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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • The not-so-funny thing is, biofuel is not an answer, it’s a disaster. It cannot solve either crisis, climate or energy, it only creates plentiful new problems.

    The environmental cost of biofuel is much higher than the cost of fossil fuels – it will cause rainforest to be replaced by palm farms, which is a ludicrous carbon balance bottom line. In other words, biofuel is the most carbon-intensive source of energy ever .

    Not only that, but according to a 2003 calculation by Jeffrey Dukes, our car

    • Well, it's causing rainforest in brazil certainly to be replaced by sugar cane, and also soy (for different reasons).

      I'm not sure if 400 is entirely correct there, or it may be out of context? I'd certainly believe we're using 400 times as much as is STORED normally. But your original figure may well be correct too.

      The earth is already powered by nuclear fusion, there's a giant reactor that goes over our heads every day.

      We just collect it in myriad different ways, including via biomass, wind power, and from long-term caches.

      If biofuels supply a better and more efficient way to get energy from the sun to humans, it's going to happen.

      Whether or not it's an answer to climate change is utterly irrelevant.

      Over the long term, economics always wins.

      We may well be currently caught up in a tragedy of the commons situation of epic proportions. So be it.

      All we can do is to do whatever is our power to develop solutions that make things more sustainable, and do whatever else we can to delay the situation till that is resolved.

      Failing that, if it comes down the planet simply not being able to support the current population, we'll see worldwide mass starvation becoming the norm.

      And as much as we'll hate it, we'll need to deal with it.
      • I’m not sure if 400 is entirely correct there, or it may be out of context? I’d certainly believe we’re using 400 times as much as is STORED normally.

        I think my phrasing was a bit muddled. What I mean is, we use 400× as much energy every year as the entire Earth can store in plants in a year. We would need to harvest the entire Earth’s flora for 4 centuries in order to run our society for one year on that harvest.

        The earth is already powered by nuclear fusion, there

        • > They don’t; not by a long shot.

          US $35 per "barrel" for sugar cane ethanol seems pretty decent to me.

          And if all of the processes involved in the manufacturing are also run off ethanol, you get something very close to carbon neutrality.