I must not be the only one to see the irony in the latest publicity around biodiesel, in that we will be using a by product from one of the leading causes of climate change in New Zealand (Meat production) to power cars which are one of the other main causes of climate change. And somehow this is supposed to save our environment How???? Not only is this so called solution to climate change completely stupid and inadequate it will it seems require government funding. So this solution will help a climate change causing cruel and barbaric industry allow motorists to continue driving for a tiny bit longer and will be state subsidised. Sounds like a fairly typical capitalist solution to things.
The governments announcement that 3.5% of our fuel supply will need to be made up of biodiesel or bioethanol by 2012 is a completely inadequate step when weighed alongside recent reports on climate change and the reality of peak oil. Already some European countries are using mixes of 5% in their fuel supply and some public transport fleets are using 100% biofuels. The downsides of bio fuels however are significant, often food crops are used to make oil out of (eg soy beans and rape seed) and around the world biofuels are one of the leading causes of deforestation (particularly for palm oil and soy beans). To produce substantial amounts of these crops further over fertilisation, irrigation, and degradation of land through industrial farming would need to occur while at the same time continuing our addiction to the automobile.
Overall biofuels are overrated and will never replace more than a tiny amount of the worlds fossil fuels, for New Zealand to invest in them without significant public discussion and debate is not a good idea. At best these fossil fuels are carbon neutral uses for waste products, at worst they further the frightening destruction of the land around us and fund the very worst of the worlds companies (fonterra, monsanto, big oil, etc).
The only high speed transport we need :) seen at work.