liquid renewable energy
Climate change is affecting the world more and more each year. Recently, large numbers of the world’s trees have died from drought, heat, and the pests that take advantage of the weakened trees. Hundreds of millions more are expected to die in the coming years. Coral reefs are dying from ocean acidification caused by excess CO2 in the atmosphere. Forests are burning, glaciers are melting, the sea is rising, we are seeing extreme weather everywhere and the list continues...
We are facing a global emergency. Among peoples and nations of the world, there is a broad consensus that it is time to take action and move to clean energy. On top of climate change, addiction to fossil fuels has many other problems including air pollution, water pollution, cancer, foreign wars, terrorism, refugees and the list continues...
The latest buzz is that solar panels and electric vehicles will save the day. But forecasts show it will take 50-100 years to switch the world’s two billion internal combustion vehicles to solar-electric power. Climate scientists say we have 10 years to cut our fossil CO2 emissions in half. It is clear we do not have the time to switch to solar-electric, and it would be better to be safe than sorry, especially since we are gambling with the only known livable planet. If we can’t survive on Earth, what makes us think we can survive on other planets? Also, solar panels and electric cars are expensive. You can use biofuel in your vehicle right now and the price is about the same as fossil fuel.
Currently, electric vehicles represent less than 1% of all vehicles in the US. Less than 5% of homes in California are solar-powered. But, already 10% of all gasoline sold in the US is American-made ethanol. It is mixed with all gas and can be called E10. (10% Ethanol) And with capacity increasing from second-generation (waste-based) ethanol plants coming online, America’s green fuel industry is ready to supply 15% of our fuel needs. Currently, we are producing more than 10% and our excess is being exported to countries like Brazil and China.
But don't get us wrong, electric vehicles are part of the solution, we just need to do more, much more.
Biofuels require a relatively minor and quick transition from fossil fuels as the infrastructure is basically the same. One just changes the input: plant-based carbon instead of fossil-based carbon. Plants use sunlight to absorb carbon from the air, whereas fossil fuel takes carbon from deep in the ground and puts it in the air. One reduces CO2 from the atmosphere and the other adds to it. If biofuels are done right they are carbon negative, in other words, they actually reduce the CO2 in the air. This is another advantage of biofuels over solar electric vehicles. Solar panels do not absorb carbon. We could switch to biofuels in the 10-year time frame that the RFS is calling for.