by Michael dEstries
Categories: Transport
Tags: .

branson.jpgWhile the rest of the world was intrigued by Sir Richard Branson’s announcement of the first biofuel flight for a 747 jet, the organization Friends of the Earth was miffed by the idea. Apparently, they feel such advances as biofuel flights are a distraction from the main issues of climate-change. They have a right to be suspicious — after all, of the four engines used to power the 747, only one has a biofuel mixture — a 20% blend of coconut and babassu palm oil. But are they being too critical? Branson’s argument is that while it may be a small step, it nonetheless is something positive for the aviation industry. FOE isn’t buying it. From the article,

“Meanwhile, back in the staff room, Kenneth Richter, Friends of the Earth aviation campaigner, said: “Biofuels are a major distraction in the fight against climate change. There is mounting evidence that the carbon savings from biofuels are negligible. If Virgin was really serious about reducing the aviation industry’s impact on the environment it would support calls for aircraft emissions to be included in the climate change bill.”

I don’t know. Brason’s not trying to distract anyone from the big picture. If we can find alternatives to oil — in a sustainable fashion — that have any type of impact on carbon emissions, I’d call that a positive. Certainly, there should be emissions taxes on airplane flights, but to knock the actions of one person trying to make a difference is silly. Global Cool presented this great quote from Branson,

“Biofuel is not the answer. Wind power is not the answer. Wave power is not the answer. Natural gas is not the answer. Nuclear is not the answer. It will have to be a mix of the best solutions from all these areas that will win the battle to keep CO2 levels below those at which Gaia will strike back at some stage, and kill the problem – in this case us.”

And where was this quote pulled from? The Friends of the Earth website. Nice.

via global cool

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Nick

    I think you’re missing the point here. Richard Branson may be looking at using biofuels, but he’s also pushing for the expansion of Heathrow and space tourism. Both eco-disasters! And at the moment most biofuels are really dodgy anyway…companies are clearing rainforests to grow them and there are big question marks about whether they even reduce carbon emissions.

  • David

    I am an advocate of anything that can make sure my children and their children along with all future generations have a world to live in. I think what is always being missed is the “big picture.” We can protest expansion of airports, gas prices, global warming and war. The problem is business is leading the way. We can fight it and not understand it or work with the leaders of business to find answers. Here is a man, Richard Branson, who is no doubt an excellent business man yet has used his knowledge, and yes money, to build and develop programs that will help the world not hurt it. The sad part is that people like leaders of Friends of the Earth seem to be doing more harm then good. It’s easy to talk about what you are going to do but actually doing it is what makes the difference.