Baggage-laden Biofuels

By EARTHTALK:

Dear EarthTalk:What are “agrofuels” and why are organizations like Friends of the Earth campaigning against them?                                                                         — Bill Wilson,  Boise, ID

Agrofuels, also known as biofuels (e.g., ethanol, biodiesel), are fuels derived from plants instead of from oil or other fossil fuels. What makes them appealing to environmentalists and others, at least in theory, is the fact that they can be a carbon-neutral energy source.

Plants take in and store carbon dioxide (CO2) during the process of photosynthesis. When plants die, whether through natural causes or when humans harvest them, this stored CO2 is released back into the atmosphere in an age-old cycle that doesn’t contribute any additional greenhouse gas into the system… Read more

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