These Are The Folks Who Are Wrapping Themselves in the Mantle of "Science"

Oops.  Accounting error seriously overestimates benefits of biofuels.  

The European Union is overestimating the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions achieved through reliance on biofuels as a result of a “serious accounting error,” according to a draft opinion by an influential committee of 19 scientists and academics.

The European Environment Agency Scientific Committee writes that the role of energy from crops like biofuels in curbing warming gases should be measured by how much additional carbon dioxide such crops absorb beyond what would have been absorbed anyway by existing fields, forests and grasslands.

Instead, the European Union has been “double counting” some of the savings, according to the draft opinion, which was prepared by the committee in May and viewed this week by The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times.

The committee said that the error had crept into European Union regulations because of a “misapplication of the original guidance” under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“The potential consequences of this bioenergy accounting error are immense since it assumes that all burning of biomass does not add carbon to the air,” the committee wrote.

Duh.  This has been a known fact to about everyone else, as most independent studies not done by a corn-state university have found ethanol to have, at best, zero utility in reducing atmospheric CO2.

It is worth noting that the EU would likely have never made this admission had it solely been under the pressure of skeptics, for whom this is just one of a long list of fairly obvious errors in climate-related science.  But several years ago, environmental groups jumped on the skeptic bandwagon opposing ethanol, both for its lack of efficacy in reducing emissions as well as the impact of increasing ethanol product on land use and food prices.

  • http://harries@free.fr blokeinfrance

    Winter is a-cumin in and I'll soon be warming myself with my environmentally correct log stove. It's a nice warm feeling to know that the French government is subsidising me at the rate of 40% of the capital cost of the stove to burn logs in order to reduce carbon emissions...

  • bobby b

    "But several years ago, environmental groups jumped on the skeptic bandwagon opposing ethanol, both for its lack of efficacy in reducing emissions as well as the impact of increasing ethanol product on land use and food prices."

    Well, plus the fact that the huge corporations moved in surprisingly fast to take over ownership of the rents available from ethanol. What environmentalist worth his salt sets up a big money diversion for other people's benefit? When GM starts making consumer windmills, environmentalists will condemn windmills, too.

  • Ted Rado

    A few simple calcs can easily show that ethanol from corn or other ag sources is a joke. Yet all politicians from corn areas, regardless of political party, vote for the subsidies, and professors continue to get USG grants to study biofuels. Moral of the story: we are all prostitutes. The only question is price.

    Solution to the problem: get th USG to MESS OUT!!