Should food should be used as fuel for energy generation?
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- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
April 8th, Pacifica radio station KPFA in Berkeley, California, featured a panel entitled "Food or Fuel? Do we have to choose?" on the Sunday Salon program, hosted by Sandra Lupien.
Guests Tom Philipott, farmer-writer from North Carolina, and Isabella Kenfield, a free-lance U.S. journalist living in Brazil, were both highly critical of the biofuels boom. However, Jake Caldwell, of the Center for American Progress staked out what is probably the mainstream U.S. view. He insisted that corn ethanol was a sustainable energy source that would revitalize rural economies around the world, IF carefully regulated. He then gushed over the future potential of cellulosic ethanol, the next generation biofuel.
The notion that biofuels will be fair and green as long as they are properly regulated and made primarily from cellulosic materials (like switchgrass and trees) rests on two basic and very heroic assumptions:
Assumption #1: "The problem is fuel crops versus food crops."
Assumption #2: "Biofuels' problems can be solved through proper social and environmental regulation."
- Hope For PeaceLv 71 decade ago
1.By defining the energy problem as the danger of relying on foreign sources of oil, domestically produced renewable fuels provide a logical solution. So, the question facing domestically produced renewable fuels is not “if it provides a solution” but “how much of a solution does it provide”.
2.Scientific investigation has confirmed the dangers of global warming from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Our reliance on energy from fossil fuels contributes to GHG emissions. Early analysis determined that bio-fuels, while not exempt from carbon emissions, emit less (GHG) emissions than gasoline. Corn ethanol results in a 20 percent reduction in emissions versus gasoline. Biomass ethanol shows a 70 percent reduction.
3.Although growing corn and biomass and refining them into ethanol produces as much or more emissions than pumping, transporting and refining crude oil into gasoline, the source and amount of carbon contained in the feedstock is the most important component. The carbon in crude oil has been sequestered from the atmosphere and now is being released into the atmosphere during consumption. So, it adds to the amount of atmospheric carbon. Conversely, the carbon contained in corn and biomass that is released during consumption was recently pulled out of the atmosphere during photosynthesis. So this carbon is part of the natural carbon cycle and does not increase the level of atmospheric carbon.
High levels of organic matter are also important for maintaining soil productivity and retaining soil moisture. In addition, crop residue contains important crop nutrients that are returned to the soil during decomposition. Crop residue left on the soil surface also helps reduce soil erosion.
2008-06-29 14:20:11 補充：
1. The costs of mixing ethanol into the fuel supply raise the cost of driving beyond the level imposed by plain gasoline usage.
2. Ethanol has damaged the environment.
3. Ethanol use lowers fuel economy.
4. Ethanol policy has contributed to a rise in energy and food costs.Source(s): www.extension.iastate.edu/AgDM/articles/hof/HofOct07.html