Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Some problems with biofuels

People sometimes ask me why I am not keen on biofuels (except for small local re-used vegetable oil etc. biofuels, which are great.). Let me sketch a parallel.
One day, nuclear fusion might be great -- but not for a long time. In the meantime, vast funds are poured into nuclear research, whereas those funds are needed NOW for tidal, wave, etc.
The biofuels-craze is damaging our planet seriously NOW -- rainforests are being destroyed by the biofuels mania. Yes, there may be _relatively_ undamaging biofuels to come. But in the meantime Greens have to speak up to say that the current generation of biofuels is doing real damage -- now.
I was one of the founders of the East Anglian organisation 'Large Scale Biofuel Concern', which has since been absorbed into the excellent 'Biofuelwatch'. Biofuels on a large-scale are a 'techno-fix', and at present a very damaging one. They are NOT an ecological solution.
Biofuels give people the illusion that they can carry on driving just as much as they presently are.
Greens need to firmly resist the biofuels bubble.
For more info, check out the biofuels articles published at my column (primarily by Andrew Boswell and Jacqui McCarney), at

3 Comments:

Blogger Man in a Shed said...

Many years ago, almost two decades ago, myself and a fellow chemical engineering student had the task of designing a biofuels conversion plant for our final year design project.

We managed to figure out in back of envelope terms the size of the plant, as constrained by resource grown nearby, but the shocking thing was that most of the UK would have to be planted to supply enough fuel for the country - and then what does anyone eat ?

This idea has been an obvious non starter for a long time.

Nuclear power on the other hand makes a lot of sense. What is unforgivable is the ten year delay in getting new capacity built.

17 January 2008 at 00:02  
Blogger Rupert said...

You are right on biofuels; See my earlier posts over the last several days for why I fear you are wrong on nuclear!

17 January 2008 at 21:12  
Blogger Rupert said...

On request, here are links to my key recent anti-nuclear postings:

http://rupertsread.blogspot.com/2008/
01/my-on-air-destruction-of-nuclear.
html

http://ourkingdom.opendemocracy.net
/2008/01/09/our-short-termist-polity-
was-always-going-to-go-nuclear/

http://ourkingdom.opendemocracy.net/
2008/01/03/the-year-ahead-green-mile
stones-and-nuclear-millstones/

17 January 2008 at 21:53  

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1. 2. 3. Rupert's Read: Some problems with biofuels 4. 12. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 23. 24.

25. 26. Some problems with biofuels 27. 28.

29.
People sometimes ask me why I am not keen on biofuels (except for small local re-used vegetable oil etc. biofuels, which are great.). Let me sketch a parallel.
One day, nuclear fusion might be great -- but not for a long time. In the meantime, vast funds are poured into nuclear research, whereas those funds are needed NOW for tidal, wave, etc.
The biofuels-craze is damaging our planet seriously NOW -- rainforests are being destroyed by the biofuels mania. Yes, there may be _relatively_ undamaging biofuels to come. But in the meantime Greens have to speak up to say that the current generation of biofuels is doing real damage -- now.
I was one of the founders of the East Anglian organisation 'Large Scale Biofuel Concern', which has since been absorbed into the excellent 'Biofuelwatch'. Biofuels on a large-scale are a 'techno-fix', and at present a very damaging one. They are NOT an ecological solution.
Biofuels give people the illusion that they can carry on driving just as much as they presently are.
Greens need to firmly resist the biofuels bubble.
For more info, check out the biofuels articles published at my column (primarily by Andrew Boswell and Jacqui McCarney), at
www.oneworldcolumn.org .
30. 31. 32.