Biofuels and the Lessons of Easter Island

A Sustainable Transport Week focus article.

Creative Commons Image Credit Bjarte Sorensen.

[tweetmeme] Antonio R. Chaves  of the Saint Anselm’s Abbey School (USA) has recently published a paper titled „Biofuels and the Lessons of Easter Island,“ which presents a different point of view on the growing attention paid to biofuel crop cultivation from a historical / anthropological perspective.  The return to land-based biofuels ignores the lessons of the past that led to the collapse of civilizations such as that of Easter Island. Even the more efficient ethanol feedstocks such as sugar cane and switchgrass can greatly worsen the environmental damage associated with agriculture because they would require enormous amounts of land to meet US demand for transportation fuel. Too often, style wins over substance because most citizens do not know the basics of well-to-wheel analysis. Therefore, the incorporation of energy literacy into the high school curricula should play a significant role in any comprehensive plan for addressing the energy crisis.

Read this paper in PDF format by clicking here.

Citation: Chaves, Antonio R. 2009. “Biofuels and the Lessons of Easter Island.” Sustainability 1, no. 3: 335-345.


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