For those of you who missed a remarkable discovery earlier this summer: a snake of a different color.
“The discovery of the ‘chameleon’ snake exposes one of nature’s best kept secrets deep in the heart of Borneo,” WWF’s Stuart Chapman said in a press release. “Its ability to change color has kept it hidden from science until now. I guess it just picked the wrong color that day.”
Indeed. I have hopes that its habitat does not one day become a biofuel farm.
As predicted, producers of palm oil are already running out of land.
“There’s just not enough land to plant in Malaysia … At the end of the day, there’s no other way but to expand overseas.”
You may recall from an earlier post, in contrast to their overpopulated neighbor, Indonesia, Malaysia has protected much of its forests — so far. The answer to their land shortage is to partner with Indonesia, which is less hesitant to mow down its forests. Hmm, sounds oddly familiar. OPEC! Excuse me.
“Even if Indonesia were to produce much more than what it is doing now, I think there’s not a problem of competition,” Chin said, adding the two would try to support prices together.
“We’re not talking about a cartel or anything like that,” Chin said. “We hope that over the years to come we will be able to manage the supply of palm oil in a reasonable way.”
Sorry, Chin, that kind of truth speak doesn’t work on the blogosphere, where we can look up the definition of fancy words.
The following comments from these articles should be unsettling to anyone concerned about preserving biodiversity, especially since this biofuel thing is still in its infancy:
“The global supply of biofuels will probably almost double in the next five years as new plants start production … Fuel output from vegetable oils worldwide is expected to triple by 2008 …There’s not enough supply …There’s no fear that we’ll produce too much …Palm oil prices climbed last month to their highest in more than two years, spurred by increasing sales to China, the U.S. and Europe.”
On the soy oil front:
… Argentina’s exports of soy oil, as well as sunseed oil, to Europe may already have risen due to biodiesel. Most European biodiesel is made from rapeseed oil, but … Argentine oils were filling the gap left in the food market by rapeseed oil being used for biodiesel.
As well as being the No. 1 soy oil exporter, Argentina is the third-biggest producer and exporter of soybeans after the United States and neighboring Brazil, where environmentalists have blamed soy crops for contributing to deforestation of the Amazon forest. “I think the consumption of biofuels will grow even if oil prices drop because of increasing concern over global warming and sustainability.
And finally, even Consumer Reports is bashing corn ethanol in an article titled “The Ethanol Myth.” They tested a Tahoe on E85 and found that its mileage dropped from 14mpg to 10. A poll about E85 found that consumers were mistakenly under the impression that E85 gave better mileage. But, most importantly, they mentioned a UCS report that shows that E85 ads have sold gas-guzzling vehicles that will never use E85, although they are equipped to do so, thus actually increasing petroleum use in the U.S. by a billion or so gallons a year — a billion gallons.