May 13, 2013 | 32 comments
February 8, 2013 | 146 comments
January 21, 2013 | 26 comments
January 8, 2013 | 2 comments
December 10, 2012 | 51 comments
Welcome to the Age of Biofuels — and the latest Obama crackpot scheme.
(Page 2 of 2)
Nonetheless, ETC has emerged as one of the leading critics of algae and other biofuels, mainly because of the anticipated impact on Third World agriculture. “The problem with biomass is that it has very little energy density,” says Thomas, who works out of Montreal. “It doesn’t even compare well with solar, which is very dilute. Photosynthesis is only 1 percent efficient at turning sunlight into useful energy while a solar thermal plant can manage about 20 percent. The big problem with algae is that you can’t grow it more than one or two inches deep or else you lose the sunlight. So it’s going to require ridiculously large quantities of land. In order to match the output of a single oil refinery, you’d need to cover an area the size of San Francisco.”
With this kind of land requirements, the only place where biofuels are going to make any kind of sense is in the developing world. “The cheapest biomass will inevitably be grown in the forests of Brazil and Central Africa,” said Thomas. “It’s already happening. Right now the search for biofuels by investors is the largest land grab of the last 300 years. Peasants are being pushed off their land. There are conflicts and battles going on and people are even being killed over this issue. Any technological advances are only going to make it worse. Switching from fossil fuels to biofuels is essentially an appropriation of the biological resources of the developing world by the developed world.”
So there you have it, Obama’s brave new world of soft, green energy.
In truth, the current era will probably be looked back upon as a brief episode when crackpot ideas gained the upper hand — when we ruined whole landscapes by littering them with useless windmills and solar collectors and took the preliminary steps toward dragooning the entire world’s biological resources in trying to replace the more dense and useful resources of oil, gas and the atom that nature has offered us. Hopefully, it won’t last long.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?