• Dec 21st 2008 at 8:03PM
  • 2
One of the most common slogans in support of biodiesel is: "Biodiesel - No War Required." While that may be true in the sense that the US won't need to ship 140,000 troops to the Middle East to secure the supply of the stuff, there is still plent of conflict over large-scale production of the biofuel in some places. The BBC reports on the situation in Columbia, where the local army and paramilitary units are evicting residents from their land in order to make room for massive biodiesel plantations. Jose Caceido, one of the displaced Afro-Colombians the BBC interviewed for the piece, said, "There is no more birdsong because the forests have been cut down. The soil hardens for lack of shade. Rivers dry up. Nothing else grows except palm." He added, "Once palm oil is planted we cannot hunt anymore because the animals have fled." The full story can be found on the BBC's site and is really worth a read.
Palm oil plantations have a history of controversy. Some stories from the ABG archives:


[Source: BBC]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      "While that may be true in the sense that the US won't need to ship 140,000 troops to the Middle East to secure the supply of the stuff"

      Looks like I tuned in to AutoBlogPink again. If oil was the reason for the Iraq conflict, it would have been cheaper just to BUY Husein's oil for $500/bbl. How about taking your Pinko bias to some other blog, like the Daily Kos? The readership there is much more amenable to historical revisionism.

      Probably the best source for bio-diesel feedstock is algae. It can be grown nearly anywhere (close proximity to a CO2 and/or sewage source works well), and doesn't require deforestation. Just because some 'greenies' are stupid doesn't make bio-diesel == war.

      PVs are getting close to 25% efficiency, which is a tipping point. It looks like that technology may be economically competitive in another 2-3 years. Between nuclear, bio-diesel, biobutanol, PV and improved battery technology, we might be able to reduce US dependence on foreign oil by the magical 40% that would be required to make the OPEC countries eat their own sand.

      Provided, of course, that the oil companies don't manage to side-track us with the "hydrogen economy" scam.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "... the US won't need to ship 140,000 troops to the Middle East to secure the supply of the stuff".

      Correction: The U.S. won't need to start a campaign of misinformation, lies and distortion of international laws to try to invade foreign countries to STEAL their oil under the pretext of 'spreading democracy'.

      And you're right, destroying natural habitats to plant palms is a terrible thing to do.
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