biofuels are bad?
Today's news report (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114055974) stating the likelihood of biofuel laws actually causing higher levels of global warming or climate change is just one more example of how we humans still haven't managed to get a grip on managing our occupancy of this planet.
Specifically, we continue to consume disproportionately compared to our ability to renew and replenish. Haven't we learned anything from over-hunting, over-fishing, over-building... and oh yea, over polluting?
My blog post on Jan 27th speaks to much of this, as it relates to biofuels production/usage in Bolivia. Notably, I make mention of deforestation concerns as well as opportunity costs.
So lets continue this conversation in light of today's revelation that current methods of "accounting" for carbon emissions do not paint a complete picture. Gee, there's a f-ing surprise!
In general, we as humans lack balance. Not that we don't have the ability to find balance, but by nature, we take actions based on self-gratification and personal gain rather than global, or even regional, balance. And this inevitably takes the form of monetary pursuits.
Does today's report on "carbon accounting" mean we shouldn't be using biofuels? OF COURSE NOT! But no doubt, the argument will be made that "biofuels are bad", and we should simply continue down our path of petroleum infrastructure.
As I am well know for saying... ENOUGH!
EXTREMES, WHETHER REFERRING TO THE STATUS QUO OR THE LATEST AND GREATEST, ARE NOT CONDUCIVE TO SUSTAINABILITY. ACTIONS OR POLICIES DON'T HAVE TO BE EITHER ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. THEY NEED TO BE BALANCED TO REPRESENT CURRENT CONDITIONS AND LONG TERM SUSTAINABILITY.
Referring back to my very first blog post Nov 22, '08, this is called OPTIMIZATION.
Further, while economic growth is a component of well-being, it is not synonymous with well-being. We don't NEED to maximize economic growth/development to be better off. In fact, massive economic growth often comes at great cost.
Here's an eye-opener.... environmental stewardship is a component of economic development. It's not the only component, but it is a significant piece of the puzzle because... it represents the space in which we all live! Without taking care of our space, we cannot live. Duh!
Petroleum isn't bad. Fossil fuels aren't bad. Biofuels aren't bad. Producing and/or consuming any of these isn't bad.
But over-production of any, driven by over-consumption of all, IS bad.
You see, attempting to satisfy ALL of our needs, whatever they may be, from ONE source IS a bad idea. And wrecking any particular ecosystem in attempting to do so IS REALLY BAD. This is especially evident when considering the destructive nature of typical economic development.
When human motivation is driven solely by monetary gain, we tend to overlook the ancillary or downstream effects of our actions. We then try to “fix” things with “affirmative action” initiatives (whether it's to rectify racial, social or economic inequalities) in hopes our reactive policies counterbalance our lack of foresight.
Truth: They rarely, if ever, do.
This is of course the paradox of humanity: our growth, our desire for advancement and development, may ultimately bring our demise.