Much of the media coverage of the recent Science Magazine studies made it clear that many hadn’t actually read the studies before they reported on them. Some interpreted the studies as condemning corn ethanol production now, not as the worst case scenario of what could happen in the future.
University of Minnesota professor David Tilman, an author of one study, clarified it today in an interview with Minnesota Daily:
Tilman, who is currently on sabbatical from the University, said he feels the study is misunderstood by others in the industry.
“The goal of our paper was to point out if we do certain things, that those things would give us fuels that didn’t have very much environmental benefit,” he said.
Tilman said the paper didn’t say the problems were happening now, but instead that they could happen in the future.
The challenge to the biofuels industry, and one it’s willing to undertake, is to make sure that future growth continues in a responsible way so that biofuels can continue to improve the environment.