MIT Study Says Cellulosic Ethanol Could Have “Unintended” Environmental Consequences. The aggressive, worldwide production of cellulosic ethanol could both “contribute substantially to future global-scale energy needs” and have “significant unintended environmental consequences” says a study from MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Producing cellulosic ethanol from non-food feedstocks has been studied extensively at a local scale, but it’s difficult to estimate the environmental impacts on larger, heterogeneous regions. In this study, researchers evaluated two potential consequences of diverting usable land to biofuel production: either existing agricultural operations are intensified, or large areas of natural forest are cleared to increase cropland.
More at Gas 2.0