Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bioenergy: Musings of Tim Searchinger

Tim Searchinger hails from Princeton University. He gave a talk last night entitled "Bioenergy and Its Implications for Feeding the World Without Cooking the Planet" for IFF and a few YSSPers braved the deluge of rain to hear him. I knew very little going into the talk but he managed to both explain the field and the gaps of knowledge brilliantly. He has definitely been one of the best speakers I've heard this year.

Biofuels is a rather controversial topic if you read about emissions guidelines and the errors in the accounting of greenhouse gas emissions. He highlighted a few areas that the world needs to look at/study. More efficient cropland (increase yields or even look at what crop yields are...the data is terrible or unavailable), catalogue of "other" land and development of new fertilizer production with slow release nitrogen.

Final words: Don't forget the "D" in R&D

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