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There is by now no question among informed people that the Earth is undergoing severe climate change – soon to become catastrophic, if humans don't take drastic measures to stop it. Heroically into the fray steps the biofuel industry, announcing to millions of anxious consumers that this eco-crisis can be averted if only they turn away from fossil fuels, to the saving power of synthetic bioproducts. But, although eliminating fossil fuels is essential, the manufacture of biofuels has far more to do with sating profit-hungry corporations than with saving the Earth.
Combining meticulous scientific narrative with devastating economic analysis, The Biofuels Deception argues that the seemingly innovative, hopeful campaign for "green energy" is actually driven by bio-technology industries and global grain-trading corporations. These corporate players are motivated by a late-capitalist need to cope with a crisis of accumulation; they have no real interest in mitigating climate change, alleviating poverty, or even creating "clean" energy. In fact, the manufacture of biochemical, bioplastics, and biomaterials, writes Okbazghi Yohannes, portends horrific contradictions and disastrous consequences for nature and society. Actually confronting climate change and the rampant inequality it engenders, Yohannes says, requires two steps. The first is to understand the driving socioeconomic forces behind the biofuels industry. The second is to unravel the tapestry of deceit itself. The Biofuels Deception is a necessity for any scholar or environmental activist interested in seeing beyond corporate chimeras to actual environmental solutions.
Okbazghi Yohannes is Political Science Professor Emeritus at University of Louisville in Louisville, KY and author of Eritrea: A Pawn in World Politics.