Case 3. Feedbacks & risks: The case of first- & second-generation biofuels in the U.S.

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Feb 17, 2016
Socio-Environmental Immersion Program

The case study exercise allows participants to apply the theories, methods, and lenses presented in the Socio-Environmental Immersion Program workshop lectures to a common case that they get to know over the course of the five workshops.

Click here for more information on the Immersion Program case study exercises.

The case

Zeller, Jr., T. 2008. “The biofuel debate: Good, bad or too soon to tell?” New York Times 3 November.

Phillips, L. 2015. “The unexpected demise of second-generation biofuels.” Road to Paris 9 July.

Cardwell, D. 2015. “E.P.A. proposes changes to fuel standards.” New York Times 29 May.

Ecology readings

Fletcher, R.J., Robertson, B.A., Evans, J., Doran, P.J., Alavalapati, J.R.R., and Schemske, D.W. 2011. “Biodiversity conservation in the era of biofuels: Risks and opportunities.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9: 161–168.

CAST. 2015. “Bioenergy production does not have to result in biological invasions: a life-cycle approach.” Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. Request a copy:

Economics readings

Lankoski, J. and Ollikainen, M. 2011. “Biofuel policies and the environment: Do climate benefits warrant increased production from biofuel feedstocks?” Ecological Economics 70: 676–687.

Gasparatos, A., Stromberg, P., and Takeuchi, K. 2011. “Biofuels, ecosystem services and human wellbeing: Putting biofuels in the ecosystem services narrative.” Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 142: 111–128.

Sociology readings

Carolan, M. 2009. “A sociological look at biofuels: Ethanol in the early decades of the Twentieth Century and lessons for today.” Rural Sociology 74(1): 86–112.

Gillon, S. 2010. “Fields of dreams: Negotiating an ethanol agenda in the Midwest United States.” Journal of Peasant Studies 37(4): 723–748.

Anthropology readings

Head, L. and Atchison, J. 2008. "Cultural ecology: Emerging human-plant geographies." Progress in Human Geography 33(2): 236-245.

Singer, M. 2009. "Beyond global warming: Interacting ecocrises and the critical anthropology of health." Anthropological Quarterly 82(3): 795-819.

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