Time To Rethink The Ethanol Thing

On Friday WattsUpWithThat posted an article about biofuels. It seems that the use of biofuels instead of carbon fuels is not as kind to the environment as originally thought.

The article reports:

Statements about biofuels being carbon neutral should be taken with a grain of salt. This is according to researchers at the University of Michigan Energy Institute after completing a retrospective, national-scale evaluation of the environmental effect of substituting petroleum fuels with biofuels in the US. America’s biofuel use to date has in fact led to a net increase in carbon dioxide emissions, says lead author John DeCicco in Springer’s journal Climatic Change.

The use of liquid biofuels in the transport sector has expanded over the past decade in response to policies such as the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). These policies are based on the belief that biofuels are inherently carbon neutral, meaning that only production-related greenhouse gas emissions need to be tallied when comparing them to fossil fuels.

This assumption is embedded in the lifecycle analysis modelling approach used to justify and administer such policies. Simply put, because plants absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, crops grown for biofuels should absorb the carbon dioxide that comes from burning the fuels they produce. Using this approach, it is often found that crop-based biofuels such as corn ethanol and biodiesel offer at least modest net greenhouse gas reductions relative to petroleum fuels.

There is also research showing that ethanol damages engines. As the government attempts to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline, the potential damage to car, boat, motorcycle and other engines should be considered. It would also be wise to consider the fact that biofuels are not carbon neutral.

Meanwhile, Power Line reported today that the reports of the ‘warmest month ever’ that periodically show up in the media are not based on sound science.

Power Line reports:

We are living in a relatively cool era. Temperatures today are lower than they have been something like 90% of the time since the last Ice Age ended 12,000 or so years ago. In fact, “ever” means since approximately the 1880s, when thermometer records became widespread. As it happens, that was also around the time when the Little Ice Age ended, so–happily!–the Earth is a bit warmer now than it was then.

One of the many problems with global warming hysteria is that it is based on the surface temperature record since the 1880s, which is deeply flawed when it is not outright falsified by alarmists who control the historical records. This happens often, as we and others have documented.

The article at Power Line explains why the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is using faulty data in its reports:

Actually, the explanation is political. The IPCC was explicitly established by the U.N. for one purpose only, to “study” the impact of human-emitted CO2 on global temperatures. This was for the purpose of justifying government control over industry worldwide. Anyone who is interested in science rather than left-wing politics relies on the satellite data, which are transparent and have not been “adjusted” by political activists.

The United Nations has forgotten that its original mission was to encourage democracy and world peace. It has morphed into an organization run by a cadre of dictators who would like to extort money from countries who have prospered because of their freedom. The climate change information that is coming from the United Nations is part of that effort.