Greenpeace takes on biodiesel
Posted by Evan Herrnstadt on May 29, 2008
So I’m in week two of a three-week trip through Argentina, which is why I haven’t been posting. Basically, I’ve had limited internet access, and frankly have been more focused on eating steaks and goat than on economics.
But last night I was half-watching TV at the café, and in between skits centered on the hilarity of men wearing wigs and news segments alternately worshipping and subtly mocking Diego Maradona, there was an advertisement from Greenpeace Argentina (in conjunction with GP Germany) blasting soy biodiesel production. Basically, it pointed out how the nation is literally burning through its land to plant energy crops. Over 2 million hectares of forest have been converted into energy croplands in the past nine years — much of this goes to fuel German diesel vehicles that are widespread in Europe. Diesel vehicles are indeed often longer-lasting and more efficient than the US’s gas-fueled fleet, but as with ethanol we must be careful about leaping too enthusiastically on the biofuel bandwagon. Not this is that new to anyone; it’s just becoming more and more apparent to me that the solution to our transport emissions has to involve a move away from liquid fuels through a combination of efficiency and the tricky electric car.
Anyway, I’ll be back around June 10th or so, with (hopefully) better thought-out posts not hastily written in an internet café.