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||N O E R R O R
||U S Grain Biofuel1980-2010
||Saving the Earth: The Biodiesel Bus Blog
- Singer Sheryl Crow and environmentalist have been traveling across
on a two-week Stop Global Warming College Tour
||Biofuels Deemed 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
- 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
- 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
- So for the next 93 years youre
making worse, just at the time when we need to be bringing down carbon
- 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.
- Brazilian farmers are planting
more of the worlds soybeans and theyre deforesting the
Amazon to do it,
||Siphoning Off Corn to Fuel Our Cars
- As farmers feed ethanol plants, a costly link is forged between food
- [Akin to Bond and Loan interest rates.--RSB]
- Across the country, ethanol plants are swallowing more and more of
the nation's corn crop
- "We used to have a grain economy and a fuel economy. But now they're
beginning to fuse."
- On Monday, Tyson
Foods reported its first loss in six quarters and said that its corn and
soybean costs would increase by $600 million this year.
||Biofuels: What do the experts think?
- By backing false-solutions we stall investment from the true renewable
energies such as wind, solar, wave and geothermal and ignore our responsibility
to prevent crossing key climate tipping points, beyond which our current
civilization and even much of life on earth could not sustain itself
||U.S. biofuel plants go bankrupt on feedstock costs | Reuters.com
- "Corn prices are making the feasibility of ethanol plants every day
more and more questionable,"
||Can Weeds Help Solve the Climate Crisis? - Global Warming
- The effect that boosting this gass concentration
in the atmosphere will have on plants is very poorly understood.
- When he checked, he found that in fact
the temperatures in Baltimore run 3 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer on average
than those of the surrounding countryside, and the concentration of CO2 in
the local atmosphere (440 to 450 p.p.m., or parts per million by volume)
is well above the current global average.
- Not only did the weeds grow much larger in hotter, CO2-enriched plots
a weed called lambs-quarters, or Chenopodium album, grew to an impressive
6 to 8 feet on the farm but to a frightening 10 to 12 feet in the city
but the urban, futuristic weeds also produced more pollen
- Even more alarming was the way that the increased heat and CO2
accelerated and perverted the succession of species within the plots. Typically,
a cleared area in the Eastern United States, if left to itself, returns to
native woodland. This process varies with the site and circumstances, but
in its archetypical form fast-growing annual weeds cover the soil first,
playing the role of what ecologists classify as pioneer
- But what Ziska observed in his urban plots was ecology on
amphetamines, a nearly completed succession to trees by the end of five years,
with a domination by invasive weed trees of the most troublesome sort: ailanthus,
Norway maples and mulberries. Five years after the creation of the plots,
the biggest ailanthus in the rural test site measured about five feet tall.
The city site boasted a 20-footer.
- Weeds already cost U.S. farmers about 12 percent
of their harvest, exacting an estimated annual loss of $33 billion.
- supercharged weeds?
- consider how many noxious weeds
plants now marked for destruction by federal, state or county authorities
were deliberately introduced into North America by individuals convinced
of their beauty or utilit
- The transformation of an east Asian wild
grass (red rice) into the crop that provides 20 percent of humanitys
caloric intake is extraordinary.
- He found
in a series of trials that populations of the familiar weed evolve, changing
physically to take advantage of this sort of resource enhancement, within
the space of one growing season.
- What he and his colleagues have found, he said, is that weeds benefit
far more than crop plants from the changes in CO2 and that the implications
of this for agriculture and public health are grave.
- Tests with common agricultural weeds like Canada thistle and quack
grass found them more resistant to herbicides when grown in higher concentrations
of CO2, making them harder to control.
- it also changes
their chemical composition
twice as much pollen as plants
ivy has also demonstrated not only more vigorous growth at higher levels
of CO2 but also a more virulent form of urushiol, the oil in its tissue that
provokes a ras
- While cheatgrass
can tolerate such frequent burns, the native flora cannot.
- Wake pointed
out that local archaeology cant change the global data set, which proves
that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is at its highest point in more than
650,000 years and that the rate of increase is accelerating.
- If these projections prove accurate, Kentucky, by the end
of the next one to three decades, should have a climate (and weed flora)
resembling that of present-day North Carolina; by centurys end, it
will have shifted to a regime more like that of Louisiana. Delaware, over
the same period, will be transformed to something first like North Carolina
and then Georgia, while Pennsylvania will metamorphose into West Virginia
and then North Carolina. Florida will become something unprecedented in this
country. Field observations indicate that these transformations are already
under way: another speaker pointed out that kudzu, the weed that ate
the South, has already migrated up to central Illinois and by 2015
could be extending its tendrils into Michigans Upper Peninsula.
- Can the forest adapt so drastically
in a space of just decades?
- Kudzu, for
instance: Ziska has been seeking financing to study its potential as a source
of biofuel. Kudzu roots, as much as 50 percent starch by weight, seem ideal
for ethanol production, while the plants supercharged vines, which
can grow a foot a day, would be an abundant source of alternative energy.
This would be win-win: we develop an alternative to fossil fuels and, at
the same time, create a financial incentive to root out a particularly
- marijuana growers have an amazingly detailed knowledge
of how CO2 enrichment affects their crop. But as Ziska points out, they
dont publish in scientific journals.
||Bad year for biofuel ends on a dour note
- An alternative fuel for diesel engines is off to
a shaky start this year though it emits fewer pollutants and cuts down on
petroleum use because it's made from environmentally friendly waste and vegetable
- A federal tax credit that provided makers of biodiesel $1 for every
- The biodiesel industry is now operating at only 15 percent of its
- There are
close to 180 biodiesel plants operating in about 40 states.
- The country's largest biodiesel refinery, in Houston, sits
- For each of the 12,000 gallons of biodiesel that Francis produces
each week, he has received a $1 tax credit to help keep operations
- There is little chance that the U.S. will reach alternative fuel
benchmarks of 36 billion gallons a year by 2022 in hopes of weaning the nation
off foreign oil.
||EPA biofuels guidelines could spur production of ethanol from corn
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||Secretive fuel-cell startup stirring hopes, doubts
huge box of fuel cells that it hopes will allow homes and businesses to generate
their own electricity.
- [A Segway solution--RSB]
- Large technology companies could attach
them to their computing centers, which can be energy hogs.
- Instead of only being able to use hydrogen, Bloom Energy
cells can use wind, solar power and whatever else is available, which could
vary from community to community
||Green fuels cause more harm than fossil fuels, according to report
- it takes 840 years for a palm oil plantation to
soak up the carbon emitted when rainforest is burnt
- Using fossil fuel in vehicles is better for the environment than
so-called green fuels made from crops
- The findings show that the Department for Transports target
for raising the level of biofuel in all fuel sold in Britain will result
in millions of acres of forest being logged or burnt down and converted to
- palm oil increases emissions by 31 per cent because of the carbon
released when forest and grassland is turned into plantations. Rape seed
- Clearing rainforest for biofuel plantations releases carbon stored
in trees and soil. It takes up to 840 years for a palm oil plantation to
soak up the carbon emitted when the rainforest it replaced was burnt. The
expansion of the palm oil industry in Indonesia has turned it into the
third-largest CO2 emitter, after China and the US