Prof Bruce Dale, leading expert on biofuels and editor of Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining (Biofpr), will be giving a presentation on biofuels in a press briefing at the Science Media Centre on 5 November 2008.
He is expected to argue that there are many myths and misconceptions about biofuels which have led to the public becoming increasingly confused about their benefits and the role biofuels may play in developing prosperity and stability within our economies.
Biofuels have become one of the most hotly debated issues of our time, with opponents arguing that the rise in the production of biofuels has diverted land away from growing crops for food, leading to recent rises in food prices.
Among other myths, Bruce will argue that blaming biofuels is a red herring and that the real crime is low crop yields in the developing world due to protectionist agricultural policies in the developed world. His views follow recent calls by the Food and Agricultural Organisation that biofuel policies and subsidies should be urgently reviewed in order to preserve the goal of world food security, protect poor farmers, promote broad-based rural development and ensure environmental sustainability.
Bruce says: ‘Somehow, several key messages have gotten lost in the ensuing battle between those for and against biofuels. We need to remind ourselves and the public why biofuels are important: to reduce petroleum dependence, achieve environmental improvements and generate greater prosperity, particularly among the rural poor. Then we can refocus our efforts on achieving those goals.’
Bruce Dale is the award-winning Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University, as well as being the editor of Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining (Biofpr), published jointly by the SCI and Wiley.
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