Industrial Biofuels Not the Answer
Exponentially growing conventional energy demands can not met by harvesting biomass which is not in surplus. The benefits of corn based ethanol are marginal given energy necessary for production, oil palm [search] and soy [search] biofuel plantations are devastating rainforests, cellulosic ethanol will be yet one more massive drain upon already ravaged global forests and the productive land base available to natural ecosystems and food agriculture, and even at this early stage of adoption the use of food crops for biofuels is resulting in agricultural price increases [more | more2]. When harvests are bad as they will be shall we eat or drive? There are several simultaneous ecological crises occuring including climate change, terrestrial habitat loss, soil loss and degradation and water scarcity. Biofuels have marginal positive impacts on the former while intensifying all of the latter. Solar energy is best harvested through photovoltaics, as we can not feed ourselves, maintain life giving ecosystems and fuel the world from plant materials. Climate change will only be solved through reductions in population [search] and consumption [search], much increased energy efficiency and conservation, massive renewable energy investment, and dramatically cutting greenhouse gas emissions ASAP including leaving coal in the ground. Lets get past the easy feel good do nothing fixes and move to sustainability solutions.