Why not to get your fuel energy someplace else?

If you think it’s good to use trees for fuel, think again.
Recently Dogwood Alliance released a paper, “Don’t Log the Forests for the Fuel” which exposed the false environmental and economic benefits of tree-based biofuels. Over the last couple of years, policy makers and investors have been quick to jump on the biofuel bandwagon in hopes of cashing in on the climate and energy crisis, though little to no research supports the positive benefits of this fuel. In fact evidence seems to be mounting to the contrary.

“Between the climate crisis and a growing dependence on foreign oil we are facing a grim future unless big ideas and bold policies are enacted. Unfortunately, tree-based biofuels are a short-sighted and false solution,” said Scot Quaranda, campaign director, Dogwood Alliance. “At best this is an economic boondoggle, and at worst, we are setting ourselves up for a disaster for our forests which will exacerbate global climate change rather than combat it.”

Among the paper’s key findings:

  • Regions already known for their forest products are likely to dominate the market, increasing already unsustainable levels of clearcutting, conversion of natural forests to plantations, and use of toxic chemicals in forest management.
  • Due to the vast amount of carbon released from Southern forest clearcuts, biofuel production could actually double the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. (CO2)
  • While it is clear we need to reduce fossil fuel consumption, researchshows that we could reduce global warming pollution two to nine times
    more by conserving or restoring forests and grasslands than by razing
  • The forests of the Southern U.S. are a global treasure, housing critical levels of biodiversity, unique ecosystems found nowhere else in the world, and the potential to house a sustainable combination of wood products companies, forest-based tourism, and provide a cultural resource for local communities for generations to come.
  • Not only will the cellulosic ethanol industry compete with an already unsustainable pulp and paper industry in the southern U.S., it will also cause irreparable harm to the forests and communities of the region,” Quaranda said.

While tree-based biofuel may not be the answer, the paper outlines a number of effective alternatives including conservation and efficiency, research and development in proven technologies, and everyday steps that individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprint.

GreenDustries believes our southern forests are one of the country’s most importance resources and we go along with the Dogwood Alliance’s position that these lands need to be preserved. We urge everyone to tweet, Facebook and inform others on the delicate balance being upset by those seeking their fortunes at the expense of these venerable forests.

Let’s start aggressive research on developing new technologies based on the sun and nano technology.

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