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Earth

Biofuels Make Greenhouse Gases Worse 506

vortex2.71 sends us to the Seattle Times for an account of two studies published in the prestigious journal Science pointing to the conclusion that almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse-gas emissions than conventional fuels if the full emissions costs of producing these "green" fuels are taken into account. "The benefits of biofuels have come under increasing attack in recent months, as scientists took a closer look at the global environmental cost of their production. These plant-based fuels were originally billed as better than fossil fuels because the carbon released when they were burned was balanced by the carbon absorbed when the plants grew. But that equation proved overly simplistic because the process of turning plants into fuels causes its own emissions — for refining and transport, for example. These studies... for the first time take a detailed, comprehensive look at the emissions effects of the huge amount of natural land that is being converted to cropland globally to support biofuels development."

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