Biofuels are a manmade eco-disaster waiting to happen and should be banned. Biofuels are like a drug that eases the symptoms but does not address the causes of the problem – and has disastrous side effects. Let me explain.
The real issue is addiction to the combustion engine and cheap fuel – it is yesterday’s technology – a product of the industrial revolution and as out of date as the horse and cart it replaced.
If the true cost, including the environmental damage, of combustion engines was included in the retail fuel price, the world would suffer a material price shock.
The disastrous shale oil and gas fracking boom are the death throes of the carbon addiction cycle. Geo-political turmoil from Venezuela to Riyadh and Iran is creating oil price volatility and causing funding crises for oil producing countries and their governments. They are desperate to sell more oil to finance their rehab as they wean themselves off it. This is the madness and cruelty of any addiction.
As the Industrial Revolution is replaced by the Sustainability Revolution, transport from cars to planes will become almost exclusively powered by electric motors – and these supplied by stored renewable energy sources.
Biofuels were originally touted as an ecologically, sound means of combating climate change. The continued substitution of food production capacity in order to grow biofuel crops is madness in a world short of food not power.
The principal biofuels are ethanol from sugar cane and agri-diesel from palm oil. Current ethanol production in Brazil uses over 10 million hectares of land, the target is to plant 30 million hectares producing 100 trillion litres of ethanol per year. The rain forest will be devastated to achieve this.
The amount of land given over to oil palm production is forecast to double again between now and 2025. Global palm oil production covers over 27 million hectares of the earth’s finite surface – an environmental disaster.
None of us expect to be driving combustion engine cars in the future – the age of the polluting engine is over. Let’s accelerate that change and ban biofuels and combustion engines for personal transport by 2030.
Rolls Royce have already started developing the E-fan X jet engine in conjunction with Airbus. It is due to take to the skies in 2020 which will demonstrate the high-power propulsion potential of electric engines as the industry targets of a 75% reduction in CO2 and noise pollution from air travel by 2050.
Mandating zero emission vehicles will create a massive boom and investment in the sustainability revolution that the planet needs to survive. Good planets are hard to come by, let’s not ruin ours.
Let’s get busy repairing the future.