Study: Ethanol Worse for Climate Than Gasoline

Ethanol is under fire again:

At first blush, biofuels such as corn ethanol and soybean diesel seem like they would be great from the standpoint of global warming. The crops soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, and that balances out the carbon dioxide they produce when they're burned. But until now, nobody has fully analyzed all the ripple effects of this industry. And Tim Searchinger, a visiting scholar at Princeton University, says those effects turn out to be huge. "The simplest explanation is that when we divert our corn or soybeans to fuel, if people around the world are going to continue to eat the same amount that they're already eating, you have to replace that food somewhere else," Searchinger says.

Searchinger and his colleagues looked globally to figure out where the new cropland is coming from, as American farmers produce fuel crops where they used to grow food. The answer is that biofuel production here is driving agriculture to expand in other parts of the world.

"That's done in a significant part by burning down forests, plowing up grasslands. That releases a great deal of carbon dioxide," Searchinger says.

In fact, Searchinger's group's study, published online by Science magazine, shows those actions end up releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide. The study finds that over a 30-year span, biofuels end up contributing twice as much carbon dioxide to the air as that amount of gasoline would, when you add in the global effects.

The rest of the article (and radio broadcast) is here

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Dr.Paj9 years ago
All the more reason to become a farmer who farms foods like tomatoes, will cost more, thus increasing your profit so you can buy your fancy Tesla Roadster and get an acceleration time: 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in under 4 seconds. and a top speed which is electronically limited at 125 mph (201 km/h) along with a range of 221 miles. Oh and Skate6566 you seemed to contradict yourself when you said, "All of the farmers are going to grow corn as opposed to corn, tomatoes, etc." just a heads up.
whoops, i just get a little flared when people talk about ethanol and global warming, and the moon landing.
DON'T get me started on the moon landings..... They are fake!!!! But not really.
i think they are, or rather, were faked. but that's just what i think.
But you see, if the tesla roadster gets big, then there will be less of a need for corn!
Brennn109 years ago
Let's ditch cars and revert back to walking and horse and buggy. Hey, not only is it better for our environment, it is better for our health! Then again, there are the multiple down falls to that reversion.
and the farts which, according to AL Gore, are bad as well. better start saving up your Carbon Credits!
Actually methane is bad for the ozone layer, supposedly. Also because there are so many cows than would survive in the wild, we increased the methane output massively.
yeah, the farts have methane and, supposedly, are bad.
Goodhart (author)  Dr.Paj9 years ago
Save the world, eat more cows and lower the surface population ! :-)
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