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New Trend in Biofuels Has New Risks
NY Times ^ | May 21, 2008 | ELISABETH ROSENTHAL

Posted on 05/20/2008 8:15:36 PM PDT by neverdem

ROME — In the past year, as the diversion of food crops like corn and palm to make biofuels has helped to drive up food prices, investors and politicians have begun promoting newer, so-called second-generation biofuels as the next wave of green energy. These, made from non-food crops like reeds and wild grasses, would offer fuel without the risk of taking food off the table, they said.

But now, biologists and botanists are warning that they, too, may bring serious unintended consequences. Most of these newer crops are what scientists label invasive species — that is, weeds — that have an extraordinarily high potential to escape biofuel plantations, overrun adjacent farms and natural land, and create economic and ecological havoc in the process, they now say.

At a United Nations meeting in Bonn, Germany, on Tuesday, scientists from the Global Invasive Species Program, the Nature Conservancy and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, as well as other groups, presented a paper with a warning about invasive species.

“Some of the most commonly recommended species for biofuels production are also major invasive alien species,” the paper says, adding that these crops should be studied more thoroughly before being cultivated in new areas.

Controlling the spread of such plants could prove difficult, the experts said, producing “greater financial losses than gains.” The International Union for Conservation of Nature encapsulated the message like this: “Don’t let invasive biofuel crops attack your country.”

To reach their conclusions, the scientists compared the list of the most popular second-generation biofuels with the list of invasive species and found an alarming degree of overlap. They said little evaluation of risk had occurred before planting.

“With biofuels, there’s always a hurry,” said Geoffrey Howard, an invasive species expert with the International Union for Conservation of Nature...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 110th; agriculture; biofuel; biofuels; energy; environment; ethanol; science

1 posted on 05/20/2008 8:15:36 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

These fuel crops should only be grown in ANWR.


2 posted on 05/20/2008 8:20:18 PM PDT by Minn (Here is a realistic picture of the prophet: ----> ([: {()
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To: neverdem

Got some good news in the mail about the Oregon ethanol fraud mandate. Oregon State Marine Board publication stated a new law would exempt aircraft, boats, ATVs and power tools from having to use the ethanol blend. You probably have to go to a marina to get the unlead/uneth.


3 posted on 05/20/2008 8:31:26 PM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: neverdem
Ever heard of Kudzu?

From Wikipedia:

"Kudzu was introduced from Japan into the United States in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, where it was promoted as a forage crop and an ornamental plant. From 1935 to the early 1950s the Soil Conservation Service encouraged farmers in the southeastern United States to plant kudzu to reduce soil erosion as above, and the Civilian Conservation Corps planted it widely for many years. However, it would soon be discovered that the southeastern US has near-perfect conditions for kudzu to grow out of control — hot, humid summers, frequent rainfall, temperate winters with few hard freezes (kudzu cannot tolerate low freezing temperatures that bring the frost line down through its entire root system, a rare occurrence in this region), and no natural predators. As such, the once-promoted plant was named a pest weed by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1953.

4 posted on 05/20/2008 8:38:14 PM PDT by jimmyray
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To: neverdem; sweetliberty

Use KUDZU!


5 posted on 05/20/2008 8:39:08 PM PDT by null and void (The one word of Chinese our congress really understands is 'kowtow')
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To: jimmyray

Great minds...


6 posted on 05/20/2008 8:40:06 PM PDT by null and void (The one word of Chinese our congress really understands is 'kowtow')
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To: neverdem

The precautionary principle is touted by liberals as the appropriate regulatory stance for anyone planning to introduce a new product.

Apparently the same principle has no application when it comes to government regulations and subsidies themselves.


7 posted on 05/20/2008 8:49:46 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. - A. Lincoln)
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To: neverdem

Simply label the fuel crops as “GM” and the greenies will ballistic trying to stop their introduction. GM trumps every other liberal mantra.


8 posted on 05/20/2008 9:06:25 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
OH.

MY.

GAWD!!!!

It's

FRANKENFUEL!!!

9 posted on 05/20/2008 9:11:41 PM PDT by null and void (The one word of Chinese our congress really understands is 'kowtow')
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To: null and void

Beautiful! Love it. Heard here first on FR!


10 posted on 05/20/2008 9:51:51 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: neverdem

SUGAR CANE! SUGAR BEETS! SUGAR CANE! SUGAR BEETS!

Sugar has no nutritive value, period. It is a chemical additive to sweeten foods that adds empty calories. It is so worthless of value as a food, it isn’t fed to livestock.

Sugar beets and sugar cane can both be used to produce ethanol. The best part of these crops is the diverse environments they grow in successfully.

Beets can be grown in northern latitudes and sugar cane in the tropics. This would provide many continents and nations around the world with the wonderful opportunity to become energy independent, as in Brazil, and tell the Arabs, “Go pound sand!”


11 posted on 05/20/2008 10:43:10 PM PDT by SatinDoll (Desperately desiring a conservative government.)
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To: neverdem

Save the South, burn Kudzu!


12 posted on 05/20/2008 10:46:13 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: neverdem

“But, as was recently reported, this anti-ethanol campaign is not a coincidence. It has been well thought out, well programmed, and that program is going on. It turns out that a $300,000, 6-month retainer of a beltway public relations firm is behind the smear campaign against ethanol. And they have been hired by a trade association referred to as the Grocery Manufacturers Association. They have outlined their strategy of using environmental, hunger, and food aid groups to demonstrate their contrived crisis. And it is right here in a 26-page document put out by the Glover Park Group, called ``The Food and Fuel Campaign.’’ They enlist the support of these other nonprofit groups that are involved with environment and hunger.”

http://grassley.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=f4104ac2-9566-a9c3-cabd-636b7c7c4e16


13 posted on 05/20/2008 10:50:40 PM PDT by garandgal
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To: Sherman Logan

Amen, brother. It’s precisely the lack of precaution about regulation and subsidies that is causing so many ills and positioning us for far worse times as the interventions pile on themselves.


14 posted on 05/21/2008 12:23:48 AM PDT by Dahoser (America's great untapped alternative energy source: The Founding Fathers spinning in their graves.)
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To: CygnusXI; Beowulf

ping


15 posted on 05/21/2008 6:13:16 AM PDT by steelyourfaith
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To: Dahoser

OPEC is a monopoly.

Breaking up monopolies, is one of the few valid uses for regulation and mandates.

Let’s do it. Now.


16 posted on 05/21/2008 6:15:50 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (FLEX FUEL NOW! - send your fuel dollars to Kansas, not to Hugo Chavez)
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To: SatinDoll
Sugar has no nutritive value, period.

That's not really true. Sugar is a carbohydrate. It is converted by your body into energy.

17 posted on 05/21/2008 9:09:02 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: ModelBreaker

Look it up, buddy!

Sugar has no nutritional value, period. It is a chemical that adds calories, thus energy, but your body has to pull out mineral and vitamins to digest it. There is a difference between carbohydrates and nutrition.

Sugar equals empty calories.


18 posted on 05/21/2008 10:18:48 PM PDT by SatinDoll (Desperately desiring a conservative government.)
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To: SatinDoll
Sugar has no nutritional value, period. It is a chemical that adds calories, thus energy, but your body has to pull out mineral and vitamins to digest it. There is a difference between carbohydrates and nutrition.

Would you die faster if you were stranded on a desert island with: (1) only water to drink, nothing else; or (2) water to drink and a big pile of sugar?

19 posted on 05/22/2008 7:18:30 AM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: ModelBreaker

Depends on whether you’re a diabetic.


20 posted on 05/22/2008 9:49:51 AM PDT by SatinDoll (Desperately desiring a conservative government.)
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; george76; ...
In the past year, as the diversion of food crops like corn and palm to make biofuels has helped to drive up food prices...
...everyone woke up from their crazy dream, thankful that the diversion of corn to make biofuels had nothing to do with higher food prices. Then drove to the filling station for some $4 a gallon gas. Thanks neverdem.
so-called second-generation biofuels... made from non-food crops like reeds and wild grasses... may bring serious unintended consequences. Most of these newer crops are what scientists label invasive species -- that is, weeds -- that have an extraordinarily high potential to escape biofuel plantations, overrun adjacent farms and natural land, and create economic and ecological havoc in the process, they now say.
Lucky for us that non-food crops wouldn't compete with food crops for the use of arable land, and, uh, what's that? Oh, never mind...
21 posted on 05/22/2008 12:31:31 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______________________Profile updated Monday, April 28, 2008)
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To: SatinDoll

The only “nutrient” removed from corn by distilling it for ethanol is the sugar, all of the other nutrients remain and are fed to livestock...much as spent beet pulp is fed to livestock.


22 posted on 05/22/2008 2:06:36 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: SatinDoll
Depends on whether you’re a diabetic.

Well, of course a diabetic could kill themselves by eating a whole bunch of sugar at once. But I was married to a juvenile diabetic for ten years. They need glucose in their blood just like you and me. That's how they get their energy too. They burn glucose. They just cannot regulate high glucose levels like you and me.

Accordingly, so as long as the diabetic regulated their intake of the sugar relative to their physical exercise, they would live longer on sugar only than they would on nothing.

Sugar is a nutrient. Glucose is where you get 90% + of the energy you use during the day.

23 posted on 05/22/2008 7:25:37 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: ModelBreaker

No, you are flat out wrong. There are no minerals or vitamins in sugar, it has ZERO nutritive value, which any book on nutrition or food encyclopedia could tell you. (I own both). If sugar were nutritious, then refined sugar and refined white flour would be fed to livestock. It is because the animals would die, just as mice in laboratories have died when fed a straight diet of sugar and white bread.

You are confusing calories, the amount of fuel necessary to provide energy, with the minerals and vitamins our bodies need to survive. Sugar does have calories. Protein, which the body converts into a type of sugar, is more than sufficient to provide energy and contains minerals and vitamins necessary to maintain health.

It’s been a fairly even tempered conversation but this will be my last post.

I never eat sugar, wheat, or gluten or rice. These substances were not a part of our ancestor’s diets. Humans are far and away much healthier without them


24 posted on 05/22/2008 9:02:27 PM PDT by SatinDoll (Desperately desiring a conservative government.)
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