Wednesday, March 15, 2006

George Monbiot, ethanol and new fuels

George Monbiot was on the radio a day or so ago discussing the increasing use of ethanol and bio-diesel. As an environmentalist was he pleased at the prospect of replacing fossil fuels with renewables? Absolutely not. He went into great details about the problems that might possibly occur when we grow crops for fuel – even though the prospects for cellulosic ethanol (which uses waste bio matter, such as corn stalks, wood chips etc) are looking very positive.

In the course of the interview it became clear that nothing would satisfy Monbiot except for us to cut back on the use of energy. New forms of energy seem to be of no interest, only getting people to stop travelling would work. Any sane person would agree that developing new sources of energy is essential, and that energy use has to go up if we want people across the world to share the benefits that we have in the west. Is there any better way to characterise Monbiot than to call him and his like reactionary and anti-human?

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