Archive for the tag “biofuels”

Report: Biofuels are bad for the environment and adds to world hunger

Oilprice.com & World Resources Institute 

Despite their promise over the past decade or so, biofuels have been found to be a very inefficient way to generate energy, are bad for the environment and even contribute to world hunger, according to a new report by the World Resources Institute (WRI).

In fact none of these conclusions is new. Research into biofuels for years has focused on making them more potent. And no one has ever thought cutting down trees, for example, is good for the environment, even if more trees can be grown. And as for nutrition, who benefits more from corn: a hungry child or an automobile?

Certainly, natural waste products can contribute to bioenergy, but dedicating broad acreage to raising crops not for food but for energy creates unfair competition with a more important enterprise of growing crops and providing grazing land for livestock, according to the WRI, a global research organization based in Washington. The paper is the ninth installment in a series of reports by WRI, titled Creating a Sustainable Food Future. Read more…

Proposal: An Alternative Energy Strategy for India

ENERGY STRATEGY FOR INDIA BY 2035

Presenting a new vision for a totally clean and green, fossil fuel-free energy strategy for our COUNTRY
(by Concerned Members of NGOs)

There is a pressing need to think about a fossil fuel-less future, because according to many experts, fossil fuels have already peaked, and may be exhausted by 2030 or too costly. Multiple scientific studies have also proven that fossil fuels are the biggest cause of environmental pollution and global warming. This proposal presents a strategy for our country, which is at present completely dependent on fossil fuels. To avert the forthcoming energy crisis and to become totally fossil fuel-free and become clean and green by 2035, this plan would help.

While most countries including ours, are already adopting Alternative energy sources, we propose that India goes a step forward and make ourselves free from fossil fuels, and thus make ourselves the cleanest possible country on the planet in terms of emissions and as this also brings us prosperity. We are burning nearly about 83 million Dollar worth of crude every day !

To reach the goal, some essential steps we must take are:

  1. With clean and able leader like Shree Narendra Modi ji at the helm, it should not be a difficult proposition to curtail, if not totally eliminate, corruption.
  2. A clean country is also a prerequisite and essential for becoming a totally green country. Cleanliness is said to be next to Godliness. Basically we Indians speak about it, but are careless otherwise.
  3. To plan for a strategy to reduce the population level, although it may not be possible to bring it to a desired level, even by 2050.

(One of the proposals is to advice women to have just one child in their life time, irrespective of their caste, creed or number of times she may get married. This would require change in some social norms as well, but those should not be too difficult if this option is accepted by society). This step is very essential for sustainability as well and will also bring about empowerment of women. Reduced population would also mean increase in prosperity.

Read the full text of the proposal (Download PDF)

(Editors Note: This is the full text of a submission to the new Govt. at the Centre, drafted by POI member Dr Ashok Kundapur. Dr Ashok is an inventor and well-known expert in alternative energy technologies. For more information on his work, visit: http://www.kapalishakti.com and http://www.solcooker.net)

News update

The Peak Oil Crisis: Iraq on the Precipice
From Oilprice.com
ISIS now has control of one of three major refineries in Iraq which supplies the motor fuel and oil for power stations for the northern part of Iraq. Let’s assume, however, that before this year or next is out, Iraqi oil exports drop substantially as it has in several other oil-exporting states undergoing similar political trauma. Just what does this mean for the world’s oil supply? (Also see: It’s the Oil, Stupid! Insurgency and War on a Sea of Oil (Tomdispatch.com)

Oil Production Numbers Keep Going Down
By Dave Summers, Oilprice.com
One problem with defining a peak in global oil production is that it is only really evident sometime after the event, when one can look in the rear view mirror and see the transition from a growing oil supply to one that is now declining. Before that relatively absolute point, there will likely come a time when global supply can no longer match the global demand for oil that exists at that price. We are beginning to approach the latter of these two conditions,

Oil-Rich Iran Planning To Spend $60 Million On Solar PV This Year
From Cleantechnica.com
Leading oil producer Iran is aiming big with renewable energy, based on recent statements made by the Iranian Energy Minister, Hamid Chitchian. The country’s new goal is to add 5,000 MW of new solar energy and wind energy capacity by the year 2018. That’s a big increase over the country’s previous aims, and sort of makes you wonder what it is that they know about the near-term future of the oil industry.

Is North Dakota Oil Production Rapidly Approaching a Peak?
From The Motley Fool
North Dakotas Bakken is one of the most phenomenal shale oil growth stories in the U.S. But some commentators suggest that this rapid production growth cant go on for much longer, citing sharp decline rates for Bakken wells. Could this mean that Bakken production is rapidly approaching a peak?

Carbon offset scheme complicit in genocidal land grabs
By Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian
Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 500 million acres of land in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean was acquired or negotiated under deals brokered on behalf of foreign governments or transnational corporations. Many such deals are geared toward growing crops or biofuels for export to richer, developed countries – with the consequence that small-holder farmers are displaced from their land and lose their livelihood while local communities go hungry. Less known factors, however, include conservation and carbon offsetting.

Govt readies Rs 14,000 cr subsidy for hybrid, electric cars
From The Times of India
Buying a hybrid or an electric car may soon fetch you a subsidy from the government, which is readying a Rs 14,000-crore scheme to push green vehicles. The subsidy will be a proportion of the difference between the price of a car running on fossil fuel and that of a green vehicle, said sources involved with the discussions. (Also see: a debate on the issue in The Times of India)

Govt panel proposes green cess on petrol, vehicles
From The Times of India
Vehicle owners could soon be asked to pay more for environment. A green surcharge of Rs 2 on petrol sold across the country and green cess on existing personal vehicles at the rate of 4% of annual insured value are some of the recommendations of a government panel. The panel has suggested levy of 7.5% urban transport tax on purchase of new petrol cars and 20% in case of diesel cars.

Solar power stocks see multi-fold jump on hopes from Modi govt
From The Economic Times
Companies with exposure to the solar power segment have seen a bull-run since the beginning of this year, with stock prices jumping three-and-half times. They have gained on expectation that the Modi government would implement the successful Gujarat solar-power model elsewhere, too.

Elon Musk Releases Electric Car Technology Patents
From Los Angeles Magazine
South African-born entrepreneur Elon Musk, the man behind the Tesla electric car, announced last week that Tesla’s automotive patents would be made available, open source-style, “for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.” The move shocked the automotive cognoscenti because patents are generally considered sacrosanct evidence of differentiating technological advances.

News update

If Peak Oil Is Dead, Why Havent Prices Dropped?
Steve Andrews of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas, USA interviews Dr. Richard G. Miller who recently co-authored and co-edited The Future of Oil Supply (see item below), a thematic issue of Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society entirely devoted to future world oil supply. Dr. Miller, trained as a geologist, joined BP as a geochemist in 1985. He studied Peak Oil matters since 1991, when BP asked him the following year to devise a wholly new way to estimate global oil resources. In 2000, he was tasked with creating an in-house projection of global future oil demand and supply to 2030. The model he created was updated annually through 2008; then the effort was disbanded and he moved on to his present work consulting on peak oil.
From www.evworld.com 

Royal Society joins the Peak Oil debate
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society has the prestige of being the world’s first scientific journal and also published the work of Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, William Herschel and many more celebrated names in science. Recently, this journal published a theme issue, edited by Richard G. Miller and Steve R. Sorell, on peak oil. This volume presents the best scientific evidence on why a decline in oil supply may, or may not, be in sight. It considers the production and resources of conventional oil and the potential for developing alternative liquid fuels from tar sands, shales, biomass, coal and gas. It describes how economies might react and adapt to rising oil prices and how the transport sector could be transformed. It provides comprehensive and interdisciplinary perspective on the ‘peak oil’ debate and reflects a range of views. Ultimately, it reminds us that the wolf did eventually appear and that it would be wise to prepare.
From www.royalsocietypublishing.org via www.peakoil.net

Climate Change is a ‘National Security’ Issue Say Military Experts
Climate change should be treated as an issue of national security, say military analysts familiar with links between environmental degradation and conflict. Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, a former Royal Navy aircraft carrier commander and chief UK climate envoy in 2013, told RTCC no one country could afford to ignore the risks linked to rising temperatures.
From www.chimalaya.org

The battle for water
Adequate availability of water, food and energy is critical to global security. The sharpening, international, geopolitical competition over natural resources has turned some strategic resources into engines of power struggle and triggered price volatility. The geopolitics of natural resources promises to get murkier. Water — the sustainer of life and livelihoods — is already the world’s most exploited natural resource. With nature’s freshwater-renewable capacity lagging behind humanity’s current rate of utilisation, tomorrow’s water is being used to meet today’s need. Adapted from Brahma Chellaneys new book, Water, Peace, and War: Confronting the Global Water Crisis.
From www.thehindu.com 

The Karnataka biofuel model may be replicated elsewhere
The Karnataka policy on biofuel production — with its attempt to move away from the “food vs. fuel” conundrum — is likely to be taken up as a model for other developing countries in Asia and Africa based on a study commissioned by the World Agroforestry Centre.
From www.thehindu.com 

The Peak Oil Crisis: A Winter Update
As the years go by, those studying peak oil are beginning to develop a better understanding of what has been happening since the concept of limits to oil production came to widespread attention. First of all, it is important to understand that in one sense, production of what had been thought of as “conventional oil” really did peak back in 2005. While there has been growth in certain sectors of the “oil” industry in the last nine years it has come in what are known as “unconventional liquids” and as we shall see the maintenance of existing conventional oil production has come at a very high price.
From Falls-Church News Press

The Purposely Confusing World of Energy Politics
Life often presents us with paradoxes, but seldom so blatant or consequential as the following. Read this sentence slowly: Today it is especially difficult for most people to understand our perilous global energy situation, precisely because it has never been more important to do so. Got that? No? Okay, let me explain.
Richard Heinberg, well-known energy expert and writer on Peak Oil and related issues writes about manufactured confusions surrounding Peak Oil.
From www.postcarbon.org

Can the World Feed China?
Overnight, China has become a leading world grain importer, set to buy a staggering 22 million tons in the 2013–14 trade year, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture projections. As recently as 2006—just eight years ago—China had a grain surplus and was exporting 10 million tons. What caused this dramatic shift? Lester Brown, well-known expert on food security and environment, weighs in on the question. Naturally, the question applies as much or more to India as well, for more or less the same reasons.
From www.treehugger.com

The Rising of the Waters: A Call for Submission
British environmental activist and writer Paul Kingsnorth of The Dark Mountain Project writes on their website about the floods that have become an annual phenomenon in his country. This personal note revisits the places he has lived in, is both elegy and warning, and ends with a call for submissions for the latest edition in Dark Mountains book series. He writes: What is interesting to me personally is to see this hitting the south of England so hard. For a long time, environmentalists have been telling us that it is the poor who will be hit hardest by climate change. Of course, they are right in many ways. The flooding of Bangladesh is going to be much worse for its people than the flooding of England. Nevertheless, what we can see here is people in one of the richest countries in the world taking the full force of the climate shift that is now beginning.  It has been happening elsewhere for a long time; it will keep happening, everywhere. Heres a link to his essay Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, which created a flutter in green activist circles when it was first published.
From www.dark-mountain.net

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