• Jun 4th 2009 at 5:21PM
  • 9
During the big Ethanol Summit 2009 down in Brazil this week, former President Clinton gave a bit of advice to that country's ethanol industry: don't destroy so much forest land just to make biofuel. Clinton said that "everybody" already knows that Brazilian ethanol made from sugar cane is the most efficient biofuel in the world. The problem isn't getting the word out, but potential negative consequences of cutting down more forest in order to plant more crops. "The world would say, if we let Brazil help us solve our problem at the price of more rainforest destruction, have we really gained anything? That's what you have to answer," Clinton said during his speech. Business leaders should see their self-interest in working with the government to help protect the forests, he said, because there are huge political negatives of a cut-and-plant strategy.

[Source: Reuters]
Photo by sskennel. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Ethanol sugarcane doesn't grow in the rainforest area.


      • 8 Months Ago
      Brazilian Ethanol offers interesting discussion points, but American Corn Based Ethanol makes the most sense for our nation. It is a pivotal stepping stone towards becoming a better place to live. Many of you skeptics may want to interject, however America needs to hold our ground on this position. American progress towards energy independence is the quickest way to economically get back on track. The gas issues last summer crushed consumers. A lot of the pricing issues we have seen over the last few years were driven by global factors. Corn based ethanol is readily available and provides the nation with an integrated product produced at domestic facilities. From a proactive paradigm, it also provides us with the opportunity to produce commercially viable cellulosic ethanol by 2012. The best thing is, we are able to keep things on our home turf. I am all for exploring new angles on improving our fuels and energy sources. I think it is important that we look for these opportunities in our backyard before we look to our neighbors for help.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Biofuel isn't the answer. The destruction of forests to produce a
      fuel which is still burnt doesn't make sense.

      Bring on the electric cars with recyclable batteries. Otherwise it's
      just pointless.

      And of course, charge the batteries with Solar, Wind, Hydro power etc
      • 8 Months Ago
      The rest of the world didn't pass up nuclear power when we did.

      They won't pass up the ethanol opportunity either.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Why does everyone keep taling about using trees and corn to make ethanol. Industrial hemp is the answer! When will you all wake up!
        • 8 Months Ago
        smack, you are right, and it isn't just hemp but other things too. These are extremely useful non food crops! Also, you have several good points kagiso!
      • 8 Months Ago
      So, despite your meltdown, and trying to take the rest of the world with you, I see Americans haven't lost their joy in telling the world what to do. (A couple of weeks ago Obama told the EU they should accept Turkey as a member - imagine the reaction if President Sarkozy had told the US to accept Mexico as the 51st state).

      Anyway, given your sensible advice to Brazil, I would like to suggest that half the Atlantic maritime forest down the US east coast is restored to pristine condition. (That is current farmland that was occupied by poor settlers 200 years ago). Just kick the farmers off the land, I am sure they will find some other way to feed their children. While you are about it, you might also consider letting say 50% of the prairies revert to open grassland. (You might even consider giving it back to the native americans).

      When you have restored the natural biospheres you have chopped down, and the percentage of natural landscape exceeds the percentage in Brazil, you could rightfully give advice to Brazilians on how to manage their environment.

      If you really want the Brazilians to stop chopping down pristine forest, then the best thing to do is help them out of poverty. Once their stomachs stop rumbling, they might look at forest as something other than a source of food and cash.

      The easiest single way to make Brazil rich is to remove the tariff on Brazilian ethanol (grown in the south of Brazil, you can't grow it in the Amazon - too humid). Mass exports to the US would rapidly turn Brazil into a wealthy urbanised state. The consequent shortages of cheap labour would end expansion into the Amazon, and likely trigger reforestation - as it already has done in Europe.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Please NEVER associate me(a USA citizen) with anything Dictator Obama(not a natural USA citizen) instructs others to do.
      • 8 Months Ago
      'atta boy, Bill
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