Unintended consequences strike again

From the Washington Post, Studies Say Clearing Land for Biofuels Will Aid Warming:

One study — written by a group of researchers from Princeton University, Woods Hole Research Center and Iowa State University along with an agriculture consultant — concluded that over 30 years, use of traditional corn-based ethanol would produce twice as much greenhouse gas emissions as regular gasoline. Another analysis, written by a Nature Conservancy scientist along with University of Minnesota researchers, found that converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas or grasslands in Southeast Asia and Latin America to produce biofuels will increase global warming pollution for decades, if not centuries.

Also in the same article:

There is an urgent need for policy that ensures biofuels are not produced on productive forest, grassland or cropland.

Oh, so you expect you can just start growing corn or some other high energy crop on a bare, wind swept rock?

And finally this:

This is a good way of showing where we are, not where we’re going to be,” said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who is chairman of a House global warming panel and who helped write the energy legislation. Noting that the measure set benchmarks requiring any new ethanol plants to produce a fuel that is 20 percent more efficient than gasoline, and even more stringent standards for advanced biofuels,

I have a sneaking suspicious they misspelled that guys name. I’m thinking it should be Malarkey.

Ethanol has less energy content that gasoline. Unless they can produce something other than ethanol from the biomass the end result is they are doing the equivalent of legislating PI is equal to 3.00.

I’m laughing all the way to the bank.


4 thoughts on “Unintended consequences strike again

  1. Well, if the bioengineers can breed the right strain of high-oil algae then they could be raised on “windswept rock” in bioreactors since they only need water, CO2 and light to grow.

    That would require paying attention to something other than the corn-moonshine rabbit, which is why this sort of thinking will only come from the free market, not Iowa Washington.

  2. What? You mean to suggest that CO2 is a plant nutrient? Who knew? We were recently informed that CO2 is officially a pollutant.

    Look for proposals that we should be forced to stop breathing. You do know that socialism is a death cult, don’t you? Well, you’ll find out sooner or later.

  3. Gods I *hate* that everyone seems to equate “biofuel” and “corn ethanol”. Corn ethanol is only one biofuel, and arguably one of the poorest.

    As Joseph says, current strains of algae could be used to produce biodiesel on otherwise unproductive land (think southwest desert in seawater), and the strains will only get better. Jatropha weed is also a good alternative that can be grown on marginal land.

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