Biofuel famine from global food price rises due to competition between cars and people is threatening biofuel genocide of billions of people in the Developing World. This site is an alphabetical, referenced compendium of authoritative views on Biofuel Genocide and is devoted to informing people about the mounting Biofuel Holocaust and Biofuel Genocide .
Holocaust means the destruction of a large number of people. However Genocide is very precisely defined in International Law as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group” as set out by Article 2 of the 1948 UN Genocide Convention: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
Key to this internationally agreed, legal definition of genocide is “intent”. Thus the “intent’ of a serial killer is not abolished by his refusal to confess or otherwise explicitly declare “intent” – it can be clearly established simply by the "cause-and-effect" evidence of sustained, remorseless actions leading to serial deaths. Likewise, for example, the sustained, remorseless actions (and inactions) of the British caused the deaths of 6-7 million Indians in 1943-1945 Bengali Holocaust (see the transcript of the 2008 BBC broadcast involving myself, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and other scholars: http://www.open2.net/thingsweforgot/bengalfamine_programme.html ) ; the sustained British deprivation of its Indian subjects in the 2 century British Indian Holocaust (1.5 BILLION excess deaths, or about 1.8 BILLION including the Native States, and about 20% of them Muslims) (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/26713/42/ and
Biofuel famine from global food price rises from a competition
between fuel for engines and food for people is threatening biofuel genocide of billions of people in the Developing World.
For a recent outline of this acute problem, see Dr Gideon Polya, “Biofuel famine, biofuel genocide and the global food price crisis”, Lecture to Agricultural Science and Agricultural Science-Economics students, La Trobe University Tuesday 29 April, 2008: http://climateemergency.blogspot.com/2008/04/biofuel-famine-biofuel-genocide-and.html , edited extracts of which are reproduced below..
In summary, the world is facing a global food price crisis that threatens billions of people in the developing world with famine. Prices for major food commodities such as wheat, rice, corn and soybean have doubled in the last year or so. The price of rice has doubled in the last 6 months.  Food prices in US$ have been driven upwards through a combination of factors, notably: (1) the immoral (and net CO2 polluting) diversion of food for biofuel (impelled by global warming considerations, peak oil, increased oil prices, economics, US, EU and UK legislation); (2) US dollar decline; (3) oil price impact on agriculture costs; (4) anthropogenic global warming (and consequent intensified droughts); (5) increased demand for food (notably meat) from the new Asian giants; (6) fear, speculation and unilateralism.
Global non-observance of basic human “entitlement” (Amartya Sen) means that millions who cannot buy food will starve to death. History ignored yields history repeated - when the price of rice doubled and then finally quadruped 6-7 million starved to death in Bengal and adjoining Indian provinces in 1943-1945 in the “forgotten” Bengali Holocaust, the man-made Bengal Famine in British-ruled India during World War 2.
The solutions in general involve rational risk management involving (a) accurate data, (b) scientific analysis and (c) systemic change to reduce risk. The specific solutions involve: (1) cessation of the biofuel perversion (except for environmentally and morally acceptable biomass and algal systems); (2) cessation of Biosphere-threatening CO2 pollution (indeed negative CO2 emissions are required to reduce atmospheric CO2 to a safe and sustainable 300-350 ppm from the present unacceptable 385 ppm); (3) respect for Humanity and “food entitlement” for all on Spaceship Earth; (4) cessation of the Third World Holocaust (16 million avoidable deaths annually) e.g. by “economic efficiency credits” (countries such as Bangladesh or peoples such as Indigenous Australians modestly rewarded for high efficiency and low impact on the Biosphere) and other measures to limit population and Biosphere impact.
1. Biofuel crisis.
The World is facing a global food price crisis and looming mass starvation in the Developing World. The price of rice has doubled in 3 months and the price of wheat has doubled in one year. The huge increases in the price of staples such as wheat and rice are being driven by legislatively-mandated US, UK and EU diversion of food for biofuel; climate change and decreased agricultural productivity due to both inundation and drought; oil price hikes and increased costs of production; and globalization which means that 4 billion impoverished and under-fed people compete in the market place for those with the money to buy food to drive their cars or for grain-fed meat (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/21277/42/ and http://www.countercurrents.org/polya310308.htm ).
Already 16 million people due avoidably each year (9.5 million being under-5 year old infants) from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease on a Spaceship Earth dominated by a profligate and unresponsive First World (see “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ) – and this is increasingly being impacted by climate change through drought, increased temperature and mega-delta inundation by storm surges.
The worst Developed World GHG offenders are the US, Canada and Australia as can be seen from this comparison of “annual per capita fossil fuel-derived carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution” (2004 data from the US Energy Information Administration: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/index.cfm ) in tonnes CO2/person which is 19.2 (for Australia; 40 if you include Australia’s coal exports), 19.7 (the US), 18.4 (Canada), 9.9 (Japan), 4.2 (the World), 3.6 (China), 1.0 ( India) and 0.25 (for Bangladesh) (see “Climate Emergency, Sustainability Emergency”: http://climateemergency.blogspot.com/2008_01_01_archive.html ).
According to Sir Nicholas Stern as quoted by the Guardian (2007): “[for these countries annual average CO2] emissions a head are more than 20 tonnes each year, with European citizens producing 10-15 tonnes each. In China it is about five tonnes, in India about one, and in Africa less than one tonne each” (see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/nov/30/climatechange.carbonemissions ).
However the problems of Third World countries are now being impacted by “peak oil” and the biofuel perversion of using food to drive cars and trucks in a starving world. Indeed in the ultimate obscenity Richard Branson’s Virgin airline has recently used biofuel to partly fuel a flight from London to Amsterdam, an act that drew critical condemnation from environmentalists (see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/02/25/2171511.htm ). In short, diversion of agricultural land for biofuel has three major problems. Biofuel (A) drives up the world price of food in a global marketplace; (B) can be associated with a huge “carbon debt” from release of soil carbon, whether from ploughed savannah or from deforested land; and (C) is currently associated with huge ecosystem damage. Let us consider these 3 problems in succession .
2. Biofuel perversion is driving up global food prices - and poverty kills.
The United States is currently using about 9% of its wheat, 25% of its corn and about 15% of its grain in general to produce biofuel. The United Kingdom (UK) has committed to large increases in the use of biofuels over coming decades, has recently announced subsidies for biofuel and supports the European Commission (EU) target requiring 10 per cent of petrol station fuel to be plant-derived biofuel within 12 years. However the huge and intrinsically genocidal current US diversion of 15% of its grain crop to biofuel production has had a huge impact already on soaring global food prices – the world is already facing a global food crisis with alarm being expressed by UN, FAO and other scientific experts. Simple Google searches for “global food crisis”, ”world food price crisis” and related phrases reveals massive current concerns.
The US expanded renewable fuels standard (RFS) requires 8.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2008 and progressively increases to a 36 billion gallon requirement by 2022 (see: http://democrats.senate.gov/dpc/dpc-new.cfm?doc_name=fs-110-1-107 ).
The UK Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor John Beddington CMG, FRS (Professor of Applied Population Biology at Imperial College, London.) has described the devastating potential of food shortages as an "elephant in the room" problem commensurate with that from climate change and warns that biofuel diversion (e.g. for canola oil- or palm oil-derived biodiesel and grain- or sugar-derived ethanol) is threatening world food production and the lives of “billions” (see: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23336840-11949,00.html ).
Recently Finance Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has said that it is "outrageous" that developed countries are turning food crops into biofuels while billions of people in the developing countries are living on the edge and trying to cope with escalating food prices (see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7315308.stm ).
Numerous Mainstream media reports are describing how we now have a global food crisis with the spectre of widespread famine due to escalating grain and food prices – in a harsh, globalized market place those that cannot afford to buy food will simply starve unless rescued. Yet the UN and FAO are finding it acutely difficult to rescue such people. These food price rises in turn are because of the huge US and indeed Western biofuel diversion, complicated by climate change (impacting on drought in Australia and Canada), weather (e.g. too much rain the US), hedging speculation and diversion for livestock production.
The New York Times has recently reported that “rising prices and a growing fear of scarcity have prompted some of the world’s largest rice producers to announce drastic limits on the amount of rice they export. The price of rice, a staple in the diets of nearly half the world’s population, has almost DOUBLED on international markets in the last three months. That has pinched the budgets of millions of poor Asians and raised fears of civil unrest” (New York Times, March 29, 2008 “High rice cost raising fears of Asia unrest”: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/business/worldbusiness/29rice.html?hp ).
There have been food riots over food prices recently in Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan and Yemen. Rice export bans by rice-exporting nations (Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt and India) have raised world rice prices even more (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/business/worldbusiness/29rice.html?hp ) .
The price of a wheat flour-based “roti” in Pakistan has doubled in the last year and food scarcity is of major concern to the UN and UN Agencies such as FAO (see “2008 – the Year of Global Food Crisis”: http://www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.2104849.0.2008_the_year_of_global_food_crisis.php ) .
For an ALARMING graph of world food and wheat prices in recent years see the following report by Australian economists showing that the price of wheat in US dollars has DOUBLED in the last year: http://www.efic.gov.au/newsletter/newsletter_display.php?secID=15&id=79 . Part of this is due to the falling value of the US dollar but the alarming message is clear.
These food price rises are fuelled by the huge US and indeed Western (UK, EU) biofuel diversion PLUS Greenhouse Gas (GHG) pollution-driven climate change (impacting on drought e.g. in Australia and Canada), weather (e.g. too much rain in the US), hedging investor speculation, oil price impacts on production costs and diversion of food for livestock production for “rich” people who can afford it (not just in the West but also in the burgeoning Asian economies of China and India).
A sad commentary is given by Dr Lester Brown (January, 2008; see: http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/2008/Update69.htm ): “Whereas previous dramatic rises in world grain prices were weather-induced, this one is policy-induced and can be dealt with by policy adjustments. The crop fuels program that currently satisfies scarcely 3 percent of U.S. gasoline needs is simply not worth the human suffering and political chaos it is causing. If the entire U.S. grain harvest were converted into ethanol, it would satisfy scarcely 18 percent of our automotive fuel needs.”
Poverty kills as surely as bombs and bullets (see Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, that includes a history of every country from Neolithic times and is now available for free perusal on the web: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ) and in Sections 20 and 48 of his Encyclical Letter “Laudato si”, Pope Francis is a global stand-out from world leaders in referring to “millions of premature deaths” (avoidable deaths) from pollution and “the premature death of many of the poor” from deleterious conditions: “20. Some forms of pollution are part of people's daily experience. Exposure to atmospheric pollutants produces a broad spectrum of health hazards, especially for the poor, and causes millions of premature deaths … 48. The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation… The impact of present imbalances is also seen in the premature death of many of the poor, in conflicts sparked by the shortage of resources, and in any number of other problems which are insufficiently represented on global agendas” (see Pope Francis , Encyclical Letter “Laudato si”, 2015: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html ).
3. Crop-based Biofuel production is currently associated with huge CO2 pollution.
Advocates of biofuel argued that it was “green” because the CO2 deriving from biofuel combustion is cancelled out by the CO2 sequestered by solar energy-driven photosynthesis. However this facile analysis ignores the release of carbon from the soil due to ploughing; loss of CO2 sequestration as a result of de-forestation; and other CO2-pollution inputs into biofuel production such as fertilizer manufacture, transport and mechanical agriculture.
Two major studies by US scientists and published in the prestigious US scientific journal Science have revealed the huge “carbon debt” associated with mainstream agricultural production of biofuels.
Timothy Searchinger and colleagues (“Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change”, Science 29 February 2008, Vol. 319. no. 5867, pp. 1238 – 1240: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1151861 ) have found the following:
“Most prior studies have found that substituting biofuels for gasoline will reduce greenhouse gases because biofuels sequester carbon through the growth of the feedstock. These analyses have failed to count the carbon emissions that occur as farmers worldwide respond to higher prices and convert forest and grassland to new cropland to replace the grain (or cropland) diverted to biofuels. By using a worldwide agricultural model to estimate emissions from land-use change, we found that corn-based ethanol, instead of producing a 20% savings, nearly doubles greenhouse emissions over 30 years and increases greenhouse gases for 167 years. Biofuels from switchgrass, if grown on U.S. corn lands, increase emissions by 50%. This result raises concerns about large biofuel mandates and highlights the value of using waste products.”
Joseph Fargione and colleagues (“Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt”, Science 29 February 2008, Vol. 319. no. 5867, pp. 1235 – 1238: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1152747 ) have made even more dramatic findings:
“Increasing energy use, climate change, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels make switching to low-carbon fuels a high priority. Biofuels are a potential low-carbon energy source, but whether biofuels offer carbon savings depends on how they are produced. Converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas, or grasslands to produce food crop–based biofuels in Brazil, Southeast Asia, and the United States creates a "biofuel carbon debt" by releasing 17 to 420 times more CO2 than the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions that these biofuels would provide by displacing fossil fuels. In contrast, biofuels made from waste biomass or from biomass grown on degraded and abandoned agricultural lands planted with perennials incur little or no carbon debt and can offer immediate and sustained GHG advantages.”
Biofuels can be renewable if derived from biomass from waste land e.g. through gasification of biomass to carbon monoxide (CO ) and hydrogen (H2) (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasification ) and then subsequent Fischer-Tropsch catalytic conversion to hydrocarbons (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer-Tropsch_synthesis ) or from oils from growth of prokaryotic organisms (cyanobacteria or blue-green algae) or eukaryotic organisms ( green and red algae) (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel ).
However in the context of horrendous global poverty, a major decline in grain production, huge increases in grain price and increasing diversion of grain for biofuel generation (see: http://www.fas.usda.gov/grain/circular/2006/05-06/graintoc.htm ), current means of biofuel production from human foods (sugar- and grain-derived ethanol, palm oil-, canola- and other oil-derived biodiesel) is a perversion and a crime against humanity, the more so when alternative cheap, efficient renewable energy options are technically already available (e.g. solar energy-based hydrogen-driven transport).
4. Biofuel production is devastating the biosphere.
As outlined in (B) above, biofuel production is increasing CO2 pollution. The US Energy Information Administration gives a year-by-year summary of fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution for every country in the world (see: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/iea/carbon.html ). However greenhouse gas pollution (methane, CH4, nitrous oxide, N2O, and carbon dioxide, CO2) comes not just from burning hydrocarbons and coal but also from land use – specifically, agriculture, vegetative decomposition and animal husbandry. A 2000 list of countries by greenhouse gas emissions per capita provides data with and without this land use component (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions_per_capita ). Land use contributes about 20% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Thus out of 185 countries my own country Australia ranked 9th worst (with land use change) and 5th (without land use change). The tonnes of “CO2 equivalent” per person per year were 25.9 (with) and 25.6 (without land use change) for Australia, indicating the preponderant importance of fossil fuel burning to Australia’s “score”. However the land use component is very large for de-foresting countries such as Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Deforestation contributes about 15-20% of annual CO2 pollution in the world. Yet according to Sir Nicholas Stern: "For $10-15bn (£4.8-7.2bn) per year, a programme could be constructed that could stop up to half the deforestation” (see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/nov/30/climatechange.carbonemissions ).
In addition to playing a vital role in global temperature homeostasis, forest ecosystems are sources for invaluable pharmaceutical resources (see my recent huge reference book: Gideon Polya, “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. A pharmacological reference guide to sites of action and biological effects”, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003: http://www.amazon.com/Biochemical-Targets-Plant-Bioactive-Compounds/dp/0415308291 ).
At an even more fundamental level, Balmford et al in the prestigious scientific journal Science (see “Economic reasons for preserving wild nature”: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/297/5583/950 ) have estimated that for a variety of “biomes” (ecological systems) the total economic value (TEV) is about 50% greater when the resource is used sustainably as opposed to destructive conversion. Further, these scientists have found that the economic benefit from preserving what is left of wild nature is OVER 100 TIMES greater than the cost of preservation.
However over-riding these economic concerns is the fundamental concern over species extinction – the rate of mammal extinction is already one thousand times greater than for the fossil record (see: http://www.greenfacts.org/en/ecosystems/figtableboxes/figure1-8-species-extinctions.htm ). We have no right to destroy the irreplaceable biodiversity that is the common property of the world and indeed of the universe.
5. Biofuel Famine (21st century) versus Bengal Famine (1943-1945).
The world is already seeing the commencement of a re-run - on a possibly 100-fold greater scale - of the man-made World War 2 Bengali Holocaust in which 6-7 million people perished in Bengal and in the adjoining provinces of Assam, Bihar and Orissa under the merciless British “scorched earth policy” when the price of rice doubled and finally doubled again (see: http://www.open2.net/thingsweforgot/bengalfamine_programme.html ).
Ten years ago I published a book entitled “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) in which I described horrendous man-made, market-forces famines in British-ruled India from the 1769-1770 Great Bengal Famine (10 million deaths or one third of the Bengali population) to the World War 2 Bengal Famine (6-7 million deaths in the Bengal region) [an updated 2008 edition has recently been published]. .
These catastrophes have been deliberately erased from British history and from general public perception – leading to the acute danger of History ignored yielding History repeated. My pleas for action to prevent further such catastrophes have fallen on deaf ears. Bengal is now acutely threatened not only from biofuel-driven global food price rises but also from inundation from global-warming-driven sea level rises. I am revising my book for a 2008 second edition that in itself will be a further testament to “History ignored yields History repeated”.
In January 2008 I took part in a BBC radio broadcast about the “forgotten”, 6-7 million victim World War 2 Bengal Famine (WW2 Bengali Holocaust) that also involved 1998 Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen (Harvard, formerly Cambridge University, UK), Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya (medical historian, Wellcome Institute, University College London) and other scholars (see: http://www.open2.net/thingsweforgot/bengalfamine_programme.html ).
Yet history ignored, the world is facing a vastly greater catastrophe.
The current catastrophic global food price rises are due to a combination of legislatively mandated biofuel diversion; global warming (and likely related drought); oil price hikes; a declining US dollar; oil price hikes and increased costs of production; globalization and increased demand for food and grain-fed meat; and market uncertainty enhanced by unilateralist cessation of food exports.
However the ultimate 4-fold increase in the market price of rice in WW2 Bengal arose from a variety of factors but before listing these it is important to note that according to Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen there WAS food available to prevent starvation but cashed up Calcutta was in a war-time boom and effectively sucked food out of a starving , rice-producing countryside.
Factors that led to the huge price rise included: loss of rice imports from Japanese-occupied Burma; greatly decreased grain imports into India; Churchill’s European city bombing policies that led to a loss of shipping in the Atlantic, followed by compensatory mandated decrease in shipping in the Indian Ocean; policy from 1941 of provincial autonomy in food supplies; local storm and fungal infestation events; heavy-handed British seizure of boats vital for food acquisition and transport; hoarding and fear.
According to General Wavell (Viceroy of India and who pleaded in vain for help) the Bengal Governor Australian R.G. Casey told him that the Argentinians had burned 2 million tons of wheat to run their railways at the time of the Bengal Famine, there being a wartime coal shortage. In 2008 Europeans are compulsorily using food as fuel while millions starve (see Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) .
I made the following general methodological point at the end of the BBC program: “This isn’t simply an argument about rubbing out history. Scientists can help society through what is called rational risk management. It successively involves A, getting the accurate data. B, doing a scientific analysis. And then C, recognising this, taking action, changing the system, whether it’s a national system or a global system, to avoid a repetition.”
However Professor Amartya Sen concluded the program with the following profound point: “I think the fact that famines happen when they’re so extraordinarily easy to prevent – nothing in the world is easier to prevent – affects me. Being a Bengali I can’t say that it adds especially to that because this seems to me to be a basic human sympathy at seeing suffering all across the world which are completely needless.” All decent people around the world must speak out to prevent this mounting, NEEDLESS global famine tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes.
Balmford et al. (2002), Economic Reasons for Conserving Wild Nature, Science 9 August 2002: 950; see: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/297/5583/950
Brown, L.R. (2008), Why ethanol production will drive world guel prices even higher in 2008, Earth Policy Institute; see:
Lovelock, J. (2006), The Revenge of Gaia. Why the Earth is fighting back and we can still save humanity (Allen Lane, London).
Mason, C. (2000), A Short History of Asia (Macmillan, London)
Polya, G.M. (1998), Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History (Polya, Melbourne): http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ .
Polya, G.M. (2003), Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. A pharmacological reference guide to sites of action and biological effects (Taylor & Francis, New York & London)
Polya, G.M. , Climate Genocide (2010): http://sites.google.com/site/climategenocide/ .
Reason, J. (2000), Human error: models and management, British Medical Journal, vol. 320, pp768-770
Snow, C.P. (1961), Science and Government (The New English Library, London)
Spratt, D. & Sutton, P. (2008), Climate Code Red – the case for a sustainability emergency (Friends of the Earth, Melbourne).
Spratt, D. & Sutton, P, (2008), Climate Code red – the case for emergency action (Scribe, Melbourne).
The Biofuel Genocide site is an alphabetically organized, well-referenced resource to inform people about the worsening Biofuel Holocaust. Please inform everyone you can.
POSTSCRIPT ON BIOFUEL VERSUS BIOCHAR.
Top climate scientists (including the Coral Working Party of the prestigious UK Royal Society) say that we must return the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration from the present dangerous and damaging level of 390 parts per million (ppm) to a safe and subtainable level of about 300-350 ppm for a safe future for all peoples and all species (see " 300.org - return atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm": http://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/300-org---return-atmosphere-co2-to-300-ppm ).
The target of 300-350 ppm CO2 means that the world must REDUCE atmospheric CO2 as opposed tot eh current INCREASE at about 2 ppm per year. It is technically possible top achieve this target – all that is lacking is political will.
Climate Emergency Actions URGENTLY required are summarized below (see: http://sites.google.com/site/yarravalleyclimateactiongroup/climate-emergency-facts-and-required-actions ).
1. Change of societal philosophy to one of scientific risk management and biological sustainability with complete cessation of species extinctions and zero tolerance for lying.
2. Urgent reduction of atmospheric CO2 to a safe level of about 300 ppm as recommended by leading climate and biological scientists.
3. Rapid switch to the best non-carbon and renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, wave, tide and hydro options that are currently roughly the same market price as coal burning-based power) and to energy efficiency, public transport, needs-based production, re-afforestation and return of carbon as biochar to soils coupled with correspondingly rapid cessation of fossil fuel burning, deforestation, methanogenic livestock production and population growth.
Conversion of cellulosic biomass (cellulosic polysaccharide formula (CH2O)n ) to Biochar (charcoal, carbon, C) is achieved by anaerobic pyrolysis (heating to 400-700 degrees centigrade in the absence of oxygen: (CH2O)n. -> nC + nH2O) and represents a major technological means for drawing down CO2 from the atmosphere after biological photosynthetic generation of cellulose: nCO2 + nH2O -> (CH2O)n + O2 (see “Forest biomass-derived Biochar can profitably reduce global warming and bushfire risk”: http://sites.google.com/site/yarravalleyclimateactiongroup/forest-biomass-derived-biochar-can-profitably-reduce-global-warming-and-bushfire-risk ).
biomass through conversion to biofuel and thence burning of biofuel to generate
CO2 is the OPPOSITE of the beneficial
and crucially important biochar mechanism. In addition, biofuel generation from
grain, oil or biomass carries a carbon debt from the associated land use change
(e.g. methane generation from decaying biomass in logged tropical forests).
Some useful compendia about climate change information, requisite actions & expert opinions:
“2011 climate change course”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/2011-climate-change-course .
300.org: . https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/300-org .
“300.org – return atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm CO2”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/300-org---return-atmosphere-co2-to-300-ppm .
“Carbon Debt Carbon Credit”: https://sites.google.com/site/carbondebtcarboncredit/ .
"Climate Revolution Now": https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/climate-revolution .
“Cut carbon emissions 80% by 2020”: https://sites.google.com/site/cutcarbonemissions80by2020/ .
“100% renewable energy by 2020”: https://sites.google.com/site/100renewableenergyby2020/ .
“Climate Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/climategenocide/ .
“Gas is not clean energy”: https://sites.google.com/site/gasisnotcleanenergy/ .
“Biofuel Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/biofuelgenocide/ .
“Divest from fossil fuels”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/divest-from-fossil-fuels .
“Climate Justice & Intergenerational Equity”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/climate-justice .
“Science & economics experts: Carbon Tax needed NOT Carbon Trading”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/sciennce-economics-experts-carbon-tax-needed-not-carbon-trading/ .
“Stop air pollution deaths”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/stop-air-pollution-deaths .
“Stop climate crime”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/stop-climate-crime .
“Are we doomed?”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/are-we-doomed .
“Nuclear weapons ban , end poverty & reverse climate change”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/nuclear-weapons-ban ."Too late to avoid global warming catastrophe": https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/too-late-to-avoid-global-warming .
Some key analyses by Dr Gideon Polya (Melbourne scientist):
Gideon Polya, “Expert Witness Testimony To Stop Gas-Fired Power Plant Installation”, Countercurrents, 14 June, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya140613.htm .
Gideon Polya, " Doha climate change inaction. Only 5 years left to act", MWC News, 9 December 2012: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/23373-gideonpolya-climate-change.html .
Gideon Polya, “Australia 's Huge Coal, Gas & Iron Ore Exports Threaten Planet”, Countercurrents, 15 May 2012: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya150512.htm .
Gideon Polya, “Country By Country Analysis Of Years Left Until Science-demanded Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions”, Countercurrents, 11 June 2011: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya110611.htm .
Gideon Polya , “2015 A-to-Z
Alphabetical List Of Actions And Advocacies For Climate Change Activists”,
Countercurrents, 14 January, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya140115.htm
Gideon Polya, “100 Ideas For Climate Change Activists Trying To Save The Biosphere And Humanity”, Countercurrents, 10 August, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya100813.htm .
Gideon Polya, “Biochemical Targets Of Plant Bioactive Compounds”: moral & utilitarian reasons to stop ecocide, speciescide, omnicide & terracide”, Countercurrents, 22 February, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya220215.htm .
“Climate change articles by Dr Gideon Polya”: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/climate-change-articles .
“Climate change websites created by Dr Gideon Polya”: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/climate-change-websites .
“Gideon Polya”: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/home .
Carbon Debt reflects the inescapable future cost in today's dollars of fixing the remorselessly increasing climate damage. Carbon Debt is the historical contribution of countries to the carbon pollution of the atmosphere and can be variously expressed as Gt CO2-e (gigatonnes or billions of tonnes of CO2-equivalent) or in dollar terms by applying a Carbon Price. Thus leading climate economist Dr Chris Hope from 90-Nobel-Laureate Cambridge University has estimated a damage-related Carbon Price in US dollars of $150 per tonne CO2-e (see Dr Chris Hope, “How high should climate change taxes be?”, Working Paper Series, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, 9.2011: http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/research/workingpapers/wp1109.pdf ).
The World added 350 Gt C (1285 Gt CO2) to the atmosphere in 1751-2006 (see James Hansen, “Letter to PM Kevin Rudd by Dr James Hansen”, 2008: http://www.aussmc.org.au/documents/Hansen2008LetterToKevinRudd_000.pdf ) and currently adds a further 64 Gt CO2-e annually (see Robert Goodland and Jeff Anfang, “Livestock and climate change. What if the key actors in climate change are … cows, pigs and chickens?”, World Watch, November/December 2009: http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/Livestock%20and%20Climate%20Change.pdf ).
The World has a 1751-2006 Carbon Debt of 350 Gt C x (3.67 Gt CO2/Gt C) x $150 per tonne CO2-e = $193 trillion plus a 2007-2015 Carbon Debt of (64 Gt CO2-e /year) x ($150 /t CO2-e) x 8 years = $76.8 trillion or a total 1751-2015 Carbon Debt of $270 trillion (about 3 times the annual world GDP of $85 trillion) that is increasing by about 64 Gt CO2-e/year x ($150 /t CO2-e) = $9.6 trillion/year or about $10 trillion each year.
By way of a national example, Australia is a world-leading annual per capita GHG polluter with a 1751-2006 Carbon Debt of 5.9 Gt C x (3.67 Gt CO2-e/Gt C) x ($150 /t CO2-e) = $3.2 trillion plus a 2007-2015 Carbon Debt of 2 Gt CO2-e/year x ($150 /t CO2-e) x 8 years = $2.4 trillion i.e. a total 1751-2015 Carbon Debt of $5.6 trillion (A$7.2 trillion) that is increasing at 2 Gt CO2-e /year x ($150 /t CO2-e) = $300 billion (A$385 billion) per year. Thus Australia (population 24 million) with 0.34% of the world's population has 2.1% of the world's Carbon Debt. The Australian Carbon Debt will have to be paid by the young and future generations and for under-30 year old Australians is increasing at about $30,000 (A$38,500) per person per year, noting that the annual Australian per capita income is about $65,000 (A$83,000) (see Gideon Polya, “2015 A-to-Z alphabetical list of actions and advocacies for climate change activists”, Countercurrents, 14 January, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya140115.htm ).