Biofuels are wasteful

By Jane Edwards.



In his excellent article on the ‘African Brain Drain’ Andrew Brons states :”White liberal political society has been corrupted by the universally harmful doctrine of globalisation”.

Nowhere is this more true than in  the switching of the globe’s ever-shrinking fertile land for growing food for an ever-expanding population to producing crops for bio fuels. According to Bjorn Lomborg in his new book How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World,  the growing of biofuels has led to 30 million people a year suffering from starvation.

With the Greens spearheading the campaign, the liberals of this world championed biofuels as a weapon against global warming, claiming they would emit much less CO2 than fossil fuels. Needless to say, this was quickly taken up by the EU and an edict was issued that crop-based biofuels should replace 5 per cent of fuel used in transport. In fact, land for growing EU biofuels now takes up an area of European farmland larger than the size of Belgium. It is estimated that a similar area is used in Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil for meeting Europe’s total biofuel requirement  –  on  land that previously grew food for locals.

Lomborg says it is estimated that the land being used to produce Europe’s biofuels demands is enough to feed 100 million people, and the United States takes up even more of this land which could grow food. Originally, the EU wanted 10 per cent of transport fuels to be based on biofuels, but now that protests are increasing they will reduce it to 7 per cent. How thoughtful of them.

It has taken some time for well-meaning Westerners to realise that by embracing the use of biofuels they have made it hard for the world’s poor to buy food. Pseudo-green vested interests were loath to reduce the large subsidies that the wasteful biofuels scandal has received. But even environmentalists such as Al Gore  are admitting it is a mistake. As the recent study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development has shown, deforestation, fertilisers and fossil fuels used in the production of biofuels would emit 92 per cent as  much CO2 as burning the biofuels would save.

A personal example of a victim of this biofuels scandal concerns my father, or rather his elderly diesel car. He used to drive 12,000 miles or so a year. Now he is retired it is down to about 4,000.  He thought he would only have to change his engine oil and filter once in two years now instead of yearly. But no. His garage (who he trusts) says that because of diesel’s biofuel content engine oil now produces more sediment and clogs up his filters. I am not a mechanic so I can’t  prove it!

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  1. I work for a major German truck manufacturer (there’s no British ones left) and using bio diesel voids your warranty. It’s not refined to the same standard and you use more because of its lower calorific index. Dead end technology.

    Hybrids use up vast resources in their construction and contain many more carcinogens that have to be disposed of when the vehicle reaches end of life. Dead end technology.
    Hydrogen, the only way forward.

  2. democraticnationalist

    A better solution for biofuels should be bio-waste, not bio-products, and such solutions could be cannabis, oil waste or algae energy. Algae comes from the sewage, ponds or the sea and they have a lot more stored fat due to the emission of CO2 and algae fuel production would not overtake too many acres of land unlike corn fuel.

    Not to mention that cattle manure can be used for biofuels as it has been in Texas, this would help farmers earn a fortune

  3. They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions The good intention here was obviously to try and reduce carbon emissions and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Obviously the hell aspect is that this has meant many people suffering starvation as a result. It’s just a pity that the EU doesn’t seem to have enough people working there who can think this through properly, or realise their gross mistake and cancel this lunacy. Very much like our Westminster idiots.

  4. Bio fuels aren’t about some liberal movement, they’re about trying to find a renewable source of energy to the finite reserves of oil. If 30 million people a year are starving, then we need to get the message through to the Third World to stop breeding like rabbits and get their countries into a fit state in which to bring children into, rather than pulling the plug on what is a vastly important area of production because these Third Worlders seem unable to sort their own situation out.

    The world needs a renewable source of vehicle fuel, and certainly not the increasingly damaging methods of extraction used by the fuel companies to access the earth’s dwindling supplies, or is fracking acceptable to you also?

    • The problem is that renewables are there but they are not direct swops for existing sources of energy. This is because they require far more energy expended to exploit them than ‘traditional’ sources. That’s the same thing as saying a bigger proportion of your income goes on energy.

      The Greens paint a wonderful picture of life carrying on the same with all the same comforts but with energy drawn from sources with rustic charm and no side effects. No nasty emissions just a nice windmill on your cottage and so on.

      See Tim Morgan’s report.

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