Friday, December 12, 2008

Non-food biofuels could increase the risk of invasive species and (wild?)fires

Here's another downside to non-food biofuels, which Obama has made part of his alternative energy subsidization plan: the crops used to make the biofuel are often invasive species, and some raise the risk of fires. Researchers from the Nature Conservancy and the Global Invasive Species Programme give the huge and slightly unbelievable number of 5% global GDP as the current cost of invasive species, for some perspective on the impact of invasive species.

There are other downsides to non-food biofuels. Environmentalists have concerns that these non-food biocrops will crowd out farmland and otherwise natural land in the global south, and I have concerns that the cultivation of non-food grasses will further degrade the Praire Pothole Region.


Anonymous said...

Does that apply to algal biofuels?

Raționalitate said...

I would guess that if it's done in a contained environment (as I'd imagine it would be), there'd be no risk of it being an invasive species or throwing the ecological balance out of whack.