Reassessing Ethanol, Gaseously Speaking

By February 9, 2008Energy, Global Warming

For what it’s worth.

Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these “green” fuels are taken into account, two studies being published Thursday have concluded.

The benefits of biofuels have come under increasing attack in recent months, as scientists took a closer look at the global environmental cost of their production. These latest studies, published in the prestigious journal Science, are likely to add to the controversy.

Yeah, things just keep turning up. Like another less noticed item from Science, or rather, the prestigious Science.

Researchers have found a control mechanism in the western Pacific Ocean that seems to be protecting coral reefs from global warming. The discovery is a welcome bit of good news, the scientists say, because it suggests that some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world might not be in as much jeopardy as previously thought.

UPDATE (4:20 p.m.): Glenn Reynolds observes the following about the Science report: “It doesn’t seem to address ethanol or methanol from waste biomass, though. Those should have a considerably more benign profile. Also, there are advantages to weakening OPEC even if there’s no environmental benefit from doing so.”

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