The British government says it will strive to ensure that "only the most sustainable biofuels" will be used in the UK. It has no means of enforcing this aim - it admits that if it tried to impose a binding standard it would break world trade rules. But even if "sustainability" could be enforced, what exactly does it mean? You could, for example, ban palm oil from new plantations. This is the most destructive kind of biofuel, driving deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia. But the ban would change nothing. As Carl Bek-Nielsen, vice chairman of Malaysia's United Plantations Berhad, remarked: "Even if it is another oil that goes into biodiesel, that other oil then needs to be replaced. Either way, there's going to be a vacuum and palm oil can fill that vacuum." The knock-on effects cause the destruction you are trying to avoid. The only sustainable biofuel is recycled waste oil, but the available volumes are tiny.

At this point, the biofuels industry starts shouting "jatropha". It is not yet a swear word, but it soon will be. Jatropha is a tough weed with oily seeds that grows in the tropics. This summer Bob Geldof, who never misses an opportunity to promote simplistic solutions to complex problems, arrived in Swaziland in the role of "special adviser" to a biofuels firm. Because it can grow on marginal land, jatropha, he claimed, is a "life-changing" plant that will offer jobs, cash crops and economic power to African smallholders.

Yes, it can grow on poor land and be cultivated by smallholders. But it can also grow on fertile land and be cultivated by largeholders. If there is one blindingly obvious fact about biofuel, it's that it is not a smallholder crop. It is an internationally traded commodity that travels well and can be stored indefinitely, with no premium for local or organic produce. Already the Indian government is planning 14m hectares of jatropha plantations. In August, the first riots took place among the peasant farmers being driven off the land to make way for them.

If the governments promoting biofuels do not reverse their policies, the humanitarian impact will be greater than that of the Iraq war. Millions will be displaced, hundreds of millions more could go hungry. This crime against humanity is a complex one, but that neither lessens nor excuses it. If people starve because of biofuels, Ruth Kelly and her peers will have killed them. Like all such crimes, it is perpetrated by cowards, attacking the weak to avoid confronting the strong.

投稿日時 - 2012-01-26 18:15:43




英国政府は、確実に「最も持続可能なバイオ燃料だけ」が英国で使われるように努力すると、言っています。 英国政府にはこの狙いを実施する手段がありません-英国政府が拘束力のある基準を押しつけようとするならば、世界貿易の規則を破るだろうと、英国政府は認めています。しかし、たとえ「持続性」を実施することができたとしても、それは正確に何を意味するのでしょうか?たとえば、新しいプランテーションからパーム油を(輸入することを)禁止することができるかもしれません。これは最も破壊的な種類のバイオ燃料で、マレーシアとインドネシアの森林伐採の原動力となっています。しかし、禁止しても何も変わらないでしょう。マレーシアのユナイテッド・プランテーション株式会社の副会長、カール・ベック-ニールセンが論評したように:「たとえそれがバイオディーゼルに入るもう一つの油であるとしても、今度は、その別の油が交換される必要があります。いずれにしても、空白が生じるでしょう、そして、パーム油はその空白を満たすことができるのです。」連鎖反応は、あなたが避けようとしている破壊を引き起こします。唯一の持続可能なバイオ燃料はリサイクルされた廃油です、しかし、利用できる量はわずかです。






投稿日時 - 2012-01-27 02:21:05



投稿日時 - 2012-01-27 14:08:41






翻訳サイト お使いになってみてはいかがでしょう?


投稿日時 - 2012-01-26 19:09:14