Saturday, April 30, 2005

"If biofuels take off, they will cause a global humanitarian disaster."

That's George Monbiot's position in this Guardian op-ed (via via Glen Barry's Earth Blog). Monbiot bases his argument on the demand for fuel and the buying power of richer nations and consumers, and claims that this demand will cause farmers to stop growing food crops in favor of fuel crops, thus exacerbating hunger.

I think Monbiot's on to something given our desire for single solutions to problems -- we want to find that silver bullet for oil addition and climate change. Including biofuels as one option of many seems like a smart move, but Monbiot is probably right that adapting it as a unilateral strategy ends up swapping one problem for another.

Of course, Kurt at Resource Insights also made this argument some time back. As long as we continue in the mindset that there has to be one solution, rather than a diverse array of solutions based on local needs and conditions, they're probably right...

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