Biofuels: Are they actually ecofriendly?
Biofuels as said by David Tilman and Jason Hill, “…are not created equal.” I always thought biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel were a big step forward into reducing the global impact of fuel; such as transportation, production industry and cultivation, but according to the facts that Tilman and Hill brought forth says otherwise on the most current and popular biofuels. Published in 2007, “Fuel for Thought: All Biofuels Are Not Created Equal”, they start out with how “biofuels” were first used to feed the horses; hay and oats, yes that was the original biofuel, (They would feed the horses and oxen the oats and hay, these animals were the means of transportation and also how crops were tilled and harvested), to how it is replacing gasoline today. The demand for energy is now crossing the lines of the demand for food, because now with biofuels we are technically growing our new energy source, corn, soy and other crops that can be converted into ethanol. Corn and other biofuel crops are a high demand product now that biofuels are becoming ever popular, people of the world eat the corn, livestock that help feed the world also eat the corn, and now to add to the importance of corn being used to create ethanol, which is used in much of the gasoline that is used on a day to day basis by much of the world. This new demand for corn and other crops does more than just raise the price for the crop itself, it raises the competition for fertile lands to grow the crop and it decreases the amount of crop that is sent out of the country to poorer malnourished economies that cannot afford the higher price. Fuel vs. Food is having a greater impacted on poorer countries where a small amount of food is all you get each day, now with rising food prices these poor countries are getting. According to many different experts, including David Tilman of University of Minnesota,
References: Inman, M. (2008, February 7). Clearing land for biofuels makes global warming worse. Retrieved from National Geographic News website: news.nationalgeographic.com Tenenbaum, D. (2008, June). Food vs. fuel: diversion of crops could cause more hunger. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116, A254-A257. Tilman, D., Hill, J., Lehman, C. (2007, June 15). Response to comment on “Carbon-Negative Biofuels from Low-Input High-Diversity Grassland Biomass.” Science Magazine, 316, 1567.