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Biofuels do more harm than good.

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by FreeTedWilliams, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Once agian something that the Democrats shot through congress without even reading or thinking about it, at first it caused riots in Mexico over the sharp and sudden increase in torillas, now they are killing the rainforests that they were supposed to be saving.

    Newsmax.com - Biofuels May Do More Harm Than Good

    If we run our cars on biofuels produced in the tropics, chances will be good that we are effectively burning rainforests in our gas tanks," warned Holly Gibbs, of Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment.

    Gibbs studied satellite photos of the tropics from 1980 to 2000 and found that half of new cropland came from intact rainforests and another 30 percent from disturbed forests.

    "When trees are cut down to make room for new farmland, they are usually burned, sending their stored carbon to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide," Gibbs said.

    For high-yield crops like sugar cane it would take 40 to 120 years to pay back this carbon debt.

    For lower yield crops like corn or soybeans it would take 300 to 1,500 years, she told reporters at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    "Biofuels have caused alarm because of how quickly production has been growing: Global ethanol production increased by four times and biodiesel by 10 times between 2000 and 2007," Gibbs said.


    And before PC starts with his NEwsmax cries, the research is out of Stanford the second most liberal college in the US...

    So even IF global warming was actually true (which we all now know (excpet for the Dems in Congress) that it is not) then Congress' mandte, would actually be making it worse!!
     
  2. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I love how the rabid right is now terribly terribly interested in the drawbacks of biodeisel and ethanol... and a week ago they were all interested in the drawbacks of electric hybrids and plug-in electrics...

    Whatever happened to "All of the above?"

    Strange bedfellows indeed. Well, frankly, I agree with Newsmax's obvious rooting viewpoint on this one, for (of course) different reasons. The story's pretty much on point... and, while "Holly from Woods Institute" would be derided as a "moonbat environmentalist" six months ago, Newsmax is right for all the wrong reasons, for putting forth this point of view.

    I'm assuming that in addition to a good deal of money for electric vehicles, hybrids, a smart grid, yadda yadda yadda, there's a current interest in biofuels. Therefore, we should all be angry at the congress, the senate, and the president for any such part of the current energy policy.

    Good things about biofuels:
    - They exchange something America has in spades (arable land) for something we don't have (oil on the scale of what we consume,) thereby changing the foreign oil equation.
    - They're renewable.
    - You don't need a special new car to use them.

    Bad things about biofuels:
    - You don't need a special new car to use them. We're currently in a position when a new industry is a good thing, not a pain in the butt.
    - Bad for the planet, according to ol' Holly from Woods Institute.
    - It really boils down to using our food-growing resources to fix our fuel problem. This looks really bad when you factor in world hunger.

    Okay I'm a positive guy. I'll take the article at face value and consider it an endorsement of an all-electric future, since that's pretty much the only conclusion one can draw, when the ultra-purist environmentalists at Newsmax are against biofuels.

    Boy, makes you wonder how they'd react to a fuel like OIL!

    PFnV
     
  3. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    America has oil in spades, it is in ANWAR and off the coasts, and Obama has just shut down access to it. Gas prices (along with everything else) are gong to skyrocket with the uncontrollable inflation that is coming.

    mandatory biofuels was a bad idea, admit it.
     
  4. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So where do you get all that electricity? From the electric fairy?

    I am always amused with the naive assumptions of loony libs where intentions count formore than reality..:rolleyes:
     
  5. scout

    scout Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #15 Jersey

    I read Boone Pickens book not too long ago, and he was pretty precise in that America does not have oil in spades. I will go back and post his statements later. But really, I shouldn't need to as its a an outrageous statement to begin with.
     
  6. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Pickens has an agenda based on selling water to Dallas... Pickens doesn't include coal or other fuels in his computations.


    Thisdoesn't preclude developing other sources of energy, but crippling oureconomy isn't the way to go.
     
  7. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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  8. scout

    scout Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #15 Jersey

    Never said T Boone wasn't clever. What I responded to, was that America has oil in spades, which it doesn't.
    I will go a step further as it relates to Boone. The guy has made billions and will continue to do so to the day he dies, thus, his water and wind rights he acquired on his property (btw, he was quite open about those dealings in his book). But, the man does have a conscience, and IMO is not going to rake the country over with his imminent death 10 -15 years from now (tho, the guy is wicked fit and could beat the majority of us on the treadmill). A guy in his last chapter of life who gives away billions to charity, is more unlikely to gouge us then the other people out there with power.
     
  9. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wow, two hypotheticals, a personal insult, and an eyeroll! Now that's what I call world-class powers of persuasion.

    The irony of the right wing's take on this subject is just sublime. They are literally -- literally -- tying themselves to prehistoric fuels.

    To what I believe is your point, however poorly presented, PF13:

    For the benefit of those interests profiting by the current petroleum-based infrastructure, we may adopt the attitude that we have an energy crisis.

    We do not. We have an energy portability crisis.

    Certain natural processes have made several forms of fossil fuel relatively available, in different mixes in different places. We have some shale oil, and a comparative pittance of traditional oil reserves we cannot get to in ANWAR. We also have a lot of coal and natural gas. We are not without domestic fossil fuels, but they are not the entirety of America's possible fuel resources.

    If one wished, one could simply hook up "all this electricity" purely to coal-fired plants until the cows come home. If you do so, and run cars off this grid, you release us from the grip of foreign oil, certainly, but you still have the problem of the non-renewability of coal as a power source.

    If you put nuclear, wind, solar, tidal, or any other forms of energy into the mix, you have a different ultimate outcome.

    Now, there is very little chance of creating safe nuclear-powered automobiles, and even were they a possibility, I would not like the safety and security problems such vehicles would pose. Containing tidal systems or a star such as the sun in such a vehicle would be an even more daunting challenge.

    So regardless of what mix of fuels we use to power the grid, what an electric future provides is the ability to confront our energy portability problem for what it is, rather than as an energy generation problem.

    Do we need nuclear as a bridge? I think that's likely the case. Do we need CNG as a possible bridge-fuel in the non-electric parts of a fleet? I'm certainly not against it. Biofuels? On this one I think Ol' Teddy here and I agree -- they have positive points and negative points. I'm pretty ambivalent about making Biofuels a big part of the mix as well.

    But the worst possible "solution" is to stick one's head in the sand -- or the tundra -- and pretend there is not a problem with basing a large part of our economy on a diminishing resource, oil. That will mean coming up with plentiful electricity throughout the economy, and as you point out, pf13, that means choosing among means of energy generation.

    So maybe rather than throwing around easy snarky insults about "loony libs" it would be a useful exercise for you to think about where you want this country to be when the wells go dry. For my part, I want to be ahead of the game. But if you prefer to wait until not one drop of oil is still extractable prior to investigating alternative energy sources, I suppose you are using a different definition of "loony" from that to which I'd previously become accustomed.

    PFnV
     
  10. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    It's official.... Between this and your unemployment claim, you have no idea what you're talking about.
     
  11. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I think it would be a good idea to put some money into bio-engineering a sugar plant that could handle cooler climates. I don't think corn-based biofuel is much of an answer, but I feel better about a sugar-based one. It seems to be working pretty good in Brazil anyway.

    Of course perhaps Global Warming will make a much greater portion of the USA ideal for Sugar production, but that's prolly not much of a solution either.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  12. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think that's part of the point of the article in the first place. You're still putting carbon into the atmosphere, and you're taking out a sequestration resource to boot, so it's a double-whammy. Worked fine for Brazil, but vast swaths of rainforest are gone too.

    By the way, one subject rarely touched on in the global warming discussion is that a huge amount of natural gas (methane) is under permafrost. As we all know, methane's a nastier greenhouse gas by weight than CO2. Natural gas locked in rock is one thing; when it's held in place by soil alone, that's another story.

    That's one of those problems we probably STILL have to deal with, even if we cut out all carbon emissions tomorrow. It's just a matter of how soon and how far up the permafrost belt the effect goes.

    PFnV
     

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