The detrimental effects of the world’s reliance on fossil fuels are clear: fossil fuels (oil and gas) are non-renewable and dwindling sources of energy. Pollution and emissions from fossil fuels contribute significantly to climate change (The 63rd Annual Lindau Meeting). Big oil companies cause huge oil spills in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. International conflicts are caused and wars are fought over reliance on foreign oil. Something has to change. Biodiesel, which is diesel fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fat. It is a renewable source of energy. Burning of biofuel emits carbon dioxide which is used by plants to grow (The 63rd Annual Lindau Meeting). Biodiesel can be used in existing diesel engines (Their). (might seem to be the perfect solution to the world’s energy problems but it isn’t.
Production of biodiesel requires converting farm land used ...view middle of the document...
The net effect does not indicate any reductions in carbon emissions or conservation of fossil fuels.
If our supply of finite petroleum products is rapidly depleting and the production of biodiesel isn’t the answer, what is? The answer to the world’s energy needs is not one single fuel or one country’s policy change. There are many answers readily available to the world. Instead of growing crops to make biodiesel we can collect used cooking oils (Thier) or coffee grounds that would normally end up in sewers and dumps (Ussery). We can find ways to efficiently use the plant material that’s usually thrown away after corn, sugarcane, peanuts, soybeans, timber and other crops are harvested (“agriculture residues”) and extract biodiesel from that waste (The 63rd Annual Lindau Meeting). The world can commit to increasing the use of renewable power sources such as solar and wind energy. Scientists can develop more fuel efficient vehicles and engines. We can devote more funds into research and development of better batteries to store more energy for longer periods of time (The 63rd Annual Lindau Meeting) . Communities, families and individuals can make personal commitments to conserving energy. There isn’t any one perfect solution to the world’s growing energy needs but there are many readily available and economical ways to increase efficiency and reduce the harmful effects on the environment (The 63rd Annual Lindau Meeting). People everywhere just need to make it a priority.
The 63rd Annual Lindau Meeting: "The Controversy Surrounding Biofuels" [Video]. Scientific American. n.d. Web. 15 May 2014
Thier, Kathryn. "For Fuel, N.C. Looks Homeward." The Charlotte Observer. 27 Dec. 2007. Print.
Ussery, Peggy. "Farmers May Have New Fuel Options with Alternative Fuels." Dothan Eagle. 13 Feb. 2008. Print.
Zeller, Tom Jr. "The Biofuel Debate: Good, Bad or Too Soon to Tell." The New York Times. 3 Nov. 2008. Web. 15 May 2014.