While America and Canada will be obedient to the Fuel industry and continue to poison the planet, Europe will be off the Petroleum needle.
A defintion of Generations of Biofuels based on carbon resource
To overcome the anomalies discussed above, a more scientific definition of the various generation biofuels (1G, 2G, 3G) can be described based on the carbon source from which the biofuel is derived as, as follows:
1st Generation – the source of carbon for the biofuel is sugar, lipid or starch directly extracted from a plant. The crop is actually or potentially considered to be in competition with food.
2nd Generation – the biofuel carbon is derived from cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin or pectin. For example this may include agricultural, foresty wastes or residues, or purpose-grown non-food feedstocks (e.g. Short Rotation Coppice, Energy Grasses).
3rd Generation – the biofuel carbon is derived from aquatic autotrophic organism (e.g. algae). Light, carbon dioxide and nutrients are used to produce the feedstock “extending” the carbon resouce available for biofuel production. This means, however, that a heterotrophic organism (using sugar or cellulose to produce biofuels) would not be considered as 3G.
Alternative energy is an interesting concept when you think about it. In our global society, it simply means energy that is produced from sources other than our primary energy supply: fossil fuels. Coal, oil and natural gas are the three kinds of fossil fuels that we have mostly depended on for our energy needs, from home heating and electricity to fuel for our automobiles and mass transportation.
The problem is fossil fuels are non-renewable. They are limited in supply and will one day be depleted. There is no escaping this conclusion. Fossil fuels formed from plants and animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago and became buried way underneath the Earth’s surface where their remains collectively transformed into the combustible materials we use for fuel.
Burning fossil fuels creates carbon dioxide, the number one greenhouse gas contributing to global warming. Combustion of these fossil fuels is considered to be the largest contributing factor to the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In the 20th century, the average temperature of Earth rose 1 degree Fahrenheit (1°F). This period saw the most prolific population growth and industrial development — which was and remains totally dependent on the use of energy — in Earth’s history.
The impact of global warming on the environment is extensive and affects many areas. In the Arctic and Antarctica, warmer temperatures are causing the ice to melt which will increase sea level and change the composition of the surrounding sea water. Rising sea levels alone can impede processes ranging from settlement, agriculture and fishing both commercially and recreational. Air pollution is also a direct result of the use of fossil fuels, resulting in smog and the degradation of human health and plant growth.
But there are also the great dangers posed to natural ecosystems that result from collecting fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil. Oil spills have devastated ecosystems and coal mining has stripped lands of their vitality. These among others are the primary reasons to discontinue the pursuit to tap the vast oil reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
In NJ it is not just about fossil fuels, but war on nature. More McMansions, More Half empty strip malls. More welfare for the Rich in tax shelters and slum load rewards.
Perhaps the best solution to our growing energy challenges comes from The Union of Concerned Scientists: “No single solution can meet our society’s future energy needs. The solution instead will come from a family of diverse energy technologies that share a common thread — they do not deplete our natural resources or destroy our environment.”
Did You Know?
Wind energy is actually a form of solar energy. Wind is formed from the heating and cooling of the atmosphere, which causes air and air layers to rise and fall and move over each other. This movement results in wind currents.
Denmark, a tiny country on the northern fringe of Europe, is pursuing the world’s most ambitious policy against climate change. It aims to end the burning of fossil fuels in any form by 2050 — not just in electricity production, as some other countries hope to do, but in transportation as well.
Now a question is coming into focus: Can Denmark keep the lights on as it chases that lofty goal?
Lest anyone consider such a sweeping transition to be impossible in principle, the Danes beg to differ. They essentially invented the modern wind-power industry, and have pursued it more avidly than any country. They are above 40 percent renewable power on their electric grid, aiming toward 50 percent by 2020. The political consensus here to keep pushing is all but unanimous.