Bill Liao: Joined up thinking

publiziert: Montag, 22. Nov 2010 / 15:36 Uhr / aktualisiert: Montag, 22. Nov 2010 / 16:09 Uhr

Bill Liao on how many 'rights' still do make a 'wrong' when it comes to bio-fuels.

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In my travels as an environmental campaigner I am often frustrated by a lack of joined up thinking.

It goes something like this:
- Biofuels are studied and found to be carbon neutral.
- A particular type of crop is chosen to become the feedstock of the biofuel process.
- Companies then go in search of a way to produce that crop and process it cost effectively.
- The end point should be that European cars according to European directives are closer to carbon neutral.

Now ask any specialist in the above chain whether what they propose makes sense and you will get a strong defense of their position.

Right by themselves, but wrong all together

The scientists who did the biofuel research will be in favor and the engineers who made the processes will be committed to doing the best they can and the legislators who put into law the subsidies and directives will all be utterly convinced they are doing the right thing. The companies involved will even be selling stock predicting commercial success.

The problem is they are all terribly wrong. Not in their individual ways at all. The science and engineering is sound as are the economics. The problem is that they are highly specialized in their knowledge and they do not talk beyond their small closed networks and they do not think beyond their country borders.

In short, there is no joined up thinking and no care for the unintended consequences of their actions.

So we are headed for another environmental screw up.

You see the feed stock for the biofuels the EU is so keen on producing is not cheaply grown in Europe so where are the companies buying up land to turn into mass scale farms? Across Africa... What kind of land are they buying? Fertile land! What kind of Fertile land in uninhabited in the Africa's? Forest land...

The EU is going ahead as if nothing was wrong

So despite a scathing report on the impact of deforestation in biofuel production the EU is going ahead as if nothing is wrong. Everyone they are consulting in their circle is saying that all is well, yet causing massive deforestation in hot climates will VASTLY out weigh the potential carbon savings by putting millions more tons of CO2 into the atmosphere right away that will never be saved by any amount of bio fuel because bio fuels use as much CO2 as they recapture.

So what might have been carbon neutral and a truly great thing for Europe is now the total opposite and just because there is no joined up thinking.

Please call on the EU to stop and investigate now before they make a huge carbon blunder and deprive future generations of what is our most precious resource, Forests.

(by Bill Liao/

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