, the World Bank, the United Nations and
              > even the International Panel on Climate Change to present fuels made
              > from corn, sugarcane, soy and other crops as the next step in a smooth
              > transition from peak oil to a yet-to-be-defined renewable fuel
              > economy.
              >
              > But in reality, biofuel draws its power from cornucopian myths and
              > directs our attention away from economic interests that would benefit
              > from the transition, while avoiding discussion of the growing
              > North-South food and energy imbalance.
              >
              > They obscure the political-economic relationships between land,
              > people, resources and food, and fail to help us understand the
              > profound consequences of the industrial transformation of our food and
              > fuel systems. "Agro-fuels" better describes the industrial interests
              > behind the transformation, and is the term most widely used in the
              > global South
              >
              > Industrialized countries started the biofuels boom by demanding
              > ambitious renewable-fuel targets. These fuels are to provide 5.75
              > percent of Europe's transport power by 2010 and 10 percent by 2020.
              > The United States wants 35 billion gallons a year.
              >
              > These targets far exceed the agricultural capacities of the industrial
              > North. Europe would need to plant 70 percent of its farmland with fuel
              > crops. The entire corn and soy harvest of the United States would need
              > to be processed as ethanol and biodiesel. Converting most arable land
              > to fuel crops would destroy the food systems of the North, so the
              > Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development countries are
              > looking to the South to meet demand.
              >
              > The rapid capitalization and concentration of power within the
              > biofuels industry is extreme. Over the past three years, venture
              > capital investment in biofuels has increased by 800 percent. Private
              > investment is swamping public research institutions.
              >
              > Behind the scenes, under the noses of most national antitrust laws,
              > giant oil, grain, auto and genetic engineering corporations are
              > forming partnerships, and they are consolidating the research,
              > production, processing and distribution chains of food and fuel
              > systems under one industrial roof.
              >
              > Biofuel champions assure us that because fuel crops are renewable,
              > they are environment- friendly, can reduce global warming and will
              > foster rural development. But the tremendous market power of biofuel
              > corporations, coupled with the poor political will of governments to
              > regulate their activities, make this unlikely. We need a public
              > enquiry into the myths:
              >
              > Biofuels are clean and green.
              >
              > Because photosynthesis performed by fuel crops removes greenhouse
              > gases from the atmosphere and can reduce fossil fuel consumption, we
              > are told they are green. But when the full lifecycle of biofuels is
              > considered, from land clearing to consumption, the moderate emission
              > savings are outweighed by far greater emissions from deforestation,
              > burning, peat drainage, cultivation and soil-carbon losses.
              >
              > Every ton of palm oil generates 33 tons of carbon dioxide emissions -
              > 10 times more than petroleum. Tropical forests cleared for sugar cane
              > ethanol emit 50 percent more greenhouse gases than the production and
              > use of the same amount of gasoline.
              >
              > Biofuels will not result in deforestation.
              >
              > Proponents of biofuels argue that fuel crops planted on ecologically
              > degraded lands will improve rather than destroy the environment.
              > Perhaps the government of Brazil had this in mind when it reclassified
              > some 200 million hectares of dry-tropical forests, grassland and
              > marshes as degraded and apt for cultivation.
              >
              > In reality, these are the biodiverse ecosystems of the Atlantic
              > Forest, the Cerrado and the Pantanal, occupied by indigenous people,
              > subsistence farmers and extensive cattle ranches. The introduction of
              > agrofuel plantations will push these communities to the agricultural
              > frontier of the Amazon where the devastating patterns of deforestation
              > are well known.
              >
              > Soybeans supply 40 percent of Brazil's biofuels. NASA has correlated
              > their market price with the destruction of the Amazon rainforest -
              > currently at nearly 325,000 hectares a year.
              >
              > Biofuels will bring rural development.
              >
              > In the tropics, 100 hectares dedicated to family farming generates 35
              > jobs. Oil-palm and sugarcane provide 10 jobs, eucalyptus two, and
              > soybeans a scant half-job per 100 hectares, all poorly paid.
              >
              > Until recently, biofuels supplied primarily local and subregional
              > markets. Even in the United States, most ethanol plants were small and
              > farmer-owned. With the boom, big industry is moving in, centralizing
              > operations and creating gargantuan economies of scale.
              >
              > Biofuels producers will be dependent on a cabal of companies for their
              > seed, inputs, services, processing and sale. They are not likely to
              > receive many benefits. Small holders will be forced out of the market
              > and off the land. Hundreds of thousands have already been displaced by
              > the soybean plantations in the "Republic of Soy," a 50-million hectare
              > area in southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay and eastern
              > Bolivia.
              >
              > Biofuels will not cause hunger.
              >
              > Hunger results not from scarcity, but poverty. The world's poorest
              > already spend 50 to 80 percent of household income on food. They
              > suffer when high fuel prices push up food prices. Now, because food
              > and fuel crops compete for land and resources, both increase the price
              > of land and water.
              >
              > The International Food Policy Research Institute has estimated that
              > the price of basic staples will increase 20 to 33 percent by 2010 and
              > 26 to 135 percent by 2020. Caloric consumption declines as price rises
              > by a ratio of 1:2.
              >
              > Limits must be placed on the biofuels industry. The North cannot shift
              > the burden of overconsumption to the South because the tropics have
              > more sunlight, rain and arable land. If biofuels are to be forest- and
              > food-friendly, the grain, cane and palm oil industries need to be
              > regulated, and not piecemeal.
              >
              > Strong, enforceable standards based on limiting land planted for
              > biofuels are urgently needed, as are antitrust laws powerful enough to
              > prevent the corporate concentration of market power in the industry.
              > Sustainable benefits to the countryside will only accrue if biofuels
              > are a complement to plans for sustainable rural development, not the
              > centerpiece.
              >
              > A global moratorium on the expansion of biofuels is needed to develop
              > regulatory structures and foster conservation and development
              > alternatives to the transition. We need the time to make a better
              > transition to food and fuel sovereignty.
              >
              >
              > --
              > With all good wishes,
              >
              > Eric Britton
              >
              > The Commons: Open Society Sustainability Initiative at www.ecoplan. org
              >
              > Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara 75006 Paris, France, Europe
              >
              > T: +331 4326 1323
              > E: eric.britton@ ...
              > E Back-up: fekbritton@. ..
              > Free call via Skype.com to ericbritton
              >



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