Biofuels can help solve climate change, especially with a carbon tax


John Abraham writes in the Guardian on how biofuels production can be optimized by looking at life-cycle analysis and finding a balance between economic and environmental factors: “Facing the reality of human-caused warming, we now look for ways to reduce the problem so that future generations will not inherit a disaster. So, what can we do now to help the future? The easiest answer is to use energy more wisely and quit wasting our precious resources. Second, we can increase our use of clean energy, particularly wind and solar power. These are great starts but we will still need some liquid fuels and for those, we can make decisions about the best fuels for the environment. There has been extensive conversation recently about biofuels and how they may help solve the climate problem. The term ‘biofuels’ has many meanings, but basically they are grown fuels (like corn ethanol) that we can use instead of fossil fuels (like petroleum)… When we burn them in our automobiles, we release carbon dioxide, but it is the same carbon that the plants absorbed while growing. Just on that basis, biofuels appear to be zero net emitters.”

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