Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Scientist Attack Biofuel!

There were 90 respected scientist who seem to come seeking any arguable biofuel development loopholes as also being a contributor and needing to 'slack off' policy in USA on biofuels. The biofuel worldwide has eyes on this:

Here is what they say and what we say respectively, readers and audience can judge. The issue is 'backed' seem to me personally by big cats if possible (who knows?).

Here is what they wrote to the speaker Nancy Pelosi:

May 17, 2010
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
235 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0508
Fax: (202)225-4188
The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-2803
Fax: (202) 224-7327
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Senator Reid,
We write to bring to your attention the importance of accurately accounting for carbon dioxide emissions from bioenergy in any law or regulation designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy use. Proper accounting can enable bioenergy to contribute to greenhouse gas reductions; improper accounting can lead to increases in greenhouse gas emissions both domestically and internationally.
Replacement of fossil fuels with bioenergy does not directly stop carbon dioxide emissions from tailpipes or smokestacks. Although fossil fuel emissions are reduced or eliminated, the combustion of biomass replaces fossil emissions with its own emissions (which may even be higher per unit of energy because of the lower energy to carbon ratio of biomass). Bioenergy can reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide if land and plants are managed to take up additional carbon dioxide beyond what they would absorb without bioenergy. Alternatively, bioenergy can use some vegetative residues that would otherwise decompose and release carbon to the atmosphere rapidly. Whether land and plants sequester additional carbon to offset emissions from burning the biomass depends on changes both in the rates of plant growth and in the carbon storage in plants and soils. For example, planting fast-growing energy crops on otherwise unproductive land leads to additional carbon absorption by plants that offsets emissions from their use for energy without displacing carbon storage in plants and soils. On the other hand, clearing or cutting forests for energy, either to burn trees directly in power plants or to replace forests with bioenergy crops, has the net effect of releasing otherwise sequestered carbon into the atmosphere, just like the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. That creates a carbon debt, may reduce ongoing carbon uptake by the forest, and as a result may increase net greenhouse gas emissions for an extended time period and thereby undercut greenhouse gas reductions needed over the next several decades1
Many international treaties and domestic laws and bills account for bioenergy incorrectly by treating all bioenergy as causing a 100% reduction in emissions regardless of the source of the biomass. They perpetuate this error by exempting carbon dioxide from bioenergy from national emissions limits or from domestic requirements to hold allowances for energy emissions. Most renewable energy standards for electric utilities have the same effect because bioenergy is viewed as a renewable energy even when the biomass does not eliminate or even reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This general approach .
1 J. Fargione, J. Hill, Tilman D., Polasky S., Hawthorne P (2008), Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt, Science 319:1235-1238
appears to be based on a misunderstanding of IPCC guidance2
U.S. laws will also influence world treatment of bioenergy. A number of studies in distinguished journals have estimated that globally improper accounting of bioenergy could lead to large-scale clearing of the world’s forests. Under some scenarios, this approach could eliminate most of the expected greenhouse gas reductions during the next several decades.
3
The lesson is that any legal measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must include a system to differentiate emissions from bioenergy based on the source of the biomass. The National Academy of Sciences has estimated significant potential energy production from the right sources of biomass.
4
Sincerely, . Proper accounting will provide incentives for these sources of bioenergy.
2 T.D. Searchinger, S.P. Hamburg, J.Melillo, W. Chameides, P.Havlik, D.M. Kammen, G.E. Likens, R. N. Lubowski, M. Obersteiner, M. Oppenheimer, G. P. Robertson, W.H. Schlesinger, G.D. Tilman (2009), Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error, Science 326:527-528
3 E.g., J.M. Mellillo, J.M. Reilly, D.W. Kicklighter, A.C. Gurgel, T.W. Cronin, S. Patsev, B.S. Felzer, X. Wang, C.A. Schlosser (2009), Indirect Emissions from Biofuels: How Important?, Science 326:1397-1399; Marshall Wise, Katherine Calvin, Allison Thomson, Leon Clarke, Benjamin Bond-Lamberty, Ronald Sands, Steven J. Smith, Anthony Janetos, James Edmonds (2009), Implications of Limiting CO2 Concentrations for Land Use and Energy, Science 324:1183-1186
4 National Research Council (2009), Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impacts (National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.)
William H. Schlesinger (Member, National Academy of Sciences)
President
(Past President, Ecological Society of America)
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Millbrook, New York
Michael Allen
Director of the Center for Conservation Biology
Chair of the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, California
Viney P. Aneja
Professor Air Quality
Professor Environmental Technology
Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina
Gary W. Barrett
Eugene P. Odum Chair of Ecology
Odum School of Ecology
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia
Mark Battle
Associate Professor
Physics & Astronomy
Bowdoin College
Brunswick, Maine
Sharon Billings
Associate Professor
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Kansas Biological Survey
Lawrence, Kansas
Mark A. Bradford Assistant Professor of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Yale University
Donald Kennedy
(Member, National Academy of Sciences)
Bing Professor Environmental Science and Policy
President, Emeritus
Stanford University
Stanford, California
New Haven, Connecticut
Phil Camill
Rusack Associate Professor of Environmental Studies
Earth and Oceanographic Science Director,
Environmental Studies
Bowdoin College
Brunswick, Maine
Elliott Campbell
Assistant Professor School of Engineering & Sierra Nevada Research Institute
University of California, Merced
Merced, California
Joseph Craine
Assistant Professor
Division of Biology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas
Stephen R. Carpenter
(Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences)
Director and Professor
(Past President, Ecological Society of America)
Center for Limnology
University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
Sallie (Penny) Chisholm
(Member, National Academy of Sciences) Martin Professor of Environmental Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Eric Chivian
(Shared 1985, Nobel Peace Prize) Director Center for Health and the Global Environment Harvard Medical School Cambridge, Massachusetts
Norm Christensen
(Past President, Ecological Society America)
Professor of Ecology
Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
James S. Clark
Hugo Blomquist Professor
Nicholas School of the Environment/Dept Biology
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
Jon Cole
Distinguished Senior Scientist and G.E. Hutchinson Chair
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Millbrook, New York.
Gretchen C. Daily
(Member, National Academy of Sciences) Stanford University Stanford, California
Frank P. Day
Professor of Biological Sciences and Eminent Scholar
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia
Seth DeBolt
Assistant Professor
Horticulture Department
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Evan H. DeLucia
G. William Arends Professor of Integrative Biology & Director,
School of Integrative Biology
University of Illinois
Urbana, Illinois
Samir Doshi
Gund Institute for Ecological Economics
University of Vermont
Burlington, Vermont
Dr. Charles T. Driscoll
(Member, National Academy of Engineering)
University Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York
Paul R. Ehrlich
(Member, National Academy of Sciences)
Bing Professor of Biology and
President, Center for Conservation Biology
Stanford University,
Stanford, California
James Ehleringer
Distinguished Professor of Biology
Director, Global Change and Ecosystem Center
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Erle C. Ellis
Associate Professor
Department of Geography & Environmental Systems
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Baltimore, Maryland
Paul R. Epstein, M.D. Associate Director Center for Health and the Global Environment Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts
Paul Falkowski
(Member of the National Academy of Sciences)
Board of Governors' Professor
Marine, Earth and Planetary Sciences
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Adrien Finzi Associate Professor Department of Biology Boston University Boston, Massachusetts
Andrew J. Friedland
The Richard and Jane Pearl Professor in Environmental Studies
Chair, Environmental Studies Program
Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire
James N. Galloway
Department of Environmental Sciences
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Frank S. Gilliam Department of Biological Sciences Marshall University Huntington, West Virginia
Christine L. Goodale
Assistant Professor
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
Nancy B. Grimm
(Past President, Ecological Society America) Professor,
Department of Biology
Arizona State University
Phoenix, Arizona
Peter M. Groffman
Senior Scientist
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Millbrook, New York
Nick M. Haddad
Associate Professor
Department of Biology
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina
Charles A.S. Hall
College of Environmental Science and Forestry
State University of New York
Syracuse New York
John Harte
Professor of Ecosystem Sciences
Energy and Resources Group
University of California
Berkeley, California
Harold Hemond
W. E. Leonhard Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Sarah Hobbie
Associate Professor
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kirsten Hofmockel
Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Organismal Biology
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa
R.A. Houghton
Deputy Director and Senior Scientist Woods Hole Research Center Falmouth, Massachusetts
Benjamin Houlton
Assistant Professor, Terrestrial Biogeochemistry
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources
University of California at Davis
Davis, California
Robert W. Howarth
David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
A. Hope Jahren
Department of Geology & Geophysics
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii
Dan Janzen
DiMaura Professor of Conservation Biology
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Daniel Kammen
Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy Professor in the Energy and Resources Group
and in the Goldman School of Public Policy
Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California
William S. Keeton
Associate Professor
Center for Natural Resources
Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
University of Vermont
Burlington, Vermont
Thomas H. Kunz
Professor and Director
Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology
Department of Biology
Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts
Beverly Law
Professor, Global Change Forest Science
Department of Forest Ecosystems & Society
College of Forestry
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon
John Lichter
Associate Professor
Department of Biology
Bowdoin College
Brunswick, Maine
Gene E. Likens
(Member, National Academy of Sciences)
Distinguished Senior Scientist
(Past President, Ecological Society America)
Founding President, Emeritus (Recipient, 2005, National Medal of Science)
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Millbrook, New York
Thomas Lovejoy
Heinz Center Biodiversity Chair
Heinz Center for Environment
Washington, D.C.
Daniel Markewitz Associate Professor Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources University of Georgia Athens, Georgia
Roz Naylor
Professor, Environmental Earth Science;
William Wrigley Senior Fellow, and
Director, Program on Food Security and the Environment
Stanford University
Stanford, California
Jason Neff
Associate Professor
Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, Colorado
Michael O’Hare
Professor of Public Policy
Goldman School of Public Policy
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, California
Scott Ollinger Associate Professor of Natural Resources Complex Systems Research Center Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space University of New Hampshire Durham, New Hampshire
Michael Oppenheimer
Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs
Woodrow Wilson School
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
Margaret A. Palmer
Professor and Director
Chesapeake Biological Lab
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland
Todd Palmer
Department of Biology
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Richard P. Phillips
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana
Stuart Pimm
Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology
Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
Jennifer S. Powers
Assistant Professor
Department of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
James W. Raich
Professor
Department of Ecology, Evolution & Organismal Biology
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa
Chantal D Reid
Assistant Professor of the Practice
Department of Biology and
Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
William A. Reiners
Professor of Botany and
J.E. Warren Professor of Energy and Environment
University of Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming
Heather Reynolds
Associate Professor
Department of Biology
Indiana University
Bloomington Indiana
G. Philip Robertson University Distinguished Professor W.K. Kellogg Biological Station and Department of Crop and Soil Sciences Michigan State University Hickory Corners, Michigan
Steve Running
Regents Professor and Director,
Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group
Department of Ecosystem Sciences
University of Montana
Missoula, Montana
Lee Schipper
Project Scientist
Global Metropolitan Studies
UC Berkeley
And Senior Research Engineer
Precourt Energy Efficiency Center
Stanford University
Stephen H. Schneider (Member, National Academy of Sciences) Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for
Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor, Department of Biology and Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment
Stanford University
Stanford, California
H.H. Shugart
W.W. Corcoran Professor
Department of Environmental Sciences
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Kirk R. Smith (Member, National Academy of Sciences)
Professor of Global Environmental Health
Director, Global Health and Environment Program
School of Public Health
University of California
Berkeley, California
Stanley D. Smith Associate Vice President for Research Professor of Life Sciences University of Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada
Robert Socolow
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Director of the Carbon Mitigation Initiative
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
John Sperry
Professor
Biology Department
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Dan Sperling
Professor and Director
Institute of Transportation Studies
University of California
Davis, California
Jennifer L. Tank
Galla Associate Professor of Ecology
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana
Pamela Templer
Assistant Professor
Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts
John Terborgh
(Member, National Academy of Sciences)
Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
Thomas P. Tomich
W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems
Director, UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute
Director, UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
Professor of Community Development, Environmental Science & Policy
University of California
Davis, California
Alan R. Townsend
Professor, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Director, Environmental Studies Program
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado
Ross A. Virginia
Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science
Director, Institute of Arctic Studies
Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire
Diana H. Wall
(Past President, Ecological Society of America)
University Distinguished Professor
Director, School of Global Environmental Sustainability
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado
Matthew Wallenstein
Research Scientist Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colorado
Thomas R. Wentworth
Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Plant Biology
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina
Donald R. Zak
Burton V. Barnes Collegiate Professor of Ecology
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Cc: Carol Browner, White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy
Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency
Steven Chu, Ph.D, Department of Energy
John Holdren, Ph.D, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology


Here is what we say: Biofuel/biofuel digest-worldwide.

Reaction from the Natural Resources Defense Council

Nathanael Greene, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, commented: “Today a group of leading scientists from across the country sent a letter to congressional leaders and Obama officials urging them to carefully count the carbon from biomass burned for energy as part of a comprehensive climate bill or any other legislation or regulation.
The American Power Act (APA) proposed by Senators Kerry and Lieberman provides a solid framework for reducing our global warming pollution and investing in a cleaner economy. Unfortunately, as proposed, the bill would turn a blind eye towards emissions from biomass combustion, threatening to significantly undermine the bills carbon reduction goals. (For some basic thoughts on how the bill should be amended see this fact sheet put out by NRDC and other groups after the House climate bill passed.)

I did a little video late last year explaining the fundamental flaw in the approach that the APA would take. The letter from the scientists puts it clearly: Replacement of fossil fuels with bioenergy does not directly stop carbon dioxide emissions from tailpipes or smokestacks. Although fossil fuel emissions are reduced or eliminated, the combustion of biomass replaces fossil emissions with its own emissions (which may even be higher per unit of energy because of the lower energy to carbon ratio of biomass). Bioenergy can reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide if land and plants are managed to take up additional carbon dioxide beyond what they would absorb without bioenergy…. On the other hand, clearing or cutting forests for energy, either to burn trees directly in power plants or to replace forests with bioenergy crops, has the net effect of releasing otherwise sequestered carbon into the atmosphere, just like the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. That creates a carbon debt, may reduce ongoing carbon uptake by the forest, and as a result may increase net greenhouse gas emissions for an extended time period and thereby undercut greenhouse gas reductions needed over the next several decades.

The Digest’s take: ”Round up the Usual Suspects.”

The letter was signed by seven members of the National Academy of Sciences and a Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate. and should be taken seriously as a point of view in science, and certainly as a political act.

This letter represents scientists, but does it represent science? Imagine what a country the United States would have turned out to be if every US state ratified a different Constitution.

It was primarily signed by biologists and ecologists and did not include leading scientists noted in the development of bioenergy technologies — such as George Church, Chris Somerville, Bruce Dale, Lee Lynd, or Charles Wyman to cite a few examples. A letter signed by a more inclusive group of scientists would have done more to dispel the sense that this letter represents a narrowly-held view within the scientific community, rather than consensus, and consensus must be the basis of any renewable energy policy which would provide any of the benefits of policy stability that renewables as a sector unequivocally require.

Give me Liberty or Give me Death: Give Us Unity or We’ll Face Dearth

The Digest urgently calls on its friends in the scientific community, through the National Academy of Sciences, or other appropriate vehicles, to develop a point of view which can be generally said to be representative of a broad scientific consensus. We have seen what a lack of consensus can do to side-track the discussion of climate change.

Whatever the consensus is, let the chips fall where they may.

Renewable energy needs stability, not a series of partisan letters from open side of the table that can be expected to be answered with a parallel set of letters from the other. That’s ping-pong, not policy, and the time for games has long since passed.

Here at Biofuel, we believe that we are capable to go green and in one big leap will support the world go green and efficiently support and supply the needed commodity The fuel...that is Biofuel for blend or pure! Beside we are cleaning the tons of trash laid down by 200 years of fossil fuel. A group of scientist from that corner of the world cannot ultimately turn down biofuel..we further emphasis that panel of scientists from all arena will have to give in their grip on Biofuel. Besides, Biofuel is a wheel that is at your disposal to steer the course unlike fossil fuel.


Responses

millercs | May 25, 2010 | Reply

I am amazed at the fossil thinking of these “scientists.”

1) There is a fundamental difference to the carbon content of the atmosphere between using fossil carbon and biogenic carbon sources. Fossil carbon combustion adds GHG that was never part of the carbon cycle before – carbon positive. Biogenic carbon combustion simply recycles that which is already in the atmosphere – carbon neutral.

2) GHG emissions is only one scientific reason for replacing fossil fuels with biogenic. Others include: fossil is not renewable (biogenic is); fossil distillation is getting more toxic (biogenic is getting cleaner); direct fossil land and water use change is severely impacting ecology (i.e., oilspills and tar sands); bioenergy conversion facilities will provide env. clean-up and funding for timberland thinnings, hurricane knockdown, flood demolition, invasive species control, landfill mitigation, etc.

This doesn’t even begin to cover the environment, pollution, and biodiversity costs of present and future strategic commodity resource wars like Iraq.
Someone needs to rethink their carbon accounting.