Biofuel Bust

Greenhouse gas control

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One popular solution to global warming is to turn trees and grass into transport fuel, thus reducing our reliance on fossil fuels such as gasoline. But a study published in the October issue of Science finds that these advanced "cellulosic" biofuels could emit more greenhouse gases during the next few decades than burning gasoline will.

Running a computer model that links global economic and biogeochemistry data, Marine Biological Laboratory researcher Jerry Melillo and his colleagues projected that growing energy crops will require cutting down a lot of forest, which releases extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In addition, energy crops will need to be doused with nitrogen fertilizer, which gives off an even more potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide.

By the end of the 21st century, the amount of land devoted to biofuels may be greater than the total area currently used to grow food crops. Melillo told Reuters, "In the near term, I think, irrespective of how you go about the cellulosic biofuels program, you're going to have greenhouse gas emissions exacerbating the climate change problem." 

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  1. Trees have been used as an energy crop for almost a million years. Forests can be sustainably cut at rates of 1% per year. That’s about 100 billion tonnes, equal to 200 billion bbls of crude.

    There is no need to convert forests to crops, only technology to convert wood to liquid fuels.

  2. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books.

  3. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books.

  4. projected that growing energy crops will require cutting down a lot of forest, which relea

  5. nd biogeochemistry data, Marine Biological Laboratory researcher Jerry Melillo and his col

  6. agues projected that growing energy crops will require cutting down a lot of forest, which

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