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Author: Sebb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 56241  
Subject: Scientists weigh downside of palm oil Date: 4/4/2007 11:34 AM
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Tricky - working out the unintended consequences of action:

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Only a few years ago, oil from palm trees was viewed as an ideal biofuel: a cheap, renewable alternative to petroleum that would fight global warming. Energy companies began converting generators and production soared.

Now, it's increasingly seen as an example of how well-meaning efforts to limit climate-changing carbon emissions may backfire.

Marcel Silvius, a climate expert at Wetlands International in the Netherlands, led a team that compared the benefits of palm oil to the ecological harm from destroying virgin Asian rain forests to develop lucrative new plantations.

His conclusion: "As a biofuel, it's a failure."
...
The report issued late last year by Wetlands International, Delft Hydraulics and the Alterra Research Center of Wageningen University in Holland studied the carbon released from peat swamps in Indonesia and Malaysia that had been drained and burned to plant palm oil trees. About 85 percent of the world's palm oil comes from the two countries, and about one-quarter of Indonesia's plantations are on drained peat bogs, the report said.

The four-year study found that 600 million tons of carbon dioxide seep into the air each year from the drained swamps. Another 1.4 billion tons go up in smoke from fires lit to clear rain forest for plantations — smoke that often shrouds Singapore and Malaysia in an impenetrable haze for weeks at a time.

Together, those 2 billion tons of CO2 account for 8 percent of the world's fossil fuel emissions, the report said.


8 PERCENT!
Holy moly, and that's from trying to *help*.

Sebb
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Author: Sebb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2299 of 56241
Subject: Re: Scientists weigh downside of palm oil Date: 4/4/2007 11:34 AM
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Link
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070401/ap_on_sc/biofuel_debate

Sebb

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Author: DrBob2 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2327 of 56241
Subject: Re: Scientists weigh downside of palm oil Date: 4/5/2007 7:45 AM
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Another 1.4 billion tons go up in smoke from fires lit to clear rain forest for plantations

For any given swamp/plantation this should be a one-time event, while the palm oil trees should keep growing and yielding oil 'in perpetuity.'

DB2

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Author: Sebb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2329 of 56241
Subject: Re: Scientists weigh downside of palm oil Date: 4/5/2007 12:28 PM
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For any given swamp/plantation this should be a one-time event, while the palm oil trees should keep growing and yielding oil 'in perpetuity.'

Good point - so over how many barrels of oil equivalent do we amortize the CO2? And is CO2 released today worse than CO2 released tomorrow? (A: Yes). A challenging calculation....

Sebb

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Author: DrBob2 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 38268 of 56241
Subject: Re: Scientists weigh downside of palm oil Date: 10/8/2012 9:17 AM
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Only a few years ago, oil from palm trees was viewed as an ideal biofuel...

www.greencarcongress.com/2012/10/indonesia-20121008.html
Oil palm supplies more than 30% of world vegetable oil production. Its expanding production is driving rainforest destruction and massive carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new study led by researchers at Stanford and Yale universities.

The study, published as an open access paper in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that deforestation for the development of oil palm plantations in Indonesian Borneo is becoming a globally significant source of carbon dioxide emissions. Plantation expansion is projected to contribute more than 558 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in 2020 — an amount greater than all of Canada’s current fossil fuel emissions.

DB2

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