Policy ForumENERGY

Beneficial Biofuels—The Food, Energy, and Environment Trilemma

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Science  17 Jul 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5938, pp. 270-271
DOI: 10.1126/science.1177970

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Recent analyses of the energy and greenhouse-gas performance of alternative biofuels have ignited a controversy that may be best resolved by applying two simple principles. In a world seeking solutions to its energy, environmental, and food challenges, society cannot afford to miss out on the global greenhouse-gas emission reductions and the local environmental and societal benefits when biofuels are done right. However, society also cannot accept the undesirable impacts of biofuels done wrong.