Thursday, March 30, 2006


One of the withered carrots being dangled in front of the addicted car driver is 'biofuel', a fuel derived from biomass or, in plain English, plants. 'This will save us!' scream the Lemmings of new labour, even as the cliff advances towards them with increasing speed as it erodes under the assault of fiercer storms in a rising sea.

It won't save us, in fact it's already making things worse. The Lemmings' News tonight (BBC, 22.00) had a report on the damage being done to the rainforest of Borneo (Indonesia) as it's replaced by palm oil plantations. Ecosystems being ripped apart, species (the Orang-Utang in particular) being pushed to the brink of extinction in the pointless and feverish quest for a new oil fix. Land degraded in the process is now more flood and landslide prone than ever, in a part of the world famed for its tropical downpours. How much fossil fuel is being squandered in this pointless publicity stunt? How much fossil fuel will be wasted transporting this muck around the world? It's window dressing, nothing more. Why the hell should the orang-utang or indeed the Indonesians suffer to salve the anachronistic addictions of the rich West?

We can tick biomass off the list of 'things to do'. The land ain't there, the inputs needed to produce it often outweigh the outputs proving this is a false dawn, and climate change will make growing anything more marginal in any case in the future. We need the best land for food, fools.

Perhaps it's time for Head Lemming Blair to get on his bike, not to find work (who would employ him?) but to save us all from biomassacre ....

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