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  1. 1. Map of sugarcane crops in Brazil.<br />Environmental concerns make energy produced from biomass a key element towards sustainable development. The Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) has set the increase of biofuels’ share in the Brazilian energy matrix as one of the policy directives for the sector. <br /> <br />It is certainly much greener than its corn-based rival in America: it packs 8.2 times as much energy as is used in its production, compared with just 1.5 times for corn ethanol, according to the Woodrow Wilson Centre, a Washington think-tank<br />Biofuels in Brazil: Lean, green and not mean | The Economist. (n.d.). . Retrieved January 26, 2011, from http://www.economist.com/node/11632886<br />For developed<br />countries, biofuel is also seen as part of a strategy of<br />energy independence, i.e. decreased dependence on oil<br />from the Middle East, Russia or Venezuela (Carelli<br />2007). It is also a convenient justification for providing<br />subsidies to the farm sector, a powerful interest group<br />(Crooks & Harvey 2007). For developing countries,<br />especially Brazil, there are promises of generation of<br />employment and income, opportunities for foreign<br />investment, regional development in depressed areas,<br />new tax and foreign exchange revenues, sale of<br />technology and technical cooperation with Africa, as<br />has been widely reported recently in the press and<br />Brazil Biofuels Ethanol Annual Report 2008 - Bioenergy Articles from The Bioenergy Site. (n.d.). . Retrieved February 1, 2011, from http://www.thebioenergysite.com/articles/118/brazil-biofuels-ethanol-annual-report-2008<br />Recent assessments carried out in 2009 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)[149] and the California Air Resources Board (CARB)[150][151] included the impact of indirect land use changes (ILUC) as part of the lifecycle analysis of crop-based biofuels. Brazilian sugarcane ethanol meets both the ruled California Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and the proposed federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2), despite the additional carbon emissions associated with ILUC.[149][152][153][154] On February 3, 2010, EPA issued its final ruling regarding the RFS2 for 2010 and beyond,[99] and determined that Brazilian ethanol produced from sugarcane complies with the applicable 50% GHG reduction threshold for the advanced fuel category.[12] EPA’s modelling shows that sugarcane ethanol from Brazil reduces greenhouse gas emissions as compared to gasoline by 61%, using a 30-year payback for indirect land use change (ILUC) emissions.[13][155] By September 2010 five Brazilian sugarcane ethanol mills have been approved by the EPA to export their ethanol in the U.S. under the advanced biofuel category.[156][157]<br />Transition<br />Despite the auspicious signals that Brazil’s leadership in the biofuel industry is bringing regarding development, it is not without serious challenges. Concerns about the sustainability of biofuel technology are rising, and researchers have pointed to adverse side effects of ethanol-based fuels. With rapidly rising food prices, Brazil’s approach of using agricultural products for manufacturing biofuels is facing harsh critiques. Environmentalists have also argued that the expansion of the biofuel industry has increased the rate of deforestation, negating any environmental benefits that the ethanol-based biofuels may bring. Without finding viable solutions for these fundamental problems, it will be difficult for the biofuel industry to create long-term meaningful changes in the country’s energy and economic development. However, Brazil’s leadership at the very least seems to be pioneering alternative routes for its Latin American neighbors and even other developing regions. Even if its environmental benefits are contestable, Brazil’s biofuel industry is resulting in positive developmental shifts by providing a means of economic diversification and initiating a promising paradigm of South-South technology exchange.<br />As consumers across the world feel the pinch when filling up their tanks with expensive gasoline, in Brazil experts are worried that ethanol is becoming too cheap too quickly. Record low sugar and ethanol prices are the result of overproduction and have been fueling the debate on how this will affect future investments and growth in the country's biofuels industry.Sugar and ethanol prices have fallen around 35 percent since the beginning of the record 2007/08 cane crop and output is set to grow further with tens of new projects being implemented. For Brazil, there is only one way out: international exports. This requires the creation of a global ethanol market and an abandonment of current tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers. But governments in both the US and the EU prefer to protect their own farmers and refuse to give their consumers access to more sustainable and far cheaper fuels. Brazil now faces a catch-22: the local market is saturated, and an international market does not yet exist. Experts convened in Sertaozinho to debate the crisis.<br />Experts: Brazil victim of its own biofuels success, as ethanol price collapses. (n.d.). . Retrieved February 1, 2011, from http://news.mongabay.com/bioenergy/2007/09/experts-brazil-victim-of-its-own.html<br />ENVIRONMENT<br />The Brazilian biofuels strategy is associated with concerns over energy security and sustainability, factors that have encouraged various countries to seek alternatives to fossil fuels and adopt measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the case of Brazil, this strategy consists of a variety of actions, organized under three approaches, global, regional and bilateral.In its global approach, Brazil has advocated the adoption of international standards and technical requirements that would facilitate the establishment of a global market for such products. In order to create a coordinating mechanism among the largest producers and consumers of biofuels, the International Biofuels Forum was created in March 2007, in New York. Additionally, Brazil’s goal is to stimulate scientific studies and technological innovations that ensure both the long-term sustainability of biofuels production and ways of preventing the production of biofuels from interfering with food production.Regionally, Brazil has advocated the energy integration of South America by promoting diversification of the energy mix in the countries of the region and by providing incentives for renewable sources of energy. Also, a Mercosul Memorandum of Understanding was signed to expand cooperation in this area. By integrating the chains of production, distribution and sale of ethanol and biodiesel in the region, including applicable regulations and inspections, the aim is to promote a more effective use of the South American countries’ important competitive advantages in the biofuels field, acknowledging that the region presently has an opportunity to produce wealth and development in a sustainable manner.<br />Biofuels - Brazilian Embassy. (n.d.). . Retrieved February 1, 2011, from http://www.brasilemb.org/energy/biofuels<br />of the sugar cane producers association is keen to reject. <br />"We are using 3.5 million hectares to produce sugar cane ethanol, and there are 200 million hectares of pastures in Brazil, so it is extremely small," he says. <br />"We believe that we are going to double the ethanol area in the next 20 years, but it will still be only 2% of arable land." <br />In the next 10 years it offers a replacement of 10% of the gasoline (petrol) in the world, which is a large amount," he says. <br />"Today, about one trillion litres of gasoline are used in the world, and 10% of that could come from renewable fuel such as ethanol from Brazil and other tropical countries. <br />This, he claims would happen "without damaging food production, and without indirect effects such as damaging the Amazon forest and increasing deforestation". <br />To fully realise that potential Brazil and other developing countries will need greater access to world markets. <br />BBC NEWS | Business | Brazil defends biofuel's merits. (n.d.). . Retrieved February 1, 2011, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7528323.stm<br />In addition to labor concerns, there are serious environmental considerations surrounding the growth of the ethanol industry.  Supporters of the industry, including industry leaders, government and mainstream media, argue that an increase in ethanol exports will boost economic growth and sustainable rural growth for Brazil, while reducing global warming and dependence on fossil fuels.  Critics counter that the monoculture of sugarcane will result in massive environmental destruction.  According to FoodFirst, an NGO based in Oakland, CA, Brazil will need to clear an additional 148 million hectares of forest to accommodate the increased export demand.  Since sugarcane generates a high price per hectare, other agricultural products take second priority.  Accordingly, sugarcane dominates the regions with better climatic conditions occupying lands once used for growing grain to feed grazing livestock. <br />Resistance to the rapid shift in land use is already evident.  As the expanding ethanol industry threatens a loss of rural livelihood, the frequency and intensity of agrarian conflicts continues to rise.  Between 2000 and 2004, the highest number of agrarian conflicts for any one year was nine; in 2005, there were nearly 60 such conflicts.  Brazil has one of the largest rates of land and income inequality in the world as well as an incredibly organized agrarian reform movement.  This results in a constant socioeconomic tension between wealthy land owners and poor rural agrarians.  An aggravation of this tension by growth in the ethanol industry is likely to result in an increase in violent conflicts.  <br />Social groups, NGOs and other interested organizations do not necessarily advocate the abandonment of the ethanol industry.  Rather, these groups assert that the government must reconsider its priorities, incorporating concepts of food sovereignty into its development plan and prioritize the use of land for the production of food for Brazilians.  The concept of food sovereignty includes access to nutritious foods in adequate quantities, as well as the right of the people to define their own agrarian policies, producing food for consumption before producing it for the export market.  Critics argue that current trends in growth and market concentration are in direct opposition to notions of food sovereignty and agrarian reform.<br />Roberto Villar Belmonte, Brazil: In Search of Sustainable Ethanol, available at http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38675.<br />Brazil Ethanol Market, Energy Business Daily, July 13, 2007, available at http://energybusinessdaily.com/oil__gas/brazil-ethanol-market/.<br />Isabella Kenfield, Brazil's Ethanol Industry Breeds Rural Poverty, Environmental Degredation, available at http://americas.irc-online.org/am/4049/.<br />However, there are also various questions about costs<br />and risks, especially for the global South. To begin with,<br />the production and distribution of biofuels, when the<br />entire life cycle is considered, still require considerable<br />use of fossil fuels for fertilizer production, transportation<br />of inputs and labour, manufacture and operation of farm<br />machinery, processing of rawmaterial and transportation<br />tomarkets,among other energy needs (UN2007).Thus,<br />theymay offer fewif any net benefits in termsofemissions<br />of CO2, unless there are significant gains in productivity<br />in the fields and in efficiency of processing and<br />distribution. Inevitably, there are also emissions of CO2<br />from clearing of land not already farmed, as well as<br />emissions of N2O, a potent greenhouse gas, from<br />nitrogen in fertilizers (Hill et al. 2006).<br />(a) Biofuels, the Amazon and Cerrado<br />To the extent that the biofuel response to climate<br />change is limited to production and use of bio-diesel<br />from soya beans or ethanol from sugar cane or maize,<br />without due caution, it may have strong negative<br />impacts on the Amazon and other tropical biomes,<br />especially the Cerrado, interacting with climate change.<br />As seen in other pieces in this volume, climate change<br />may cause vast dieback of the Amazon forest or<br />reduction to scrub.1 On the other hand, little or no<br />attention has been given to even greater past and<br />current clearing in the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado,<br />global biodiversity hotspots that, according to various<br />climate models, would receive less water vapour from<br />the Amazon (Machado 2004; Marengo 2006). River<br />flow from the Cerrado to neighbouring biomes could<br />also be affected (Lima & Silva 2002).<br />(b) Ecosystemic effects<br />The direct and indirect negative impacts of biofuels can<br />be ecosystemic, causing impacts on biodiversity, water<br />and carbon, or social, including economic and political<br />dimensions, in various ecosystems. Scientific studies are<br />needed to verify the reports and allegations about<br />negative impacts that mushroomed in 2007,2 as summarized<br />below, and to quantify impacts of various crops<br />and production technologies in different locations.<br />Depending on the crop, location, previous land use<br />and technology, the direct ecosystemic effects of<br />expansion of soya and cane monoculture may include,<br />according to various sources cited by Rodrigues & Ortiz<br />(2006) and Honty & Gudynas (2007), among others,<br />damage to biodiversity, soils, water resources and the<br />atmosphere. Obviously, destruction of biodiversity<br />occurs when forest or savannah land or land undergoing<br />regeneration is cleared. Not so obviously,<br />biodiversity is also reduced when mixed farming<br />systems are replaced by monoculture landscapes.<br />Owing to the effects of wind and water, soil erosion<br />occurs when natural vegetation is removed, unless<br />minimum tillage or integrated crop–livestock systems<br />are used. Soil fertility is also reduced due to<br />contamination, compaction and loss of organic matter.<br />Cane production and processing consume huge<br />quantities of water, as much as 4:l per litre of ethanol<br />(Gabeira 2007). Clear fields accelerate run-off, reducing<br />infiltration of water into the soil and aquifers,<br />which may also affect water supplies in downstream<br />reservoirs during the dry season (Lima & Silva 2002).<br />Water is polluted with pesticides and nitrogen<br />and phosphorus from fertilizers (Hill et al. 2006).<br />Clearing woodland, including the eventual decomposition<br />of underground carbon in roots, generates<br />massive emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere. There<br />are also greenhouse gas emissions of N2O from<br />fertilizer use. Smoke and ashes from the widespread<br />practice of burning sugar cane fields before manual<br />cutting cause local atmospheric pollution. There is also<br />pollution due to pesticides sprayed from the air<br />(sources cited above).<br />Some greens say that the spread of sugar is deforesting the Amazon. That is not true. The vast majority of the sugar crop is grown thousands of miles away from the forest, in São Paulo state or the north-east. Some 65% of new planting of sugar cane has been on land that was previously pasture; the rest was previously used for other crops, according to Conab, a government agency.<br />Biofuels in Brazil: Lean, green and not mean | The Economist. (n.d.). . Retrieved January 26, 2011, from http://www.economist.com/node/11632886<br />“Higher prices triggered by biofuels will accelerate forest and grassland conversion [in Latin America] even if surplus croplands exist elsewhere.” Searchinger’s Science article was, of course, the salvo that touched off the fierce debate over indirect land use change (ILUC). The paper suggested that the global warming impact of ethanol is twice as bad as gasoline when these hypothetical ILUC emissions are considered. Despite the fact that Searchinger’s findings were roundly rejected and refuted by the scientific community, the paper was (and continues to be) an acerbic weapon used by biofuel opponents to perpetuate the myth that U.S. biofuels growth  is somehow leading to accelerated deforestation in the Amazon.<br />Searchinger’s hypothesis, already reeling, took another body blow today when Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has fallen to its lowest rate since the government began collecting data in 1988. The announcement by Lula is based on analysis of satellite imagery by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) that shows an estimated 2,490 square miles of forest were cleared in the most recent 12-month period.  That’s down 14% from last year and less than half of 2008 levels. INPE data clearly show that Amazon deforestation rates in Brazil have been plunging for the last seven years, and the 2010 rate is less than one-quarter of the rate experienced in 2004 when the deforestation rate reached more than 10,700 square miles.<br />All of this has occurred while U.S. biofuels production has increased dramatically. Annual U.S. ethanol production stood at 3.4 billion when deforestation peaked in 2004. In 2010, the ethanol industry will produce nearly 13 billion gallons. So, Amazon deforestation has fallen 76% since 2004, while U.S. ethanol production has increased 279% in the same period.<br />If a Tree Doesn’t Fall in the Forest, Will ENGOs and Regulators Notice? | RFA: Renewable Fuels Association. (n.d.). . Retrieved February 1, 2011, from http://www.ethanolrfa.org/exchange/entry/if-a-tree-doesnt-fall-in-the-forest-will-engos-and-regulators-notice/<br />As shown, Brazilian ethanol from sugarcane is the most efficient biofuel currently under commercial production in terms of GHG emission reduction.[73]<br />A tiny sliver of rain forest is surrounded by acres of soybean fields in Brazil<br />Biofuels do slightly reduce dependence on imported oil, and the ethanol boom has created rural jobs while enriching some farmers and agribusinesses. But the basic problem with most biofuels is amazingly simple, given that researchers have ignored it until now: using land to grow fuel leads to the destruction of forests, wetlands and grasslands that store enormous amounts of carbon.<br />Backed by billions in investment capital, this alarming phenomenon is replicating itself around the world. Indonesia has bulldozed and burned so much wilderness to grow palm oil trees for biodiesel that its ranking among the world's top carbon emitters has surged from 21st to third according to a report by Wetlands International. Malaysia is converting forests into palm oil farms so rapidly that it's running out of uncultivated land. But most of the damage created by biofuels will be less direct and less obvious. In Brazil, for instance, only a tiny portion of the Amazon is being torn down to grow the sugarcane that fuels most Brazilian cars. More deforestation results from a chain reaction so vast it's subtle: U.S. farmers are selling one-fifth of their corn to ethanol production, so U.S. soybean farmers are switching to corn, so Brazilian soybean farmers are expanding into cattle pastures, so Brazilian cattlemen are displaced to the Amazon. It's the remorseless economics of commodities markets. "The price of soybeans goes up," laments Sandro Menezes, a biologist with Conservation International in Brazil, "and the forest comes down."<br />Deforestation accounts for 20% of all current carbon emissions. So unless the world can eliminate emissions from all other sources—cars, power plants, factories, even flatulent cows—it needs to reduce deforestation or risk an environmental catastrophe. That means limiting the expansion of agriculture, a daunting task as the world's population keeps expanding. And saving forests is probably an impossibility so long as vast expanses of cropland are used to grow modest amounts of fuel. The biofuels boom, in short, is one that could haunt the planet for generations—and it's only getting started.<br />The environmental cost of this cropland creep is now becoming apparent. One groundbreaking new study in Science concluded that when this deforestation effect is taken into account, corn ethanol and soy biodiesel produce about twice the emissions of gasoline. Sugarcane ethanol is much cleaner, and biofuels created from waste products that don't gobble up land have real potential, but even cellulosic ethanol increases overall emissions when its plant source is grown on good cropland. "People don't want to believe renewable fuels could be bad," says the lead author, Tim Searchinger, a Princeton scholar and former Environmental Defense attorney. "But when you realize we're tearing down rain forests that store loads of carbon to grow crops that store much less carbon, it becomes obvious."<br />Why is so much money still being poured into such a misguided enterprise? Like the scientists and environmentalists, many politicians genuinely believe biofuels can help decrease global warming. It makes intuitive sense: cars emit carbon no matter what fuel they burn, but the process of growing plants for fuel sucks some of that carbon out of the atmosphere. For years, the big question was whether those reductions from carbon sequestration outweighed the "life cycle" of carbon emissions from farming, converting the crops to fuel and transporting the fuel to market. Researchers eventually concluded that yes, biofuels were greener than gasoline. The improvements were only about 20% for corn ethanol because tractors, petroleum-based fertilizers and distilleries emitted lots of carbon. But the gains approached 90% for more efficient fuels, and advocates were confident that technology would progressively increase benefits.<br />There was just one flaw in the calculation: the studies all credited fuel crops for sequestering carbon, but no one checked whether the crops would ultimately replace vegetation and soils that sucked up even more carbon. It was as if the science world assumed biofuels would be grown in parking lots. The deforestation of Indonesia has shown that's not the case. It turns out that the carbon lost when wilderness is razed overwhelms the gains from cleaner-burning fuels. A study by University of Minnesota ecologist David Tilman concluded that it will take more than 400 years of biodiesel use to "pay back" the carbon emitted by directly clearing peat lands to grow palm oil; clearing grasslands to grow corn for ethanol has a payback period of 93 years. The result is that biofuels increase demand for crops, which boosts prices, which drives agricultural expansion, which eats forests. Searchinger's study concluded that overall, corn ethanol has a payback period of about 167 years because of the deforestation it triggers. <br />right000   Myth #1:  Agro-fuels are clean and green - Because photosynthesis from fuel crops removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and can reduce fossil fuel consumption, we are told fuel crops are green.  But, when the full life-cycle of agro-fuels is considered - from land clearing to automotive consumption - the moderate emission savings are undone by far greater emissions from deforestation, burning, peat drainage, cultivation and soil carbon losses.  Every ton of palm oil produced results in 33 tons of carbon dioxide emissions -- 10 times more than petroleum.  Clearing tropical forests for sugarcane ethanol emits 50 percent more greenhouse gases than the production and use of the same amount of gasoline.There are other environmental problems as well.  Industrial agro-fuels require large applications of petroleum-based fertilizers, whose global use has more than doubled the biologically available nitrogen in the world, contributing heavily to the emission of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.To produce a liter of ethanol takes three to five liters of irrigation water and produces up to 13 liters of waste water.  It takes the energy equivalent of 113 liters of natural gas to treat this waste, increasing the likelihood that it will simply be released into the environment.  Intensive cultivation of fuel crops also leads to high rates of erosion.<br />Biofuel Myths. (n.d.). . Retrieved February 1, 2011, from http://www.greenpeacecorps.org/Biofuel_Myths.html<br />Over the last few decades, productivity gains have surpassed 30 percent, reducing the need to expand the cultivated farmland. The production of sugar cane uses low levels of pesticides, has the largest program of biological pest control in Brazil, has the lowest level of soil erosion, recycles all its wastes, does not undermine the quality of water resources, and accounts for the largest area of organic production in the country.An analysis of the growth sustained by the industry provides evidence to challenge the argument that growing sugar cane for the purpose of producing ethanol is harmful to the environment. On the contrary, biofuels have had positive social and environmental impacts, by recovering previously deforested areas, providing crop rotation and aeration of farmlands used for food production, in addition to employing almost one million workers, including through a system of family cooperatives.  Moreover, the significant increase that has been seen in sugar-cane agriculture in Brazil, which is concentrated mainly in the state of São Paulo, distant from the Amazon region, and occupies only 0.6 % of Brazil’s land area, is primarily the result of productivity gains and research efforts.<br />Biofuels - Brazilian Embassy. (n.d.). . Retrieved February 1, 2011, from http://www.brasilemb.org/energy/biofuels<br />Social <br />Not everyone is pleased with the growth of Brazil's ethanol industry.  Whereas the growth of the ethanol industry is likely to boost the Brazilian GDP, concerns remain that the majority of citizens will not benefit from the project.  The Forum of Resistance to Agribusiness, a consortium of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) throughout South America recently released a statement insisting that the implementation of a program for the production and export of biofuels presents a grave threat to the natural resources of Brazil as well as the sovereignty of Brazilian citizens.  ìThe era of biofuels will reproduce and legitimize the logic of the occupation of rural areas by multinational agribusiness and perpetuate the colonial project to subvert ecosystems and people to the service of the production and maintenance of a lifestyle in other societies.î  The relationship that is of greatest concern to the Forum is the growing partnership between Brazil and the United States.  Given U.S. plans to import greater quantities of ethanol from Brazil, the Forum fears Brazil will compromise the livelihood of many Brazilians, particularly the rural poor, to meet U.S. demands. <br />This fear originates from the history and social dynamics in rural areas resulting from the sugarcane industry.  Sugarcane is one of the oldest industries in Brazil, dating back to the colonial era.  Since sugarcane is the feedstock of choice for the production of ethanol in Brazil, the Forum fears that the growth of the ethanol industry will result in a similar pattern of labor exploitation and land concentration.    <br />The sugar and ethanol industry is among the productive sectors that employ the most workers in Brazil. It creates about one million direct jobs (including in family companies and cooperatives) and six million indirect jobs. Working conditions on sugar cane farms are, on average, better than in other industries of the Brazilian economy. The average family income of such workers is higher than that of 50 percent of Brazilian families. The Brazilian government monitors the industry to ensure that labor laws and regulations are being complied with. The occurrence of forced labor in sugar plantations is residual and the government has intensified its inspections, thereby curbing abuses. In 2006, inspections in the state of São Paulo alone, which accounts for 80 percent of the overall Brazilian ethanol production, reached 745,000 workers. Of this total, only 298 workers (i.e. about 0.04%) were found to be in conditions similar to forced labor.<br />Biofuels - Brazilian Embassy. (n.d.). . Retrieved February 1, 2011, from http://www.brasilemb.org/energy/biofuels<br />There is also concentration of income, given that<br />producers and processors make large profits, while<br />workers are displaced or earn low wages (Barrocal<br />2007; Oliveira 2007).<br />1 million seasonal workers (Lima 2007). Work conditions<br />are unhealthy, shortening working life and even<br />causing death from exhaustion, due to manual cutting of<br />sugar cane involving tens of thousands cutting strokes<br />per day (Barrocal 2007; Lima 2007; Silva 2007).<br />Displacement and seasonal labour involve physical and<br />cultural destruction of multifunctional family farms and<br />traditional communities (Bispo & Privado 2005;<br />Rede Cerrado 2006; ISPN 2005, 2006, 2007).<br />Finally, although cane and soya in Brazil are<br />different from maize in the USA, food prices are rising<br />owing to competition for land and capital in the current<br />context of expanding markets for grain and beef<br />(CONSEA 2007; Economist 2007; FAO 2007). This<br />benefits farmers, and could even help them adopt more<br />sustainable practices, but it stimulates frontier expansion<br />and does not benefit the population at large.<br />The apparent<br />biodiesel and alcohol boom in Brazil could collapse<br />into an empty frontier, not unlike the collapse of the<br />rubber economy, except for the dimensions of its<br />devastation. The result could be degraded land subject<br />to fire, abandoned infrastructure, bankrupt farmers<br />and unemployed seasonal workers. The Cerrado and<br />the Amazon, no longer needed for production of<br />carbohydrates or plant oils, could become vast<br />degraded pastures, as might be predicted on the basis<br />of the model of land use of von Thu¨nen (Hall 1966).<br />Widespread low-intensity backlands ranching would<br />also involve increased production of methane, another<br />potent greenhouse gas. Induced both directly and<br />indirectly by climate change, dieback could result in<br />economic bust, social unrest and political instability.<br />With less rainfall being transmitted inland, desertification<br />might result. Thus, by a different route, more<br />global than the one they envisaged, the scenario<br />suggested by Goodland & Irwin (1975)—from Green<br />Hell to Red Desert—could come true, at least in part,<br />but not limited to environmental change.<br />The Social cost of Brazil’s biofuel Expansion<br />A woman washer her family’s clothes. All the water used by the community comes from self dug well. Rio Brihante, Brazil 10/23/2010<br />A tractor sprays pesticides on the sugarcane crops next to the community. The state law states that agro-chemicals should not be sprayed within 200m of communities. Rio Brilhante, Brazil. 23/10/2010<br />Lislene, 18 months, was nearly killed on the road last week. "Are my children no better than dogs to be killed on the road?" asked her mother, Josefa Gonçalves, 19. Rio Brilhante, Brazil. 23/10/2010.<br />Performing a traditional prayer dance. The Guaraní Kaiowá are deeply spiritual and believe that one day they will return to 'a land without evil'. Rio Brilhante, Brazil. 21/10/2010.<br />Performing a traditional prayer dance. The Guaraní Kaiowá are deeply spiritual and believe that one day they will return to 'a land without evil'. Rio Brilhante, Brazil. 21/10/2010. much ethanol Brazil can supply.<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4g1RP85gVy4<br />America’s thirst for ethanol is set to grow in line with targets in last year’s Energy Independence and Security Act. Brazil would like to sell more to Europe and Japan too. Yet just when it seems poised to reduce the world’s dependence on oil, its largely sugar-based ethanol industry stands accused of being less wonderful than it looks. Campaign groups lump it together with biofuels elsewhere, which they blame for raising food prices. Some environmentalists claim that Brazilian farmers have torn up forest to plant cane. Some media reports allege ill-treatment of farm workers. More prosaically, some American officials question how<br />In fact the most noticeable thing about cane-cutting labourers is how fast they are disappearing. At Santelisa Vale, a collection of mills in Ribeirão Preto whose owners include Goldman Sachs, an investment bank, 60% of cane-cutting is already mechanised. The remaining manual cane-cutters will go by 2012. The story is similar across São Paulo state. This may make for a safer industry, but it threatens to leave a large, unskilled workforce unemployed.<br />Biofuels in Brazil: Lean, green and not mean | The Economist. (n.d.). . Retrieved January 26, 2011, from http://www.economist.com/node/11632886<br />IV. Conclusion<br />The exponential increase in worldwide gasoline prices continues to drive interest in the potential of ethanol as an alternative fuel source. Brazil has both the agricultural resources and processing infrastructure to capitalize on this demand.  However, sustainable development should maximize opportunities for all members of society, not just those with wealth or power. Accordingly, the challenge to the future of Brazil's ethanol industry is to seek a balance between the financial and technological demands of industry domination with the need for socially conscious policies on industry development. <br />