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Tuesday, February 12th, 2008SUGGEST NEWS

Biofuels Deemed a Greenhouse Threat
Posted by: Nebuchadnezzar on February 12th, 2008 @ 11:16PM


peekay wrote: - 2008-02-12 23:16:23

This is hilarious: "Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these “green” fuels are taken into account..." - NYTimes
and WSJ


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TheSilver_Ghost
is awesome.

February 12th, 2008 @ 11:52PM

Registered:
2003-03-25
Location:
wisconsin, USA
Posts: 1066
For the most part it's true. That's why we're...well they're looking more into beets oddly enough.
Noss
Peon

February 13th, 2008 @ 3:22AM

Registered:
2004-02-10
Location:
Canada
Posts: 1196
I think biofuels based on corn have this problem but other types of biofuel have much better efficiency in their creation and hopefully the processes can mature to be more efficient.
Disastrous Fate
General

February 13th, 2008 @ 6:42AM

Registered:
2004-02-09
Location:
Posts: 1089
Yeah, as someone who most could consider pretty.. environmental, I gotta say that I have serious issues with biofuels. Its basically leading to a global famine and food prices are about to shoot through the roof. Not only does the fuel used to get this emit bad stuff, but it has led to a whole new round of deforestation in the South. Since forests hold CO2... this is basically another hidden form of greenhouse emissions.

Biofuels are basically just another subsidy for the farmers.
BlueFalcon
Word To Your Mom

February 13th, 2008 @ 9:18AM

Registered:
2003-04-27
Location:
Filth-a-delphia
Posts: 1351
Yeah, I've been reading a lot about the unintended consequences of biofuels. Another excellent summation of problems with the policy of using biofuel to offset petroleum dependence is presented by George Will in an editorial for Newsweek:

LINK

Some interesting lines from that article:

"In 2005, America used 15 percent of its corn crop to supplant less than 2 percent of its gasoline use."

"In 2007, the government-contrived U.S. demand for ethanol was more than half the global increase in demand."

"Water rights (T. Boone Pickens has bought 400,000 acres of them in the Texas Panhandle) are becoming more valuable as ethanol production, which is extremely water-intensive, puts pressure on supplies."

"James and Stephen Eaves, writing in Regulation quarterly, note that if the entire U.S. corn crop were turned into ethanol— it might have to be to meet the goal of 35 billion gallons of biofuels by 2017—it would displace 3.5 percent of gasoline use, just slightly more than would be displaced if drivers properly inflated their tires. And because the United States produces 40 percent of the world's corn supply and 70 percent of global corn exports, turning corn into fuel will damage the world's poor at a time when rising demand will require a tripling of world food production by 2050."


Basically, biofuel does not cut presumed greenhouse gas emissions. Not only that, but it's leading to higher food prices because of increased use of arable land and fertilizers. The only winners here are farmers, biofuel processers like ADM, land speculators, and fertilizer companies. The environment and the consumer are getting screwed.
Justice3865
Peon

February 13th, 2008 @ 9:55AM

Registered:
2003-03-26
Location:
Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 319
I see bio fuels as a stepping stone only, not a solution. Waining ourselves from oil is key to our future and bio fuels are only one temp solution among many to this problem. as new technologies come on-line for new (cleaner) energy production and transportation, the need for bio fuels will diminish. This article in the Feb. 2nd edition of The Economist talks about a new technology for electric cars which I found very interesting. Link
BlueFalcon
Word To Your Mom

February 13th, 2008 @ 10:22AM

Registered:
2003-04-27
Location:
Filth-a-delphia
Posts: 1351
Thanks for sharing that article Justice. Hopefully we'll be seeing 150 mpg in the next 5-10 years.

The silver lining to higher petroleum prices is that there is now the market-driven economic incentive (as opposed to gov't incentives) to innovate. I suppose as we move more toward electric or gas/electric engines, we'll be consuming a lot more electric power. At least with electricity, though, we have other means to produce energy--like nuclear, solar, wind, geo-thermal, and hydro.

I really don't see biofuels as a stepping stone to anything other than a stairway in the wrong direction. It's just another way to wring a little more juice from the same turnip (petroleum-based internal combustion).

EDITED: 2008-02-13 10:23:51
Nassor
Peon

February 13th, 2008 @ 10:25AM

Registered:
2003-03-25
Location:
MN
Posts: 32
Moreover every time you fill up your tank with a biofuel you`re starving a Mexican somewhere. Biofuels have to be one of the more idiotic ideas conceived, the fact that it`s gotten this far proves that environmentalists are idiots who have no clear understanding of science, economics, or for that matter basic morality (in my world view driving any motor vehicle on a food source when most of the world is on the brink of starvation is hugely immoral regardless of any supposed environmental benefit).
tsunugundam
Peon

February 13th, 2008 @ 10:59AM

Registered:
2003-03-25
Location:
Posts: 118
I came across this article talking about producing biofuels by using Bacteria (E.coli to be specific).
TheSilver_Ghost
is awesome.

February 13th, 2008 @ 11:51AM

Registered:
2003-03-25
Location:
wisconsin, USA
Posts: 1066
"I really don't see biofuels as a stepping stone to anything"

You have to keep in mind that there are two issues involved here: the environment, and the oil crisis. We can't really get around the oil crisis; if we make biofuels that are harmful (even equal to the oil) then so be it because we could face a world-wide economic collapse without a source of fuel. It would be nice to have both at the same time, but we don't have many options left to us here.

The government should have been pumping money into this a long, long time ago instead of some retarded war.
netsavior
Marine

February 13th, 2008 @ 12:27PM

Registered:
2003-08-13
Location:
Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 271
the truth is that real solutions to the energy problem are so cost effective to do on a small scale that there will be no need for the quadrillion dollar energy business once we are converted over... it is cheap and easy to make hydrogen in your home, outdoors where it is safe once you have a car that runs on hydrogen, how long till you stop buying from filling stations? Once you have the solar setup at your house, who gets to charge you 15 cents a KWH for burning coal? Nobody.

The infrastructure is set up to keep energy brokers very very wealthy, and if we make any change to that infrastructure they stand to lose a lot of money, so fake solutions such as hybrid SUVs and Corn gas are all we can do, because anything else and the worlds richest stand to lose a lot of cash flow very quickly.
TheSilver_Ghost
is awesome.

February 13th, 2008 @ 12:47PM

Registered:
2003-03-25
Location:
wisconsin, USA
Posts: 1066
it is cheap and easy to make hydrogen in your home, outdoors where it is safe once you have a car that runs on hydrogen, how long till you stop buying from filling stations?

True but then we also have environmental standards which the government must be able to enforce. Hydrogen isn't going to cut it in the long run.
Edit: and think about all the wear and tear on diesel vehicles especially that would come from converting over to hydrogen systems. They'll pretty much wreck a machine, and if you're a farmer, you're in trouble.

EDITED: 2008-02-13 12:48:57
BiVRiP
General

February 13th, 2008 @ 2:04PM

Registered:
2003-05-11
Location:
Canada
Posts: 2018
Deja vu...wasn`t there a similar thread about this awhile back?

The answer then was ZPM`s, right? Where are my ZPM`s!!!
DeuceOfSpades
Kali Compton

February 13th, 2008 @ 2:46PM

Registered:
2003-04-12
Location:
Posts: 3197
anvil
Peon

February 13th, 2008 @ 3:42PM

Registered:
2003-04-09
Location:
Hawaii, USA, Planet Earth, Milky Way arm of the Galaxy
Posts: 73
IMO, the only "true" biofuel is bio-diesel that is converted from used cooking oil.
NinjaCrusader
Peon

February 13th, 2008 @ 6:05PM

Registered:
2004-06-24
Location:
Illinois
Posts: 97
the amount of sunlight required to create enough hydrogen to propel a car is nontrivial. in addition, it has low energy density. combine that with relatively low photovoltaic efficiencies and you have yourself in just as bad a scenario as corn ethanol. cellulosic and microbial/algic ethanol is far more efficient and (soon to be) cost-effective in all stages of production and transport than hydrogen ever will be.
Nalcolm
Thinker

February 14th, 2008 @ 8:55AM

Registered:
2005-04-16
Location:
Posts: 636
IMO, the only "true" biofuel is bio-diesel that is converted from used cooking oil.

Unfortunately diesel (including bio-diesel) gives off a lot of pollution in the form of particulate matter, which is terrible for human health. Bad enough that we try to establish treaties limiting cross-border particulate matter pollution. Diesel just can't scale up to be used as much as gasoline is, not without a severe impact on life expectancy.

Microorganisms that eat plant 'waste' and poop out fuel could be workable. It turned out to be a good solution for bulk production of protein.

I've never thought compressed hydrogen would replace gasoline, but the recent h20-al-ga work is promising and solves most of the problems associated with hydrogen as a fuel source. Unfortunately it will be a long way from market.

I've always figured we'll switch to electric cars, and still think they're the best bet.


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