Defending Biofuels

With the rash of recent reports claiming that biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel aren’t all they’re promised, members of the Sustainable Blogosphere are questioning the questioners:

  • Steve Spence at Green Trust Sustainbility and Renewable Energy has posted a number of links to information about biofuels that support plant-based power.
  • Jamais Cascio at WorldChanging also questions the findings of a recent Cornell-Berkely study critical of biofuels, and offers some alternatives to some of the assumptions underlying the study’s conclusions.
  • Green Car Congress also features the Cornell-Berkely study, and while Mike doesn’t directly criticize the findings (he does note “[Professor David] Pimentel has for a number of years been one of the most outspoken critics of ethanol. His conclusions and methodologies are vigorously contested by biofuel supporters, such as Hosein Shapouri at the USDA.”), his commenters seem more than happy to attack the conclusions and the methodologies of the study.

In each of these cases, researchers David Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek are coming under fire. I know nothing about either of these scientists, so I welcome any filling in of my significant blanks.

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