Agrofuels: Big Profits, Ruined Lives and Ecological by Francois Houtart

By Francois Houtart

Since they have been heralded as a key weapon within the struggle opposed to weather switch, agrofuels were criticised seriously for doing extra damage than stable because of deforestation and stealing agricultural land necessary to farmers within the constructing global. This publication asks no matter if there's anywhere for agrofuels in a low-carbon future.

François Houtart argues that the fairway capability of agrofuels has been wasted by way of companies that positioned earnings above environmental safety. This has resulted in the absurd state of affairs the place an strength resource that are meant to be sustainable really raises human and ecological harm, easily end result of the profit-maximising judgements of capitalists instead of a flaw within the thought of agrofuels.

Students of improvement reviews and environmental economics will locate that this booklet deals an engaging new standpoint at the way forward for power.

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But it is not only the emerging countries that are thinking about coal because of the rapid increase in the price of petrol. The US foresees the construction of 80 new plants before 2012. The amount of pollution through the thermal production of electricity based on coal was revealed unexpectedly on 15 August 2003 when the north-east of the US and the south-east of Canada experienced a breakdown in electricity supply which lasted 29 hours. The result was that there was a reduction of 90 per cent of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere, of half of the ozone in the troposphere (the lower region of the atmosphere), and of 70 per cent of the Houtart 01 text 22 26/03/2010 11:28 the twin crises: energy and climateâ•… 23 particles attaching themselves to the clouds, and increasing visibility by 40 kilometres.

These observations and reflections can be summarized and considered from three major viewpoints: the environment, the economy and the socio-political consequences. On the Global Environment The first ecological effect concerns biodiversity, by which I mean not only the number of living species, but the extent of the gene pool and the resilience of ecosystems. Of course, biodiversity is also in danger from other factors apart from climatic change, such as pollution from industrial activities and the reduction of natural habitat caused by monoculture and urbanization, as has Houtart 01 text 40 26/03/2010 11:28 the twin crises: energy and climateâ•… 41 been pointed out by Etienne Brouquet of the Belgian Platform on Biodiversity.

The success in this field shows that it is possible to take action where there is the political will to do so. Micro-particles emitted by aerosols also have an effect on stratospheric ozone by producing a membrane of pollution which fixes itself to the clouds and prevents the light of the sun from reaching earth. The light fades, bringing about what is called planetary darkness. This has been observed, not only in various places in Europe, but also in the US, Australia, the Maldive Islands and Israel.

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