Critics say a new White House-sponsored program aimed at encouraging the development of “green” solutions to energy and manufacturing problems is a green light for corporate giants like Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, Monsanto and Dow to develop the “bioscience” industry without government oversight.
Eric Hoffman, a spokesperson for the international NGO Friends of the Earth, said the new program—the National Bioeconomy Blueprint—prioritizes economic concerns over protections for human rights and the environment. Only one of the five objectives put forth in the framework specifically mentions the environment.
That statement reads like an afterthought, treating human and environmental needs as secondary to business concerns by calling on government to “develop and reform regulations to reduce barriers, increase the speed and predictability of regulatory processes, and reduce costs while protecting human and environmental health.”
Below, critics of the program underscore the dangers inherent in ecosystem-based industries and the opportunities they provide to politicians looking to boost their careers by appearing friendly to the environment. —ARK
Inter Press Service:
The report [published Thursday by the international humanitarian group Global Forest Coalition], “Bio-economy Versus Biodiversity”, notes the spiking demand for land across the world for both food production and human habitat. This has not only led to increased land-based conflict, the report suggests, but has also increased global hunger.
“Without reducing consumption and demand for energy and products, the sheer scale on which biomass would have to produced [sic] to meet the demands of a global bio-economy would severely exacerbate these problems,” the report states.
Those technologies currently being lauded in the attempt to move beyond fossil fuels – such as the use of algae in creating electricity – are risky or as yet untested on a wide scale, warns the report. As such, the technologies that would undoubtedly be used in the immediate future – and almost certainly beyond – would be relatively dirty and wasteful, such as burning biomass.
“The bio-economy approach offers politicians in industrialized countries an opportunity to be seen to be doing something about meeting ill-defined ‘renewable energy targets’, while maximizing opportunities for economic growth and securing a constant supply of energy,” the report warns. “There is precious little concern about the environment, or about impacts in other countries, apart from the usual platitudes about providing jobs.”