The Effects Of Biofuels On The Environment

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14 of the 15 hottest years on earth have occurred in the 21st century. Most of this environmental phenomenon has been the catalyst for countless debates on climate change, upheaval about our current inefficient production of energy, and the frightening realization that our once precious symbols of capitalist success, our automobiles, are becoming the tightening hands choking our planet with toxic pollutants. While one silver bullet to our Industrial Revolution induced dilemma doesn’t exist, biofuels could be the miniscule relief our civilization needs to buy time to tackle the larger issues at hand. Biofuels, like cellulosic biofuel, created using switch grasses and in marginal land, and algae biofuels, created by collecting algae grown in…show more content…
Biofuels on the other hand, are almost completely carbon neutral (Coyle, 2007) It only makes sense as the released CO2 emissions from the biofuel is absorbed by the same crop that is used for their production. It is, in essence, a 100% efficient carbon cycle. The Pew Center on Global Climate Change is a big proponent of bio hydrocarbon fuels because are comparable in energy content and components to fuels like diesel (Leavitt 2010). Earth, a finite planet with finite resources. Humans, with a finite carrying capacity but infinite needs. The intersection between these two vastly different machines is what is fueling the debate about what is more important to protect. Fuel for the people of the world or a world able to feed people? Certain biofuels are titans of energy production while others are resource guzzling monsters. Cellulosic biofuels are made from carbon neutral plants grown on lands which are true to their pre-human conditions. They can be grown on plains that contain native grasses and fast growing trees with little to no fertilization involved and create an abundance of cellulosic waste, allowing for feedstock which can nourish the billions of livestock we eat. Furthermore, this utopian biofuel can remove between 2-5 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per hectare of land (Holzman, 2008). American cellulosic fuel capacity is making it increasingly affordable, costing only $2.50 per gallon to produce. Adversaries argue
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