Biofuels under attack

WIDESPREAD ADOPTION of biofuels would lead to a humanitarian and environmental disaster, writes George Monbiot in The Guardian.

“Those who have been promoting these fuels are well-intentioned, but wrong,” Mr Monbiot states, arguing that global biofuel crop production would be devastating for the global food supply and for the global environment.

To run all cars and buses and lorries in Britain on biodiesel made from oilseed rape would require 25.9m hectares, Mr Monbiot calculates and points out that there are only 5.7m hectares available in the UK.

He then argues that if this switch to biofuel production were to happen on a global scale, “then most of the arable surface of the planet will be deployed to produce food for cars, not people”.

Since the market responds to money rather than real need, car-owners‘ demands for fuel are more likely to be met than the needs of starving people around the world, since the former have more money than the latter, Mr Monbiot writes.

He goes on to argue that green fuel production on a global scale would also be an environmental disaster.

“Those who worry about the scale and intensity of today‘s agriculture should consider what farming will look like when it is run by the oil industry,” he says, claiming that biofuel crop production would further stimulate destruction of tropical forests around the world.

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