Environmentalists Mugged by Reality
This article would have been noteworthy based simply on pure irony:
The rush to grow biofuel crops — widely embraced as part of the solution to global warming — is actually increasing greenhouse gas emissions rather than reducing them, according to two studies published Thursday in the journal Science.
One analysis found that clearing forests and grasslands to grow the crops releases vast amounts of carbon into the air — far more than the carbon spared from the atmosphere by burning biofuels instead of gasoline. …
Even converting existing farmland from food to biofuel crops increases greenhouse gas emissions as food production is shifted to other parts of the world, resulting in the destruction of more forests and grasslands to make way for farmland, the second study found.
But comments by University of Minnesota economist and ecologist Jason Hill (whose political persuasion I do not know) transform it into an emblematic text:
“We’re rushing into biofuels, and we need to be very careful,” said Jason Hill, an economist and ecologist at the University of Minnesota who co-authored the study. “It’s a little frightening to think that something this well intentioned might be very damaging.”
Yes. It’s a frightening road between where you want to arrive and how you have to get there.