Bio Madness

Some years ago I reported on a study by the University of Berkeley which found that ethanol from corn created more environmental damage in terms of greenhouse gas emissions than excavating for oil. The study was largely ignored as the power of the vested interests lobbied for ethanol from corn and matters have reached a stage where more than half of American corn is grown for biofuel production, damaging the environment and sending the prices of the staple higher than they should be. Continue reading

Biofuel to burn a planet

In June Oxfam this year launched a campaign to prevent more starvation. The problem that Oxfam’s campaign is highlighting is one that I have written about previously in these posts: growing food for fuel is making some food prices so high as to create more starvation because so much fuel is being sourced from grown food. Continue reading

The Renewable Fuels Agency

One of the many agencies or quangos that exist on taxpayers’ money in the United Kingdom is the Renewable Fuels Agency. This body runs the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation and “ensures” that transport fuels meet their allocated proportion of renewable fuel. This costs about £1.5 million each year. The Renewable Fuels Agency reports the carbon dioxide emissions of biofuels on a whole life basis. The problem that the Agency has is that 80% of feedstock for biofuels are imported and as such are not liable to environmental audit. That may well mean that the majority of biofuels used in the United Kingdom actually produce more carbon dioxide emissions than they save; ethanol made from corn in the United States is more productive of carbon dioxide than fossil fuel oil. Continue reading