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Biofuels offer several advantages over fossil fuels. Most are less toxic. Crops used to produce them can be grown quickly, so unlike coal, oil and gas that take millions of years to form, they're considered renewable. They can also be grown almost anywhere, reducing the need for infrastructure like pipelines and oil tankers and, in many areas, conflicts around scarcity and political upheaval.
By any metric, the renewable energy sector is a growth industry. By the end of 2014 there were 7.7 million jobs in the renewable energy industry world wide, up 18 per cent over the year before. This according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. And that doesn't include large hydro.
What is worse is that from a climate perspective these supposedly "carbon neutral" fuels can only be considered carbon neutral in century timescales. Unfortunately, very few organisms live lives marked by century timescales.
One of British Columbia's most effective climate regulations is at risk.
Algae is a pretty important organism. The first plants on earth probably evolved from algae. It's used in food, fertilizer and sewage treatment. Oh, and algae can also eat raw industrial smokestack emissions for breakfast.
I have "bristled" at the inappropriate use, on this issue, of "denier" language before, and so I won't belabour the point again. But I will say Sandford's use of the phrase "researchers are bound by the scientific method to invert the entire established knowledge infrastructure on this planet to see to if any given challenge deserves consideration" is obvious hyperbole.
Many urban areas have built or are considering building waste-incineration facilities to generate energy. At first glance, it seems like a win-win. You get rid of "garbage" and acquire a new energy source with fuel that's almost free. But it's a problematic solution, and a complicated issue.
2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpgThe use of germs to produce biofuels has been in exploration since the mid-1990s, but finding the right organisms is a difficult task. The horse rumen has a vast array of environmental bacteria and ...something else. Could this be the treasure trove scientists are looking for?
As the realities of global climate change become ever more alarming, advocates of technological approaches to "geoengineer" the planet's climate are gaining a following. But these technologies that are promoted are all fraught with clear and obvious risks that are most likely only going to make matters worse.
Apple cores, pumpkins, Christmas trees and the crusts your mom cut off your sandwich 27 years ago. They all ended up at Cloverbar