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"A society built on green design, sustainable energy and closed loop systems, a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, non-toxic, recyclable technology." ~~Alex Nikolai Steffan


Time to Rethink Biodiesel?

While it's fun to read about modifications to vehicles to use biodiesel, (see previous post) are we creating a larger environmental devastation than using fossil fuel?

A Change In the Wind reported on another reason to eliminate palm oil from our diet is the projection that 14.6 billion tons of carbon (equivalent to an entire year of global Co2 emissions) will be released from the development of palm oil for major food corporations such as Nestle, Cargill and Kraft. Indonesia has become the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide ranked after US (yes, the United States) then China.

Further, Alternative Energy Blog reported increasing evidence shows that palm oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia are destroying huge chunks of the rainforest in Southeast Asia through draining and burning peatland, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In Europe, palm oil is heavily subsidized and being used for biofuel, according to Wetlands International. The Netherlands announced at the end of October that it is excluding palm oil from its "green energy" subsidy support.

Biofuel Watch, an environment group in Britain, now says that "biofuels should not automatically be classed as renewable energy." There is a pretty scary NASA satellite image map of carbon monoxide emitted from over 70,000 fires across South America in September due to burning of rain forests to clear more land for planting crops for fuel. Over 250 organizations have called on the European Union to abandon targets for biofuel use in Europe. Students at University of Cali9fornia at Berkley have drafted an international petition that states oposition to the proposed $500 million dollar deal between the University and BP to promote biofuels.


Rightfully so, biodiesel production has caused a slash and burn of rainforest which fundamentally goes against green precepts, however if oil producing plants are harvested on baron and already deforested land then it's a real green alternative.


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