On December 9, 2008, the BBC reported that, countries will need to make big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions if dangerous' climate change is to be avoided (Black, Poor Countries Need Carbon Cuts). Unfortunately, the fact that our actions as inhabitants on this earth have caused major climate changes has become common knowledge, and in some cases has become political rhetoric. While an awareness of the state and condition of our global climate is vital, this awareness has been met with political opposition, industrial setbacks, and a general, public apathy. There is a hope on the horizon, however, as more people, businesses, and government sectors are pledging to go green. Furthermore, there is a daily discourse and push for legislation demanding that the governments of the world do something about global climate change.
[...] The USDA and DOE have also provided extensive research in compiling the potential risks associated with a dependence or investment in cellulosic ethanol, particularly the plant matter originating from forestry. One major factor will be terrain. As 25% of the cellulosic ethanol is supposed to come from forests, there will be high costs in order to remove the plant matter. In order to offset these expenditures, the USDA recommends, “Separating and marketing larger-diameter trees for conventional (higher- valued) forest products,” as it, “would be necessary to help defray the costs of dealing with large numbers of small-diameter material” (Biomass As Feedstock For A Bioenergy and Biproducts Industry, pg. [...]
[...] We are aware that while cellulosic ethanol would offer potential energy relief in this country, underdeveloped nations would not be able to follow in our footsteps. Competitive industries and a self important perspective have led to countries competing with each other and forcing major climate change upon the planet. Our foreign policy in this country is usually one of great pride, which can sometimes lead to ignorance and lack of sensitivity for global issues. Unlike scientific achievements of the past such as arms races or space races, the race to achieving alternative energy sources and cutting carbon emissions is one we must run together as a global community. [...]
[...] With the many potential problems with cellulosic ethanol, it could prove to be more costly than even petroleum. Also, cellulosic ethanol still produces a small percentage of green house gases. Finally, and most concerning, the USDA, which is a proponent of cellulosic ethanol, admits that, technical feasibility of changes in agricultural systems cannot determine whether markets would respond in a way that would support the biomass potential outlined” (Biomass As Feedstock For A Bioenergy and Biproducts Industry, pg. 37). One simply cannot determine the ultimate efficiency or future of cellulosic ethanol without examining the state and progress of cellulosic ethanol as it stands today. [...]
[...] In a final evaluation of cellulosic ethanol is important to remember that, as with any great social, economic, or scientific movement, there always remains the risk of failure. Unfortunately, the risks in this case may be too staggering for some politicians. Whereas a major strength of cellulosic ethanol is that it is supported by a specific, and widespread infrastructure that may ultimately prove to be its demise. The simple fact is that cellulosic ethanol requires a massive commitment from governments, businesses, and populations. [...]
[...] Perhaps most importantly is that cellulosic ethanol provides more of an “energy bounce” than other biofuel products created from corn or conventional gasoline (Romm 66). This is extremely beneficial for our society, as it means we would gain more energy than it would take to produce the ethanol. Furthermore, as the goal and main concern remains lowering carbon emissions, cellulosic ethanol produces less Greenhouse-gas emissions than other biofuels or gasoline. Another major factor one has to consider in terms of the benefits of cellulosic ethanol is that it will create an entirely new job market. [...]
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