Biofuels generating more greenhouse gases than fossel fuels according to Time

According to this weeks Time, the Bio-fuel cycle increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere over fossil fuels and will have a negative impact on world hunger as well. The main points of the article are:

1) The soaring prices of corn, soy beans etc.. and the bio-fuel mandates are causing an acceleration of deforestation of the rain forests in order to grow these crops.

2) The energy required to produce bio-fuels except for sugar cane causes a net increase of CO2.

3) The movement of land usage to bio-fuel production from the production of food will cause hunger to increase.

The following is a pointer to the article:,9171,1725975,00.html



I read this post with great interest. I have heard similar arguments against ethanol - that the energy used to produce it far outweighs its environmental benefit.

I lack some knowledge on biofuels. However, most of the biodiesel that I've been hearing about over the past 5 years has, in my understanding, been derived from old fryolator grease from restaurants. Perhaps we don't fry enough french fries on a global scale to run our cars of the waste, but I'm curious to hear about whether deriving biodiesel from that source is as environmentally detrimental as ethanol or other biofuels. Anyone reading have thoughts/info on that? Am I wrong about the "run your car on french fry grease" biodiesel thing?

Also - what do you think is the answer to this dilemma? Solar energy to power cars? No cars at all?

I am not at all an expert in biofuels. However, I think there is a danger in getting caught up in all the hype on biofuels these days such that we forget to use some of our critical thinking skills. There is a lot of money involved and a lot of money to be made. We need to be careful that we do not do more damage than the damage we are already doing. There are always those nasty unintended consequences.
Dave--you might find Lyle Estill's new blog post quite informative :
Anonymous makes a good point.  I read the Time article, and it was mostly about ethanol.  Too often, biodiesel gets lumped in with ethanol in these discussions.  There are some serious problems with ethanol, but biodiesel can be produced using a sustainable model.  Locally, Piedmont Biofuels offers a very positive example in this regard.
All of these articles bashing biofuels recently don't take into account local providers such we have in Piedmont Biofuels. I haven't seen analysis of their environmental impact specifically.

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