Category Archives: Biofuels & Climate Change

It’s Carbon Payback Time

A recent study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin takes another look at the “carbon debt” models proposed by Searchinger and Fargione in ScienceXpress earlier this year. Searchinger and Fargione argued that biofuel development in the United States and Europe would lead to the destruction of rainforests and grassland in Brazil and other tropical climates, which would of course release massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere (See earlier posting). The new study takes Read More >

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BIOTECH, India

I was poking around on YouTube today, looking for stuff about biotechnology. It’s kinda like going through someone’s attic. Anyway I found some neat stuff. BIOTECH, in India is doing some neat things with biotechnology to help the environment. This then reminded me of our Pacific Rim meeting, where we will have companies from India participating. Anyway, check out the video. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrtINiLgNKY]

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UK Study Highlights Uncertainty in Calculating Indirect Land Use Emissions

Britain’s Renewable Fuels Agency this week released the Gallagher Review, a report on the indirect effects of biofuels production that was prompted by the Searchinger and Fargione studies published in Science earlier this year. (See this blog’s earlier post on the forthcoming study.) The summary of the conclusions of the Gallagher Review include some very telling comments: Quantification of GHG emissions from indirect land-use change requires subjective assumptions and contains considerable uncertainty. “Current lifecycle analyses Read More >

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Not a Secret After All

On Friday July 4, The Guardian newspaper of London published a story (“Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis”) about a “confidential,” unpublished World Bank report it had obtained purportedly demonstrating that biofuels are responsible for 75 percent of the global rise in food prices. “The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body,” according to The Guardian. In Read More >

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Chemurgy Is Back with a Vengeance

The Economist recently published two stories that succinctly make the case for continuing to reduce our reliance on oil. The more recent story outlines the use of industrial biotechnology for plastics, and another earlier story details research and development of biotech fuels that go beyond ethanol. In “Better Living Through Chemurgy,” reporter Vijay Vaitheeswaran compares today’s industrial biotechnology companies with the chemurgy movement of Henry Ford, who sought to make cars and fuels from agricultural Read More >

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