Surprise: Greens Aren’t Particularly Happy About Biofuels

And, unsurprisingly, is super expensive. The road to Hell (and economic disaster) is paved with good intentions

(NY Times)  Now, environmental experts are suggesting that some parts of the strategy are, at best, a waste of money and time. At worst, they are setting the United States in the wrong direction entirely.

That is the view of some of the world’s top environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club. On Tuesday, they argued in a letter to the White House that allowing the burning of biomass to help reduce consumption of fossil fuels in the nation’s power plants, as proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, would violate the Clean Air Act.

It’s also the view of economists from the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley, who on Tuesday released the disappointing results of a field test of the federal Weatherization Assistance Program, the government’s largest effort to improve residential energy efficiency.

It turns out that burning biomass — wood, mainly — for power produces 50 percentmore CO2 than burning coal. And even if new forest growth were to eventually suck all of it out of the atmosphere, it would take decades — perhaps more than a century — to make up the difference and break even with coal.

This is actually a big problem in Europe, where the draconian “climate change” regs and laws has resulted in more people burning various forms of biomass. You know, like our ancestors did before modern types of energy production were developed.

What this evidence suggests is that climate change strategies too often lack strong analytical foundations, and are driven more by hope than science. Policy makers would be making a mistake to proceed as if their favored methods are working, when the data shows they aren’t.

You don’t say.

The task of replacing the world’s entire energy system within the next few decades requires experimenting intensely along many technological avenues, learning quickly from failures and moving on. Yet too often the goal of bringing the world’s carbon emissions under control is put at the service of other agendas, ideological or economic, limiting the world’s options.

You don’t say.

The King Canute strategy cannot protect us and our children from climate change. We need experimentation that will deliver genuine breakthroughs. And that requires putting wishful thinking and phobias aside and letting science guide the way.

Whether you agree with anthropogenic climate change or not, we do need to invest in research for more viable, more stable, inexpensive, easily obtainable, and cleaner energy sources. Unfortunately, we keep doing the same over and over, which tends to serve an ideological cause, as well as serving the cash flow to ideological groups and big money political donors.

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3 Responses to “Surprise: Greens Aren’t Particularly Happy About Biofuels”

  1. Proof says:

    Couple this with a study out today that overall, electric cars pollute more than internal combustion engines.

    Like Kermit said, It’s not easy being green!

  2. John says:

    Those wood pellets that you posted about here are regrow not in the south in as little as 12 years for lob lolly pines
    Of course using 100 year old trees to make wood pellets doesn’t make sense
    Teach please write to your local officials in NC and try and make them stop this free market that so wastes our natural resources even though of course the trees are privately owned
    Make the owners of these trees stop selling them !!

  3. Saturday morning links: First Saturday of Summer

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