Full Title: Biofuels: Thinking Clearly about the Issues
Author(s): B. Dale
Publisher(s): Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
Publication Date: 4/2008
Identifier(s): J. Agric. Food Chem. 2008, 56, 3885–3891; 10.1021/jf800250u
Length: 7 pages, PDF
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I believe biofuels are one important manifestation of a much larger trend. It appears we are at a crucial “tipping point”. The first decade or so of this century may eventually be regarded as the time when global society decided to stop mindlessly consuming our fossil carbon reserves and started thinking about how to rely more on renewable resources, in this case, renewable carbon-based fuels. To manage the transition to renewable fuels successfully, we will have to understand the issues. I offer some perspectives that I hope will help frame at least some of the related issues and help us think more carefully and clearly about biofuels and other petroleum alternatives.
The fundamental reality that we are facing is presented in Figure 1. Biofuels (or any other alternative to petroleum) would not be in the position that they are to make a contribution if the price of oil was still about $20 a barrel, as it was for most of the past three decades.