Tag Archives: greenhouse gas

Indirect Land Use Thoughts

Dear Colleagues: I have spent a lot of time the last few weeks trying to think through the indirect land use change (ILUC) issue. I have divided my thoughts into two questions that I am asking myself: 1) are we in fact currently able to estimate these changes with any degree of confidence?, and 2) if we could estimate such changes, would it be a good idea to base policy on those estimates? My current Read More >

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Meet the Press (Or at least their editorial boards)

Recently two editorials were written by the NY Times and Washington Post concerning biofuels in which the recent Science papers were referred to. According to the NY Times, “The studies’ authors say that some ethanol sources wood wastes, or grasses planted on previously degraded land — could yield net benefits in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Still, they are one more reminder that regulators will have to design the tightest possible standards for ethanol production. Read More >

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Is the Debate on Land Use Over?

The full implications of the German Marshall Fund and Nature Conservancy articles in Science and the agenda and arguments of environmental and conservation advocates are coming more into focus. Consider comments posted by Nathanael Greene of the Natural Resources Defense Council on his Switchboard: While we still do not have international protocols that pay to protect or simply prohibit clearing of carbon rich lands, emissions from cleared land driven by marginally higher demand is simply Read More >

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Biofuels Feedstocks – Yield Matters

The following post was submitted by Richard Hamilton, president and CEO of Ceres, Inc. Technology is playing a critical role in maximizing the inherent advantages of dedicated energy crops. Through advanced plant breeding, public and private researchers are increasing yields both in terms of tons per acre (field yields) and in terms of gallons per ton (through traits that improve conversion). Higher yields not only have a significant impact on reducing production costs of cellulosic Read More >

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Scientists Respond to Carbon Debt Issue

Reaction to the ScienceXpress articles by Searchinger et al. and Tilman et al. has focused on the assumptions the teams of authors used in measuring greenhouse gas emissions from changes in land use. As Michigan State University Professor of Chemical Engineering Bruce Dale points out, Both of these papers are modeling studies and are therefore completely dependent on the validity of the models themselves and also of the basic assumptions and data input to the Read More >

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