Biofuels are better than nothing

Today in Time, Bryan Walsh's story ("Biofuels: The New Alchemy") makes some good points and some misleading ones. The main good point is captured in John DeCicco's quote:

"The bottom line is that it is simply premature to rule out any option," says John DeCicco, senior fellow for automotive strategies at the U.S.'s Environmental Defense Fund. "The problem is too big."

The main misleading one is that this is set up as a contrast to my quote on the greenhouse gas emissions from traditional ethanol and biodiesel. This suggests that because of my concerns about these emissions, I'm opposed to biofuels. Probably anyone who's reading this knows that's not the case. But just in case, I'd point readers to this recent post and how I think we should jump start advanced biofuels by investing in 1 billion gallons by 2014 of the cleanest and greenest advanced biofuels. Or this older post about why working on biofuels is so important.

The other point I would at least like to add some context to is my final quote: "Biofuels might be the worst thing we can do — except for nothing." This comes after a very good point about the speed of development and the need for performance based policies. My broader point was given complicated biofuels are we need policies that value performance because the market left to itself will give us the cheapest biofuels not the best. Before the quote I referenced that famous quote about democracy being the worst of all systems -- except for all the rest.

So ultimately my point was the same a John's. Global warming is too big a challenge for us not to work on biofuels.