PIMENTEL, David. US professor on population growth, Earth's carrying capacity, biofuel, big money & politician ignorance

Professor  David Pimentel is Professor of Ecology and Agricultural Science at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA). From the Cornell Daily Sun (2009): “Thirty years ago, when he was chairman of the Gasohol Panel of the Department of Energy, Pimentel published a study showing that ethanol was economically and environmentally unfeasible. This provoked two congressmen from the Corn Belt, and Pimentel was charged with dishonest interpretation of his research. Accordingly, 26 scientists from the Department of Energy and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) were summoned to verify Pimentel’s results and any possible conflict of interest, respectively. Two years later the GAO issued a report confirming the accuracy of his study. Subsequently, Pimentel served in other national advisory boards in the life sciences, agriculture and energy. He published over 590 scientific papers and 23 books, many of which highlight his disdain for biofuel”(see: http://cornellsun.com/node/34938 ).


Professor  David Pimentel on the carrying capacity of the Earth (1999): “At present, humans face serious malnutrition, land degradation, water pollution and shortages, and declining fossil energy resources. In addition, with related changes in the natural environment, many thousands of species are being lost forever. If the human population increases dramatically over the next several decades, as it is projected to do, the strains on these limited resources will grow as well. Some people are starting to ask just how many people the Earth can support if we want to cease degrading the environment and move to a sustainable solar energy system? There is no solid answer yet, but the best estimate is that Earth can support about 1 to 2 billion people with an American Standard of living, good health, nutrition, prosperity, personal dignity and freedom. This estimate suggests an optimal U.S. population of 100 to 200 million. To achieve this goal, humans must first stabilize their population and then gradually reduce their numbers to achieve a sustainable society in terms of both economics and environmental resources. With fair policies and realistic incentives, such a reduction in the human population can be achieved over the next century.” [1].

Professor  David Pimentel on the biofuel scam, lobbyists and politicians  (2009): “All ethanol, I think, is a boondoggle… Is 1.3 percent of our oil consumption [current US biofuel contribution] making us oil independent? No way! … All subsidies for diesel as well as ethanol should be eliminated. It’s ridiculous to subsidize oil and gasoline to encourage you and [me] to drive more … Good science cannot compete with big money and politics …politicians are slow learners… [on Bush law so that by 2020, the U.S. will be using 1.6 billion tons of biomass to produce 36 billion gallons of biofuel] there’s not a single [energy] plant in the world making ethanol from switch grass … This is literally using a lawn mower to go over all of the U.S. to collect [plant] material.” [2].

[1]. David Pimentel, “How many Americans can the Earth support?”, Population Press, 1999: : http://www.populationpress.org/essays/essay-pimentel.html .


[2]. Professor David Pimentel , quoted by Abubakar Jalloh, “” The Scientist: David Pimentel. David Pimentel cranks the numbers, yanks the biofuel”, The Cornell Daily Sun, 1 February, 2009: http://cornellsun.com/node/34938 .