Counting carbs: November 19, 2007.

Author:Belli, Brita
Position:THIS WEEK - Biofuels: An Important Part of a Low-Carbon Diet - Brief article

"A market for low-carbon fuels can produce a rare convergence of business, agricultural and environmental interests that, if pursued wisely, could represent a 'win-win-win' opportunity," promises the report Biofuels: An Important Part of a Low-Carbon Diet, released this month by the Union of Concerned Scientists. But the report says to achieve that goal, we need to "count carbs" accurately, measuring global warming emissions over a transportation fuel's entire lifetime.


That means the accounting must include how various plants used for biofuels capture carbon dioxide (CO2). It also needs to incorporate the effect of farming practices--the energy consumed, and pollution emitted by farm equipment, fertilizers and tilling practices. Following UCS's "carb counting" method (taking extraction and related practices into account), liquid coal is shown to increase...

To continue reading