Al Gore Saved Biofuels

The NY Sun writes:

Mr. Senauer said climate change advocates, such as Vice President Gore, need to distance themselves from ethanol to avoid tarnishing the effort against global warming. “Crop-based biofuels are not part of the solution. They, in fact, add to the problem. Whether Al Gore has caught up with that, somebody ought to ask him,” the professor said. “There are lots of solutions, real solutions to climate change. We need to get to those.”

But Al Gore brags about being biofuel’s number one supporter, nay, their "savior:"

Vice-President Al Gore
Third Annual Farm Journal Conference, December 1, 1998
http://clinton3.nara.gov/WH/EOP/OVP/speeches/farmj.html

"I was also proud to stand up for the ethanol tax exemption when it was under attack in the Congress — at one point, supplying a tie-breaking vote in the Senate to save it. The more we can make this home-grown fuel a successful, widely-used product, the better-off our farmers and our environment will be."

  • Scientist

    Did you not even notice that you quote something a decade old? Did you not even wonder for a second about whether Al Gore might have changed his opinion about a topic, in line with scientific evidence? Given that no amount of scientific evidence will ever shake you from your depressingly stupid and wrong views, I guess you assume that everyone else is the same. Luckily, not everyone is. Now read this.

  • morganovich

    so he is instrumental in getting the ball rolling, then, when it makes a mess and has been legislated in such a way as to be difficult to stop and he has profited in his hedge fund, he urges “caution”.

    yup. that sounds like al gore alright scientist.

    overstate a problem, legislate a solution, profit personally, then caution about doing it correctly when it doesn’t work thereby avoiding blame for what he helped set in motion.

    and ethanol is an excellent object lesson in what happens when poorly thought out government mandates get pushed through. now that it’s law, it’s going to be very difficult to undo this policy.

    seems a strong argument for making sure we don’t make the same mistake labeling carbon dioxide a pollutant etc…

  • Has Gore retracted his support for ethanol? Rather than just spout rhetoric, Scientist, maybe you could substantiate your claims. In 2004, Gore stated his positive opinion about ethanol in a Grist interview. In a June 2007 interview with Popular Mechanics, he skated around dismissing corn based ethanol, maintained that cellulosic ethanol was better. He only identifies cellulosic ETOH as better because it is less energy intensive, not because corn is food and shouldn’t be used for fuel. He clearly states that corn-based ETOH is ok if a very low quantity of petroleum is used in the process.

  • bv

    Scientist, how has the “scientific evidence” changed with respect to ethanol? Forgive me if I misunderstand your comment, but that seems like an obscure use of the word science. Chemistry has not changed one bit … at least I don’t think so.

  • Scientist

    Yes, new science has been done. Here are a couple of studies carried out in just the last year. It is dishonest to quote a statement from ten years ago which is no longer representative, as if it is contemporary.

    Crutzen et al. 2007: N2O release from agro-biofuel production negates global warming reduction by replacing fossil fuels
    Fargione et al 2008: Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt

  • bv

    Those are order 1 problems. The order 0 problem is that BTU’s in vs. BTU’s out for ethanol (as currently manufactured in the USA) makes ethanol production a complete and utter waste of our resources.
    This is not new information.