Yesterday, I noted Al Gore bragging that he played a critical role in passing current biofuel mandates, making him the father of ethanol, not just the Internet. The great goddess of irony is having a field day:
Environmentalists are warning against expanding the production of
biofuels, noting the proposed solution to global warming is actually
causing more harm than it is designed to alleviate. Experts report
biodiesel production, in particular, is causing the destruction of
virgin rainforests and their rich biodiversity, as well as a sharp rise
in greenhouse gas emissions.
Opponents of biofuels read like a Who's Who of environmental
activist groups. The Worldwatch Institute, World Conservation Union,
and the global charity Oxfam warn that by directing food staples to the
production of transport fuels, biofuels policy is leading to the
starvation and further impoverishment of the world's poor.
On November 15, Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior unfurled a large banner
reading "Palm Oil Kills Forests and Climate" and blockaded a tanker
attempting to leave Indonesia with a cargo full of palm oil.
Greenpeace, which warns of an imminent "climate bomb" due to the
destruction of rich forests and peat bogs that currently serve as a
massive carbon sink, reports groups such as the World Wildlife Fund,
Conservation International, and Flora and Fauna International have
joined them in calling for an end to the conversion of forests to
croplands for the production of biofuels
"The rush to address speculative global warming concerns is once
again proving the law of unintended consequences," said James M.
Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland
Institute. "Biofuels mandates and subsidies are causing the destruction
of forests and the development of previously pristine lands in a
counterproductive attempt to improve the environment.
"Some of the world's most effective carbon sinks are being destroyed
and long-stored carbon is now being released into the atmosphere in
massive quantities, merely to make wealthy Westerners feel like they
are 'doing something' to address global warming. The reality is, they
are making things worse," Taylor noted.