A whole range of environmental and social woes have emerged from an ill-informed, incautious rush into biofuels. Humanity’s knee jerk reaction has been to seek to replace our dependency upon fossil fuels with a dependency upon living biomass; rather than embracing conservation, efficiency and true renewables. Emerging concerns with biofuels have included well-documented destruction of rainforests [search], human rights abuses [search], and an increase in food prices [search] as we choose to feed our cars before the poor and hungry.
Yet perhaps no element of biofuel policy is more alarming and unacknowledged than the degree to which biofuel production requires unsustainable use of scarce water resources [ark | search]. The National Research Council reports that the US ethanol rush will result in a drain on drinking water as corn production requires vast quantities of water for irrigation (planned cellulosic ethanol from biomass almost certainly will as well). Large scale, commercial production of biofuels mines water and soil resources, diminishing them — making biofuels a non-renewable energy source. Biofuels are a deadly distraction from powering down the industrial Earth destroying growth machine.
(via the Water Conservation Blog)
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