The obvious problems with his new obssession do not appear to have entered the mind of the wonk. Ignore the small possibility that food security worries could replace energy security worries. “Biodiesel is a complete scam because in the tropics the growing demand is causing forests to be burnt to make way for palm oil and similar crops” says Professor Roland Clift, the professor of environmental technology at Surrey University, who sits on the scientific advisory council of Defra, David Miliband’s environment department. He calculates “that the land will need to grow biodiesel crops for 70-300 years to compensate for the CO2 emitted in forest destruction.”
Clift also condemns Miliband’s plan to produce British biodiesel from rapeseed, because the crop generates copious amounts of nitrous oxide – an apparently even more powerful global warming gas than CO2. So to summarise Miliband’s plan, burn down developing world forests or plant noxious crops on formerly food-producing British land and bugger the food miles just so we hit his target of 3% of garage sales being renewable energy.