Worldwide backlash hits biofuels – USA Today:
- Scientist Jane Goodall says the rush to grow biofuels is threatening primate habitat in Uganda and Indonesia.
- Brazil is trying to crack down on near-slave labor conditions that have helped keep down the cost of ethanol production.
- Paramilitary groups are forcing peasants from their land in Colombia to make room for palm oil plantations, raising the specter of “blood biofuels.”
Reimagining the Automobile Industry by Selling the Electricity – New York Times profiles a global venture capitalist. “He plans to extend the existing electric-power grids with a wide network of intelligent recharging stations in urban areas and supplementing it with a smaller number of automated battery-replacement stations.”
GM Launches New Advanced Science and Research Center in Shanghai – Green Car Congress. China is teaming up with universities and businesses to launch research centers in China designed to explore alternative fuels and the energy efficiency of new vehicles. A quick analysis excerpted from the Wall Street Journal (subs. req’d) summarizes:
The Commitment: GM is investing in fuel-efficient technology research in China, the world’s fastest-growing auto market. The Intent: Chinese adoption would mark an endorsement because of the market’s size and the government’s involvement. The Barrier: Fuel-saving technologies could find a limited market because they may appeal only to China’s most affluent drivers.