Thursday, 18 October 2012

Ages Since I Fisked

Does anyone fisk anymore, or is it just so 2006 ?  Whatever; the sight of an amusing subsidy-seeking bleat-piece in the Grauniad gets the juices flowing - particularly when it offers a brand new euphemism ! This is by Clare Wenner, "head of renewable transport fuels at the Renewable Energy Association".  We'd guessed, Clare, we'd guessed. 

"Given all the hysteria you'd be forgiven for believing that wiping out the biofuels industry will solve world hunger. It won't... Here in the UK, our home-produced biofuels provide as much high-protein animal feed as low-carbon liquid fuel – essential for our hard-pressed livestock industry. This feed in turn displaces imported soy, which is often associated with high carbon emissions.  

Is the Guardian itself being hysterical ?  Surely not.  Anyhow – with by-products as valuable as that, no need for a subsidy, then ? Oh, right. How silly of me.

Many NGOs also neglect to remind us that one-third of world food is wasted. And extreme weather events consistent with climate change itself are destroying crops – yet transport is a major contributor to carbon emissions. 

Wow. That brainstorming session you had, when you got all the possible arguments on the table and agreed they must all be crammed in – it really paid dividends ! 

The European commission's new proposals aim to dramatically reorientate support towards advanced biofuels. We've been asking for a clear 2020 pathway to reward exactly that. 

Hey, I collect euphemisms for ‘stonking subsidy’ - and ‘clear 2020 pathway’ is entirely new ! Thanks. Split infinitive ?  Let it go, I'm feeling generous now

The proposals – to allow crop-based biofuels to reduce our fossil fuel use by only 5%, and to withdraw the market for these biofuels altogether after 2020 - mean that around £700m of investment in the UK biofuels industry could be in peril. 

How’s that ? Are biofuels going to be banned ? Oh, I see, it’s just that we are not going to be forced to use them quite as much 

You'd think we can go on using oil forever. We can't. And neither can we decarbonise transport at the pace we need to with electric vehicles. EVs can contribute more to climate change than cars running on oil and they can create more toxic waste. Does that mean we trash EVs? Of course not. 

Actually, ahem, we should trash EVs … for every reason under the sun 

But what is particularly galling for the biofuels industry is that we have been attacked with considerably more venom than other non-food uses of land, such as cosmetics, cotton for our disposable clothing culture, or detergents. None of these industries are being made to account for land-use changes."

Nor are they lining up for subsidies

Don’t get me wrong, Clare – we know they would if they could. 



Weekend Yachtsman said...

EV's are part of their evil energy "strategy".

They hope that all those batteries dispersed across the country will act as a sort of giant nationwide storage facility to smooth out the power cuts which are inevitable once we get beyond about 20% wind power on the grid.

Unfortunately EV's are even more useless than they feared, so the public are not biting.

Expect more subsidies/coercion for the uptake of EV's. The rest of the strategy depends on it.

(H/T Richard North)

Blue Eyes said...

Reward pathways. Don't we hear similar phrases when medics talk about addiction to naughty drugs and instant food?

dearieme said...

Don't knock EVs. I'm getting an electric bike for christmas.

Demetrius said...

Three acres and a cow, as Harriet Harman's great uncle Joseph Chamberlain used to argue at the polls. However, the bulk of detergents now and cosmetics are damaging petro-chemical junk. As for cotton, it you buy quality cotton it lasts, I have shirts thirty years old and OK, that have never had any modern detergents or fabric conditioners on them.

Budgie said...

"cotton for our disposable clothing culture"

There speaks the true voice of the non-job taxpayer-subsidised over-paid nouveau rich.