Scientists: Biofuel laws may harm environment

Income stream. Worth more dead than alive
Income stream. Worth more dead than alive

If you burn ethanol from corn in your car, the government doesn’t count the carbon dioxide that comes out of the tailpipe as an actual carbon emission. That’s because they figure the corn plant originally took that carbon dioxide out of the air, so you’re just putting it back.

But 13 prominent scientists writing in Science says that’s bad logic when it comes to many types of biofuels.

Worse, such loopy logic is part of Kyoto.

Power plants in Northern Europe are starting to chip up wood and burn it for energy in the name of reducing emissions.

“The fundamental effect of this flaw is to make forests worth more dead than alive.”

Then again, maybe the logic isn’t so much loopy as deliberately gamed so big players can make billions in carbon trading.

One comment

  1. The deforestation argument is an important one. But in the case of ethanol from corn, there’s another issue: energy inputs. Because ethanol is so expensive, U.S. producers can’t afford to use it to prodice the energy they need– so they burn fossil fuels instead.

    There’s an easy fix for this, too, but we won’t like it. Stop the government from subsidizing coal and oil production, which it currently does to the tune of tens of billions of dollars every year– of our tax dollars. No wonder oil and coal are cheaper!

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