Life-cycle efficacy of biofuels?

Tigerhawk on the Science report on the life-cycle efficacy of biofuels:

There are a lot of things that we might do that do not require politicians to choose particular technologies, which they are spectacularly ill-equipped to do. Unfortunately, politicians love to choose technologies, because for every technology there is a constituency in search of love.

MORE: For those of you too lazy to click through several layers of links, here is the New Scientist post that raises the argument that burning oil and planting forests on the land otherwise to be used for biofuels dumps less carbon than producing biofuel. Of course, money spent on biofuel substitutes for money sent to the House of Saud, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Hugo Chavez. This debate, it seems to me, is an example of how the goals of energy security and greenhouse gas reduction are not always compatible.

And here’s the Guardian on the Science report

…Dr Righelato’s study, with Dominick Spracklen from the University of Leeds, is the first to calculate the impact of biofuel carbon emissions across the whole cycle of planting, extraction and conversion into fuel. They report in the journal Science that between two and nine times more carbon emissions are avoided by trapping carbon in trees and forest soil than by replacing fossil fuels with biofuels.

I’ll report back on this after review of the original. Right now we are in the middle of the Strait of Georgia, reviewing some articles grabbed at 0530 this AM before departure. Hopefully we’ll find some wi-fi access this evening on Quadra Island.