The top 10 reasons to give a hoot about biofuels
Well, here we are, at the end of Grist’s illustrious series on biofuels. We’ve thrown a lot of information at you, and we hope it’s becoming clear why biofuel production is a big, Relevant Thing that deserves your attention. But just in case you need more proof, behold: Grist’s Top 10 Reasons To Give a Hoot About Biofuels.
10. The future is now. Sure, it may feel like biofuels are some fringe thing, popping up in zany online eco-publications and only occasionally mentioned in the “real world.” But biofuels are here, and they’re mainstream. There are currently 4 million vehicles on the road in the U.S. capable of running on E85; every single gasoline-powered car in the nation can run on gasoline blended with up to 10 percent ethanol; and thousands of diesel commercial fleets run on biodiesel. You — yes, you! — may be able to bio-fill up right now.
9. The Hill is alive with the sound of biofuels. Politicians are talking about biofuels. Those in favor will be — actually, already are — hyping the technology big-time. And since they’re paid to represent you, you wanna be able to let them know what you think, right?
8. The TV is also alive with the sound of biofuels. Live Green, Go Yellow already interrupts America’s Next Top Model, and biofuel ads are only going to become more omnipresent as time goes on. Is there truth in advertising? It’s worth investigating, instead of sitting slack-jawed on your sofa.
7. All your basics are belong to us. Think fuel has nothing to do with the environmental issues you care about? Think again. Biofuels production is tied up with food production, wildlife habitat, water scarcity, environmental justice, and plenty of other hippie tree-hugger causes.
5. Whatever drives you. The U.S. transportation sector emitted nearly 2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2005. Getting yourself around is one of the key ways you make an eco-impact, and thinking about smarter ways to do it is just common sense.
4. Ignorance is remiss. Biofuels knowledge is your hot ticket to being the life of the cocktail party. If you have some sort of green inclination, you’re likely to be queried about this “biofuels” thing, and an informed opinion is a greenie’s best friend.
3. A reason for every care. Biofuel production is, at its purest, an attempt to wean the world’s addiction to oil. Oil production, as you no doubt know, is connected to climate change, geopolitical instability, pollution, transportation infrastructure, health, socioeconomic disparity, war, and general quality of life. Among other things.
2. Oil and trouble. The bad news: Oil sucks. The
good bad news: It’s running out. What will replace it? There are a lot of alt-energy options out there, and the more you know about them, the better.
1. Grist says so. We’ve got our finger on the pulse of the green world, if we do say so ourselves, and we think this biofuels issue is darn important. So read up! You just might learn something.
More stories in this series:
They may be hyped as the way of the future, but biofuels already count as a juggernaut. Supported by the government and embraced by the Big Three automakers, ethanol is surging in the United States. Biodiesel, meanwhile, is roaring ahead …
The way most people talk about biofuels, you’d think they were a brand-new invention. But using natural products for fuel is an idea as old as the hills, as this highly selective timeline demonstrates. Mid-1800s: Soap-makers begin to transesterify vegetable …
America devours oil like no other country in the world. Representing 5 percent of the global population, the country consumes fully a quarter of the world’s oil. Every year, to move ourselves and our goods around, we burn 140 billion …
Once upon a time, we were going to make a beautiful map for you, showing all the available biofuel pumps in the country. Then we realized: hey, there are already beautiful maps out there. Not to mention books. And articles. …
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