Mar 30 2007

Monbiot: Biofuels Threaten Food Supplies and Forests, Worsen Global Warming

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Bio-fuelsGUEST: George Monbiot, columnist for the Guardian Newspaper in Britain, author of several books including, “The Age of Consent: a manifesto for a new world order”

The Bush administration wants to cut gasoline consumption by 20 percent over the next 10 years and instead raise the production of alternative fuels, including bio-fuels like ethanol, to 35 billion gallons a year by 2017. That goal has spiked the demand worldwide for corn, the main source of ethanol in the United States. The definition of bio-fuel is any fuel that is derived from biomass — that is recently living organisms or their metabolic byproducts. It is a renewable energy source, unlike other natural resources such as petroleum, coal, and nuclear fuels. Bio-fuel includes ethanol from corn; bio-diesel from fats or oils such as soy-bean oil; and unrefined vegetable oil, such as waste vegetable oil discarded from restaurants. Many environmentalists have been championing the use of bio-fuels to combat global warming and pollution, and it seems as though some powerful nations such as the US, Britain, and China are finally warming up to the idea. But my guest, George Monbiot, has criticized the move toward bio-fuels because, in his words, “oil produced from plants sets up competition for food between cars and people. People – and the environment – will lose.”

Read George Monbiot’s article A Lethal Solution, on his website:

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Monbiot: Biofuels Threaten Food Supplies and Forests, Worsen Global Warming”

  1. Craig Mackintoshon 30 Mar 2007 at 10:10 am

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  2. luke5on 30 Mar 2007 at 6:16 pm

    also monoplies,food costs 2nd to fuel, pressure to increase illegal immigrant farm labor, boon for multi-nt’l land
    ownership & contrived farm subsidies; boon for big bank’g & lend’g using gov agencies est for assist for poor to middle class small farming. read ‘the other path’, endorsed by regan, nixon etal in support of ‘free enterprise’ in’latin so america:to stop closed mercantile trade fron the countries allowing small to middle class entreneurs in. guess whose out in the usa. hopefully , i’m preaching to the choir.

  3. M. Semterraon 09 Apr 2007 at 5:34 pm

    If you liked this show you should also check out George Monbiot’s new book Heat. I have read a fair amount about climate change, but this book really made me feel the urgency to change and gave me hope that there are real solutions to climate change.

    Let’s hope it doesn’t take the three years that Sonali says it took for people to start to acknowledge that the concerns Monbiot rose about biofuel for us to start seriously implementing the changes he says are necessary to make the necessary carbon cuts.


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