GEO ExPro

“The Great Global Biofuel Swindle”

It's too bad. But it's happening. Partly because of a massive marketing campaign instigated by a multitude of environmental organisations (the "green mafia"), endorsed by several governmental bodies around the world, biofuels are taking an ever larger share of the huge energy market.
This article appeared in Vol. 5, No. 4 - 2008

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As of 2008, biofuels make up as much as 1.6% of oil products consumed globally. In five year's time biofuel production may have reached 3.5% of global demand, and there are ambitions to bring production up to 16 million bopd by 2050. In other words, the biofuel industry is growing tremendously fast, a lot faster than the conventional oil industry, and the biofuel lobby is getting invaluable support from the self proclaimed "environmentalists". One day they will wake up and realise that they have - contrary to what they say they are fighting for - contributed to the increased output of greenhouse gases. But by then it may be too late. It's too bad.  

Fertile soil is now being used for making gasoline instead of growing food in countries like Brazil, Indonesia and the USA. Huge rain forests are being cut down and vast fields are cleared to make room for growing maize, sugar, soya beans and other agricultural products that can be converted to (heavily subsidised) hydrocarbons.  

The result is more expensive food and, as it turns out, increased (!) release of CO2 to the atmosphere compared to conventional hydrocarbons. That is what I call an "inconvenient truth". Now it is also being termed "the great biofuel swindle".  

The subject of biofuels was discussed at the recent 33rd International Geological Congress held in Oslo in August. Professor Marian Reatezki of the University of Luleå, Sweden, gave a very interesting keynote speech that ought to be read and understood by everybody concerned with our future energy mix. He clearly stated that "biofuel is not an appropriate solution" - and presented good arguments supporting his case.  

"The current drive for biofuels cannot be justified, either on economic or environmental grounds," concluded Professor Marian Reatezki. We certainly agree, and the trouble is, the biofuel swindle is to a large extent sponsored by so-called environmentalists who have on their main agenda the liquidation of the oil industry. They will instead make an important contribution towards the liquidation of a sustainable future.

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