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It does raise valid points but you have to start somewhere. Even as a stopgap, biofuels have at least opened the conversation so that the public is thinking about alternative fuels instead of just throwing their arms up when $4/gallon gasoline gets here because it WILL get here. More reason why I think diesels have a potentially huge market.
 

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There's always a bias, where is the author's bias?

Nuclear energy = homeland security and nuclear waste

Solar = clouds

Wind = kills birds

Hydroelectric = kills fish

There will always be some compromise and plenty of critics, who said biofuels were the magic cure to energy?
 
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There's certainly some truth to it but plain and simple, it's a smear campaign.
 

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I don't think it's a smear campaign, there's no swift boating here. The news article might be biased but the source, "two studies being published.....in the prestigious journal Science" is pretty reliable.

Lol at wind power killing birds, I can imagine sharpened stainless steel wind turbines shredding a flock and leaving just feathers falling through the air. I doubt there are that many bird being shredded by wind turbines. I would think there are just as many birds being shredded by jet engines too!
 

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I've always been a biodiesel believer, even in the long term. If they start making syngas and syndiesel or biomass to liquid fuel, biodiesel still has a future as an additive. It's go enough lubricity and cetane boosting properties, plus billion dollar processing plants, that it's future is secure in the long term. Ethanol is less so, it boost octane but it's corrosive. Plus, Brazillian ethanol is so much cheaper that if they lowered the tarriffs on ethanol, the US ethanol market would tank. IMO, corn based ethanol is just too expensive compared to sugar Brazillian ethanol and not competetive until they can make the leap to cellouse based ethanol.
 

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Eh, whatever you come up with, there's always a cost. The difference is what the cost is and when you pay it. Even if you have a fuel cell, it emits water vapor...if you have enough cars, it'll cause frost on roads that are cold enough! Even with electric cars, the electricity is coming from coal.
 
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It does bring up something that has been known for a while. In Brazil and Indonesia, clearing forest to grow crops that are used for fuel has been an issue for a while. I thought that they already took that into account though.
 

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That's too bad. I'm sure that ther's probably more factors in the overall greenhouse effect but they just aren't brought up. Another article about this too. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/02/new-studies-ide.html

Searchinger et. al. note in their paper that “land use change emissions” refers to all of the carbon storage and ongoing sequestration that is foregone by devoting land to the production of biofuels. Using land to produce a biofuel feedstock forgoes some of that storage and ongoing sequestration, causing offsetting emissions in a variety of ways.

A forest or grassland can be directly converted to grow a biofuel such as corn, resulting in the direct loss of the carbon in the standing trees and grasses and a fair chunk of the carbon after plowing up the soils. Soils store major quantities of carbon in forests and grasslands.

The same land, if not devoted to biofuels, could continue to sequester carbon. For example, a young, growing forest will continue to sequester carbon as the forest grows for many years. This ongoing sequestration is lost if the land is converted to a biofuel for ethanol. (Although land converted to grow the biofuel, such as corn, will continue to sequester carbon, the typical biofuel analysis already takes account of that carbon.)

Both of these effects can occur indirectly. For example, if corn in the United States is diverted to ethanol production, grasslands or forest could be converted anywhere in the world to replace the corn. Complicating this analysis, these indirect effects can pass through many steps. For example, soybean land in the US can be planted in corn, and forest or grassland plowed up in Brazil to replace the soybeans.

In essence, under typical biofuel calculations, the carbon withdrawn from the atmosphere by growing the feedstock becomes a greenhouse gas credit. We call this credit a feedstock uptake credit, which we treat as part of the overall land use effect. But the world’s land already exists, and that land is for the most part removing carbon from the atmosphere each year and in most cases has stored substantial amounts of carbon for decades that may be lost if used to produce biofuels.

The proper focus must be on the net change in carbon removed from the atmosphere that is either stored by land or used to replace fossil fuels. (Replacing fossil fuels is a form of storage because the unneeded fossil fuel remains stored underground.) An accurate accounting must subtract the emissions from land use change from the feedstock uptake credit to produce a proper net estimate of the overall land use effect—the effect of using land to produce biofuels.
 
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