27 April 2007


In March EU leaders agreed to set a binding climate change target to make biofuel - energy sources made from plant material - account for 10 per cent of all Europe's transport fuels by 2020. But the European Commission has admitted that the objective, which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions, may have the unintended consequence of speeding up the destruction of tropical rainforests and peatlands in South-East Asia - actually increasing, not reducing, global warming. Source
This shows the stupidity of targeting irrelevant numerical indicators. Humanity is not interested in how much transport fuel comes from plants. What we are concerned about is climate change. So why don't our 'leaders' target something meaningful, like climate stability? Why not target a real outcome, instead of one of the supposed ways of reaching it? Several answers spring to mind: the need to maintain the revenues of agribusiness corporates; government's reluctance to relinquish control over means as well as ends; government's long history of thinking a handful of experts knows more than the entire population about how to achieve social and environmental goals. In this instance these answers are probably all valid. It's particularly depressing, though, that the result will be to accelerate the irreversible sacrifice of yet more of our precious heritage to the perceived interests of the road lobby.

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