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Using Climate Change to Justify Bad Policies

Source:  Copyright 2008, OneWorld UK
Date:  January 7, 2008
Byline:  Daniel Nelson
Original URL: Status ONLINE

The controversy over the possible health hazards arising from Britain’s switch from traditional light-bulbs to low-energy lighting is a small example of the way that the need to tackle climate change is being seized on by snake-oil salesmen around the world to push their products.

Take biofuels. Oil is a major contributor to global warming, they say - so let’s run cars, trucks and buses on fuel derived from crops.

Lured by the possibility of profits and quick-fixes to a complicated problem, the world moves into action. The European Union sets targets for biofuel production, Brazil sees a way of cashing in on its years of research into sugar cane-based fuel, North American farmers look to an exciting new global market, various African leaders envisage an agricultural revolution.

Only afterwards do the voices of caution sound. Nobel Prize-winning scientist Paul Crutzen warns that switching from fossil fuels to biofuels ...

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