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October 23, 2007



Well this is just great. Let's bulldoze another rainforest to produce something we can burn instead of oil and continue producing greenhouse gasses in ever increasing quantities...

Kit P

Well Gary, it did look pretty great to me but then I did not read anything about bulldozing rain forest. Mozambique would appear to have enough problems with poverty, malaria, and AIDS to risk the ire of environmental activists while creating good jobs.

Doug W

You think risking "the ire of environmental activists" would really scare them? You're right that they have enough problems with poverty, malaria, and AIDs. So why give a damn about pesky environmental activists with their nasty little words?

Harvey D

Why not couple two positives (produce agrofuels and sink more CO2) by planting a few million ha with palm oil trees (or similar trees) for agrofuel production like Malaysia and Indonesia are doing.

On the other hand, if more fuel is available, more will be consumed and more CO2 -GHG will be created by our gas-fuel guzzlers.

However, there is nothing basically wrong with using non productive land to produce agrofuel and make poor countries more prosperous as long as it is used to replace fossil fuel and; GHG, air pollution, water + food stock shortages are contained within acceptable levels.

It would be a shame to have a prosper agrofuel industry while half the local people starve or die prematurely from the process. Nigeria is a good example with their oil industry. Alberta may be another bad example with the fast growing environmental mess.

Benjamin Cole

There may be real potential here. India may plant up to 60 million ha of jatropha on desertified land. Yes, there are some drawbacks. Yes, we should move to PHEVs and mass transit. I agree with all that. But the real potential for smart biofuel crops to make life better in many poor countries should not be simply shelved as "anti-environmental." If marginal land is used, if small farmers can benefit, why not? After all, it is roughly CO2 balanced.

Buddy Ebsen

Wow, in one article we have 3.1 million barrels of oil per day, 120 million liters of ethanol per year, 7 Exajoules of biofuels (per?), and 590,000 tonnes of oil products per year!

The question is, but how many rods to the hogshead does your car get?

Maybe you could put up a link to a universal energy conversion calulator?

Derek Petrie

The last time I went to Mozambique in the 70's there was not much in the way tropical forests but a lot of savanah. I doubt if huge forests have grown in that time. This also applies to Zimbabwe. The East coast of Africa is not the same as the west coast.

Harvey D


Southern Congo is much the same with lots of Elephant grass land, but extended tdry season.

Can palm oil trees be planted in such a way as to sink more CO2 than existing savanah?

Derek Petrie

I would think it depends on the area of green foliage that is presented to the rays of the sun at any one moment and the rate of conversion in the leaves from CO2 to sugars etc some plants have a higher rate than others. I have always wondered what the instant conversion rate is for an area of tropical forest as opposed to say a well covered lawn. The trees are of course larger than the grass but they have been produced over a long time. I would say that the instantaneous CO2 conversion rate is dependant on the amount of green matter presented to the sun per unit area of land is the most relevant figure.

nice posting. very good work. thank you. :)

O Allah help us

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