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Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 335-345; doi:10.3390/su1030335

Biofuels and the Lessons of Easter Island

Saint Anselm’s Abbey School / 4501 South Dakota Avenue, NE Washington DC 20017, USA
Received: 27 April 2009 / Accepted: 14 July 2009 / Published: 20 July 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy and Sustainability)
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The return to land-based biofuels ignores the lessons of the past that led to the collapse of civilizations such as that of Easter Island. Even the more efficient ethanol feedstocks such as sugar cane and switchgrass can greatly worsen the environmental damage associated with agriculture because they would require enormous amounts of land to meet US demand for transportation fuel. Too often, style wins over substance because most citizens do not know the basics of well-to-wheel analysis. Therefore, the incorporation of energy literacy into the high school curricula should play a significant role in any comprehensive plan for addressing the energy crisis.
Keywords: biofuel; deforestation; electric vehicle; ethanol; flex-fuel; switchgrass; well-to-wheel biofuel; deforestation; electric vehicle; ethanol; flex-fuel; switchgrass; well-to-wheel
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Chaves, A.R. Biofuels and the Lessons of Easter Island. Sustainability 2009, 1, 335-345.

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