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Biofuels may threaten environment, U.N. warns
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- The world's rush to embrace biofuels is causing a spike in the price of corn and other crops and could worsen water shortages and force poor communities off their land, a U.N. official said Wednesday.
Originally posted by darkbluesky
What does everyone else think about this bio-fuel situation?
They didn't always account for the energy that would be needed to grow, harvest and refine the fuels. Most importantly, they didn't consider that greenhouse gas-gobbling vegetation would need to be cleared for fuel crops -- or, if these were planted on existing pastures, that new fields would be cleared to make space for displaced food crops.
Put these factors in the equation, and biofuels don't do much good at all. The first study, led by Princton University environmental law researcher Timothy Searchinger, found that replacing fossil fuels with corn-based ethanol -- the darling of the U.S. biofuel industry -- would double greenhouse gas emissions for the next thirty years. Even switchgrass, seen as a far more efficient alternative, would produce a 50% bump in emissions.