Of course it would be easier to simply continue doing things the way we have been and just find another way to fuel our wasteful ways, but that’s not going to work. Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels made from virgin agricultural crops (as opposed to recycled vegetable oil) could devastate our food system and environment. Biofuels, which are made from corn, palm oil, sugar cane and other agricultural products, are monocrops (see point eight) so they have the same potential to cause deforestation and other environmental problems. They also displace people and cause the price of basic commodities to rise, which is devastating to poor people who spend a large proportion of their income on food.
What can you do about it?
This is another bigger-than-all-of-us problem, but you can do your small part by reducing energy use, driving less, and speaking up for sane urban and suburban planning and smart energy policies.
This is the latest installment in Vanessa Barrington’s weekly column, The Green Plate, on the environmental, social, and political issues related to what and how we eat.