Here is some scary inside news on Big Energy plans for biofuel and biomass energy production (my own quick thoughts and some useful links follow):
I went ‘undercover’ to a 2 days summit last year in Paris,
This event was meant for all the oil companies of the world to network,
share about how to improve oil sales and what they should in the future.
Here is what I understood
(I must underline that this is my very personal point of view and engages
First it was very clear to me that big oil companies are very aware that the
shortage of oil is going to happen soon,
And that they should prepare for the future to maintain good profits.
From what I understood, their plan is:
1- to buy a maximum of land all over the world: big oil companies seem to be
in a rush to buy whatever land they can find at the moment: competition
between oil companies seems to be strong there.
2- To begin to grow the plants necessary to produce biofuel
=> this means the parallel development of hybrid cars they (of course)
advertised for in the conference
But this is not over, because big oil companies already forecast the
shortage of land that will occur due to competition with food land,
So they have 2 plans to deal with that:
a- improve soil productivity by massive use of pesticides and GMOs
What shocked me, and that I really would like to share with you,
Is that they felt that there didn’t see any problem to do so,
because no one was going to EAT these plants.
But to me it represents a potential MASSIVE danger for the future: as you
know, pesticides are huge pollutants and ruin the soil (and water underneath
and all around) for years; but most of all GMOs don’t stop at the end of a
field and spread easily throughout the globe:
This means a potential uncontrolled dispersion of genetically modified
organisms all around the planet, with results that I think can be completely
Also: would you like to grow the food you will eat on a soil where GM were
grown for ages? This means that a very strange ‘sentencing to death’ of
biofuel soils that might be already happening without us really noticing.
You will say: there is legislation for that not to happen.
What I think is: only in the ‘developed’ countries you can find this type of
So about other countries:
when they grow food, ‘developed’ countries’s legislation is enforced because
food can only be bought uder certain conditions, but what happens when it is
b- then, when all possible land is bought and the need for energy is still
increasing (due to the increase of population, mostly), they will go to the
3rd stage, which is biomass.
Biomass can be obtained by plants or by algae.
So it will first start with plants and then will go to algae.
I recently read that experiments with algae were starting in the US.
The advantage of algae is that it can potentially be grown in the sea, so
not on land, so it could be a solution to land shortage and the food
But again, the big danger is there is no real economical reasons for the big
oil companies not to use GM, which means potential biological catastrophies
whenever an algae farm will accidently leak in the ocean.
Think about this green algae in the Mediterranean sea.
So to summarize, my take on this problem is three fold:
1 a soil shortage problem/ competition with food
2 soil ‘sentenced to death’by massive use of pesticides and GM
3 potential biological catastrophy with the uncontrolled use of GM all
around the globe to produce biofuel and then biomass algae.
And this really worries me, that is why I shared this with you.
My hope is that every person that read this e-mail will have this in mind as
well when thinking about biofuel.
This is really only my own point of view from what I understood, but I
thought you would be interested to read it.
Scary news indeed.
I’ve a few (ok, a lot) quick thoughts/ points to share…
The Future of Food is a good documentary about GM if anyone isn’t concerned about that yet.
An intro is here:
I’ve got the full thing if anyone wants it.
A more positive film is:
I’ve got that too 🙂
Using waste veg oil for fuel makes sense, clear cutting forests to grow it certainly doesn’t.
In case anyone has missed it in the news, the price of food has already sky rocketed for many of the worlds poorest people and there are riots around the globe:
If you are going to grow fuel, Dale Sorghum is considered a good plant to grow by many permaculturalists, because of its “Stacked Functions” (basically, it can be used for lots of different things):
As for biomass, here are some good trees for fuel:
And https://solaroof.org/wiki has lots of potential for growing algae (and more).
As for generating our own energy, I’m getting more and more into concentrated solar power (CSP).