Debate Over Biofuels -- Are They the Answer?

Drezner, Rena
January 2009
Social Science Docket;Winter/Spring2009, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p40
The article examines whether the more climate-friendly biofuels could be a solution to the three main problems posed by fossil fuels. Using sugarcane-based ethanol can reduce the use of petroleum by as much as ninety-five percent and greenhouse gas emissions by approximately thirteen percent, but many scientists are concerned that the costs of ethanol may outweigh its benefits, especially in temperate climate zones where corn must be used instead of sugarcane. Some of the problems cited include a net loss of energy, insufficient land to grow the energy crops, the use of petrochemicals in fertilizers and insecticides, rising food prices and food shortages.


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