EASST/4S 2020 Panel: Sustainable Biofuels?


6:00 to 7:40pm CEST - time conversions

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Sustainable Biofuels?: Redesigning Nature, Nation, and Growth

Biofuels, perceived as a “renewable energy resource” that can propel our societies towards sustainable futures, is a contested issue. Mainstream critiques of biofuels question the sustainability of biofuel production systems by taking its impacts on the environment and economy into...Read more


Redesigning Growth: Sugarcane Biotechnology and Post-Petroleum Futures in São Paulo, Brazil

In São Paulo, Brazil, sugarcane-based energy and materials, such as biofuels and bio-plastics, have become an appealing strategy in sustainability efforts. Sugarcane scientists who research such biotechnologies thus work to transform a plant with a centuries-long history of...Read more

Cultivating Energy, Fuelling Empire: The making of biofuels in a colonized present

As part of a broader trend towards producing novel energy sources in an increasingly carbon-constrained world, small island developing states such as the Republic of Mauritius are turning to the development of biofuels —e nergy derived from biological plant...Read more

From invasive species to biofuel of the future: Marabú’s transformation into Cuba’s new hope

This paper examines how Cuba is (re)negotiating its relationship to the environment—and its past—through the commodification of an invasive and thorny plant called Marabú. Rising out of the ruined soils of the past and into the present, Marabú stands as a ghostly reminder of what is left...Read more

Fuelling bodies: phosphorus, agriculture, and energetic relations

Industrial agriculture requires intensive applications of phosphate fertilizers to maintain soil phosphorus levels. To produce the fertilizers, phosphate rock is mined, processed, shipped, and applied to farmland, where crop plants take up and convert it into organic forms that humans can...Read more

Fueling the Failure: Biofuels, Forests, and the Environmental State

The acceleration of the global climate emergency is pressuring states to mitigate or resolve the crisis. In 2007, the United States introduced a piece of legislation called the Renewable Fuel Standard 2 (RFS2) seeking to incentivize the commercialization of cellulosic biofuels...Read more