The last time i looked into this it became my opinion that there was a lot of spin put on the pro arguments that ignored the down sides of the impact that this type of farming would have on the ecosystems of these regions.
It might well be true that the vegetable crops used for bio fuel are not food cops, and also that these crops are able to grow on land that is not suited to growing food crops. It is also true that these changes will open up the doors to economies benefiting from this kind of industry.
Ok, so we can put your idea of "will be competing with the same ground and farming systems that produce our food" to rest.
However, it doesn't address the fact that most of these Crops are GE based and that these GE crops are patented and their use is controlled by very aggressive corporations.
It doesn't have to be like that; i'd like to think that if we are at the brink of destruction, we would be able to skip a bunch of technicalities to save our behinds. Call me naive, hippie ... I don't care ... I sleep better like that.
These Bio-fuel crops are also altered to be able to adapt to poor quality soil types, that's great for 10 or 20 generations of crops, but then the soil becomes depleted of the required nutrients and so these need to be replaced,
Soil depletion happens on most agricultural land (food or else); wise administration is supposed to yield good results. That's some other problem we should deal with ... I think Mayans and co. had a good clue as to how to solve that ... I don't know enough about this.
usually with GE based fertilizers.
I despise them. I'm with you, this should not be part of ANY solution. It's a step back, in my ignorant opinion.
These farming systems also need to be Huge in order to be officiant.
True of many complex machine/systems.
Even then they are not as efficient as what they are augmenting, but that's a whole different topic. The more relevant aspect here is that these farming systems are often corporate owned and controlled, so the hosting country gains very few benefits from having them present, in fact they inherit a lot of social problems attached to the displacement of many of the farming communities that these massive farms replace.
Hey man, your beef is with your capitalist overlord neo-con shitty world order; the bio diesel alternative is a good alternative in itself, at present conditions.
There are plenty of examples of how this new model system is not working, two examples being India and Brazil, others can be found on a smaller scale in Africa, Mexico and even, to a much lesser extent, Australia.
I don't know about these ... can you provide some link or more info. What happened? link? I would think if Venezuela for example, were to implement it, I would think it would add up to a solution, not a deeper problem ... what do you think?
The airlines motivation for this change is not based on any altruistic concern for the environment. It is based on economics. And here is the next problem because the economics of a bio-fuel based alternative is masked by the fact that it is supported by already established fossil fuel technology and industry.
business is the bottomline, bottomline is business. That makes sense. Also, I find it helpful for myself and others to make a major mind-shift through discrete easy to swallow steps: ie, if it takes biodiesel to take people off the oils, and into solar, so be it. Since this is a major sector, relating to transportation and infrastructure, I would think the cost of conversion would be easier to spill-over if it came in steps (local business man doesn't have to buy new pumps, car factories make minor modifications to fuel lines and tanks, trucking companies don't have to refit ...).
All of this adds to my opinion that this is not a step in the right direction, in fact i would say it is only a step to the side,
I kind of agree with you here: the important thing to me is, a sidestep can be a step in the right direction if you are currently moving beyond your control towards a bloody face-bashing wall crash. no?