The Christian Science Monitor has a good article on the effects of global warming in six different countries, including Indonesia. One aspect of global warming in that country is the aggressive nature of deforestation in order to grow palm trees for palm oil for biofuel.
I am not in favor of biofuels. They do not address the problems, which is to make more efficient machinery, depend more on solar energy, and frankly, do with less. Instead, people can now have their SUVs and drive them, too, by planting corn in their tanks.
We had an issue with biofuels in this state in that one company wanted to build a corn biofuel plant using water tapped from one of Missouri’s precious non-replenishing aquifers. When asked what he would do if the plant sucked the aquifer dry, the owner just stated he would have to deal with the situation. Of course, he neglects to mention about how everyone who lives around the plant would also have to deal with the situation.
What about turning corn into biofuel? Most of the surplus corn grown in the US is sent to countries where the people are suffering drought and famine. When the corn is diverted to fuel, starvation results.
I now read that a Canadian company is building a biofuel plant here in Missouri to make fuel from wood scraps. This sounds commendable: use scrap wood to create cleaner biofuels. However, what is never mentioned in these stories is that all biofuel production requires a great deal of water, and can have serious consequences on the land surrounding such plants.
Missouri is attractive to biofuel producers like Oregon and Washington are attractive to companies wanting to install computer server plants: we have a seemingly abundant supply of the natural resource they need. In the northwest, it’s electricity; here in Missouri, it’s water. However, as we’ve seen in Georgia, there is no guarantee that the water we have in the ground today, will be there tomorrow.
Ultimately, I don’t agree with the use of biofuels. Their use postpones the decisions we will inevitably have to make as to lifestyle; they gloss over the real issues facing the world; and they let the greedy continue their wasteful ways of life. More than that, we don’t need more industry profiting from our natural resources.