- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Fossil Fuels are Destroying our Climate is the message from some news headlines and environmental activists groups. This proclamation is a result of environmental groups claiming that our atmospheric temperatures are climbing as a result of burning fossil fuels, particularly our transportation vehicles. The idea is that burning carbon-based chemicals releases CO2 gases, which trap the sun's heat. For years, groups such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and ActionAid have pushed to develop alternative fuels to run our planes, trains and automobiles. They touted the use of biofuels because they would be a carbon neutral energy source and are totally renewable because we can grow more. Plants use the same carbon that is released whereas the crude oil cannot be replenished as quickly as the CO2 is formed.
The United States and industry sunk billions of dollars in developing commercial production for various fuels for our transportation needs. Vast research has been carried out by industry and universities across the country to improve the yield of ethanol and biodiesel materials. The government has written production and use requirements for these fuels into our regulations to force the transition.
So, now that the people of Earth are heading down the path to increased use of alternative fuels, a report from these same groups are telling us that by clearing the land needed to produce nearly 10 percent of our needs by 2020, we will be increasing climate pollution by 167 percent over what just sticking with fossil fuels would have produced.
"Biofuels are not a climate-friendly solution to our energy needs," Laura Sullivan, ActionAid's European policy and campaigns manager, said in the statement. "The EU plans effectively give companies a blank cheque to continue grabbing land from the world's poor by growing biofuels."
The E.U. scientists that those same groups had previously quoted are saying that the efforts to meet the 2020 goals should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent. They also say that a number of assumptions used in that report are just not accurate. For example, the guidelines specifically prevent the use of deforested lands. So no impact there. Research is improving yields and much less land that was noted in the report will be required.
It seems inevitable that no matter what actions are taken, somebody will complain. Even if we all gave up driving and went back to the old horse and buggy days and increased our walking, some people would point out that we are breathing harder and that is resulting in more CO2 emissions. Maybe instead of complaining about everyone else, these groups should take their considerable funds and go into a competing business to sell the products they think are better. But, I guess in the long run they would just complain that we are not buying what they are selling.