Will Biofuels Cause Deforestation in the Amazon?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The answer is no. Deforestation of the Amazon actually slowed during 2000-2010, a decade of tremendous growth in biofuels production, and what deforestation occurred was driven primarily by human settlement, not ethanol production.

Furthermore, the sugarcane that provides 45% of Brazil’s biofuel program requires a long dry season, and thus cannot be grown in the Amazon. Sugarcane is grown in the southern regions of Brazil, while the Amazon is located in the north. So far, the program has only used 1% of the country’s arable land; however, another 100 million hectares of uncultivated arable land could prove useful to achieve 100% biofuel dependency. As such, Brazil’s ethanol program in no way threatens the Amazon forest.

The primary cause of environmental destruction in the developing world is poverty, which forces people to make short-term decisions that result in unnecessary damage to natural resources and wildlife. By providing many tropical third world countries with a stable and substantial source of income, biofuels can provide the economic base needed to avoid environmental destruction.

- Quoted from Myths and Facts from SetAmericaFree.org.

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