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Archive for July, 2008

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul – The Biofuels Conundrum

If you had to choose between between oil and biofuels to standardize on for transportation, the choice was obvious. Biofuels are more Earth friendly, or so it appeared. A recent study by the World Bank found that the hidden costs of producing biofuels has led to the sharp rise seen in the cost of food with 3rd world countries especially affected. In addition, land that had been used to other grow crops U.S. is now being used to grow maize for ethanol production, further impacting the price of food.

The debate over whether or not biofuels are the next energy source to decrease the dependency on oil has been ongoing for sometime, and with the negative effects seen around the world, the debate will only continue to escalate. One outcome of the report from the World Bank is a little re-examination of the aggressive push into biofuels by the UK governement. Hopefully that will lead to a deeper discussion about promoting electric as the preferred alternative, rather than biofuels, to power vehicles.

Read more about this alternative energy in the Guardian’s Q&A on Biofuels.
With the scrutiny on biofuels increasing, everyone should take note of the advances in electric and hybrid vehicles featured today on CNN.
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Corn used for biofuel
Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated – according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.
The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body.
The figure emphatically contradicts the US government’s claims that plant-derived fuels contribute less than 3% to food-price rises. It will add to pressure on governments in Washington and across Europe, which have turned to plant-derived fuels to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce their dependence on imported oil.
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