whack a Patzek
His stance on ethanol sets Cal professor apart - (via theWatt)
Patzek and David Pimentel, a Cornell scientist who had been a lone public voice against corn ethanol for more than 30 years, argued that corn ethanol did the environment more harm than good. Growing corn, fertilizing the fields, transporting it to the factories and then out to where it was needed took more energy than the resulting ethanol would ultimately generate, they said.
Detractors, including corn growers, federal government researchers and other academics, took offense at Patzek's stance. They saw ethanol as an environment-friendly way of reducing the nation's dependence on foreign fossil fuels.
Opponents pointed to Patzek's oil industry days, saying he had ulterior motives. They said he and Pimentel knew nothing about agriculture and had relied on irrelevant data. They even criticized the premise of Patzek's arguments, which were based on the first and second laws of thermodynamics.
"Environment friendly", my tookus.
Clearly, when it comes to bio-fuels, supporters have coconuts on the brain. Most of the bio-fuel schemes have really great postive energy profiles, so long as the crop is harvested organically by human slaves.
What I really want to see, to actually take bio-fuels seriously, is a fully working cellulose ethanol plant which can turn Kudzu into liquid fuel, thus killing two birds with one stone.
But there is a silver lining to all this criticism - Professor Tad Patzek is now planning:
...A center at UC Berkeley to take a careful look at all energy sources, including fossil fuels, biofuels like ethanol, solar and nuclear. He wants scientists to devise a common framework for evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of each. Such a forum is necessary to inform U.S. policy, he said.
Sounds like a winner.