Download Agrofuels: Big Profits, Ruined Lives and Ecological by Francois Houtart PDF

By Francois Houtart

Since they have been heralded as a key weapon within the struggle opposed to weather swap, agrofuels were criticised seriously for doing extra damage than solid because of deforestation and stealing agricultural land necessary to farmers within the constructing global. This publication asks even if there's anyplace for agrofuels in a low-carbon future.

François Houtart argues that the golf green strength of agrofuels has been wasted via companies that positioned gains above environmental defense. This has ended in the absurd state of affairs the place an power resource that are supposed to be sustainable really raises human and ecological harm, easily end result of the profit-maximising judgements of capitalists instead of a flaw within the notion of agrofuels.

Students of improvement reports and environmental economics will locate that this ebook bargains an attractive new viewpoint at the way forward for power.

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Extra info for Agrofuels: Big Profits, Ruined Lives and Ecological Destruction

Example text

All this has led to an absurd situation. Stéphane Lauer points out that in France, Chinese strawberries are very competitive in price compared with those from the (French) region of Périgord, but that their production and transport requires 20 times more oil. He also shows how the average distance covered by milk, fruit and plastic materials before they are converted into a pot of yoghurt is 9,000 kilometres. ’31 And there are many other examples that could be cited: the new season’s fruit and vegetables from South Africa, fish from Lake Victoria, as well Houtart 01 text 30 26/03/2010 11:28 the twin crises: energy and climateâ•… 31 as flowers from Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador that land up in the supermarkets of Europe and the US.

The IPCC, which is responsible for establishing the bases of climate physical science, declared, in 2007, that this fact was 90 per cent proven. For a time it was believed that solar activity could, to a large extent, be responsible. 19 It is estimated that in Europe 22 per cent of CO2 emissions are due to cars. However, as Anthony Giddens recently wrote, there is a paradox: ‘since the dangers posed by global warming aren’t tangible, immediate or visible in the course of day-to-day life, however awesome they appear, many will sit on their hands and do nothing of a concrete nature about them.

45 Gradually we are losing forests as carbon sinks. Oceans The oceans absorb about 40 per cent of CO2, which makes them a particularly important element in the climate equilibrium. But their regulatory function is diminishing because they are slowly becoming saturated by CO2. The problem is the temperature of the water. The solubility of CO2 in water increased with the lowering of the temperature. 46 They are also under considerable assault. For example, 87 per cent of the waste water in Latin America is discharged without treatment into the rivers and seas47 while the Mediterranean is on the verge of asphyxiation through pollution.

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