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Biofuels, the Larger Context

  • Patrick C. HallenbeckEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Few would argue with the need to replace the fossil fuels that are currently the driving force of the world’s economy with renewable fuels that are produced in a sustainable manner and that minimally increase greenhouse gas emissions. While the focus of this book is on some of the science behind advanced biofuels production using microbes, enormous changes are required for the world to quit its addiction to fossil fuels. Thus, it is worthwhile to raise and consider some of the larger issues around future biofuels production. These certainly call for a large public debate, and careful consideration by policy makers. In addition to the social issues, biofuels production raises a number of ethical questions and it can even be argued that there is an ethical imperative to produce biofuels (Buxy and Tait 2011). First, I lay out the case, perhaps already well-made elsewhere, for the need to develop new energy sources and then discuss some of the larger issues surrounding new energy development.

Keywords

Peak oil Climate change Food versus fuel Energy security Energy conservation Carter doctrine 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département de microbiologie et immunologieUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada

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