Wired Science - Wired Blogs
According to a new study, cutting down forests to grow crops for fuel causes more environmental damage than using biofuels can ever offset.. It's a sobering message at a time when energy crops, once a hippie dream, have gone mainstream green. Around the world, governments and industries have pledged to replace climate-fouling fossil fuels with fuel made from plants. But is it possible that we can't see the CO2 forest for the trees? Writing in the journal Science, Renton Righelato of the World Land Trust, a British conservation group, and Dominick Spracklen, an environmental researcher at the University of Leeds, compared the carbon dioxide savings offered by using land for biofuel crops or forests. The worst practice for the environment, they found, is making space for biofuel crops by clearing forests. Inevitably, forests absorb more CO2 than is saved by biofuel crops grown where they once stood.
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