Biofuels and Humanity.pptx

kissimmeemisologistΒιοτεχνολογία

14 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

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Sarah Renée Joyce

Department of Anthropology

Agriculture

Begins

Approximately 74 million people / year

Predict 9
-
11 billion by 2050

More than exponential!

Technological

advances

Why Agriculture?


Prior to agriculture, human populations were highly
mobile hunter
-
gatherer and small
-
scale
horticulturalists with varied diets


Post
-
agriculture. . .


Stationary populations


Greater abundance of food…but, less variety!


Food surpluses / storage


The ability to construct stratified societies


Without agriculture, the world population maybe would have
reached ½ million by now!

Overpopulation is a Relative Measure


Overpopulation is a condition in which an organism’s
numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its environment



i.e., ratio of population to the number of sustainable resources



Because of human success in migration and habitation, the
Earth is considered the environment



Most species occupy a smaller niche


and have smaller ranges



Therefore, other species may be


overpopulated relative to their


environment at minimal numbers


Food Shortages


Energy Demands


Depletion of Natural


Resources


Adequate Shelter


Clean Water/Air


Sanitation Systems


Disease


Land Conversion /


Ecological Disturbance


Species Extinction


Interplay of multiple factors

HUMANS

Energy

Shelter

Water/
Air

Food

Ecology
/Species

Disease

Natural
Res.

Complexity of Issue for Policy Makers


Given the many factors involved in the energy debate alone…



How can policy makers make the right decision?



What role does the scientific community play in this issue?



What changes should be implemented to bridge the gap between scientists
and policy makers? Scientists and the public?

Schenkel

Article:

1.
Science is at the heart of invention/innovation.

2.
Science should not claim to have “the” answer.

3.
Scientific outcomes are often better when groups with vested interests (i.e., industry, etc.)
participate.

4.
Scientists must communicate in way the public understands, as their support/opinions are
critical.

5.
Robust scientific advice has to be inclusive and multidimensional.



Discussion of Brown et al., 2011


Examined relationship
between per capita
energy consumption
and per capita GDP for
220 nations over 24
year period



Regression explains 76%
of variation and
conforms to a power
law



Discussion of Brown et al., 2011


Further exploration of variables reflecting socioeconomic
status and/or standard of living are highly correlated with
energy consumption and GDP


Suggests that improving quality of life requires substantial
increases in energy and natural resource consumption



If these are causal relationships, then additional economic
growth will require some combination of…


Increased energy supply


Decreased per capita energy use


Decreased human population



Further discussions of this paper on Thursday!

Human benefits to
Biofuel

Production


Meet energy demands



Lessen dependence on foreign energy sources
(i.e., improve national security)



Reduce CO
2

emissions / improve human health



However, must do this without. . .


competing with food resources


converting arable land


causing the extirpation of human populations and
non
-
human species

First Generation
Biofuels


Biologically produced alcohols, most commonly
ethanol (also
propanol

&
butanol
), produced
through the fermentation of sugars and starches.



Also, biodiesel from vegetable oils (i.e., Palm oil)



Corn



Sugar Cane



Wheat



Sugar Beet

**But, technically, can be achieved with any sugar/starch alcoholic beverages

are made from, including potato and fruits.

Problems with 1st Generation
Biofuels


First generation
biofuels

are in direct competition with
food and feed resources


Could drive price increases in the global food market


Could increase cost of maintaining livestock, affecting price
of meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products


Could divert small
-
scale farming away from feeding people
at local levels in favor of more profitable crops for fuel



Rely on the availability of arable land and freshwater
resources, both of which are scarce


For example, conversion of the entire U.S. corn market to
ethanol production would only meet 16% of U.S. auto fuel
needs


Lester Brown, testimony before U.S. Senate Committee on
Environment & Public Works, 6/13/2007

Food Price Crisis of 2007
-
2008


Dramatic increase in food prices, causing
political/economical crises and social uprisings in both
poor and developed nations


Increases of 217% for rice, 136% for wheat, 125% for corn,
and 107% for soybeans



Factors thought to contribute to food price increases,
included. . .


Drought


higher oil prices escalating prices of fertilizers, food
transportation and industrialized farming


Declining world food stockpiles


Use of food/feed crops to manufacture
biofuels


Although, the extent of this continues to be debated…

Food Price Crisis of 2007
-
2008


Tens of thousands rioted world
-
wide over
increased food prices


Haiti

Bangladesh

Mexico

Food Price Crisis of 2007
-
2008


Malnutrition and starvation will
continue to be a problem as the
population grows



African nation of Nigeria




90% of food comes from inefficient ,
small farms


Lack fertilizers, irrigation, &
technology


Most don’t grow enough to feed their
own families


Roughly 65% of population (91 million
people) are considered “food
insecure” by UNICEF



(from Washington Post, 2008)



At best, putting fuel in competition
with food is socially irresponsible. . .at
worst, it is unethical and immoral

Many governments have fallen
following food riots, including…


Tsarist Russia


extreme drought / famine


Confederate States of America
-

“Southern Bread Riots”


British rule of India
-

“Bread / salt riots”


Pre
-
revolutionary France



Therefore, food scarcity could be just as dangerous to
national security as dependence on foreign oil sources!



For further reading:


Bush, Ray (2010). "Food Riots: Poverty, Power and Protest".

Journal of Agrarian
Change

10

(1): 119

129.

Land Conversion: Brazilian Sugar Cane


Brazil is world’s 2
nd



largest producer of


Ethanol and its largest


exporter



Its sugar cane ethanol


production has served as a


world model in sustainable


biofuel

production


Uses modern equipment and cheap sugar cane as feedstock


Uses residual cane waste for heat / power


Provides ~8.3 units of energy from ethanol per 1 unit fossil fuel
energy


Sounds like a great solution. So, what is the problem?

Land Conversion: Brazilian Sugar Cane


Requires freshwater resources & fertilizers



Experts feel that the Brazilian model only works
owing to the large amount of arable land in Brazil


Sugar cane currently only uses 2% of arable land


Model would not work for other countries in the
tropical zones of Latin America, Africa, and Caribbean



Concern over conversion of forested land into
sugar cane, causing species extinction, change in
soil and water flows, and increased CO
2

emissions


A concern for any forested area rich in biodiversity!

Land Conversion & Species Loss:

Palm Oil Plantations in Indonesia


Palm oil plantations are being constructed for the
production of cooking oils and biodiesel


Indonesia is hoping to be leader of the market


UN
-
FAO showed a 400% production increase in
palm oil between 1994
-
2004

Land Conversion & Species Loss:

Palm Oil Plantations in Indonesia


Believed to have caused substantial
and irreversible damage to
environment


Deforestation


Habitat/species loss, especially
Orangutan and Sumatran Tiger


Significant increases in
greenhouse gas emissions



Social:


Palm oil producers have been
accused of several human rights
violations, including theft of land
and murder

Land Conversion & Species Loss:

Palm Oil Plantations in Indonesia


Orangutans particularly
hard hit


Solitary


Live in trees and have
extensive territories


Feed on fruits during
masting

events


Mountains and rivers are
effective barriers to dispersal


Very long juvenile period and
interbirth

intervals

Land Conversion & Species Loss:

Palm Oil Plantations in Indonesia


Genetic Differentiation of
Orangutan


Highly subdivided


Between region comparisons
show anywhere from 3
-
30%
differences in genetic make
-
up for
mtDNA

control regions


Sumatran population is the
most different, and is
declining the fastest


Fst

values of 0.90 when
compared with different
Borneo orangutans



Comparison with human
population genetic diversity


Figure 1: Median
-
joining network of
Bornean

orang
-
utan

samples reported in
Jalil

et al. (2008) with reference to the
geographic regions from which
samples were
collected.


Impact on tribal life/cultural practices


Loss or conversion of the landscape can also affect
human populations, particularly hunter
-
gatherer and
horticultural groups


Loss of hunting / foraging ground


Dietary limitations


Loss of access to spiritual / ceremonial sites



Loss of animal and plant species can impact cultural
traditions of reverence and prayer, healing, and feasts

2
nd

Generation
Biofuels


Made from
lignocellulosic

crops



Also called cellulosic ethanol



More sustainable because it uses non
-
food portions of crops
(leaves, stems, husks, etc.) that are left once food has been
extracted


Also uses non
-
food plants such as
switchgrass
,
jatropha
, and
miscanthus

Switchgrass

Jatropha

Miscanthus

Problems with 2
nd

generation fuels


Although 2
nd

generation
biofuels

do not present
the same competition with food / feed resources
as 1
st

generation
biofuels
, they still require. . .


Arable land


Could still lead to conversion of landscape


Changes to hydrology and soil


Freshwater resources


Fertilizers in some cases (high energy input)


Energy input to free the sugars from lignin / cellulose


However, the lignin by
-
product can also be burned as
a carbon neutral fuel to power processing plants

2
nd

Generation
Biofuels


2
nd

generation
biofuels

may be a better option
that 1
st

generation, but possibly still not the
best option

3rd Generation
Biofuels
:
Micro/
Macroalgae


Produce more biomass per unit
area than terrestrial crops


Uses land anywhere from 3.3
-
5 times
more efficiently than certain land
based crops



Fast
-
growing / Use marginal land



Can utilize saltwater



Better for
eutrophication

than
terrestrial crops



Does not compete with food crops



Potentially co
-
opt algae cultivation
with atmospheric CO
2

removal and
removal of water pollutants


Cultivation / monoculture
contamination



Still water dominant process



Requires more energy input than
terrestrial
biofuel

crops



Has higher greenhouse gas
emissions than terrestrial crops



Use of genetically modified
organisms


Algae Cultivation

And Waste Water

Treatment Plants

Genetically Modified Organisms
(GMOs)


Not exclusive to algal
biofuels
…also an issue for
terrestrial crop
biofuels

and food crops



An organism whose genetic material has been
altered using genetic engineering techniques



May involve the insertion or deletion of a gene


A classic example is the production of human insulin
by
E. coli
bacteria


Also, crop plants resistant to commercial herbicides
and pests


USDA reports that 85
-
90% of all U.S. based corn, soybean,
and cotton planted area are GMOs

Concerns Regarding GMOs


Fear that we fail to comprehend the complexity of altering
the genomes of organisms



That GM foods are unnatural or unsafe


Could introduce new toxins or allergens


Safer than plant breeding attempts of past?



A gap between GMO food production and protective laws
such as adequate labeling and testing



A refusal of GMO foods by underdeveloped and
malnourished nations



GMO escape. . .cross pollination with or out
-
competing
native species




Take
-
home messages. . .


Overpopulation strains our natural resources and
creates problems associated with energy and food



How we attempt to mitigate energy deficits can impact
many aspects of human existence, our ecosystems, and
other species



These decisions are going to require the input of many
different levels of expertise, including the public,
scientists, industry, and policy makers



There is no “right” solution…but, some are better than
others


Questions & Comments


What’s up next?



Thursday: Discussion on Human Impacts



Tuesday: Intro to Genetics / Genetics Assignment


Bring laptops if you have them


Download Mega 5 (
www.megasoftware.net
)



Week from this Thursday:


Genetic engineering


Continued work on genetics assignment (laptops)



Reminder: you should be forming project groups