Time, not always my favorite publication, hit on a couple of points I have made recently in an article called the Clean Energy Scam. This article has been around for a few weeks but I am only just now getting to it.
First, I made the point just the other day that inordinate focus on global warming is crowding out other more important environmental issues, sucking the oxygen out of causes like private land trusts that are attempting to preserve unique areas. As Time says:
The Amazon was the chic eco-cause of the 1990s, revered as an
incomparable storehouse of biodiversity. It's been overshadowed lately
by global warming
Much has been made of Brazil's efforts to reduce imported oil. Too much credit has been given to ethanol -- most of Brazil's independence came from a number of domestic oil developments. However, Brazil has been a leading promoter of ethanol through government policy, and this focus on ethanol has had a lot to do with deforestation in the Amazon, as rising crop prices due to biofuel mandates have spurred a rush to clear new land. Now, US and European ethanol policies are just accelerating this trend:
This land rush is being accelerated by an unlikely source: biofuels. An
explosion in demand for farm-grown fuels has raised global crop prices
to record highs, which is spurring a dramatic expansion of Brazilian
agriculture, which is invading the Amazon at an increasingly alarming
it never made any sense that a fuel that requires more energy to produce than it provides could ever be "green," but only now are the politically correct forces accepting what I and others have been saying for years:
But several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the
opposite of what its proponents intended: it's dramatically
accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of
saving it. Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to
be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from
switchgrass, which has been promoted by eco-activists and eco-investors
as well as by President Bush as the fuel of the future, looks less
green than oil-derived gasoline.
The rest of the article is quite good. I don't like to criticize where other people choose to spend their charitable dollars, but it is just amazing to me that environmentally-concerned people could give $300 million to Al Gore just to squander on advertising. (By the way, Al Gore claims to have not only invented the Internet, but to have "saved" corn ethanol from government defunding). I think about how much $300 million could have achieve in private land trusts trying to buy up and preserve the Amazon, and I could cry. But all I can do is plug along and give what I can. I donate to both the Nature Conservancy and World Land Trust.