coal kills Apologies for the terrible photo, but it was pouring (and snowing) when I took it. That’s Duff Badgley again, the dirty hippie, protesting at a Safeway store. You can see the marquee advertising the price of B-5 (5 percent) biodiesel at $4.20 a gallon.

Biofuel proponents are not going to like having their fuel compared to coal, but think about it. Most of the CO2 in the United States comes from liquid fossil fuels. Replace them with today’s biofuels, and you would have an unmitigated ecological disaster of planet-killing proportions. In other words, the more we use, the worse it gets.

Removing mountaintops and dumping the tailings in mountain streams is beyond bad, but biofuels have already razed more ecosystems than all the coal mines in history, and coal has never contributed to food shortages. So, which sign is more appropriate? The icing on the cake, of course, is the new science pointing out that biofuels are also worse for global warming.

Funny how they can call a fuel “biodiesel” when only 5 percent of it actually is. This means that if I filled my Prius up in Portland, Oregon, where a 10 percent blend of ethanol is mandatory, my Prius would be burning more biofuel than the Jettas (covered with biodiesel stickers) that filled up while I was standing there. It’s all about perceptions. I asked one woman filling up a Jetta what the blend was, just to see if she even knew. She said it was B-95. She didn’t know. The sticker emblazoned across her back window said “Biodiesel: Clean, Renewable, Domestic.” I’m sure she also had no idea if the feedstock for Safeway’s fuel comes from domestic stock, not that it matters. The word “domestic” replaced the word “local.” “Domestic” meaning that it came from somewhere in the continental United States, or possibly the North American continent, or possibly somewhere in the Americas (since we are joined by the Central American land bridge).

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Safeway sells this only because it has a customer base that has been duped into thinking it is an environmentally superior fuel. Somehow, word has to get out to the consumers. Actually, it will take a lot more than that. Biodiesel enthusiasts have become emotionally invested in the idea, and once that happens, you can argue yourself blue in the face because recent brain research has shown that strong emotions always trump rational argument. Researchers can predict with roughly 90 percent accuracy which way a person will fall on a given issue based solely on how emotionally charged they are about it. Not to mention that bumper stickers are a bitch to remove.

Note the results of the poll attached to this link.

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I wonder when attitudes will start to change along with the facts?