September 17th, 2010
(The following is adapted from Lester R. Brown’s Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009), which is available at the Earth Policy Institute website. Brown is the president of the Earth Policy Institute.)
As oil and natural gas reserves are being depleted, the world’s attention is increasingly turning to plant-based energy sources. These include food crops, forest industry byproducts, sugar industry byproducts, plantations of fast-growing trees, crop residues, and urban tree and yard wastes—all of which can be used for electrical generation, heating, or the production of automotive fuels.