[permaculture] the biofuel illusion

jedd jedd at progsoc.org
Sun Jul 9 21:54:55 EDT 2006

On Monday 10 July 2006 7:30 am, Thomas Gorman wrote:
 ] Sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel are all well and good, but  
 ] it's not often mentioned in discussions about biofuel, etc. that the  
 ] burning of these fuels still generates CO2, so the global warming  
 ] issue remains un-addressed.  Not only do we need to find sustainable  
 ] alternatives, but we need to burn a lot less fuel in general!

 Hi Thomas,

 It's also not mentioned (probably because of the other, insurmountable
 problems with bio-fuels) that in a stable system, the CO2 inputs and
 outputs would equalise.  That is, although you are still generating
 CO2 (as you say) the global warming issue is addressed (as you don't),
 because you are implicitly creating and then using the same amount of
 CO2 each cycle - from vehicle to plant.

 This is the same theory adopted by the hydrogen-for-power-storage
 advocates -- there'll be a hiccup at the start, but after the
 infrastructure and usage has geared up, the whole process will be
 CO2 neutral.

 Of course, as everyone knows, you'd need about 8 earths to generate
 sufficient quantities of bio-fuels to match current usage .. and I'd
 guess around 20-25 planets to match projected usage once China and
 India really crank up, so the subject is for the most part academic.


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