Saturday, 18 August 2007

The trouble with Greens...

The trouble with Greens in general and especially Green toadying politicians, is that they don’t think through what they are doing and will almost certainly end up having their rear ends thoroughly savaged by the ‘law of unintended consequences’ time and again…

The latest instance? The EU, desperately stampeding like demented green lemmings, set a target of ensuring 10% of petrol and diesel is sourced from renewable sources by 2020 – in other words bio-fuel.

Presumably an attempt to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide - Sounds ok if you don’t think about it too deeply.

If you do think about it more deeply though, like say a UK-based team of scientists who published those thoughts in Science.

Then you might think that reforestation and habitat protection are an enormously more preferable direction to go in because forests absorb up to nine times more CO2 than the production of biofuels could save, using the same area of land.

Dr Righelato one of the authors pointed out that: "In all cases, the amount of CO2 sequestered (by forests) over a 30-year period is considerably greater than the amount of emissions avoided by using biofuels,"

If you want to make biofuels then so-called second generation biofuels are better, made from waste products like used cooking oil or feedstocks such as straw, grasses and wood (lignocellulosic material) rather than grains or palm oil.

A major problem with the growth of biofuels is that it is actually leading to increased deforestation.

Apart from being counter productive in reducing carbon dioxide, something that will bother many, it is also contributing to deforestation of rainforests in Malaysia and Indonesia, as the land there is turned over in massive chunks to palm oil production to feed the increasing demand. Something else that should cause concern.

On top of that those forests are the only home of the Orangutan and as their natural environment is destroyed to feed the demand for palm oil the poor Orangutan is being driven towards extinction.

Orangutan rescue centres in Indonesia are having to cope with an influx of orphaned baby orangutans saved from forests cleared to make way for oil palm plantations. Significant areas of Tanjung Puting National Park, the world's most famous protected area for orangutan, are under threat from oil palm plantation.

And that should concern us all.

It is a hideous irony that the well meaning blundering of Green Politicians, who really don’t think further than the end of their noses, are actually busy ‘paving the road to hell’ by actively harming the environment and contributing towards driving a great Ape towards extinction.