Are biofuel policies to help Mother E...

Are biofuel policies to help Mother Earth killing her most vulnerable children instead?

There are 32 comments on the NorCalBlogs story from Apr 19, 2011, titled Are biofuel policies to help Mother Earth killing her most vulnerable children instead?. In it, NorCalBlogs reports that:

I have a new paper - Could Biofuel Policies Increase Death and Disease in Developing Countries? A - which suggests that global warming policies may be helping kill more people than it saves.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at NorCalBlogs.

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“Denying those who deny nature”

Since: Jun 07

Norfolk va

#2 Apr 20, 2011
Another case of "I told you so". Those who promote these ideas never bother to think about the harm of thier actions.

“Be green. Help the planet.”

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#3 Apr 21, 2011
RE has many unintended consequences. What's important here is to continue with biofuels that do not divert food crops and crop lands. The government should put an emphasis on non-crop sources or algae.
Eric

Izmir, Turkey

#4 Apr 21, 2011
That ethanol production increases the food prices is not totally right, first there is a by-product called "distillers dried grains with solubles", which is used as feed for livestock, that is also nothing else than food. Moreover, by using ethanol, you put pressure on oil prices, which has also an important effect on food prices. You also give your money for more research (again labour), which will yield in higher efficiency of production and alternative production methods like cellulosic ethanol, which will change the whole equation. Again in case of oil this money would be spent for oil rigs, oil-infrastructure, but also for weapons to defend the oil.
By using ethanol, you produce less CO2, since it is produced by corn, which actually consumed the CO2 in the air for its growing. The more people use ethanol, the higher the efficiencies will come for production (similar to solar cells). The prices will go further down, and much less CO2 will be produced during production in the plant.
Do you know that the production efficiencies already improved 30%?(1)
Finally inceased food prices will lead to enrichment of the poor farmers in poor countries, since they will plant more, since farming will be affordable for them.(2)

Source:
(1) http://brownfieldagnews.com/2010/09/21/ethano...

(2) http://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2011-03/armut-n...
Northie

Spokane, WA

#5 Apr 21, 2011
Corn ethanol is a disaster, but Anthony Watts is a bigger disaster. For example, his claim that corn ethanol was created to protect the climate is a bald-faced lie.

Federal corn ethanol subsidies were designed to cut dependency on foreign oil, nothing more - and they obviously haven't succeeded even at that.

“Happy, warm and comfortable”

Since: Oct 10

Mountain retreat, SE Spain

#6 Apr 22, 2011
Northie wrote:
Corn ethanol is a disaster
Really?
Northie wrote:
but Anthony Watts is a bigger disaster. For example, his claim that corn ethanol was created to protect the climate is a bald-faced lie.
When did he say that, do you have a link?
Northie wrote:
Federal corn ethanol subsidies were designed to cut dependency on foreign oil, nothing more - and they obviously haven't succeeded even at that.
Really?

“Denying those who deny nature”

Since: Jun 07

Norfolk va

#7 Apr 22, 2011
Eric wrote:
That ethanol production increases the food prices is not totally right, first there is a by-product called "distillers dried grains with solubles", which is used as feed for livestock, that is also nothing else than food. Moreover, by using ethanol, you put pressure on oil prices, which has also an important effect on food prices. You also give your money for more research (again labour), which will yield in higher efficiency of production and alternative production methods like cellulosic ethanol, which will change the whole equation. Again in case of oil this money would be spent for oil rigs, oil-infrastructure, but also for weapons to defend the oil.
By using ethanol, you produce less CO2, since it is produced by corn, which actually consumed the CO2 in the air for its growing. The more people use ethanol, the higher the efficiencies will come for production (similar to solar cells). The prices will go further down, and much less CO2 will be produced during production in the plant.
Do you know that the production efficiencies already improved 30%?(1)
Finally inceased food prices will lead to enrichment of the poor farmers in poor countries, since they will plant more, since farming will be affordable for them.(2)
Source:
(1) http://brownfieldagnews.com/2010/09/21/ethano...
(2) http://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2011-03/armut-n...
What you missed is a few points as well. Every acre dedicated to raising crops to make ethanol is one less acre for raising food. So the law of supply and demand causes the price of food to rise. Also it does not reduce the amount of oil needed for the simple fact that the farm equiptment not to mention the fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides are are made from oil. Cellulose based ethanol fell apart because they discovered it takea far more energy that you end up with. Or in simple terms it takes far more energy than you get out of it. Not to mention many of the idea sources such as sawdust and straw have other uses. The increases in food prices we have seen overseas is the result of ethanol reducing grain exports. Much of the unrest seen in the middle east is just as much the result of rising food prices as thier goverments.

Also the mythical increases in solar cells is more accounting than anything else. Now there is research that claims that they are ready to produce these new cells but nothing new in major changes has hit the market. The same tech used to power Skylab back in the seventies is what they are using today. At least wind made a few changes in materials used such as carbon fiber for the blades.

The simple fact that ethanol instead of lowing carbon output has resulted in an increase. Fields that were to lay fallow and covered in clover or alfalfa are now being used to grow corn or sugar beets in the case of europe. Cotton a cash crop was dropped by many american farmers for a couple of years because corn became more profitable thanks to ethanol. All of which has caused a need for more weapons of war to be needed. More bombs to be dropped because those who are hungry are demanding change and they are hungry because ethanol made food to expensive.

“Denying those who deny nature”

Since: Jun 07

Norfolk va

#8 Apr 22, 2011
Northie wrote:
Corn ethanol is a disaster, but Anthony Watts is a bigger disaster. For example, his claim that corn ethanol was created to protect the climate is a bald-faced lie.
Federal corn ethanol subsidies were designed to cut dependency on foreign oil, nothing more - and they obviously haven't succeeded even at that.
Congrats, you just convinced the satan that global warming isn't real since hell just froze solid. Corn ethanol was a way to earn votes and money from the agra corps. But they did succeed in raising the price of food. And lets not forget all the fun they created in Latin America and the Middle East.
Northie

Spokane, WA

#9 Apr 22, 2011
"The Satan"? Is that the same as "The Donald"?

Yes, corn ethanol was a sop to corn state voters, but its original rationale was to cut the need for oil. That hasn't worked; we use and import more oil than ever. Ethanol has merely prolonged our addiction to cars.

“Denying those who deny nature”

Since: Jun 07

Norfolk va

#10 Apr 22, 2011
Northie wrote:
"The Satan"? Is that the same as "The Donald"?
Yes, corn ethanol was a sop to corn state voters, but its original rationale was to cut the need for oil. That hasn't worked; we use and import more oil than ever. Ethanol has merely prolonged our addiction to cars.
Part of what has prolonged are addiction to cars is the lack of a creditable replacement. So far all they have is choices that are more toys than tools. Limited milage and long recharges are just some of the drawbacks.

“Happy, warm and comfortable”

Since: Oct 10

Mountain retreat, SE Spain

#11 Apr 22, 2011
Northie wrote:
Ethanol has merely prolonged our addiction to cars.
How do you suggest the 'addiction' to personal transport is solved in the 21st century?
Don't forget our addiction to having goods delivered.
And please don't suggest we're all crammed into cities!!!
-
BTW, how about an answer/link/citation to my question on Watts claim that, "ethanol was created to protect the climate?"

Northie

Spokane, WA

#12 Apr 22, 2011
tina anne wrote:
<quoted text>
Part of what has prolonged are addiction to cars is the lack of a creditable replacement. So far all they have is choices that are more toys than tools. Limited milage and long recharges are just some of the drawbacks.
The replacement for cars is cities.

We'll still have cars, but not as many, and most will be electric by 2050. We'll have more passenger trains and trollies, and lots more communities built around them. Kiss rampant suburban sprawl goodbye. Buy prime commercial land in existing suburbs and prosper.

“Happy, warm and comfortable”

Since: Oct 10

Mountain retreat, SE Spain

#13 Apr 22, 2011
Future for city dwellers not pleasant – unless you’re rich
The changing face of urban living

As the world’s population grows and more people live in cities, developers and architects are facing tough challenges. By Alasdair Forbes
Photo:
Spreading across the top of Signapore's iconic Marina Bay Sands casino's wing is a large park. With predictioons that urban life in the future could become a battle for food and water, will it one day be used for growing vegetables?
http://forbescomm.wordpress.com/recently-publ...

“Happy, warm and comfortable”

Since: Oct 10

Mountain retreat, SE Spain

#14 Apr 22, 2011
City dwellers of the future: Urban heat island warming may be as large as doubling CO2
-
The number of hot nights per year (defined as temperatures in the 99th percentile of nonurban areas) increase in the following cities:

* London: 1-2 hot nights now vs. up to 10 hot nights in 2050
* Sydney: 1-2 hot nights now vs. up to 15 hot nights in 2050
* Delhi: 5-10 hot nights now vs. up to 30 hot nights in 2050
* Beijing: 3-6 hot nights now vs. up to 50 hot nights in 2050
* Los Angeles: 8-12 hot nights now vs. up to 40 hot nights in 2050
* Tehran: 20 hot nights now vs. up to 60 hot nights in 2050
* Sao Paulo: <5 hot nights now vs. up to 80 hot nights in 2050
* Lagos (Nigeria): <5 hot nights now vs. up to 150 hot nights in 2050
http://www.globalchangeblog.com/2010/04/city-...
Northie

Spokane, WA

#15 Apr 22, 2011
Earthling-1 wrote:
Future for city dwellers not pleasant – unless you’re rich.
Translation: the future is not pleasant - unless you're rich.

What else is new?

“Happy, warm and comfortable”

Since: Oct 10

Mountain retreat, SE Spain

#16 Apr 22, 2011
Here's the joke, in 1925, this was an idea of a future city in 1950:
American City of Future (1925)#1
http://www.sadanduseless.com/image.php...
American City of Future (1925)#2
http://www.sadanduseless.com/image.php...
Well, 85 years later, or 60 years after that future city was expected, there still isn't one that looks anything like it.
If there had been, it would be way out of date by now and ready for demolition.

“Happy, warm and comfortable”

Since: Oct 10

Mountain retreat, SE Spain

#17 Apr 22, 2011
Northie wrote:
Translation: the future is not pleasant - unless you're rich.
What else is new?
I'm OK, Jack, pull up the ladder.
Ö¿Ö

“Happy, warm and comfortable”

Since: Oct 10

Mountain retreat, SE Spain

#18 Apr 22, 2011
THE NUMBER OF CITY DWELLERS
WORLDWIDE HAS QUADRUPLED SINCE 1950.
-
IN 1950, 29 PERCENT OF THE GLOBAL POPULATION WAS LIVING IN CITIES.
IN THE YEAR 1990, THIS PROPORTION WAS 43 PERCENT. IN THE YEAR 2007,
THE GLOBAL URBAN POPULATION SURPASSED THE 50 PERCENT MARK
WITH OVER THREE BILLION CITY INHABITANTS.
-
OVER 60 PERCENT OF THE EARTH’S POPULATION
WILL BE LIVING IN CITIES IN THE YEAR 2030. BY
THE YEAR 2050, THIS FIGURE COULD BE AS HIGH
AS 75 PERCENT.
-
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY,
THERE WERE ONLY 16 CITIES WITH A POPULATION
OF GREATER THAN ONE MILLION.
-
IN THE YEAR 2005, THERE WERE OVER 450 CITIES WITH OVER ONE
MILLION INHABITANTS: 97 OF THEM IN CHINA, 40 IN INDIA, 39 IN THE
UNITED STATES, 57 IN SOUTH AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN, 41 IN
AFRICA, AND 40 IN WESTERN EUROPE.
-
THE NUMBER OF SO-CALLED MEGACITIES, OR CITIES
WITH MORE THAN 10 MILLION INHABITANTS, IS GROWING.
TODAY, THERE ARE 23 MEGACITIES THAT ARE HOME TO
AROUND FIVE PERCENT OF THE EARTH’S POPULATION. BY
THE YEAR 2015, THERE ARE EXPECTED TO BE SOME 26
MEGACITIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
-
More here:
http://www.audi-urban-future-initiative.com/i...

“Happy, warm and comfortable”

Since: Oct 10

Mountain retreat, SE Spain

#19 Apr 22, 2011
Will future cities be friendly? Urbanisation is not just about infrastructure but also social cohesion
-
It is estimated that by 2025 around 2.5 billion Asians will turn city dwellers which will be nearly 54 per cent of the world’s urban population.
http://onsustainability.com/2011/02/02/will-f...
Wild horses wouldn't drag me back to living in a city!!!
-
Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above,
Don't fence me in.
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,
Don't fence me in.
Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze,
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees,
Send me off forever but I ask you please,
Don't fence me in.

“Denying those who deny nature”

Since: Jun 07

Norfolk va

#20 Apr 26, 2011
Northie wrote:
<quoted text>
The replacement for cars is cities.
We'll still have cars, but not as many, and most will be electric by 2050. We'll have more passenger trains and trollies, and lots more communities built around them. Kiss rampant suburban sprawl goodbye. Buy prime commercial land in existing suburbs and prosper.
I doubt it. Before you can replace the current cars with electric you firstmust have a practical electric car. Without that the only way to do it is with a goverment mandate and that alone cannot do the job either. Because without the practical electric car the only thing that would happen is that people would vote those who forced the bad choice on them out of office and vote in those who would promise to reverse that decision.

Also before cities can be the answer cities have to improve all around. To many of the cities problems would only become worse with a large influx of people. In the end the cities would have to offer good reasons to have people move back out of those roomy suburbs with those nice yards and swimming pools in back. Mass transit might work in some situations but passanger trains are nothing more than the relics of bygone era. Even with high speed rail it is still more convient and faster to take a plane to where you need to go and in the long run eaiser on the enviroment as well. Less wildlife ending up as road kill trying to cross your tracks.

If you really want to make the electric car a serious contender then work on developing something that could replace long haul trucking and construction equiptment. Not easy but the same tech developed for that would make a practical electric car. Something that could haul you around without freezing to death in december in Maine or heat exhaustion in august in Neveada. Until then all the electric car will be is a toy to show off and will end up with wind and solar are repeating failures. The only difference is the electric car could work when the right tech is developed but only if people see it to be practical transportation and not a cute toy.

“Denying those who deny nature”

Since: Jun 07

Norfolk va

#21 Apr 26, 2011
Northie wrote:
<quoted text>
Translation: the future is not pleasant - unless you're rich.
What else is new?
Those who are doing ok can enjoy life in the suburbs and raise a family there. In the city they are just as miserable as the poor. Which is the reason why you see so many poor miserable and middle class leaving.

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