Monday, March 17, 2008

Bio-Fuels are bad for environment.

From:The Christian Science Monitor

Scientists at the University of British Columbia and the University of Wisconsin looked at the energy bill President Bush signed in December and its goal of producing 36 billion gallons of ethanol a year by 2022. They analyzed the impact it could have on nutrients from farm runoff. Nutrients in the runoff flow down the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers and feed algae in the Gulf. When the algae die, they decompose, which uses up oxygen in the water. Low-oxygen waters are fatal to organisms like shellfish.

Comment: Government subsidies encourage farmers to use every square inch of arable land, even if it comes right up to river banks. In order to grow corn, farmers use loads of pesticides. To cultivate the crop, CO2 spewing farm machinery is used. And as was noted in Part one of this series, ethanol production uses up an extraordinary amount of fresh water. The truth of the matter is that ethanol ends up being worse for the environment than fossil fuels. Of course, none of the above problems stopped our government from increasing the U.S. mandate to 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022, a fivefold increase from a mere two years ago. Interestingly, the “greens” that spent years pushing the idea of bio-fuels, and in particular ethanol, have been rather silent on the damning effects of the fuel. It’s almost as if they wish to disassociate themselves from a bad idea.

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