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Sugar cane ethanol biofuel produces 10 times the pollution of gasoline and diesel

Indur Goklany calculated that biofuels policies killed nearly 200,000 people  in 2010 alone. That was before this study showed things may be worse than we suspected.

Brazil is the largest sugar cane ethanol producer in the world, but people are burning four times the area of sugar cane plantations than previously realized, and it’s producing far more pollution than they thought. For every unit of energy generated, the ethanol-biofuel use produces a lot less CO2 (plant fertilizer) but more volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), more carbon monoxide, more nitrous oxides, as well as more sulphur dioxides. (See Graph b below).

Compared to gasoline and diesel, over its whole life cycle, every unit of energy produced with sugar cane produces 10 times as much volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), carbon monoxide,  and nitrous oxides.  The amount PM10′s and PM2.5′s produced with ethanol fuels is even higher. Most of the pollution comes from burning fields of sugar cane (see graph a). Hence the people suffering the most from ethanol production will be villagers and rural farmers living near areas of sugar cane production. While there have been efforts to encourage farmers to produce cane without burning fields, over half of sugar-cane crop loads continue to be burned. Presumably there is a cost to producing sugar cane without burning. Perhaps sugar-cane production is viable and competitive without burning but this study does not discuss the reasons farmers prefer to burn fields.

If you care about pollution, and want less of it, and you care about the health of people in developing countries then clearly we should encourage gasoline and diesel use, and discourage production of ethanol that involves burning sugar cane-fields.

Likewise, to promote growth in the Amazon (by increasing CO2 levels), we ought to be burning fossil fuels and not fields of cane.

 If global policies devalue concentrated energy underground and prize diffuse photosynthetic sources of energy above ground, will we protect and retain dirty rocks deep below the surface at the expense of biodiversity and health of plants and people? It seems so.

 

Graph comparing emissions from biofuels to car use, diesel, gasoline

Figure 1  Comparisons of life-cycle emissions for sugar-cane ethanol in Brazil and conventional liquid fuels. a, Life-cycle emissions per unit energy of sugar-cane ethanol produced within five life-cycle phases. Although our life-cycle emissions account for a mix of sugar-cane fields where the burning practice is used and not used, the burning-phase emissions shown here are for ethanol produced from croplands that are burned. T/D, transportation/distribution; BTU, British thermal units. b, Comparisons of life-cycle emissions for conventional gasoline, diesel and sugar-cane ethanol. Estimates from the GREET model include six air pollutants (VOC, CO, NOx, PM10, PM2:5, and SOx) and greenhouse gases (as CO2 equivalent, CO2e). Right axis is for greenhouse-gas emissions.

The empirical evidence is consistent. Emissions of black carbon, organic carbon and carbonyl sulphide are rising rapidly over Brazil and the increase occurs during the months of peak sugar cane production.

graph of biofuels pollution increasing

….

What about other forms of biofuels?

Previously studies suggested that corn based ethanol had higher health and “climate-change” costs than gasoline, but that cellulosic ethanol production had lower costs. (Hill et al 2008) The cellulosic sources in that study were prairie biomass, Miscanthus, corn stover, or switchgrass, not sugar-cane.

Corn ethanol fares poorly relative to alternatives because it requires, per unit of fuel produced, more fossil fuel and fertilizer inputs that emit large amounts of GHG and PM2.5. Corn-ethanol emissions would be improved if the hypothesized advances in technology were to occur (i.e., reduced fertilizer inputs, increased yields on farm, and improved conversion), making combined environmental costs from corn ethanol by using natural gas for process heat similar to gasoline. Compared with corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol from corn stover or perennial crops requires lower inputs and has lower emissions at the biorefinery because lignin combustion provides process heat and power, thereby displacing fossil fuel inputs and electricity production. “

Abstract of Tsao et al 2012:

Accelerating biofuel production has been promoted as an opportunity to enhance energy security, offset greenhouse gas
emissions and support rural economies. However, large uncertainties remain in the impacts of biofuels on air quality
and climate1,2. Sugar-cane ethanol is one of the most widely used biofuels, and Brazil is its largest producer3. Here we
use a life-cycle approach to produce spatially and temporally explicit estimates of air-pollutant emissions over the whole life
cycle of sugar-cane ethanol in Brazil. We show that even in regions where pre-harvest field burning has been eliminated
on half the croplands, regional emissions of air pollutants continue to increase owing to the expansion of sugar-cane
growing areas, and burning continues to be the dominant life-cycle stage for emissions. Comparison of our estimates of
burning-phase emissions with satellite estimates of burning in São Paulo state suggests that sugar-cane field burning is
not fully accounted for in satellite-based inventories, owing to the small spatial scale of individual fires. Accounting for
this effect leads to revised regional estimates of burned area that are four times greater than some previous estimates. Our revised emissions maps thus suggest that biofuels may have larger impacts on regional climate forcing and human health than previously thought.

Other information on Biofuels

References

Hill, J., Polasky, S., Nelson, E., Tilman, D., Huo, H., Ludwig, L., Neumann, J., Zheng, H. and Bonta, D. 2009. Climate change and health costs of air emissions from biofuels and gasoline. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106: 2077-2082. [Full text]

Tsao, C.-C., Campbell, J.E., Mena-Carrasco. M., Spak, S.N., Carmichael, G.R. and Chen, Y. 2011. Increased estimates of air-pollution emissions from Brazilian sugar-cane ethanol. Nature Climate Change 2: 53-57. [abstract]

h/t to NIPCC see their discussion of this paper.

Thanks to Mark in Perth for assistance.

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160 comments to Sugar cane ethanol biofuel produces 10 times the pollution of gasoline and diesel

  • #
    Sonny

    Clearly the green agenda is not really about health, safety and poverty prevention.
    It seems that they are more concerned to promote poverty, and attack our health and well-being.
    Are we all just “useless eaters” to the global elite? Are global warming / climate change policies simply a means to de-industrialize the world, make everything more expensive and drive an ever increasing proportion of the population into poverty and death?

    Comments please


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    • #
      Speedy

      Sonny

      This isn’t even counting the human cost of biofuel production. When food is diverted into biofuel production, market forces will drive up the price of sugar, corn etc – and it is the very poorest who will pay the cost. Sometimes, with their lives.

      Hence it is ironic that Tim Costello is directing World Vision Australia along the global warming path. In doing so, he is harming the very people he is supposed to be helping.

      Don’t donate to World Vision.

      Cheers,

      Speedy.


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      • #
        inedible hyperbowl

        2nd that!


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      • #
        Winston

        Speedy,
        That’s what the Malthusians euphemistically call “a market solution”.


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        • #
          Speedy

          Winston ( & IH/bowl).

          Perhaps it’s not so much ironic as hypocratic…

          Either way, don’t donate to World Vision.

          Cheers,

          Speedy


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        • #
          Andrew McRae

          I said earlier today that Climate Science is science done backwards.

          There are reputedly two reasons for creating biofuel.

          1) Peak Oil. If you’re going to run out of conventional oil sources you have start creating petroleum from feedstock derived from a Fisher-Tropsch type chemical process that uses biomass as the raw material. The technology does actually work and one company even licenses its process around the world. Presumably Big Oil knows how much more fossil oil they can extract, so if they aren’t getting into biofuel in a big way already, why would anyone think we are imminent danger of running out? In 50 to 100 years, perhaps, but right now it’s jumping the price signal gun, pre-empting the natural market solution.

          2) Global warming and ocean acidification from CO2. Because the carbon in biofuel comes from the atmosphere so it creates a closed cycle that doesn’t increase atmospheric CO2. Thus averting… what problem exactly? Well we’ve done this one to death multiple times but it keeps rising like an undead climate alarm zombie.

          So in biofuel we again seem to have a solution in search of a problem. Backwards into the future.
          Expect the “side effects” of the solution to in fact be the primary motivation of the plan.


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    • #
      Grumpy Old Man

      You’ve cracked the code. Making Poverty Universal is what it’s all about. Beach-dwelling alarmists will be exempted.


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      • #
        Speedy

        GOM.

        What right-thinking, decent person, would go out of their way to make others poor? They must be crazy or misanthropes or something…

        A body would be annoyed at this sort of behaviour.

        Cheers,

        Speedy


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  • #

    John Kehr back in year 2010 pointed out that Ethanol fuel INCREASES Ozone pollution

    Ethanol, Ozone and the EPA

    December 19,2010

    EXCERPT:

    The EPA is ignoring the growing evidence that ethanol increases ozone pollution. Every increase in ethanol use as fuel will increases the amount of ozone pollution in the United States. This is one of the times where regardless of a persons views on global warming, the pollution effects of ethanol are real and need to be taken into account.

    Ozone is one of the most more hazardous pollutants that is regularly produced by emissions. It is so corrosive that it will degrade stainless steel in periods of less than a year.
    ===================================================
    He also brings up the damage by VOC’s:

    These VOC’s include formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, 1,3-butadiene, benzene and PAN. All of these VOC’s are directly unhealthy for humans, but they also generate ozone when they decompose in the atmosphere.

    The question should be is why has the EPA overlook these facts when Ethanol in fuels are discussed while the EPA’s own website says it is BAD near ground level.

    It appears that the law of unintended consequences strikes again.


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  • #
    Dave

    .
    Great article – when will the GREENIES start actually considering the environment – but unfortunately there’s not enough money in it for them.

    Brazil ethanol production is turning into an environmental disaster!

    Potassium as potash, in 10′s millions of tonnes is imported yearly to Brazil – the majority for sugar cane in Brazil for ethanol production. Along with other inorganic Nitrogen and Phosphate rich fertilers in the millions of tonnes.

    As you can see the combined Argentina and Brazil methane plumes here: Surface methane.

    This a direct result of fertiliser application and this increasing use of nitrogen fertilizer adds to the already existing amount of reactive nitrogen, nitrous oxide (N2O)
    in the atmosphere – far worse than any harmless CO2!

    They also exclude the massive amount of energy used to transport all the fertiliser to Brazil!

    Also a lot radioactive components of the fertilisers – uranium (at levels from 7 to 100 pCi/g) are present especially in the phosphate supplies!


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  • #

    Just on the subject of burning. Eastern Australia is currently undergoing vegetal regrowth on a truly phenomenal scale. This is due to abundant rain in the last half-decade, but also to more efficient use of agricultural land, regrowth on hobby farms, in Bob Carr National Parks (eyeroll), in proper National Parks, poor conditions (too bloody wet) for back-burning, poor policy on back-burning, underfunding and reduction of forestry etc etc

    Just a reminder to our Green Betters that this regrowth is, shall we say, combustible. I don’t want to distract them from the more important task of checking the carbon footprint and Green Rating of the various brands of fire pumps, however…


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    • #
      Dave

      .
      So right,
      One big bushfire season will generate nearly as much CO2 as our total CO2 man made emmisions. And I think you are right the fuel load currently is massive!

      They had better start controlled burning now – or we will all suffer more economic loss!

      Photo of the big one from a 737 above Kinglsake!


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      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Lots of water in that Dave.

        Beside the burning eucalyptus oil and wood ash and other junk.

        :)

        who took it?


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        • #
          Dave

          .

          KK

          Don’t know – but article and photo came from The Guardian?

          Also at the same time in The Guardian – here’s Tim Flannery blaming coal for the bush fires! Unbelievable!

          Australian bushfires: when two degrees is the difference between life and death


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          • #
            KinkyKeith

            It’s disturbing to read stuff like that Flannery article,

            He claims to have come from Victoria.

            Surely he knows that fire reduction was practiced successfully in Australia for a long time before it became fashionable to just let it grow.

            We really don’t need people like this leading our public understanding of the forces of nature.

            People who relied on the Government’s collected wisdom are now dead.

            They believed they were safe because the Government let them build there and on top of that did not require proper safety procedure for evacuation and so on.

            Flannery is not ill informed.

            He knows exactly what he is doing and in doing so is betraying public trust while taking $200 thousand a year for a few hours work each week, if he can get around to it.

            patience.


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          • #
            ExWarmist

            He knows exactly what he is doing and in doing so is betraying public trust while taking $200 thousand a year for a few hours work each week, if he can get around to it.

            patience.

            Hi KK, That’s a big call.

            WRT Flannery. I suspect a mixture of incompetance, hubris and greed for status over malfeaseance. However I could be wrong.


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          • #
            KinkyKeith

            Hi Ex

            Maybe but wanted to make the point about accountability. he takes the money.

            He does seem a bit soft around the edges. On the other hand he is The Front Man as far as climate Change is concerned (was it $200,000 pa?)

            Perhaps he was just so self absorbed he wasn’t aware that those people, and lots of others were in danger from being potentially exposed to fire and being cut off from escape?

            But you would have to be pretty uninvolved not to be aware of what a bush fire is.

            Any manager in industry who exposed workers to the sort of danger from firestorm that many people are still exposed to, would be in some trouble.

            Somehow state and local government officials are able to escape criticism for loss of life because we can blame it on Climate Change. That’s bad government and bad logic.

            A public figure/employee like Flannery has an obligation to be better informed than he seems to be.

            KK


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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Interesting point Mosomo

      I have used the trails in the local bush here at Glenrock , between Dudley and Murdering Gulley, for the past 57 years and never seen ground cover so thick.

      Regardless of which hopeless bunch of minders we have looking after it: NSW SRA or NPWS it is a tinder box.

      It regularly burns on the edges and these parts look great after a little regrowth.

      Biofuels is another Green feel good appeasement move by the big parties to buy off the Greens,or so the greens think.

      It’s main purpose is to create another rivulet running from our tax stash to towards a specific recipient.

      It has a secondary benefit in that the cash paid directly at point of purchase is supporting a “nominated supplier”.

      Gee I wonder if the “Nominated Supplier” in NSW has friends or acquaintances or even political parties in high places??

      KK


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      • #
        AndyG55

        Yep, if we actually get a dry summer for a change, Glenrock could become quite a dangerous fire hazard.

        Glad I don’t live on the edges !!


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        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Every year the small strip near Merewether heights just west of the sewer gate entrance catches fire.

          Whether this is nature or a pre-emptive burn by householders just across the road I don’t know but it is a good firebreak.

          KK


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    • #
      Mark D.

      Fires make news, news is slanted. Fires will always be caused by “unprecedented” drought etc. (think of what Maxine posts all the time).

      Therefore policies that “save the earth” will ultimately cause more frightening news.

      This is what we are up against.


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      • #
        Winston

        Even worse,
        when the dry summers return and the inevitable bushfires occur, because hazard reduction has not been done the ensuing destruction is going to be far greater, and so the “climate” can be blamed instead of zeroing in on the real culprits- the pseudo-environmentalists that overturn a hundred years or more of solidly founded mitigating practices,basically on a whim because “it seemed like a good idea at the time”.


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      • #
        ExWarmist

        Maxine seems to have disappeared.

        Must be saving the planet somewhere else these days…


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      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        How can one predict bushfire counts when many are lit by people or caused by people things like electricity wires?

        Burning off is a difficult proposition. A few years ago I calculated that controlled burning of Victoria was progressing at a rate that would see it all done once in 186 years. In the 3-year rollover case, there would be a large number of large fires in a burnoff each year and there is a high probability that many would escape because there are not enough people or services to control burnoffs. I don’t know what the answer is, except to keep large, clear areas around habitation. It’s almost like every home owner should be allocated a patch to keep clean and tidy around his/her town/city. I think the Chinese would know about this approach to labour sharing. I saw it being used to build large highways very fast, manually.


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  • #
    Jaymez

    Almost three decades ago the Fijian Government was trying to stop sugar cane growers from burning their field before harvest. The smaller, poorer growers who harvested their own crops tended not to burn. The bigger growers who employed harvest workers were the ones who tended to burn the crops.

    It was explained to me that the only two reasons for burning were that it got rid of the snakes and it reduced the manual labour involved in cutting off the useless leaf material which isn’t processed. Not burning the crop produces a much higher yield which the poor growers needed.

    I don’t know how scientific this is.


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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Burning the cane causes it to deteriorate, helped along by fungal and bacterial infection. Any burnt cane has to be transported to the sugar mill as rapidly as possible. A “bad” load of cane could cause the production rate of the mill to halve, and even then the sugar produced was poorer in quality, affecting the selling price.

      Burning was introduced into Australia to stop “cane cutters’ disease”; an amoebic infection starting in cuts in the skin from the sharp edges of the leaves. Burning the cane solved that problem, and also that of other nasties e.g. taipans in the cane fields. A deal of effort was always made to schedule burnings and transport so cane arrived at the sugar mill inside hours, something not always possible in Fiji, where burning your enemies cane field (to cause him loss through lower price) was rife, as was retaliation.

      With the introduction of mechanical harvesting, the risk of disease and snakes was reduced, and the improved quality led a drive to green harvesting.

      The burning of cane in Fiji has been discouraged since about 1930, because there is, and was no cane cutters’ disease in Fiji, and NO poisonous snakes.


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  • #

    Queensland’s cane crop is mostly cut green (not burnt) and trash is usually no longer burnt either but left as a trash blanket (except on some unsuitable soils). This change from burning to green harvesting took place in the late 80s and early 90s. So the famous and spectacular cane fires of old (and the “black snow” which fell on washing lines ect) are now a thing of the past: we saw our last one about 3 years ago, and that was a farm that was going out of cane completely. All cane is mechanically cut of course, and more energy is needed for harvesters to separate the trash from the cane.
    Mandating minimum ethanol content in fuel is an inefficient and wasteful way of decreasing carbon footprints or whatever it’s called now. It is also one section of the economy subsidising another section and drives up the cost of food. Bad idea.
    Ken


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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Speaking of inefficient ways of decreasing carbon footprints, if such a thing was necessary, we in NSW have all sorts of Green Wonders in our compulsory building codes.

      The most stupid is the Rain Water Tank.

      It costs several thousand dollars plus petrol and ancillaries for the owner to go to work for 3 months to save the cash, petrol etc for plumbers , electricians and town planners to instal.

      This Mammoth Monument to the Green God of Carbon Crap holds how much water. Yes 3,059 litres.

      THE VALUE OF WATER HELD WHEN FULL IS $2.13.

      At a rough estimate it would take 50 years to break even, given our local rainfall.

      Before that it is just part of the ongoing, baseless Green Nightmare.

      KK

      Where have all the dams gone. Bring back dams.


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      • #

        This man would be crucified in this day and age.

        Tony.


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        • #
          Dave

          .
          Tony,

          Along these lines, Nuclear represents very similar innovation that reflects Hudsons efforts!

          Why is it so hated in Australia?

          I recently read a comment (very similar to your own style) at this link:
          WIND ENERGY TODAY from March this year!

          One commenter that I compare to yourself makes a lot of sense! Example:

          Nuclear uses 1/10 of the materials as concrete and steel to build the same TWh capacity as wind and then it lasts up to 60 years instead of 15 years. All that concrete and steel is the embedded energy costs and comes out as CO2.

          Then he finishes off with this:

          So lets give up on fission and fusion, and we have no fossils, and we can’t have much more hydro. So when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine, I think it will be dark and cold.

          He doesn’t mention sugarcane ethanol production – but personally this is probably the most dangerous of “sustainable” fuel sources after solar!


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        • #
          KinkyKeith

          You got me where it hurts Tony.

          Reminds me of when Australia was great and promising and we all had a dream.

          This was before Government by media and the diversion of the taxes put aside for infra structure to other more useful things.

          Like buying votes.

          Now if they need new infrastructure, a Government will simply commission a design concept with the finished item integrated into a photographic image of the item in place.

          All done. Next.

          Reminds me of that old military song by Jaques Brel – Next. You and Rereke would like that.

          They promise to start it next year but of course like the new power stations and new dams we are waiting, waiting.

          If all the social security payouts for the able bodied were only collectable at a new dam site after a weeks work?

          Everyone would feel great. Most people want to work, and feel good doing it.

          KK :)


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      • #
        inedible hyperbowl

        The idea of dams was that the cost per head is substantially less if we all pool our resources for construction. Ditto for sewerage, drainage, power …
        The arithmetic is pretty simple, take the cost of construction divide by the number of taxpayers and the number of years the dam and the pipes lasts.
        Individual water tanks are not only expensive, once the mozzies get in they are a health risk.


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        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Hi inedible hyperbowl

          Yep

          Their only real benefit is to agglomerate green leaning votes in State and Local Government elections for use by whoever can benefit,

          Labour??.


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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Has it not occurred to anybody that solar panels are actually part of a nuclear power solution?

        They harvest a band of electromagnetic frequencies produced as a by-product of nuclear fusion.

        Would anybody care to inform the Greens of that fact?


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        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Hi Rereke

          Can you expand on that?


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          • #
            Andrew McRae

            I’ll have a go.

            “Nuclear Power” – “NIMBY Syndrome” – “High density and reliability” + “Long term sustainability” = “Solar Power”.

            It’s perhaps a bit of a tongue-in-cheek move by RW to point out the nuclear origins of sunlight, since it is not what is usually meant by “nuclear power”, but is this subversion of english really so different from “climate change”?


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          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            Me? Be subversive? Shirley Knot.

            It is political conference season here, and things get very surreal at times. At one stage I ended up listening to some maniacal man, wearing a bush shirt and corduroy trousers, asking why the National Party in New Zealand, has not reaffirmed New Zealand’s Anti-nuclear stance.

            Sometimes I just have to let it out. Sorry for the O/T comment.


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          • #
            KinkyKeith

            And I fell for it. Trying to work out how you could hook up a solar panel to a Nuclear plant.

            Of course I couldn’t see how. Wasted 10 minutes of my life.

            Yu Cant do it unless you use the Original Nuclear Power Plant!!

            Now I can see it all so clearly.

            KK :)


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          • #
            Rob JM

            Actually solar energy producers in germany used artificial lighting at night to generate solar energy because of the super high subsidies. Got to love that hey!


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      • #
        Mark D.

        Ironic isn’t it? Dams create wetlands.
        In green double-speak Dams are bad.
        Wetlands are good……


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        • #
          ExWarmist

          Give it 30 or 40 years and Dams will be good and Wetlands will be bad.

          Eastasia is always at war with Eurasia.

          (However we might not live that long…)


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      • #
        AndyG55

        I think you misunderstand the purpose of rainwater tanks.
        Yes big dams are by far an away the best alternative, but the next best thing is to avoid using water from those dams unless totally necessary.
        (This is why hydro dams used as water supply systems don’t really make much sense.)

        In this respect, it is the yield of the rainwater tank and its effect on mains water usage that is important.
        A well implemented rainwater tank system can reduce mains usage by up to 40% on a yearly basis, and enough rainwater tanks in an area can make a significant difference to the drought security of the main supply system, as can any water harvesting or re-use scheme.

        A rainwater tanks is NOT a storage tank… it is a catch and use tank, or that is how it should be utilised, it should be plumbed into toilet, and other non-potable use areas, and the water should be used as much as possible to maximise yield.

        It doesn’t take much rain to fill a tank… but..

        You cannot harvest ANY water in full tank !!


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        • #
          AndyG55

          Drought security of water supplies is all about maximising the long term storage and minimising the drawdown of water from that storage.

          I don’t think many people know how close Newcastle came to having severe water problems in 2007 (the same time that the Central Coast had major issues)
          Thankfully we draw from the Barrington Tops catchment, and it rained there, just when it needed to.
          Newcastle’s long term storage is actually quite small. Chitchester is pretty small, and Grahamstown is quite shallow and can loose as much water via evaporation as by use on a hot summer day. The Tomago sand bed storage is very helpful, as it doesn’t evaporate.

          They shoulda built Tillegra or something similar. I hope they still do at some stage.


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        • #
          AndyG55

          pps.. the comments above apply ONLY to urban rainwater tanks.. when mains water from a centralised system is available

          Country rainwater tanks ARE used for storage, and should be as big as economically possible.

          maintainance is always the key !!

          Keeps them rats and dead magpies out !! ;-)


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          • #
            bobl

            Actually dead frogs are a bigger problem!. Frogs love water tanks


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          • #
            AndyG55

            Mice, they were a real problem during the mice plague, back in.. 19??

            had fly mesh on inlet and overflow, and the buggers still managed to get in there, but not out !!

            We had town water from a bore or something.. never could get a lather ! And the rainwater tasted so much better.

            Thank goodness for carbon filters etc !!

            ooops.. I said the ‘c’ word.. !!!!


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          • #
            Bob Malloy

            ooops.. I said the ‘c’ word.. !!!!

            Wash your mouth out with some of that non-lathering soap, after which turn and face Canberra, kneel and whilst striking yourself thrice to the chest repeat forgive me Julia, I knew not what I was saying.


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  • #

    In Brazil major reason for the burning of sugar cane is to make it easier to cut. It strips off the leaves. Another reason is that it drives off or kills poisonous snakes. It means that the workers – who cut the cane – end up looking like coal miners.
    I remember driving through the night in Southern Brazil in 1998 passing area where the fields were being burnt. The reason for doing at night – so I was told at the time – was to bypass laws against burning.


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  • #
    Philip Bradley

    Anyone under the age of 45 doesn’t realize how widespread burning of agricultural waste was up to the 1960s. I can remember in the UK in the 50s and 60s field after field burning. Then there was burning leaves, invariably wet, a favourite pastime as a kid, and which produced a tremendous amount of smoke.

    Roughly half the warming in Australia since the 1970s can be attributed to aerosol and particulate reductions from ending this kind of burning, elimination of domestic open fires and reductions in vehicle emissions.

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/11/4/australian-temperatures.html


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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Brilliant work Phillip.

      Used to love fires as a kid and even later.

      On back burning.

      In Newcastle 10 years ago, roughly, the centre of the city was engulfed by a firestorm that swept through the a number of suburbs.

      This was unprecedented in my lifetime as I had only ever seen out of control fires in non urban areas.

      Cause: failure to reduce undergrowth on private and Council areas adjacent to rail line and other uncared for parks .

      Reduction prohibited by Local Councils as a green initiative.

      Scared the sh*t out of everybody.

      The only thing that saved us is that we were in a valley and the fire couldn’t go downhill easily , but it tried.

      KK


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Same thing in Melbourne.

        I was attending a conference at the Victoria Police College, and staying in a motel within walking distance. Walking to the College each morning, I had to cross a major road, controlled by a school crossing man. In one of these, “wait until I tell you to cross” moments, I happened to mention how pretty the suburb was.

        Bad move. I got a ten minute dissertation of how the council had tried to “encourage” home holders to plant trees to beautify the area, and how the whole place was a death trap.

        About two or three months later I was saddened to read about that suburb being engulfed in a bush fire that destroyed many homes and cost several lives.

        The school crossing man was old enough to have witnessed bush fires before, but the young keen environmentalists on the Council had not. And none of them had studied Australian history either, as far as I can tell.


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      AndyG55

      Ahhh the smell of burning moldy grass clippings.. I remember it well !! ;-)


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    Bruce D Scott

    Thank you Jo. I wonder if that is “The Science ” that “is settled”.


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    [...] « JoNova: Science, carbon, climate and tax Posted at 7:32 on July 22, 2012 by James Bender Sugar cane ethanol biofuel produces 10 times the pollution of gasoline and diesel « JoNova: Science… Brazil is the largest sugar cane ethanol producer in the world, but people are burning four … [...]


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    Watcher

    Just another poorly researched piece of Nova-new-speak. Lazy as. Australia green harvests cane and trash blankets. So can Brazil. Just another pathetic article taking a think-tank’s inactivist like Goklany’s word for it. http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/26_11464.htm


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      memoryvault

      .
      Tell me Watcher, have you ever even seen a sugar cane field? I only ask because your line:

      Australia green harvests cane and trash blankets. So can Brazil.

      displays such a complete and utter lack of knowledge of the sugar cane industry in general, and the industry and its differences between Brazil and and Australia in particular, that the level of your apparent ignorance becomes breathtaking.


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      Is that a lazy comment watcher? Goklany has nothing to do with the paper on Brazilian ethanol production and I see you have nothing to say about his mortality statistics, just an ad hom.

      As for green harvests of cane — I said it might be viable — if you’ve got the cost effective method of producing ethanol sorted out (with evidence) I presume you must have written to the researchers Tsao et al to let them know? Go for it… they might want to publish a paper with you, but you’ll need something more than an ad hom, and just because Queenslanders can green harvest doesn’t mean sugar can power your car with less pollution than petrol.


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        Watcher

        Fancy accepting Goklany’s word for it – what a advocate. You get some numbers, a few assumptions, multiply it together. Just a big fudge-a-nomial calculation.

        Name two people that have died. Where are all the bodies?

        And memoryvault – so agronomic practice never changes eh? Please. Mechanical harvesting is increasing every year. The real gall here is that the biofuel program is successful in Brazil.

        If Jo is serious do some basic research that doesn’t have coal lobby written all over it. Where’s the standards? It’s just a lazy grab of something that fits the paradigm.


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          Watcher,

          You make the accusation that Indur Goklany’s results are false or highly biased. The academic way is to demonstrate that the results are not robust. That is, to first read the paper, then analyse it to see if the claims stand up. Like Steve McIntyre has done so well at climateaudit.org
          If you actually read the link, you will see that the estimated 200,000 deaths is the tip of the iceberg. Increased food prices (as crops for fuel crowd out crops for food) increases poverty among the poorest. For per capita incomes below US$4,000 there is a strong correlation between life expectancy and income levels. Not surprising as when people spend most of their income of food, higher incomes mean higher calorie intake and a more varied diet. A rise in food prices reverses the process.
          It is an estimate, but far more robust than the earlier claims by the World Health Organisation that 140,000 were dying every year due to global warming climate change.


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          Watcher says,

          Name two people that have died. Where are all the bodies?

          Read the paper. Competition for limited land from biofuels increases food prices. The poorest on this planet spend a high proportion of their income on food, so higher food prices mean less calorie intake and less variety. For per capita income of less than $4000, there is a strong correlation between life expectancy and income. So biofuels reduce the life expectancy of millions.
          It is a much more robust result than the World Health Organisation claiming 140,000 die each year due to global warming climate change.


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          Watcher says

          The real gall here is that the biofuel program is successful in Brazil.

          You are right if that merely means producing a lot of the stuff. But at a huge cost.
          - It was developed as an import substitution exercise in the 1950s. That meant subsidies for ethanol, and taxes on gasoline. Overall it pushed up the cost of motoring, slowing the move to mass transportation.
          - It meant the government encouraging the destruction of tens of thousands of square miles of sub-tropical forest to gain the extra land.
          - The corporatist policies made a few large scale farmers extremely rich, exacerbating one of the most unequal societies on earth.
          - How you ever been downwind of one of the destilaria. The smell is dreadful.


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          “Fancy accepting Goklany’s word for it –”

          Follow the link – lazy.

          “The real gall here is that the biofuel program is successful in Brazil. ”

          The real gall here is that poor children in Brazil are living with high air pollution in order to satisfy your green fantasy, and you don’t give a toss.

          “If Jo is serious do some basic research that doesn’t have coal lobby written all over it.”

          Have you seen anyone about your compulsive need to invent “vested interests” in order to keep your delusion alive, or is that just what you are paid to say?

          You’re a petty hypocrite Mr/Mrs/it-anonymous. Got any evidence? No.


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            Watcher

            Well you don’t have any evidence either. In fact your desire to suppress modern mechanisation results in many deaths from snake bites each year from workers in infested cane fields.

            As for evidence well you don’t have any my dear – it’s just [SNIP]. But when we do have evidence of stinky feedlots – somehow it’s not evidence. What was that about hypocrisy? Now I wonder what the death toll from coal mining is world wide?

            [If you have ANY evidence of your allegation then produce it at once. Otherwise you will not be permitted to leave them here.] ED


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            Watcher, you say here:

            As for evidence well you don’t have any my dear – it’s just coal lobby twaddle.

            I find it amazing that you could actually place the word evidence and then your coal lobby assertion in the one short sentence.

            I hope you don’t have electricity connected to your home. I hope you do not drive on urban traffic controlled roads. I hope you have never driven on those same roads at night. I hope you have never travelled on an urban railway. I hope you have never been in any building taller than two levels. I hope you have never visited a shopping mall. I hope you have never shopped in Coles or Woolies. I hope you have never been in a hospital. I hope you are not using a computer. I hope you do not own a laptop or mobile phone that has batteries that require charging.

            Because Watcher, if you have done any of these things, then you are a walking talking lit up beacon, advertising for the coal lobby.

            Tony.


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          Watcher says (with his eyes firmly shut)..

          Name two people that have died. Where are all the bodies?

          Where are the bodies? Well lets see:-

          There are 5 bodies in Haiti

          On 12 April 2008, the Haitian Senate voted to dismiss Prime Minister Jacques-Édouard Alexis after violent food riots hit the country.[117] The food riots caused the death of 5 people.

          One boy in Egypt

          In Egypt, a boy was killed from a gunshot to the head after Egyptian police intervened in violent demonstrations over rising food prices that gripped the industrial city of Mahalla on 8 April.

          Up to 24 bodies in Cameroon

          Cameroon, the world’s fourth largest cocoa producer, saw large scale rioting in late February 2008, in protest against inflating food and fuel prices…At least seven people were killed in the worst unrest seen in the country in over fifteen years. This figure was later increased to 24

          4 corpses in Mozambique

          In mid February, rioting that started in the Mozambican rural town of Chokwe and then spread to the capital, Maputo, has resulted in at least four deaths. The riots were reported in the media to have been, at least in part, over food prices and were termed “food riots.

          Somalia had a few

          Riots in Somalia occurred on 5 May 2008 over the price of food, in which five protesters were killed.

          Yemen

          Food riots in southern Yemen that began in late March and continued through early April, saw police stations torched, and roadblocks were set up by armed protesters…officials claimed no fatalities; residents, however, claimed that at least one of the fourteen wounded people has died

          None of the above deaths may be linked to food shortages caused by bio-fuels, however there is no doubt that food was/is in short supply.

          On the other hand, maybe Watcher (with eyes wide shut) can link to a single person or a single animal or plant that might have died due to a (possibly perceived) 0.7DegC rise in temperatures.

          I’ll paraphrase watchers comment…

          If Watcher is serious do some basic research that doesn’t have environut wannabe world saviour lobby written all over it. Where’s the standards? It’s just a lazy comment post of some drivvel that fits the paradigm.

          p.s. ahem! Watcher the word you’re looking for is.. TOUCHE’


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    Dave

    .
    Watcher,

    What percentage of sugar cane grown in Brazil is flood irrigated?
    What percentage of sugar cane grown in Brazil is for ethanol?
    What percentage of sugar cane grown in Brazil uses cheap labour?
    What percentage of sugar cane requires burning in Australia if flood irrigated?
    What percentage of Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry researchers in Queensland agree with the above questions?

    Refer to your link:

    CANEGROWERS has a policy for both pre and post-harvest burning. In most cases burning is discouraged but occasionally it is a necessary farm practice. Green cane harvesting can bring an impediment to the ratooning of the crop, particularly in cool wet areas. Flood irrigated districts have found that trash blankets can reduce yield.

    To find the answers refer to the link in comment number 10 by Watcher!


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      Watcher

      Most of Brazilian crop is rain fed and mechanisation is increasing every year. I guess you like slave labor. Ever cut any cane by hand?


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        Graeme M

        Watcher (is that you Luke?) have you some actual statistics to offer? Is Brazil likely to mechanise and adopt green harvesting techniques? At what rate? The fact that Qld may be adopting these techniques does not imply that Brazil is, or will.

        What’s your view on the main thrust of the article which suggests that traditional burning results in extremely high pollution levels? Is that true or not? Does it represent a health risk to the farmers themselves?

        I don’t know that I agree with the observation we need to burn more fossil fuels, but clearly bio-fuel production has its downside. What’s the likelihood that will REALLY improve any time soon?


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          Watcher

          As I understand it mechanisation is rapidly advancing. Clearly the air pollution is an issue but technological innovation can solve the issue. Whether biofuel is an answer for everyone and all nations remains an issue. However this article is one-sided and poorly researched IMO – it merely recites the pre-prepared script on this issue. Goklany’s figures are simply taken as read. Imagine is it was AGW paper – there’d be heaps more scrutiny. Fair enough to be sceptical – but be fair in your apportionment of scepticism. Don’t say Qld is adopting – try “Adopted”.


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    Joe V.

    Got a new car recently. It’s a diesel. It’s very environmentally friendly. (89gCO2/km ). Interestingly the fuel filler cover has a warning on it Not to use BioDiesel. Wonder why ?

    The Czechs seem a pretty practical lot. Not taken in by all that populist AGW nonsense.
    It’s a Skoda btw.


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      Bob Malloy

      Interestingly the fuel filler cover has a warning on it Not to use BioDiesel. Wonder why ?

      A few years ago my employer introduced bio-diesel as a clean green alternative, up to date the fleet of trucks and other items of plant are split with some items being powered by the Bio, while others still use normal diesel.

      Shortly after the introduction of the bio-diesel a number of backhoe’s had their fuel delivery pumps fail, when sent out for repairs it was found the internals of the pumps were stripped as though they had been blasted by an abrasive. The service people without hesitation blamed the bio fuel, while the supplier of the fuel took no responsibility.

      Some of our trucks used to advertise what a great thing we were doing for the planet by having giant sunflowers plastered over them.


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      The 89 gCO2/km tells me that it’s NOT environmentally friendly. Atmospheric CO2 levels are far from optimum for plant growth. :-)

      At least the Škoda has the potential to be fuel-efficient. The stated emissions apply only to the test cycle. If you drive the car in another manner, then emissions will be higher or lower. You won’t be driving the car to the test cycle for any significant proportion of the car’s life.

      The biodiesel fuels are a blend of mineral and esterfied vegetable oils (RME). The fluid properties of the two are different and they tend to separate out at near-freezing temperatures. Cars can be fitted with stuff to let them run on a blend of RME, in theory allowing your car to use the bio-blend, but the cost of doing so is prohibitive. Cars equipped with such (as a factory option) include operating instructions to make sure that there is no biodiesel in the system for the colder months of the year.

      One can make a biodiesel that is compatible (a process similar to the one for the QANTAS green fish n’chips express) but it’s not cheap or terribly “green”, employing hydrogen gas extracted from mineral sources (which itself embeds half a tonne of CO2 emissions per tonne of product), and then heats the fuel to above 800°C in order to crack the long-chain molecules formed into a suitable fuel. The various cracked fractions are tapped off and the ones which are too “light” either get sold as e.g. “LPG”; or they get recombined using e.g. Fischer-Tropsch processing to make longer molecules. Of course the heating for cracking, distillation and F-T recombination adds to the embedded CO2 of the product.

      Even with RME, there’s embeded CO2 which remains unpublicized. That’d add significantly to the 89 gCO2/km stated. But those emissions are “invisible” to the proponents of burning food to run cars.


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        To save you scrolling down to my response to the Burning Food in Cars – an ‘anti-human ethos’ at WUWT:

        The food to fuel economy is a result of legislation to incorporate “bio” into fuels for general transport.

        The legislation creates the demand which drives up the price that buyers will pay to get stock for filling the legislated requirements. The market price for the commodity rises and all processors of the food stock compete in the same market for stock produced by farmers trying to earn as much as they can from what they produce.

        As cars become “eaters”, the “population” of food consumers rises sharply, making for a much larger market; where the voracious “eaters” have to pay whatever it takes to get the raw food; financed out of the pockets of the “wealthy” car-owning populations which form a minority of the world’s human population. Food prices increase for all in the free, global market of commodity foods. Poor farmers justifiably change to monocultures the most-profitable crops, making them more vulnerable to crop failures and unable to provide necessarily diverse nutrition.

        The legislated requirement for “bio” in the fuels we use for transport therefore increases the inequity in the market, making food less affordable for many people. It encourages monocultures of cropping and puts pressure on larger areas to be subjected to agriculture; not for food, but for fuel crops.

        If the legislated requirement disappears, then it’s now plausible that that would cause enormous economic and societal damage in the agricultural regions of production that depend on a high price. They can’t stop producing overnight, so the commodity price is likely to “collapse” under a surplus of stock.

        Fuel producers may well take advantage of that falling price as they already have the facilities to utilise the raw material. The lower price could carry forward into the price on the fuel bowser, supporting the blending of fuel from the cheapest-available stock; be it mineral or vegetable. It is quite likely that the market will react to dampen the “collapse” in prices over several years throughout which operators can exploit the potential of their existing industrial investment; following an initial “shock”.

        The core “evil” of legislation has to be undone. Quickly.


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    Roy Hogue

    Should I mention the foolishness of converting valuable food crop land over to production of ethanol?

    But as always, follow the money. Ethanol is big business and that will settle the matter every time. Everything else is ignored once the profit opportunity is recognized. Ethanol, like global warming, is now firmly embedded in popular culture and its need is simply an accepted fact. This is what we’re up against.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      It is always about the money.

      Watcher’s comments are about the money – note his reference to “the coal lobby” at 11.2.1. He, or his masters, are invested in Brazil ethanol, and do not want the ecological impacts of their investment getting into the MSM.


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        Watcher

        Not so – simply sceptical of coal industry bearing ill will to biofuel issues. Call me cynical.
        And don’t tell me that’s I’m invested in x, y or Z – have we been introduced – no? Do you normally fabricate material to suit your position.


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    dp

    This is quite a match up. On the left we have Hansen’s coal laden Death Trains. Farther to the left we have Ethanol filled Death Tankers out on the highways. First round goes to the Death Trains but the new comer on the block is closing fast. These killers are lean, adaptable, and can penetrate any city, town, or village.

    Oh! Food crops are failing! Too many acres of inedibles have been producing fuel rather than food. No contest, ladies and gents – the Ethanol Death Tankers are crushing the competition! Death Tankers take the title!

    Death Tankers – Coming to a fueling depot near you.


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    John F. Hultquist

    What do leprechauns, cellulosic biofuel, and unicorns have in common?

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/13/high-cost-of-fantasy-fuel-team-obama-fines-compani/

    In the USA, “(EPA) has slapped a $6.8 million penalty on oil refiners for not blending cellulosic ethanol into gasoline, . . .”


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      Bite Back

      Oh please! Don’t let the lack of cellulosic ethanol bother you. Obama means well. Doesn’t he? He does. I’m sure he must…oh please tell me he does! :-(

      VOTE ROMNEY! :-)


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    [...] you see the study that has shown using sugar cane ethanol produces 10 times the CO2 emissions as using gasoline from oil does? Share [...]


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    Roy Hogue

    Way off topic but possibly of interest considering the interest when the tsunami hit Japan.

    Possible cover-up investigation begun in Japan.


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    [...] JoNova har idag ett inlägg om andra mycket skrämmande effekter än matbrist som en följd av [...]


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      Jaymez

      Not sure what this post is about, but interesting to see Jo Nova reaches Sweden : “JoNova currently has a post about other very frightening effects than food shortages as a result of….” I am assuming it refers to Bio fuels.


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        Jaymez,

        there’s a little clue about this, one I found when trying to cruise China sites for power plants.

        If you click on the link in the Comment above yours, you are taken to the Swedish site. Then, highlight the site address in the main address bar, and then paste that into your search engine of choice in a new tab.

        That site should then open up at the top of the list, and under the title at that site highlighted in blue, is some text that says ‘translate this page’. Click on that and the site opens up in English.

        You also could right click the mouse over the above link, press copy link location, and do the same process, bypassing going directly to the untranslated site.

        Tony.


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    Gee Aye

    Tsao et al’s conclusions are not particularly novel and are certainly not a surprise even to what some here call Greens (I wonder how many have met a green?). What the paper does is present rigourous data that cannot be denied away and which is a foundation for action.

    Here is the problem though. Action. Both sides of politics AND the Greens know about this- they get input from the committee system, from lobyists, from constituents, from public servants, from academics and from their state branches. Tsao et al has been presented to many MPs and Senators. The issue appears in Hansard, minutes of meetings, documents of committees etc. The issue gets repeated to them whenever there is discussion of related issues like palm oil and clear felling hardwood forestry.

    So what about action? I see the current parliament as a good place for stronger legislation limiting future increases in biofuel production, unless it can be demonstrated to derive from waste, or not result in land clearing and not put pressure on food crops. Not sure that we’ll ever lead international pressure to other nations but we might join in if the right countries instigate something. Why this Parliament? Think about it.


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      Andrew McRae

      How can you grow biofuel crops without displacing food crops and without clearing new farm land?

      Well I thought that was going to be a sarcastic rhetorical question… until I remembered GMO algae and bacteria farms for creating biodiesel.
      They still need sunlight though, so it competes with land but not necessarily with arable land. Biodiesel algae can be grown in tanks in the desert as long as the logistics of transporting water to tanks and product to market are feasible. When oil and gas get more expensive somebody is going to do this en masse, and I’d guess in the Mojave USA.
      Northern South Australia is also a good one because the Adelaide-Darwin railway allows product to be moved to the Eastern states easily, or to Indonesia on oil tankers.


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        bobl

        For the most part you cant, and biomass process would require rather greater yields than does food production. There are a few candidates that can grow in low quality and others that use waste feedstock (Vege-oil biodiesel from Avacado seeds for example) but for the most part Biofuel production does displace food – and that is immoral

        One thing I like to point out that I have estimated that producing energy from carbohydrates (flour) uses the same furnace technology as pulverised coal and becomes economic at $40 per Tonne CO2, well before Nuclear energy is viable. Now think how ethical it would be to burn all the worlds grain stocks for fuel and you begin to see the inhumanity of biofuels.


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        Gee Aye

        always good to think before you write… yes biomass can be created from all sorts of biota.

        There is a thinking that we have some under-utilised arable land and even land used now as pasteur that could be turned to growing fuel crops or fuel/feed crops. It still requires some sort of incentive scheme and is hardly a green solution by any measure. If you were to assess such ventures for their carbon footprint, they’d lose out compared with doing either nothing or growing plantation timber.


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    AndyG55

    “So what about action? I see the current parliament as a good place for stronger legislation limiting future increases in biofuel production, unless it can be demonstrated to derive from waste, or not result in land clearing and not put pressure on food crops.”

    Ethanol from waste products, I have no problems with at all.
    unfortunately, subsidising crops to make ethanol has lead to many very bad environmental issues in many countries.

    Again, a product that started as a “Green” product has turned out to be anything but !!

    Ignorance abounds.. again !!


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      crakar24

      But what is the point Andy? Can you buy a car that runs purely on Ethanol? Can you run your car on ethanol…..the answer to both is NO.

      The 10% ethanol petrol you buy is less efficient so you need to refill your tank sooner (thats because ethanol does not combust like petrol) so once again what is the point?


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      AndyG55

      I agree completely, ethanol production EXCEPT from waste products is a pointless exercise.

      One should always try to use all available resources if economically viable.

      CSR actually do a pretty good job at that, squeeze every bit out of the cane.

      Sugar,building products, ethanol, I believe they even pump heated water from extraction processes to local crocodile farms.

      hence handbags, croc meat etc ..


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    There’s something really sad in this biofuel thing.

    When I started all this stuff more than four years back now, I also looked in on this as well.

    In the U.S. especially, farmers who had been growing corn for generations had left because there was just no money in it.

    Then along came the biofuel movement and suddenly the corn price picked up, and farmers were actually getting back into growing corn on a large scale, not for food, but sending their whole crops to biofuel, as the corn prices virtually soared.

    Now, other crops are being grown for the same thing, not for food, but for biofuel.

    New generation Greenie friends of the dirt have that smug bright verdant glow that hides so much hypocrisy.

    Tony.


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      Gee Aye

      I’ve never really looked into what Greens specifically said in the past on this and so only have a fuzzy memory of the drive to establish a biofuel industry as being, in part, driven by “Greens”. The thing I don’t see now is Green support or support by the conservation movement, in fact I see the opposite including statements akin to what Jo has written here.

      Tony, this sounds like a troll to catch you out but can I ask for examples of where your opinion comes from as I’ve heard it often before and am curious about how the opinion is derived. Can you show me what groups are displaying a “smug bright verdant glow” with regards to this issue?

      My suspicion is that it is reactionary loonie Green groups/ individuals. If so, I wonder why anyone would even bother mentioning them. As with debating with loonie left or loonie right, you’ll convince no loonie of your view and the effort could have been deployed elsewhere.

      Here for example is the NSW Greens position. They are not saying to ban it but they are suggesting an imposition of controls that don’t exist at present. I’d agree with them on each point to some extent (although their points are not all that detailed) apart from the bit about GEOs.

      The Greens NSW support:

      Restricting the sources of biofuels to genuine waste.
      Banning the importation or domestic production of biofuel sources such as palm oil that compromise recovery of endangered species, biodiversity and sustainable land use management.
      Ensuring that crops grown for biofuel production are based on ecologically sustainable practices such as zero land and soil degradation, optimal conservation of water and protection of the river systems
      A moratorium on the cultivation of GEOs for any part of the biofuel production process.
      Prioritisation of research and development into second and third generation biofuels including algae to biodiesel and cellulosic fuels over the extension of the ethanol excise rebate.
      Amending environment and planning laws to provide targeted environmental assessment of biofuel production including soil impacts, invasive species impact and water use impacts.
      Cancellation of the ethanol excise rebate and a diversion of this government expenditure into development of non-fossil fuel based transport and second generation biofuels production.


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      Roy Hogue

      New generation Greenie friends of the dirt have that smug bright verdant glow that hides so much hypocrisy.

      Tony,

      I suppose I’m exposing how dense I can be but you’ll have to explain that one to me. :-)


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    [...] Jo Nova Share this:PrintEmailMoreStumbleUponTwitterFacebookDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Agriculture, Biofuels and tagged biodiesel, ethanol, really stupid idea. Bookmark the permalink. ← Denialists will soon run the show? Not at all. Those in denial are losing to the realists. [...]


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    pat

    23 July: Bloomberg: Joe Richter: Bulls Ascendant as Wagers Climb to Three-Month High: Commodities
    Speculators raised bullish wagers on commodities to a three-month high on mounting speculation that more stimulus measures will boost demand for everything from oil to metals and crop prices will keep rising as drought spreads…
    Almost $2.5 trillion was added to the value of global equities since June 4 as investors anticipated policy makers would step in to bolster growth. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told Congress during testimony on July 18 that he is prepared to act to boost the recovery and central banks from Europe to China cut interest rates in the past several weeks…
    “You could probably call it a miniature stampede back into commodities,” said Jeffrey Sica, the Morristown, New Jersey- based president of SICA Wealth Management who helps oversee more than $1 billion of assets. “A lot of investors at this point see that increased liquidity in the market will mean more appreciation in raw-materials prices.” …
    Seventeen of the 24 commodities in the S&P GSCI ( (formerly the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index, which is now owned by Standard & Poors – Pat) rose last week, led by an 11 percent gain in wheat. Soybeans touched an all-time high July , and corn advanced to within less than 0.1 percent of a record the day before…
    The response from policy makers coupled with tight raw- material supplies leaves the “case for higher commodity prices intact,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts led by Jeffrey Currie in New York wrote in a report July 16. The bank maintained a prediction that commodities would return 27 percent in the next 12 months…
    The actions from global leaders may not be as pronounced as some traders are expecting, said David Goerz, the San Francisco- based chief investment officer at Highmark Capital Management Inc., which oversees about $18 billion of assets…
    “QE3 is off the table,” Goerz said. “The Fed doesn’t want to expand its balance sheet any more than it has already. Easy monetary policy is coming to an end. As a result, commodities won’t do well.” …
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-22/bulls-ascendant-as-wagers-climb-to-three-month-high-commodities.html

    note the rise in commodity prices since the sub-prime bubble burst:

    Reserve Bank of Australia: Index of Commodity Prices
    http://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/frequency/commodity-prices.html


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      I have a friend who farms and does day trades in the commodities markets, he started out with a $20,000 buy in may, has since taken out $120,000 from the profits to pay off short term debt, and still has $600,000 in the portfolio, he calls it playing with house money at this point.


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    pat

    what foresight!

    20 March 2008: Economic Times India: Subprime crisis may fuel commodity bubble
    The liquidity boost and various macro-economic measures being adopted to fight the subprime crisis, which has sent stock and bond markets on tenterhooks across the world, can soon fuel a commodity bubble, a top UNDP official said on Wednesday.
    “I will not be surprised that 2-3 years from now, we realise that the liquidity and macro boost generated to fight the subprime housing crisis ended up fuelling a commodity bubble,” UNDP administrator Kemal Dervis said at an Exim Bank function. “We may again, then, be faced with fighting the negative consequences of an unforeseen downward adjustment, this time in commodity prices,” he said.
    Tracing back the various economic crisis since mid-90s, he said strong US macro policy responses have led to one asset bubble being replaced by another. After the East Asian currency meltdown in mid-90s, dotcom bust came at the turn of the century, which was followed by mortgage-backed securities crisis from 2004 to 2007. “It may well be the commodities, that are now rising in price at an unreasonable and unsustainable rate,” he said…
    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2008-03-20/news/28476632_1_economic-changes-and-market-productivity-and-high-growth-time-in-commodity-prices

    haven’t you been wondering why the stock market/commodity prices haven’t been crashing given the daily diet of financial doom?

    12 July 2012: Reason Mag: Anthony Randazzo: The Fed’s Harmful Monetary Policy
    First, monetary policy is creating a future asset bubble crisis. Consider that cheap money does inspire borrowing, even if not at the levels monetary policymakers would have preferred. Since the start of quantitative easing in 2010, equity prices have steadily grown with investors able to borrow for virtually nothing and take advantage of arbitrage opportunities in a volatile stock market. Commodities like gold, cotton, wheat, heating oil, and coffee are all higher as well, as traders have used cheap money to flood the future markets.
    The fears of bubbles are well founded. Consider that unemployment remains high, economic growth stagnant to non-existent, and household debt still sky high. So how is it that the stock market can be 10 percent to 15 percent higher than in 2005 and 2006 at the height of the housing bubble and be seen as in anyway sustainable? And when the Fed does eventually decide to tighten policy from today’s levels this could suck the life out of commodities trades funded not with capital raised in normal markets, but with cheap capital funded by a manipulative Fed.
    So when these asset bubbles eventually unwind, it could be very painful. Supporting asset prices masks problems on bank balance sheets, and we could see another example of the subprime crisis as toxic assets are revealed when prices decline.
    Essentially we will have responded to the deflation of one bubble (housing) with another…
    In effect, this is an intentional cycle of boom, bubble, bust. A present crisis is solved by creating a future crisis.
    http://reason.com/archives/2012/07/12/the-harms-of-monetary-policy


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    pat

    sounds like a threat! (Best usually writes for AAP, but this has AFP credited)

    23 July: Courier Mail: AFP: Catherine Best: Tap solar and wind power or face catastrophic consequences experts warn
    The Climate Commission says now is the critical decade to get the policy settings right to encourage green-energy industries or risk catastrophic consequences for future generations.
    Its latest report, released on Monday, says Victoria – which has a heavy reliance on brown coal – receives enough sunshine to produce double its current energy needs.
    The commissioners say there are untapped opportunities for solar and wind power generation, which is steadily becoming a more affordable electricity source.
    But the industry needs certainty there will be the ongoing political will to support investment in green power…
    “So it is important that we do try and develop an agreed bipartisan approach so that people can have the confidence to invest because certainly the opportunities are there.”
    The report predicts climate change will unleash on Victoria more devastating bushfires and heatwaves, while thousands of coastal properties could be swamped, with sea levels forecast to rise by a metre by the end of the century.
    Climate commissioner Professor Will Steffen said extreme weather events would only get worse without intervention.
    If the right investment decisions were made in the next five to 10 years, the temperature increase could be limited to 2C, avoiding the worst consequences of climate change, he said.
    “This is the critical decade … to make the right investment decisions, to adopt the right strategies that deliver the reduction in emissions,” he told reporters.
    “This is going to be the decisive time for what sort of climate we’ve got for the second half of this century.”
    Mr Heuston said the cost of renewable energies was tumbling, with solar panel production costs down 70 per cent in the past year…
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/tap-solar-and-wind-power-or-face-catastrophic-consequences-warning/story-fndo20i0-1226432906666

    so many lies. don’t let your Super get caught up in this scam.


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    pat

    stark raving mad:

    22 July: Herald Sun: AAP: Catherine Best: UN tourism chief warns on carbon tax
    THE United Nations’ head of tourism says the carbon tax should be used to make travel more efficient, not to price tourists out of the market.
    UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) secretary general Taleb Rifai said revenue from the tax on aviation should be invested in harnessing and promoting green travel…
    Mr Rifai acknowledges the delicate relationship between the environment and tourism, which is a substantial contributor to carbon pollution, but says taxes must be balanced.
    “Taxes that simply are meant to make people travel less and discourage people from travelling are defeating the point,” Mr Rifai told AAP on Monday.
    “It’s not a realistic goal to say we want to impose more taxes on the environment so that people will travel less.
    “What we need to aim for is to have more people being able to travel in a more efficient way and in a way that is reducing the harm on the environment, and that is a challenge.”…
    Addressing a tourism and events conference in Melbourne, Mr Rifai said unreasonable taxation on travel was one of the obstacles affecting global international tourism, along with complicated and overpriced visa formalities…
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/un-tourism-chief-warns-on-carbon-tax/story-e6frf7kf-1226427205734


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      justjoshin

      Green travel? Are they going to start sending people over on sail boats again? They will be green when they get here!


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        AndyG55

        Hey, good thing quite a few of the old sailin’ ships have ben preserved.

        Surely this MUST be the Green’s preferred mode of travel between continents. ;-)

        Would be wonderful, keep them out of the way for agmonths at a time and let reality rule !

        Send Big Al, et al. on a REAL LIFE cruise, in REAL non-pollutin’ ships, and hope they get stuck in The Doldrums.. Again.


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          AndyG55

          ps.. and they would need a Watcher to sit in the nest all day too. ( or maybe on the prow).. any Watcher care to volunteer?


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            AndyG55

            Well, it appears our Watcher is not watching or is wayyyyy too hypocritical to put himself out.

            Typical leftist green slime.

            Will you walk the Green walk, or bow out like Big Al !!


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      Grant (NZ)

      THE UN HAS A TOURIST CHIEF???? What?


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    Ross James

    Jo, you have done some very clever cut and paste of the paper in question and cherry picked the data mashing it up with a dash and twist of Indur Goklany propaganda – a WELL KNOWN fossil fuel lobbyist!

    I have the the paper and your usual style of very selective cherry picking is obvious after even reading some of the summary from which you derived your clever cherry picking:

    To quote: “cellulosic ethanol can offer health benefits from PM2.5 reduction that are of comparable importance to its climate-change benefits from GHG reduction, a shift from gasoline to cellulosic ethanol has greater advantages than previously recognized”.

    Ross J.


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      Jaymez

      Ross I understand what you are saying here, but I don’t think that changes the bottom line of the point of Jo’s post. It’s all very well to compare the burning of ethanol with gasoline, but you have to consider the life cycle of both – how they are produced. The takeaway point for me was this:

      “Compared to gasoline and diesel, over its whole life cycle, every unit of energy produced with sugar cane produces 10 times as much volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxides. The amount PM10′s and PM2.5′s produced with ethanol fuels is even higher. Most of the pollution comes from burning fields of sugar cane (see graph a).”

      Another example of how bio-fuels can provide a false GHG emission economy that I am aware of is where a company AR Fuels received Government grants and tax incentives to establish bio-fuel plants in Malaysia to produce diesel bio-fuel from palm oil. Old growth forests were promptly cut and burnt and replanted with palm oil trees to provide the supply of palm oil. It is hard to see that the planet was better off from either a GHG emission point of view, an environmental perspective or even a long term economic position.


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      AndyG55

      “comparable importance to its climate-change benefits from GHG reduction”

      That would make sense if trace CO2 had any affect on climate.

      But it doesn’t, so your comment, as usual, is pointless.


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      Mark D.

      Ross James, please clarify your position then;
      you agree with converting cropland from food production to fuel production?
      You agree with the practice of cane burning?
      Thanks


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      NigeW

      ‘Comparable importance’ in this case meaning if you stand on one leg, close one eye, and squint real hard with the other, they can appear to be of the same order of magnitude….


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      Ross, I’ve searched Goklany’s paper and there is no mention of “cellulosic” or “PM2.5″. Do you just:
      1. Write a baseless ad hom smear about Goklany?
      2. Fail to explain which paper is “the the” paper. (Due you really mean Tsao or was that Hill, or something else entirely?)
      3. Accuse me of cherry picking, then fail to explain that too?

      If the answer is Yes, Yes, and Yes, then you can apologise, promise to do better and try again (since I’m feeling so generous).

      Please don’t waste our time with incoherent, poorly written, insulting and fallacious comments again. If you can’t think, don’t write. OK?


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    greg holmes

    The reason the fields are burnt is simply self preservation by the agri workers. Cane fields harbour snakes and many biting,stinging insects. The safe way to clear them for harvesting is fire, tried and tested over many generations. No way woulds I wander through without such a strategem being implemented. So we can agree that firing the fields will always be a requirement for such bio fuels.


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      Jaymez

      Greg that is probably true unless you use mechanised harvesting which is the most common method in Australia.

      But Jo’s point is that growing it for ethanol production is supposed to be better overall for the environment and it isn’t the way it is being grown in Brazil!


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        The problem with mechanical harvesting in Brazil is the soil type is mostly deep heavy clay, which gets wet and stays wet, then becomes bottomless to heavy equipment that becomes mired up to the frame soon and often after entering fields. A quick google pics search will show many examples of mired in combines and harvesters being hand fed grain, and the cleaned grain carried out in bags on backs of labors, or on donkey carts.

        It isn’t always the economics of purchasing equipment that stops the mechanical harvesting.


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          Dave

          .
          Correct Richard,

          It’s all about economics of the few CAGW crew encouraging SUSTAINABLE energy sources!
          .

          Also the burning allows the some 800,000 cutters (male & female) to average approximately 6 to 8 ton a day! They are paid by the ton! When not burnt they average approximately 3 ton per day! Nearly 75% of the sugar is grown by large producers and only 28% of total sugar cane is harvested by mechanical means! Most of the large producers are involved in Bioethanol!

          It is the demand for GREEN sustainable fuels driving the slave trade in the cutters. In 2005 12 men dropped dead cutting in the fields of Bioethanol sugar cane!
          .

          Yup! Biofuels are definitely GREEN – they kill people and take away arable land!

          How GREEN is that?


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            Rob JM

            Brazil was traditionally using ethanol from sugar for its own domestic fuel use due to its lack of fuel resources. The proportion used for sugar exports vs domestic ethanol was controlled by the oil price and would be happening independent of CAGW. The other issue you have is the loss of jobs when you mechanise, a major problem in an overpopulated developing country.


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    Steve R W.

    Many people posting above have clearly exposed the folly of the bio-fuels farce. Go back in time and compare with yesteryear. From 5 years ago.

    Biofuels Are Famine Policy;
    Food Shortages Are Hitting

    by Marcia Merry Baker

    As of the end of Spring 2007 planting in the northern latitudes, the disastrous impact of the global bio-energy craze can be seen in the huge expansion of U.S. corn acreage, the plunge of world grain stocks, and price shocks all along the food chain internationally. Transportation systems, water supply, and other infrastructure are strained to the breaking point. Soil fertility itself is at stake. At the same time, speculation in grain futures—”paper bushels”—on the Chicago Board of Trade, is setting records. Furthermore, farmers are being herded into participating in “carbon trading” and other whacko money-schemes.

    This is all part of the “Great Biofuels Bubble” which is a financial swindle; and it is causing vast harm. All the rhetoric about energy independence, aiding the environment, or “reviving” dying farm regions, is just a come-on. In reality, the conditions are laid for famine.

    http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2007/3423biofuels_shortages.html


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    RoyFOMR

    Holy CO2 that has been Green-Blessed can not be compared to its evil twin spewed out from durdy coal and other fossil fuels.
    If you don’t believe this just consider the example of Mercury pollution belched out by coal-fired power stations that does incalculable harm to childrens health but which is positively beneficial when introduced into their classrooms and homes.
    Think of the kids!


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    CraigR

    Great Green Fleece: Air Force Spends $59 Per Gallon for Biofuel
    http://blog.heritage.org/2012/07/23/great-green-fleece-air-force-spends-59-per-gallon-for-biofuel/

    The U.S. Air Force spent $59 per gallon on biofuels for a demonstration last month intended to show the promise of the alternative energy source. That’s more than double what the U.S. Navy spent as part of its so-called Great Green Fleet demonstration.
    The total cost for the 11,000 gallons of synthetic jet fuel from Gevo Inc., a Colorado-based company, amounts to $639,000.


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    pat

    what a joke:

    24 July: Age: Tim Colebatch: Most of us agree on most things, so why such partisanship?
    Climate change is another issue on which a bipartisan approach is needed. Whatever system we adopt to tackle it, it will work only if business can trust future governments to honour commitments made by the current one.
    The Liberal Party supported a carbon price under John Howard, Brendan Nelson and Turnbull as leaders. Climate change requires a long-term bipartisan policy so business can invest with confidence that the goalposts will not be moved…
    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/most-of-us-agree-on-most-things-so-why-such-partisanship-20120723-22khc.html#ixzz21VHHc0Dl
    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/most-of-us-agree-on-most-things-so-why-such-partisanship-20120723-22khc.html

    24 July: Australian: Ben Packham: Poor Newspoll shows it’s time Labor heeded voters’ call for change: Senator Mark Bishop
    Senator Brandis said Labor’s fall from favour coincided with the government’s decision to introduce the carbon tax.
    “That’s the point at which the government’s popularity and respect for Julia Gillard fell off a cliff and it hasn’t recovered since.”
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/poor-newspoll-shows-its-time-labor-heeded-voters-call-for-change-senator-mark-bishop/story-fn59niix-1226433738200


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    pat

    23 July: UK Telegraph: Emily Gosden/Roland Gribben: Government energy plan ‘unworkable’, MPs warn
    MPs warn consumers face bigger increases in fuel bills because policy differences inside Government have made energy reform unworkable.
    Treasury intervention, unnecessary increases in costs and the risk to badly needed investment are cited by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee as the result of a catalogue of blunders made in the draft Energy Bill.
    The Bill, aimed at paving the way to a low carbon energy industry and stimulating investment of £110bn in new plants has already drawn heavy criticism but the committee’s report goes further in identifying flaws the MPs say might mean the policies fail to deliver…
    The MPs support the proposal for long-term power contracts to reassure investors but are dismayed by the solution…
    Tim Yeo, committee chairman, says the Treasury is to blame because it has refused to underwrite the contracts with the result that they might not be legally enforceable, could push up the cost of capital and end up with consumers footing the bill.
    He said: “Nobody wants to see a blank cheque written out for green energy but the Government must provide investors with more certainty about exactly how much money will be available.” Tim Yeo, Tory chairman of the Commons Energy and Climate Change committee, has been accused of a conflict of interest over his decision to accept the presidency of the Renewable Energy Association…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/9418738/Government-energy-plan-unworkable-MPs-warn.html

    at least the Tele mentions Yeo’s conflict of interest.


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    [...] Sugar cane ethanol biofuel produces 10 times the pollution of gasoline and diesel [...]


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    janama

    Most of the pollution comes from burning fields of sugar cane (see graph a).”

    In the Tweed they’ve stopped burning the cane to everyone’s relief. To achieve it they had to redesign their harvesting techniques, New trailers for carting the cut cane were designed. The idea was to burn the extra biomass in their furnaces and generate Green Power. As it turned out they closed them down as they weren’t profitable to operate.

    I can’t see how burning the cane in the paddock creates more pollution than burning it in a furnace.


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    crakar24

    I can’t see how burning the cane in the paddock creates more pollution than burning it in a furnace.

    It does not………………..however using green twisted logic if you burn it in the paddock you create dir-e pollution, if you burn it in a furnace you create dir-e pollution but you also create “green” energy from a renewable source on the proviso that you grow more sugar cane ie you cannot grow more coal.


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      Forced air combustion of dried organic matter in a proper containment chamber is a lot more though and results in a lot less byproduct looking like a pollutant, than open burning in fields with wet/green leaves.

      You CAN GROW COAL, you just need higher CO2 levels above 5%, so the growth rate is faster than the decay rate and the carbon concentrates in the soils. Currently most tropical soils are warm enough that organic matter is processed by soil bacteria, fungi, and yeasts faster than it can ever start to accumulate, so tropical soils are real low in organic matter or humus content. Bio char processes have been used by Central and South American natives for centuries to retain porous carbon in the soil as it escapes fungi in that form.


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        crakar24

        How long will it take you to grow a ton?


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        Dave

        .
        The current research on biofuels is taking the lazy pathway!

        Pathway as in C4 (or sugar cane) which is more efficient than Wheat (C3)!
        But the real pathway is CAM or Crassulacean Acid Metabolism – and it is this pathway that only one scientist in Australia seems to have cottoned onto! Cotton is C3!

        Agave (or Blue Agave from Mexico is CAM) is being trialed in Ayr NQ for use as a stockfeed/biofuel! This makes sense as it requires no fertilizing, very little water, with stands drought (and flood), does not require buring for harvest. The whole plant is used and can serve a duel purpose!

        Also a great reclaimation plant for soil stability after mining and disturbance!

        CSIRO should be trying to investigate these avenues which serve more than the BIOFUEL revolution that will harm arable land!

        .
        CAM PLANTS DO IT IN THE DARK!
        .

        A new bumper sticker becoming popular from the scientist in this study!


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    Bulldust

    Who’dathunkit? CSIRO is rife with bullying according federal workplace safety watchdog, Comcare:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/csiro-management-caned-over-handling-of-bullying-claims/story-e6frg8y6-1226433738382

    Although this has nothing to do with climate science per se, you have to wonder about the research in an organisation with such a culture.


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    While Joanne has Posted this Thread about using food crops for Ethanol, this same topic is making just as much news elsewhere.

    Two articles from the U.S. mention the use of corn for biofuels, and both are quite interesting.

    One is from yesterday from Alan Caruba, and the second is from Marlo Lewis from 4 days ago.

    Alan Caruba says:

    No matter how much of the U.S. corn crop is ruined by drought, no matter how high corn prices get, no matter how many people in developing countries are imperiled, the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) requires that billions of bushels of corn be used to fuel cars rather than feed livestock and people.

    And then he goes on to add this:

    Corn is used in bakery products, baby foods, brewed beverages (bourbon, beer, ale), carbonated beverages, cheese spreads and foods, cereals, condiments, chewing gum, prepared mixes (pancakes, waffle, biscuit, cake flour, puddings), gravies and sauces, canned soups, coffee “creamers”, frosting and icings, in instant coffee, marshmallows, sweetened ice tea, most snack foods…. I could go on, but the list is long, very long.

    Marlo Lewis says:

    The ethanol lobby claims the RFS does not limit the availability of corn for other uses. The numbers indicate otherwise. As corn use for ethanol increased from 1.6 billion bushels in 2005/2006 to 5.0 billion in 2011/2012, use of corn for feed declined from 6.2 billion to an estimated 4.6 billion bushels, and corn exports declined from 2.1 billion to an estimated 1.7 billion bushels (FarmEcon LLC report, p. 19). The RFS turns a large and growing share of a major commodity into the exclusive preserve of one industry.

    Both Caruba and Lewis have small cartoons with each of their articles, and the cartoons say it all.

    What is said in these two articles is why I disagree with food crops being used for fuel. There are people who think they may be doing something good for the sake of the environment by using biofuel in their cars, but these people need to also be aware of what is an unintended consequence of making them feel good about doing this.

    Tony.


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    Dave

    .
    Biofuels are useless in Australia.

    Facts

    1. Australia is rich in coal & uranium for energy!
    2. Australia has to import transport fuels!
    3. Biofuels are imported as renewable replacements for petrol and diesel! WHY?
    4. Biofuels production in Australia is about 900 ML
    5. If Australias entire cane and wheat crop were converted to biofuels – it’s only 20%
    6. If 5 above is done – we end up with very little fuel for transport and NO FOOD!

    .

    If biofuels are neccessary they should never compete for arable land in Australia! EVER!
    .

    Energy should NEVER come from arable land in Australia!


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    memoryvault

    .
    Regardless of what they say now, it was Greenpeace**, Friends of the Earth, the WWF, and similar activist groups, that started the current push for biofuels back in 90′s and early 2000′s. Then (as always) the banksters and the money-men moved in and it became Big Business. Then George ‘Dubya’ Bush instigated subsidies to promote growing corn for ethanol, and the rest is history.

    I hope to live long enough to see EVERYBODY involved in this travesty – from the activists who promoted it, to the scientists who supported it, to the politicians who encouraged it, to the banksters and businessmen who profited from it, stand trial for crimes against humanity.

    Once found guilty they should be locked up somewhere and left to starve to death – the same fate they have now created for thousands of people around the planet.

    ** Gee Aye at 22.1 take note:
    Greenpeace wrote the original submission that formed the basis of the EU’s current genocidal biofuels policy.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      MV

      I absolutely agree with your first two paragraphs. I really do.

      But I can’t stand/sit/type by and let you be judge and jury as well. It turns your excellent indictment into a call for a lynching.

      What we should be calling for is a public trial that is broadcast by the media.


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        The Black Adder

        Why RW…

        I`m with MV on this one.

        They have caused the death of millions (as Lord Monckton would say) around the world from higher food prices.

        The media is going off about someone in USA killing 12 people in a cinema (albeit with another 50 odd injured)…

        Where are the morals and ethics in any of this bio-fuels business???

        Shame on the perpetrators…


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        memoryvault

        .
        Rereke I did write “stand trial”.
        That has a fairly universally accepted meaning in our society.


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        memoryvault

        .
        And if perchance you are referring to my suggested punishment, what do you offer as an alternative? A fine, perhaps?

        The reason we keep on winning all the battles, but go on losing the war, is because we keep on refusing to fight fire with fire. We are threatened with murder, and we respond with admonishments and calls to “reason”.

        These people have stated, loudly and publicly, many times over, that they want us tattooed, interred, re-educated, psychotically mummified, or dead. WE respond by calling for reasoned debate. You cannot have a “debate” with a murderous, rabid dog.

        If the Flannery’s, Turnbulls, Karoly’s, Chubbs, Steffens and other hangers-on promoters of this fraud thought for one minute they might actually one day be held accountable for their actions in a court of law, tried for an offense carrying a sentence of capital punishment for mass murder, this nonsense would stop tomorrow.

        We are dealing with sociopathic mass murderers; you apparently want to hold hands and sing ‘kumbyah’.

        .
        It won’t work.
        These people are a pathological disease on humanity.
        And the only known cure for such a disease is to amputate it completely.


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          Watcher

          Where are the bodies and mass graves – oh that’s right there are none? Sounds like you’re a delusional little person doesn’t it. So angry.
          Wonder what happens to people in court who fabricate charges of mass murder ?

          [there is a response to your questions here: http://joannenova.com.au/2012/07/sugar-cane-ethanol-biofuel-produces-10-times-the-pollution-of-gasoline-and-diesel/#comment-1093760 . Do you deny the news stories? Watcher is becoming tedious.......] ED


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            memoryvault

            .
            Given the amount of PUBLISHED information available on the effect of biofuels on food prices;
            Given the amount of PUBLISHED information available on the effect biofuels on food availability and price;
            Given the amount of PUBLISHED information available on the effect of forcing people in third world countries to continue to cook on dung fires instead of giving them electricity;
            Given the amount of PUBLISHED information available on the effect depriving people in third world countries of clean water by depriving them of cheap energy;

            .
            I’m simply going to treat your comment with the contempt it deserves and ignore it.

            .
            How does it feel to be a mass-murderer – I’ll bet it doesn’t bother you one bit.


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            Jaymez

            Obviously you didn’t bother to read Jo’s post. If you reaad her post and checked her references you could have read the reference which calculated the number dead through the production of bio-fuels here: http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/jun/1jun2011a4.html

            You are just lazy Watcher.


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      Andrew McRae

      Hey memoryvault,

      Here is an aerial photo of Australian Parliament House, no wait, it’s a building built for the Rothschilds, but of course I am repeating myself there.

      Those banks sure can build nice things when they want to, eh?

      heheh.


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      Gee Aye

      A bit harsh about the punishment but I take your note about Greenpeace. Instead of applying what seemed to them to be common sense they should have spoken to some scientists and (eek) economists. But the blame isn’t only with those who started it as you point out. GWB will be made to starve too and a whole system that didn’t provide the ability for cross-checking veto and an education and political system that did not promote critical thinking.


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    Kent F

    In the 1980s I was working for one of the household name petrochemical giants. Their very sophisticated engineering division carried out a detailed research project and energy balance to determine whether the company should invest in ethanol fuels made from sugar cane. They also examined ethanol manufacture from some other carbohydrate-rich biofuel sources such as corn.

    In a nutshell it was decided that this was a blind alley. The amount of fossil fuel energy required to produce the fuel exceeded the energy value of the ethanol obtained. They looked at the energy balance over the whole process. This included for example all the aspects of planting, fertilisation, tending of the crop, energy requirements of fertiliser manufacture and use, harvesting, disposal of bagasse, cane processing, fermentation, and transport of all raw materials, wastes and finished product.

    In other words the whole thing was a net energy loser and I suspect the laws of physics have not changed. To proceed with it now is simply another way for governments to waste our money.


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      Andrew McRae

      Kent,

      Seems your former employer was well aware of the need to keep the Energy Returned on Energy Invested ratio greater than a critical minimum, which is between 3 and 5 depending on who’s making the forecast and whether it is measured at the wellhead or at the refinery.

      What are we then to make of reports that shale oil has an EROEI of less than 4 right from the beginning, even before deposits have been depleted? Sounds like a net energy loss to me.
      Do you have any opinion on the schedule for peak oil? Is biofuel Big Oil’s plan B?


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        Kent F

        Andrew, I have no idea what ratio energy companies work on these days, and no doubt it varies a bit according to the size of the reserves. However, to make sense the energy returned versus energy expended must be positive or it’s all a total waste of effort. What I’m saying is that in the case of sugar cane and corn growing and their subsequent conversion to fuel ethanol, it was determined that the ratio was negative. If the energy returned from burning the ethanol fuel is less than the energy required from fossil fuels to produce it, you have to be nuts (or a government agency) to encourage or invest in such a project. They weren’t and aren’t nuts. I’m doubting that efficiencies of manufacture have changed the energy balance much since the 1980s.

        What really saddens me is a wider issue; watching our country turn its back on use right here at home of our massive uranium and coal resources — all for no benefit to the welfare of Australians or the world at large. The Chinese must be amazed.


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    Kent F, you say here:

    What really saddens me is a wider issue; watching our country turn its back on use right here at home of our massive uranium and coal resources — all for no benefit to the welfare of Australians or the world at large. The Chinese must be amazed.

    That’s why they are becoming our closest ally, thinking that if we won’t use it, then they sure can.

    I’m just waiting for the moment they start asking for cheaper prices for OUR coal.

    Also, at the rate it’s going, it will get to the stage where so many impediments will have been placed in the way of any new coal fired power plant, bean counters will conclude that it will be cheaper to sell the coal to China than use it here in Australia.

    So that when that time comes that the last few of those existing coal fired power plants here will have been run into the ground, there will be nothing to replace that scale of power with and it will then be too damned expensive to construct new ones.

    That time is fast approaching.

    Tony.


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    [...] Bioetanol från majs eller sockerrör producerar 10 gånger mer föroreningar än de fossila bränslena, CO2 undantaget. enligt Jo Nova, [...]

    From fans in Sweden – Mod


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    tbano

    Thank you from America for a very well-written, informative article. And, if I may, congratulations on your amazing Olympians. : )

    It seems there are other Ethanol concerns as well. As an example, the basics like food and water.

    Ethanol decreases the food supply, increases its cost and requires vast amounts of water, and some studies show, pollutes that very water.

    It is truly Ethanol vs food and water.

    It seems that may be an important argument for reconsidering the use of Ethanol. The proponents focus on everything but the basics.

    Facts, “the Sacramento Bee”, 2007:

    The Water Educ Foundation says, it takes 118 gal of water to grow a lb of corn

    The US Dept of Ag.(USDA) says it takes 21 lbs of corn to produce 1 gal of Ethanol

    So, 118 gal water x 21 lbs corn = 2,500 gal of water to produce 1 gal of Ethanol

    Facts, ‘CNBC’, 2012, http://www.cnbc.com/id/48477352:

    Using the same math…

    2012 gasoline refiners will use approx 13.2B gal of Ethanol = 40% of the USA corn crop
    USA Ethanol WATER requirement:
    * 33 Trillion Gal

    Worse yet, the corn. Think FOOD, animal feed & Arab Spring food riots.
    USA Ethanol CORN requirement:
    * 277.2 Billion Lbs

    Enter the USA EPA shills.

    1) Univ. of Illinois’ Dept of Ag. & Consumer Economics who now “speaks” for the EPA. The EPA is ‘powerless’ to help.

    2) Societe Generale (SG) is a French Bank with a poor record. They say, there’s no need for the U.S. EPA to do anything based on supply & demand. And there’s not a crisis.

    Remember, SG knows the EU repealed its Ethanol laws as a bad idea.

    So, with government stonewalling, media and ecologists mis-representing what true, where will we get the energy & water and replacement for the food supply that Ethanol ‘evaporates’? Which raises the question, why is this path and chain of unintended consequences being followed like an infallible religious cult and ignoring good science and common sense?

    Hopefully, good science and common sense will win the day… but the effort will be significant. Efforts like JoNova will help.

    Finally, it is the mix of food, water and government should concern everyone. I think it’s a formula for methane … : )

    Have a G’Day!!

    tbano


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    [...] of food, and cuts down forests.  (In a recent study, sugar cane ethanol was shown to produce 10 times the pollution of gasoline and diesel.)  In contrast “second generation” biofuels are waste products. If the [...]


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    BigGav65

    Do people actually understand that increasingly Sugar cane is harvested green and not actually burnt any more? The fibre is much more valuable now as energy. Who does this research? People who watch archive footage of an industry and never visit the field?


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