BIODIESEL & SVO DISCUSSION FORUMS





Sponsors    Biodiesel and SVO Forums Home    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) as fuel  Hop To Forums  General SVO Discussion    NY Times article on biofuels and greenhouse gases
Page 1 2 3 

Moderators: Shaun, The Trouts
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
NY Times article on biofuels and greenhouse gases
 Login/Join
 
member
posted
This article just appeared. Text is below.

Studies Deem Biofuels a Greenhouse Threat

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, two studies being published Thursday have concluded.

The benefits of biofuels have come under increasing attack in recent months, as scientists took a closer look at the global environmental cost of their production. These latest studies, published in the prestigious journal Science, are likely to add to the controversy.

These studies for the first time take a detailed, comprehensive look at the emissions effects of the huge amount of natural land that is being converted to cropland globally to support biofuels development.

The destruction of natural ecosystems — whether rain forest in the tropics or grasslands in South America — not only releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when they are burned and plowed, but also deprives the planet of natural sponges to absorb carbon emissions. Cropland also absorbs far less carbon than the rain forests or even scrubland that it replaces.

Together the two studies offer sweeping conclusions: It does not matter if it is rain forest or scrubland that is cleared, the greenhouse gas contribution is significant. More important, they discovered that, taken globally, the production of almost all biofuels resulted, directly or indirectly, intentionally or not, in new lands being cleared, either for food or fuel.

“When you take this into account, most of the biofuel that people are using or planning to use would probably increase greenhouse gasses substantially,” said Timothy Searchinger, lead author of one of the studies and a researcher in environment and economics at Princeton University. “Previously there’s been an accounting error: land use change has been left out of prior analysis.”

These plant-based fuels were originally billed as better than fossil fuels because the carbon released when they were burned was balanced by the carbon absorbed when the plants grew. But even that equation proved overly simplistic because the process of turning plants into fuels causes its own emissions — for refining and transport, for example.

The clearance of grassland releases 93 times the amount of greenhouse gas that would be saved by the fuel made annually on that land, said Joseph Fargione, lead author of the second paper, and a scientist at the Nature Conservancy. “So for the next 93 years you’re making climate change worse, just at the time when we need to be bringing down carbon emissions.”

The Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change has said that the world has to reverse the increase of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 to avert disastrous environment consequences.

In the wake of the new studies, a group of 10 of the United States’s most eminent ecologists and environmental biologists today sent a letter to President Bush and the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, urging a reform of biofuels policies. “We write to call your attention to recent research indicating that many anticipated biofuels will actually exacerbate global warming,” the letter said.

The European Union and a number of European countries have recently tried to address the land use issue with proposals stipulating that imported biofuels cannot come from land that was previously rain forest.

But even with such restrictions in place, Dr. Searchinger’s study shows, the purchase of biofuels in Europe and the United States leads indirectly to the destruction of natural habitats far afield.

For instance, if vegetable oil prices go up globally, as they have because of increased demand for biofuel crops, more new land is inevitably cleared as farmers in developing countries try to get in on the profits. So crops from old plantations go to Europe for biofuels, while new fields are cleared to feed people at home.

Likewise, Dr. Fargione said that the dedication of so much cropland in the United States to growing corn for bioethanol had caused indirect land use changes far away. Previously, Midwestern farmers had alternated corn with soy in their fields, one year to the next. Now many grow only corn, meaning that soy has to be grown elsewhere.

Increasingly, that elsewhere, Dr. Fargione said, is Brazil, on land that was previously forest or savanna. “Brazilian farmers are planting more of the world’s soybeans — and they’re deforesting the Amazon to do it,” he said.

International environmental groups, including the United Nations, responded cautiously to the studies, saying that biofuels could still be useful. “We don’t want a total public backlash that would prevent us from getting the potential benefits,” said Nicholas Nuttall, spokesman for the United National Energy Program, who said the United Nations had recently created a new panel to study the evidence.

“There was an unfortunate effort to dress up biofuels as the silver bullet of climate change,” he said. “We fully believe that if biofuels are to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, there urgently needs to be better sustainability criterion.”

The European Union has set a target that countries use 5.75 percent biofuel for transport by the end of 2008. Proposals in the United States energy package would require that 15 percent of all transport fuels be made from biofuel by 2022. To reach these goals, biofuels production is heavily subsidized at many levels on both continents, supporting a burgeoning global industry.

Syngenta, the Swiss agricultural giant, announced Thursday that its annual profits had risen 75 percent in the last year, in part because of rising demand for biofuels.

Industry groups, like the Renewable Fuels Association, immediately attacked the new studies as “simplistic,” failing “to put the issue into context.”

“While it is important to analyze the climate change consequences of differing energy strategies, we must all remember where we are today, how world demand for liquid fuels is growing, and what the realistic alternatives are to meet those growing demands,” said Bob Dineen, the group’s director, in a statement following the Science reports’ release.

“Biofuels like ethanol are the only tool readily available that can begin to address the challenges of energy security and environmental protection,” he said.

The European Biodiesel Board says that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gasses by 50 to 95 percent compared to conventional fuel, and has other advantages as well, like providing new income for farmers and energy security for Europe in the face of rising global oil prices and shrinking supply.

But the papers published Thursday suggested that, if land use is taken into account, biofuels may not provide all the benefits once anticipated.

Dr. Searchinger said the only possible exception he could see for now was sugar cane grown in Brazil, which take relatively little energy to grow and is readily refined into fuel. He added that governments should quickly turn their attention to developing biofuels that did not require cropping, such as those from agricultural waste products.

“This land use problem is not just a secondary effect — it was often just a footnote in prior papers,”. “It is major. The comparison with fossil fuels is going to be adverse for virtually all biofuels on cropland.”


1984 Volvo 240
Elsbett 1 tank/glow plugs/injector nozzles/FPHE/fuel filter heater system, block heater, ILH
20%Kero, 80%WVO winter blend
 
Location: New Jersey | Registered: August 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
problem is their assuming all then crops needed for biofuel fuels will come from land not yet cleared.... are you freeaking nuts.... in America no way. It will come from farmers with existing crop lands who are bing paid subsidies to grow stuff no longer very marketable. It will come from places already cleared and EASY to grow a new fuel crop on not land that will take money to clear, plant and estabilish as a whole new farm. Thats a waste of money.


_________________________
If you believe you can't YOUR RIGHT;

But equally so.... if you believe you can, YOUR RIGHT as well.
 
Location: North Tx | Registered: November 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
The amount of idle US cropland is actually insignificant
http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/July06SpecialIssue/I...ators/BehindData.htm

Besides America has already depleted the groundwater supply and simply does not have the water or land to grow anymore than they do. Much of the land is used for growing animal feed. Vehicle fuel or hamburgers, which do you want more?

Biofuels will never amount to much because it will always be cheaper to make diesel fuel from coal or tar sands.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
member
posted Hide Post
Studies are only as accurrate as the authors are expert.
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jeepin, moggin Jessup (coachgeo):Thats a waste of money.


IMO that what's wrong with US ethanol production. Using corn is so much less efficient than using sugar cane, as Brazil does. Without government subsidies the US ethanol industry would collapse.


______________________________________
'97 Ford F-350 7.3L PSD - Plant Drive kit
'84 Mercedes Euro 300D NA - Custom two-tank
Running on
vegoil and biodiesel since May 2006

 
Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: February 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by hheynow:
IMO that what's wrong with US ethanol production. Using corn is so much less efficient than using sugar cane, as Brazil does. Without government subsidies the US ethanol industry would collapse.


Switchgrass is the way to go. The infrastructure is not there yet to produce ethanol from it but once it is the energy yield from ethanol shoots up drastically.


1984 Mercedes 300SD
1994 Chev 6.5 Suburban
 
Location: MN | Registered: April 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



member
posted Hide Post
My concern is that legislation would be written, with the influence of the petrochemical (oil and natural gas, which is used to produce fertilizer) that will favor ethanol production, and discourage the use of fuels from recycled sources, like WVO. Most bioD is imported, and tax credits are given to the importer/blenders. That is wrong and should be eliminated. But more knowledgeable people need to be involved in the process of writing the legislation.


1984 Volvo 240
Elsbett 1 tank/glow plugs/injector nozzles/FPHE/fuel filter heater system, block heater, ILH
20%Kero, 80%WVO winter blend
 
Location: New Jersey | Registered: August 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Graplr:
Switchgrass is the way to go. The infrastructure is not there yet to produce ethanol from it but once it is the energy yield from ethanol shoots up drastically.


Well, it's right around the corner. Last month at the NAIAS (the auto show in Detroit) Rick Wagoner announced that GM is partnering with a firm to produce ethanol from waste. Supposed to be a whole lot cheaper. Here is the article from the International Herald Tribune:


GM buys stake in ethanol made from waste
By Matthew L. Wald
General Motors, eager to ensure a supply of fuel for the big fleet of flex-fuel ethanol-capable vehicles it is building, has joined the rush into alternative energy and invested in a company that intends to produce ethanol from crop wastes, wood chips, scrap plastic, rubber and even municipal garbage.

Rick Wagoner, GM's chairman and chief executive, announced the investment on Sunday in a speech at the opening of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The company purchased an equity stake in Coskata, a start-up company in Warrenville, Illinois, that plans to make ethanol without using corn. GM would not say how much it paid or how big a stake it took in the company.

Coskata plans to build a pilot-scale plant this year in Warrenville, William Roe, the president and chief executive of Coskata, said in a briefing with reporters last week. It has demonstrated all the phases of its technology but has not linked them together in an operating plant, he acknowledged.

Putting money into the fuel business is new for car companies, said Jeffrey Leetsma, the president of the Automotive Hall of Fame, in Dearborn, Michigan, and a car historian. "I think this could be new ground," he said.

Henry Ford, he said, established rubber plantations in Brazil to try to break the Dutch cartel, but in the modern era the car companies have generally not invested in fuel.

"I don't really see the logic of it," said Christopher Flavin, president of the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington environmental group. "It's not particularly an industry they know well, or have expertise in." Companies like GM, he said, could be more effective by concentrating on the fuel efficiency of their products..

But Lee Schipper, a visiting scholar at the transportation center of the University of California, Berkeley, said that a new method to make ethanol "presents them with a way of wiggling the industry out of fuel economy standards." California is seeking a standard based on how much carbon is added to the atmosphere, he said, and ethanol made from waste materials could result in substantially less carbon per mile.

"If I were that company and I really believed in the process, why wait for someone else to invest?" he said.

Coskata is one of many companies, and far from the leader, in an emerging world of start-up firms that are making alternative fuels with a mix-and-match approach to existing technologies. In Coskata's case it is a combination of gasification and bacterial action.

The first step is cooking the raw feedstock into synthesis gas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. That gas is cooled and fed to bacteria that consume it and excrete ethanol.

Coskata is not the only company pursuing the gas-to-bacteria-to-fuel route, but claims its process gives more ethanol per ton of raw material — 100 gallons — and uses less water, less than one gallon for each gallon of ethanol.

If it can be done economically, the Coskata process has three large advantages over corn-based ethanol, according to General Motors. First, it uses a cheaper feedstock that would not compete with food production. Second, the feedstock is available all over the country, a crucial point since ethanol cannot be shipped from the corn belt to areas of high gasoline demand in existing pipelines.

In addition, the process appears to require less electricity and natural gas, meaning that making it would not release as much carbon. The product would qualify for a U.S. government tax exemption for ethanol.

Roe said that "at full production, Coskata ethanol should be 50 cents to $1 cheaper than gasoline at the pump," and that the total production cost would be under $1 a gallon when the fuel begins flowing in 2010 or 2011. Mary Beth Stanek, GM's director for energy and environment, said the process showed "near-term readiness" and that no scientific work was involved to commercialize it.

"It's literally just physical building," she said. Her company intends to help get the fuel into pumps around the country, she said. Many of GM's vehicles are already capable of running on a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, but that fuel has not become widely available. Most ethanol is used in a blend with 90 percent gasoline.

Coskata is financed in part by Vinod Khosla, the computer entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, but is only one of the companies he is backing to produce ethanol without corn.


Blessings. Joe 1999 Chevy Suburban w/new optimizer 6500 TD and 1995 Chevy Cube van 6.5L. WWW.RillaBioFuels.com
WWW.RillaBioFuels.com
 
Location: Sterling Hts. Michigan USA | Registered: October 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
This topic was just handled on NPR's Science Friday. Here's the link:
http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200802081

Here's where you can listen to it, I think it's worth it:

http://www.sciencefriday.com/feeds/about/


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
`86 Volkswagen Jetta NA: 9 Gallon Marine Tank>Transmission Cooler Tank Heater>TIH>FPHE>Coolant Wrapped Veg Filter>2, 3 Port Hydraforce Valves>Temp. Probe>Line Heater Specialist Injector Line Heaters>Vegtherm on Return>"Crud Catcher">Loop

Everyone Should Read "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn
 
Location: Woodstock, IL | Registered: May 28, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Technology needs to continue on using garbage for biofuels. The methane that's collected is recycled which is so much better than it going up in to the atmosphere since it's far worse a greenhouse gas than C02. Garbage is garbage and it's surely not a crop Big Grin so fields of soy and corn can once again feed hogs and people.


______________________________________
'97 Ford F-350 7.3L PSD - Plant Drive kit
'84 Mercedes Euro 300D NA - Custom two-tank
Running on
vegoil and biodiesel since May 2006

 
Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: February 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
This article mixes ethanol with all biofuel options and misrepresents the whole industry.

WVO is a waste product and would go into oehter uses or be lost if not burned for fuel.

DO NOT let people think that biofuels are bad, and that ethanol is the only option. This must be oil lobby people -- who just bought the NYTimes?
 
Registered: November 18, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I won't get into the ethanol debate other that to point out that even if ethanol made from biomass or switchgrass was right around the corner, and even if the huge subsidies to the corn farmers ended tomorrow, you've still got to cook the mash to produce ethanol, and unless that's done with wind or solar, you've got a large carbon footprint for ethanol, with biodiesel, SVO and WVO, having much smaller footprints, in that order, most to least.

As for the cropland available question, and the "food not fuel" debate: algae is almost certainly the solution to both of those concerns. Valcent in Texas is currently getting 50,000 gallons per year per acre growing algae in vertical clear bags: http://www.valcent.net/s/Ecotech.asp?ReportID=182039 and plans to be at 100,000/gallons/acre/year this year. That contrast with 49/acre/year for soy (and most biodiesel in this country is made from soy) 130 for Canola/rape, 695 from African oil palm, and 1600 for a new variety of Jatropha being grown now on 10,000,000 acres in Florida.

And algae can be grown in salt water, so you're not using up potable water.

It's not here now, but a ton of venture capital $ is going into it and it will be here soon.

Craig


PlantDriver
http://www.PlantDrive.com
craigreece@plantdrive.com

Land Rover Defender/Series hybrid with 300Tdi, PlantDrive system: Vormax, Vegtherm, HotFox, manual brass 6-port valve

Wife's car: 2001 New Beetle, VegMax, Vegtherm, 2 gallon donut tank for start-stop fuel and WVO in stock tank, 3 - 3-port valves, controller.
 
Location: Berkeley, California, USA | Registered: November 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by -wewantutopia-:
This topic was just handled on NPR's Science Friday. Here's the link:
http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200802081

Here's where you can listen to it, I think it's worth it:

http://www.sciencefriday.com/feeds/about/
I must be NPR stupid cause I cant find this from your links.


_________________________
If you believe you can't YOUR RIGHT;

But equally so.... if you believe you can, YOUR RIGHT as well.
 
Location: North Tx | Registered: November 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
People seem to be jumping to conclusions without actually reading the articles on the study.

The study clearly states that destroying native habitat like rainforsts and tropical savanna is counterproductive, regardless if it's being cleared for biodiesel soy or ethanol corn.
http://www.nature.org/initiatives/climatechange/press/press3345.html

New Study Raises Major Questions on Biofuels
More Carbon Lost than Gained When Converting Land for Biofuels Crops; Findings Have Major Implications for Climate Change Policy

ARLINGTON, VA — February 7, 2007 — A new study by The Nature Conservancy and the University of Minnesota finds that converting land for biofuel crops results in major carbon emissions, actually worsening the problem of climate change instead of mitigating it.

The first-of-its-kind study will be published in Science later this month and was posted online today.

“This research examines the conversion of land for biofuels and asks the question ‘Is it worth it?’ Does the carbon you lose by converting forests, grasslands, and peatlands outweigh the carbon you ‘save’ by using biofuels instead of fossil fuels? And surprisingly, the answer is no,” said lead author Joe Fargione, a scientist for The Nature Conservancy. “These natural areas store a lot of carbon, so converting them to croplands results in tons of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.”

Fargione continued, “We analyzed all the benefits of using biofuels as alternatives to oil, but we found that the benefits fall far short of the carbon losses. It’s what we call ‘the carbon debt.’ If you’re trying to mitigate climate change, it simply does not make sense to convert land for biofuels production.”

According to research, the conversion of peatlands for palm oil plantations in Indonesia resulted in the greatest carbon losses, or ‘debt,’ followed by the production of soy in the Amazon.

“All the biofuels we use now cause habitat destruction, either directly or indirectly,” Fargione noted. “Global agriculture is already producing food for 6 billion people. Producing food-based biofuel, too, will require that still more land be converted to agriculture.”

These findings coincide with observations that increased demand for ethanol corn crops in the U.S. is likely contributing to conversion of the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado (tropical savanna). American farmers traditionally rotated corn crops with soybeans, but now, they are planting corn every year to meet the ethanol demand. Instead, Brazilian farmers are planting more of the world’s soybeans – and they’re deforesting the Amazon to do it.

Fargione and co-authors Jason Hill, David Tilman, Stephen Polasky, and Peter Hawthorne from the University of Minnesota also found significant carbon debt in the conversion of grasslands in the U.S. and rainforests in Indonesia.

“In finding solutions to climate change, we must ensure that the cure is not worse than the disease,” noted Jimmie Powell, who leads the energy team at The Nature Conservancy. “We cannot afford to ignore the consequences of converting land for biofuels. Doing so means we might unintentionally promote fuel alternatives that are worse than fossil fuels they are designed to replace. These findings should be incorporated into carbon emissions policy going forward.”

Researchers did note that some biofuels do not contribute to climate change because they do not require the conversion of native habitat. These include waste from agriculture and forest lands and native grasses and woody biomass grown on marginal lands unsuitable for crop production. The researchers urge that all fuels be fully evaluated for their impacts on climate change, including impacts on habitat conversion.

“We will need to implement many approaches simultaneously to solve climate change – there is no silver bullet. But there are many silver BBs,” said Fargione. “Some biofuels may be one silver BB, but only if produced without requiring additional land to be converted from native habitats to agriculture.”



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
More on algae: Virgin Airways/Boeing/GE are collaborating on using biodiesel as an alternative to Jet A on commercial airlines, and in a press release about an upcoming - this month, I think - Virgin flight on B20 - said that enough algae could be grown on 15,000 acres (an area about the size of Maryland) to solve all the transportation needs of the US. I'm sure they're making that calculation assuming they'd use Valcent's Vertigro system (or something similar) and not ponds. Here's an article about it: http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2008/01/...-global-warming.html

Craig


PlantDriver
http://www.PlantDrive.com
craigreece@plantdrive.com

Land Rover Defender/Series hybrid with 300Tdi, PlantDrive system: Vormax, Vegtherm, HotFox, manual brass 6-port valve

Wife's car: 2001 New Beetle, VegMax, Vegtherm, 2 gallon donut tank for start-stop fuel and WVO in stock tank, 3 - 3-port valves, controller.
 
Location: Berkeley, California, USA | Registered: November 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
member
posted Hide Post
quote:
The study clearly states that destroying native habitat like rainforsts and tropical savanna is counterproductive, regardless if it's being cleared for biodiesel soy or ethanol corn.



Both soy and corn are NOT permaculture, so they aren't going to be as efficients at producing a useful product as a tree (permaculture) AND they also won't be able to sequester CO2 as well as a tree can, that's why I keep recomending African oil palms as biofuel crops. They produce huge oil yeilds per acre, AND can hold significant CO2 in their woody tissues.

As long as they are sustainably farmed (companion planting etc), they would be a great source of food, and fuel as well as being a shade tree to protect more fragile plant species all the while providing a wind break to help fight soil erosion.

In all the studies I've ever read that mentioned African oil palm, the "researchers" never mentioned the true potential usage of this great species, instead they only focussed on the dismal status quo (slash and burn monoculture using chemical fertilisers and heavy pesticide application).


As I said earlier on this thread, studies are only as accurrate as their authors are expert.
 
Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
I must be NPR stupid cause I cant find this from your links.


Ok, they've changed the page since it is no longer the day of the broadcast. I you go to the first link it is a summary of the segment:

http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200802081

Then in the top left corner of the same page under where it says "Science Friday" and then Home/Podcast/Blogs/Video etc. there is a media player that says listen. Just click play.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
`86 Volkswagen Jetta NA: 9 Gallon Marine Tank>Transmission Cooler Tank Heater>TIH>FPHE>Coolant Wrapped Veg Filter>2, 3 Port Hydraforce Valves>Temp. Probe>Line Heater Specialist Injector Line Heaters>Vegtherm on Return>"Crud Catcher">Loop

Everyone Should Read "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn
 
Location: Woodstock, IL | Registered: May 28, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
People seem to be jumping to conclusions without actually reading the articles on the study.

The study clearly states that destroying native habitat like rainforsts and tropical savanna is counterproductive, regardless if it's being cleared for biodiesel soy or ethanol corn.


I may be jumping to a conclusion but I believe, after having read the report, it is tree-hugging environmentalist hogwash.

I base this on the closed cycle argument.

Locked carbon or oil in the ground is not considered a part of our environment since it is hidden and trapped beneath our habitat.

When we use oil we reintroduce, new to our habitat, carbon. We elevate our carbon levels.

When we slash and burn a forrest we are merely changing the form of carbon that is a part of environment already. True this may temporarily spike the air level but our net level remains the same and thru continuous replanting of harvested materials we will remain in harmony.

Further, this study and others (some financed by coal advocates) are always careful to quote "burning" numbers, when in actuality the forrest doesn't need to be burned. It could be cut and removed.

Logs are a nice method of storing carbon which could provide for a net drop or at least a slow release of the carbon. It could even be turned to ethanol directly. New faster growing plants could continuously remove carbon.

These same studies also make the contention of how much oil it takes to harvest crops. Its a rather convenient escalation of the net carbon figures to toss in the billions of gallons of oil burned in farming when actually farming requires no oil at all.

Many farmer in Iowa use diesel... true !!!

A large number and growing are using less and less... First susidizing the diesel with biodiesel and many (growing number also) making the jump to vegetable oil and ethanol. A fact conveniently ignored in studies.

It does not take more power to farm a field than it produces.

Oil is cheap, coal is cheap, squeezing shale is cheap... it all adds to the mix... and as long as the rich continue to get rich off of it, it will not go away.

not because it is better, but because it is profitable.

out law petrol... and ethanol and veg oil will be powering us... by need if not by choice.


Though your argument is very clever, I don't think it will lead to the results you desire. gandhi
 
Location: iowa | Registered: December 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
When we slash and burn a forrest we are merely changing the form of carbon that is a part of environment already. True this may temporarily spike the air level but our net level remains the same and thru continuous replanting of harvested materials we will remain in harmony.


...assuming that the crop replacing the forest will absorb as much as the forest did, and that's not likely. A mature rainforest has much greater CO2 absorbing biomass per hectare, and does not require the application of petro-based fertilizer

quote:
in actuality the forrest doesn't need to be burned. It could be cut and removed.


...but they don't; Indonesia and the Amazon basin are the largest and best examples of slash and burn



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
...assuming that the crop replacing the forest will absorb as much as the forest did, and that's not likely. A mature rainforest has much greater CO2 absorbing biomass per hectare,


In my opinion there is a large fault in this logic though it is subtle.

A mature rain forrest "DOES NOT ABSORB" co2. Yes, you read NOT correctly.

Picture a lush, fertile, and green jungle/rain forrest.

It can't absorb carbon because there is no room to grow anything new. Something dies, falls over, rots, and releases carbon/methane. Now a new young plant or tree can start growing in its place.

The forrest has been there on that hectare for centuries. It is in balance. You can't keep this forrest and also grow another one at the same time on the same spot. It isn't going to grow more forrest where one already exists.

You can however harvest the forrest and plant a new one. Trees grow really slow. Switchgrass and bamboo grows faster. more to harvest annually.

quote:
and does not require the application of petro-based fertilizer
Nothing requires petro-based fertilizer to grow. Things most often grow better with fertilizer and as mentioned before petro is cheap. It is so cheap it makes economic sense to use it. Out law its use and you'll still have corn flakes on your table just not as cheaply as before.

quote:
...but they don't; Indonesia and the Amazon basin are the largest and best examples of slash and burn
They'll probably keep on burning until somebody builds a large digester and says I'll pay you for all that forrest you are burning.

My power, electric and gas, costs about 200 a month cost averaged over the year. If it suddenly went to 400 a month I won't miss any meals. I'll conserve a little and tell the kid, "heck no, you ain't getting an i-pod".

Transportation fuel has more than doubled in price the last few years. I haven't missed any meals over this either. The kids are happily banging away on their playstation II. Playstation III.... heck no.... what are you on crack???? get a job... ya lazy kids... Big Grin

Point being we are addicted to cheap oil... it leaves more money for fun stuff. Some extreme lower income people may be missing meals??? The vast majority of us are complaining "there isn't enough money for essentials" meaning SUV's, cell phones, ipods, and general impulse shopping while living in 3500 square foot homes.

You're not poor... you just can't act rich on a credit card... get over it. get off oil... use veg, ethanol, solar, ect... and... read book.


Though your argument is very clever, I don't think it will lead to the results you desire. gandhi
 
Location: iowa | Registered: December 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2 3  
 

Sponsors    Biodiesel and SVO Forums Home    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) as fuel  Hop To Forums  General SVO Discussion    NY Times article on biofuels and greenhouse gases

© Maui Green Energy 2000 - 2014