Biofuels should serve as an instructive lesson for negotiators in Paris, because they are proof that not all energy sources work as well as anticipated. But journalists are unlikely to remind them or the public.
The early 2000s were the heyday of good press for biofuels. Major newspapers like The New York Times ran stories about Willie Nelson’s biodiesel startup and individuals converting their vehicles into “veggie” cars to run on french fry grease and other forms of biodiesels. The Washington Post even editorialized about people “dreaming big” plans like replacing hydrocarbon fuels (gasoline) with biodiesels.