Biofuel is Still a Stupid Idea

It’s fairly common knowledge by now that ethanol increases global warming, is worse to your health than gasoline, and inflates food prices, but what about second generation ethanol that uses cellulose rather than the edible portion of food crops?

On the surface, it may seem resourceful to convert that corn cob into energy, but our hunger for fuel goes far beyond what inedible food scraps can provide. In fact, second generation ethanol is perhaps even more dangerous than first generation ethanol under the simple understanding that if all plant matter is a potential fuel then all forests are potential gold mines for the fuel industry.

US incentives for ethanol production have already contributed to massive deforestation in places like Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Amazon, where rainforests are being cleared to grow biofuel crops. Cellulose ethanol would further promote this destruction by using the forest itself for fuel.

Americans love the idea that they won’t need to sacrifice. There is no incentive to curb your consumption if science will save you by replacing that fuel in your inefficient internal combustion engine with another. Turning CO2-absorbing trees into gasoline is not progress. It’s just as insane as burning food to run a car. The only clean energies have always been wind, solar, and water. Eyes back on the prize folks. The goal should be to get off of all fuels entirely.

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