FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Unintended Consequences of Biofuels

Biofuels, particluarly those derived from ethanol, have been heralded as an ideal way to wean us off of polluting and increasingly expensive fossil fuels. While we may have no choice but to rely on biofuels in the future, some futurists are sounding the alarm about the unintended consequences of biofuel reliance. In July, the futurist think tank Global Business Network noted that crop growth for biofuels could come at the expense of the world food supply. Others are citing the phenomenon of "agflation," or the increased price of all things agricultural, from produce to dairy products to real estate in rural areas. Indeed, manufacturers of all types are beginning to notice higher prices for animal by-products used in products such as soaps.

While market forces may eventually correct agflation-driven price increases, the time is now to understand that energy solutions such as biofuel are not "magic bullets" without impact in other areas, and to mitigate those impacts.

Source: Techdirt

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