Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free Fuel Illusion

The New Agriculturalist blog recently reviewed a new title from Zed Books that I look forward to seeing. According to the review, James  Smith's Biofuels and the Globalization of Risk analyses the diversion of agricultural land to the production of fuel, and concludes that current approaches do not contribute to sustainability. The subtitle hints at the reason: The Biggest Change In North-South Relations Since Colonization?

Simply put, the production of fuel from corn and other crops transfers dependence on oil to dependence on cropland that is still needed for, well, crops. Smith estimates that 350 million people could be fed from the land that has already been diverted to biofuels. He concludes that biofuels offer a promise that cannot be realized: sustainability without lifestyle change.

Zed Books offers an additional title on this topic: Food versus Fuel.

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