Friday, September 21, 2007

Painting an eco-world in black & white...

World-renowned author, scientist, environmentalist and activist David Suzuki -the unequivocal yogi of sustainable ecology- had some veerrrry interesting thoughts on biofuel.

I likey.

This suggestion has been a long time in the making. It seems as though the green movement has somehow severed the tie between technology and rational research. Words like biofuel are now recognized for their "bio" and not their "fuel." We need to get back on track.

Suzuki manages to put some sobering questions on the table, asking about the legitimacy of biofuel and its possible help/hindrance on the environment. Fuel is still fuel, especially when fuel is needed to make fuel.

Here are some highlights:

-Ethanol made from corn only contains marginally more energy than what is needed to produce it.
-We use about a litre's worth of fossil fuels to grow, harvest, process, and transport a litre of corn-based ethanol.
-Making corn-based ethanol is more of an agricultural subsidy for farmers than it is a sound environmental policy.
-Look at the land area that would be needed to grow fuel crops.
-Switching to biofuels would not reduce the demand for fuel, just change the way we get it.
-Substituting just 10 per cent of fossil fuels to biofuels for all our vehicles would require about 40 per cent of the entire cropland in Europe and North America.
-Biofuels alone are not the quick-fix answer to global warming.

More importantly, he puts the house back on its foundation:

-Reducing the amount of fuel we use, no matter what the type, is very important.

Rationally galvanized eco-tech...I love it.

Read his full article HERE.