Thursday, February 14, 2008

USDA looks at new ethanol crops


File under must read IMHO or its about time or whatever...

Note: Several new links added. Sorry, but I found them after posting.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working on new crops for ethanol.

With corn and soybeans being used for fuel as well as food, there are increasing concerns about the best use, the Journal Star reported.

It was getting a little fucking disconcerting that many were sounding the alarm about using food crops for fuel when some people are already starving for lack of food. Those who aren't starving are slowing being starved out of affordable food. (FT.com).

Yet almost no one seemed to be addressing the problem. The bright side is, one crop cycle and farms can switch to non-food sources for biofuels. The USDA just has to figure out the best ones.

Now if someone would just tackle the problems of deforestation for biofuels crop production, the need to water those crops when the water is needed for drinking and irrigation of food crops and the probability biofuels will put more carbon into the atmosphere, we can all relax.

A short aside. In the US, biofuels almost always mean ethanol with little to no consideration of biodiesel. Those big trucks gobble up millions of barrels of fuel and pollute pretty badly, but ya gotta keep them voters' cars going.

Related story at FT.com. Study finds profit in cutting emissions.

Related story at AlterNet. Maude Barlow: The Growing Battle for the Right to Water.

Via UPI.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Ted Compton said...

Why am I thinking kudzu?

2/15/2008 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger SPIIDERWEB™ said...

Excellent idea if they can contain it.

I'd think bamboo in some areas and possibly hemp in others.

They need to find the trade-off between oil content and speed of growth.

I'm no horticulturist, but it sounds like an interesting challenge and one they should be able to pull off.

2/15/2008 09:52:00 AM  

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