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Monbiot on palm oil-based biofuels

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  • kiwehtin
    Via Simon Norton on theYahoo! Carfree list, a column by The Guardian s George Monbiot on the ecological destructiveness of biofuels, derived from ever
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 6, 2005
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      Via Simon Norton on theYahoo! "Carfree" list, a column by The
      Guardian's George Monbiot on the ecological destructiveness of
      biofuels, derived from ever expanding cultivation of sugar can and
      palm trees:

      The most destructive crop on earth is no solution to the energy crisis

      By promoting biodiesel as a substitute, we have missed the fact that
      it is worse than the fossil-fuel burning it replaces

      George Monbiot
      Tuesday December 6, 2005
      The Guardian

      Over the past two years I have made an uncomfortable discovery. Like
      most environmentalists, I have been as blind to the constraints
      affecting our energy supply as my opponents have been to climate
      change. I now realise that I have entertained a belief in magic.
      In 2003, the biologist Jeffrey Dukes calculated that the fossil fuels
      we burn in one year were made from organic matter "containing 44 x
      1018 grams of carbon, which is more than 400 times the net primary
      productivity of the planet's current biota". In plain English, this
      means that every year we use four centuries' worth of plants and
      animals.

      The idea that we can simply replace this fossil legacy - and the
      extraordinary power densities it gives us - with ambient energy is
      the stuff of science fiction. There is simply no substitute for
      cutting back. But substitutes are being sought everywhere. They are
      being promoted today at the climate talks in Montreal, by states -
      such as ours - that seek to avoid the hard decisions climate change
      demands. And at least one substitute is worse than the fossil-fuel
      burning it replaces.

      (...)

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,1659036,00.html

      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada
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