Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Biofuels take their toll on environment

We've talked before about the environmental impact associated with biofuel production, an issue that tends to get glossed over in the rush to promote "renewable" energy sources.

An article that appeared in today's Wall St. Journal, "Alternative-energy boom roils Asian environments", examines the drawbacks of unsustainable palm oil production. An excerpt:

Investors are pouring billions of dollars into "renewable" energy sources such as ethanol, biodiesel and solar power that promise to reduce the world's reliance on petroleum. But exploiting these alternatives may produce unintended environmental and economic consequences -- fallout that could offset many of the expected benefits.

Here on the island of Borneo, a thick haze often encloses this city of 500,000 people. The cause: forest fires that have blazed across the island, some of which were set to clear land to produce palm oil -- a key ingredient in biodiesel, a clean-burning diesel fuel alternative.

Search this blog for more on information on this topic. Suggested search terms: "ethanol", "biofuel", "alternative energy".