Thursday, February 21, 2008

Biofuels: from science to politics

From African Agriculture:

Scientists and NGOs across Africa are calling for a moratorium on new biofuels projects as millions of acres of prime agricultural land in sub-Saharan Africa are switched from food to fuel...

Just as the bonanza is getting into full swing, the scientific argument that biofuels mitigate climate change is collapsing. Last week, the journal Science published a major study concluding that biofuels contributed to climate change as the environmental cost of land conversions generated more carbon emissions than it saved

Not everyone agrees. The Wall Street Journal reports:

In a letter to Sciencexpress, which published the original article, Dr. Wang, of the Argonne National Laboratory, and Dept. of Energy colleague Zia Haq take issue with the Science study, which sought to explore how using more land for growing biofuels could end up spewing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

With the rising costs of energy as well as food, regulatory environments already developed or in process of developing in support of biofuels, and large vested interest groups in the production of biofuels this debate has all the elements to propel to the top of many political agendas.

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