It’s appalling that the European environmentalists allowed biodiesel subsidies. The idea we can burn our biosphere in the tanks of our cars, and that this is somehow better than using petroleum, is the death knell to tropical forests. In turn this is the cause of droughts due to loss of transpiration, extreme weather because tropical deforestation undermines the monsoon circulation, and even global warming both due to the thermal impact of hotter open land vs. cooler reflective cloud cover that forms over tropical forests, and (arguably, at least) the CO2 impact of removing perennial uptake as well as the massive one-time release of CO2 when the forest is removed. Tropical deforestation has more to do with climate change than burning petroleum.
|The Orangutans of Borneo
Stop the biodiesel subsidies, stop the slaughter.
Despite this strong likelyhood, if not fact, Europeans have patted themselves on the back for their biofuel subsidies, and created a world market for biodiesel that had scarcely existed. And now the genie is out of the bottle, and the last forests are burning away.
To fix the problem at this point, Europeans will have to impose punitive import tarifs on any and all biodiesel, and redirect the full force of funds that had been subsidizing biodiesel, using them instead to purchase, protect and reestablish tropical rainforests. Five million square miles of tropical rainforest have been lost, and less than three million remain. Millions of square miles of rainforest must be restored, in order to avert anthropogenically induced disruptive climate change.
Orangutans are the latest victims of rainforest destruction for biofuel. Nobody should be surprised that as politically correct biofuel is subsidized, not only tropical deforestation occurs (causing climate change), but consequences also include massive destruction of biodiversity and prolific specicide. As reported on MSNBC’s report “Orangutans Squeezed by Biofuel Boom,” tropical deforestation is rampaging faster than ever. According to the report: “Encouraged by government tax breaks, many of Indonesia’s largest conglomerates as well as foreign companies are investing millions in expanding plantations and refining facilities on Borneo, which has one of the richest ecosystems in the world and is one of the only remaining homes of the orangutans.”
As we’ve repeatedly warned, biofuel is not sustainable. A human being, running on calories (products of sun, water and plants), only consumes caloric energy at a rate of about 100 watts. Our cars require on average about 25 kilowatts to operate. That is to say, meeting the nutritional requirements of billions of people literally require 250 times less farmland than meeting the fuel requirements of billions of cars and industrial machinery. That is the energy reality, and small wonder rainforests are toast. Read “Reforesting vs. Biofuel.”
Our love for wildlife and wilderness is undiminished by our contention that over-emphasis on endangered species is strangling the economic growth of American cities. If it isn’t enough that biofueled tropical deforestation is the real cause of catastrophic climate change, then perhaps the impending doom of the Orangutans and other species and ecosystems might move environmentalists at last. Stop the subsidies, stop the slaughter.