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Solana Kaercher Kelli Archie ENVS1000 – 0018 The Future of Bio-Fuels Bio-fuels are not a feasible alternative to fossil fuels as a strategy to mitigate climate change because they cannot be produced on a global scale. Through extensive research, we have been able to create different types of fuels from plants. The two most common are ethanol from corn grain and bio-diesel from soy. Vehicles cannot automatically run on straight ethanol without some modifications, but there are also blends of petroleum and bio-fuels available (Giampietro, 587). This progress is scientifically exciting and politically encouraging. Alternative energy sources are presently a very important topic because it is quickly becoming evident that our planet has finite oil resources, which are currently disappearing. This is especially a problem for developing countries due to the location of the majority of this resource; the Middle East. Though we have access to these oil wells right now, our economy and foreign relations are suffering for it. There are extensive inputs for both the oil and bio-fuel industries, which makes it exceedingly imperative to calculate the costs and benefits correctly. The available land will never meet the demand for food based bio-fuels, because we simply need more than there is too offer. This is a problem from several different angles, which makes the solution even tougher. Unfortunately, only 12% of our gasoline needs and 6% of our diesel needs would be met by converting all of the United States’ corn and soy production to bio-fuels. These numbers would shrivel to 2.9% and 2.4%, respectively, after converting to an all bio-fuel system (Hill, 11208). This is a
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predicament that cannot be outsourced, because the rest of the world would face a similar situation. Even potential production will never meet the demand for food-based bio-fuels because the human populace is continually growing as well as the demand for food and transportation. The global food demand is expected to double within the next fifty years,
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course ENVS 1000 taught by Professor Neff,jason during the Spring '07 term at Colorado.

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actual paper - Solana Kaercher Kelli Archie ENVS1000 0018...

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