The ugly side of biofuels

As with every thing in life there are compromises. This article on the Celsias blog, and its associated links, provides much food for thought on the negative impacts of biofuel production.

With the current water crisis in Australia should we be growing crops for biofuel feedstock instead of concentrating on water efficient food production? Probably not. Should we be causing the devastation of Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests by purchasing palm oil to make biodiesel? Definitely not but that is what will soon be happening in Darwin!

It’s one thing to screw up our own country but to help screw up other countries is not in the spirit of alternative fuel use. We need to find a sustainable alternative fuel solution(s) to Australia’s transport needs. There is every chance that those solutions won’t be the most politically palatable or economically viable but what’s the point if they are not truly sustainable.

Postscript: 03 Feb 07

Celsias publish another article on the ugly side of biofuels. This time highlighting how World Trade Organisation rules have promoted Indonesian deforestation.


One Response

  1. Bifuel has been discussed for as VERY long time. Biodiesel was originally designed to make fuel out of agricultural waste but the danger of competition with food crops was widely acknowledged. How the Europeans managed to overlook this issue suggests that the decision makers were either ill informed or ill intentioned with the short term quick fix mentality that generated the Melanine scandal in China. This is not an encouraging thought.

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