The Ecological Society of America (ESA) released on 10 January a biofuels position statement “that offers the ecological principles necessary for biofuels to help decrease dependence on fossil fuels and reduce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global climate change.” ESA cautioned that should existing methods of biofuel production continue, American natural resources would become severely degraded. They posited three ecological principles necessary for ecological sustainability in biofuel production: 1) having a systems approach; 2) conservation of ecosystem services; and, 3) ensuring the consideration of local, state, and global concerns (scale alignment).

The statement goes on to say, “A biofuels infrastructure that incorporates systems thinking, conserves ecosystem services, and encompasses multiple scales can best serve U.S. citizens, the economy, and the environment.” The ESA will hold a conference (www.esa.org/biofuels) devoted to the ecological dimensions of biofuels on 10 March 2008 in Washington, DC,

The entire position statement can be read at http://www.esa.org/pao/policyStatements/#energy.

The December 2007 Washington Watch column in BioScience also reports on recent federal efforts to stimulate biofuels research. This article, “Feds Seek to Ignite Bioenergy Research,” may be read for free at http://www.aibs.org/washington-watch/washingtonwatch2007_12.html.

 


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