Study: Renewable energy source is responsible for more greenhouse gases than oil and other fossil fuels (MORE: JAMES HANSEN PREDICTED ICE AGE IN 1971)

The Times Online has some bad news for the Goracle and his cult-like followers:

A renewable energy source designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is contributing more to global warming than fossil fuels, a study suggests.

Measurements of emissions from the burning of biofuels derived from rapeseed and maize have been found to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than they save.

Other biofuels, especially those likely to see greater use over the next decade, performed better than fossil fuels but the study raises serious questions about some of the most commonly produced varieties.

Rapeseed and maize biodiesels were calculated to produce up to 70 per cent and 50 per cent more greenhouse gases respectively than fossil fuels. The concerns were raised over the levels of emissions of nitrous oxide, which is 296 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Scientists found that the use of biofuels released twice as much as nitrous oxide as previously realised. The research team found that 3 to 5 per cent of the nitrogen in fertiliser was converted and emitted. In contrast, the figure used by the International Panel on Climate Change, which assesses the extent and impact of man-made global warming, was 2 per cent. The findings illustrated the importance, the researchers said, of ensuring that measures designed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions are assessed thoroughly before being hailed as a solution.

“One wants rational decisions rather than simply jumping on the bandwagon because superficially something appears to reduce emissions” said Keith Smith, a professor at the University of Edinburgh and one of the researchers.

Ah ha! But that would mean carefully weighing all the facts, rather than just selectively picking the ones out that appear to advance the argument that we must do something about global warming NOW. Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard sums it up:

The true believers do not want rational decisions. They want what they want imposed by government fiat right the hell now. It is perfectly ok with them if you rape the planet, so long as you do it in the name of fighting global warming. Ask the orangutans. If you can find any left, that is. Pretty soon now the environmental disaster will truly be upon us. It won’t be the one they are supposedly fighting, though. It will be the one they caused in the name of saving the planet. Rainforests gone, species eliminated, air fouled – all with the very best of intentions.

Well, for some of ’em, their intentions are good (if horribly misguided). But for others

Update I: KUTV reports that prominent global warming alarmist James Hansen once predicted there would be an ice age (bolded emphasis mine):

A NASA scientist, who is now sounding the alarm over global warming’s threat to the planet, once believed that pumping too many greenhouse gases into the air would have the opposite effect — a modern day ice age.

James Hansen is currently among scientists who believe that carbon dioxide emissions are warming the planet’s atmosphere — posing a grave threat to the environment and humans’ ability to adapt to it. Many others — like public preachers Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio — share the same view in what seems to be the “hot button” issue of the moment.

But 36-years ago, it appears, Hansen had a completely different warning — in what may be the scientific equivalent of a grandiose political ‘flip-flop.’

In a Washington Post story dated July 9, 1971, Hansen — then a research associate at Columbia University — warned of a modern day ice age, which would cause the planet’s temperature to plummet as many as six degrees.

The reason, he said then, was a fine dust emitted into the air via carbon dioxide pollution that would eventually become so dense that it would block sunlight and result in cooler temperatures — a scenario exactly the opposite of what leading climatologists say is happening now, that greenhouse gases are trapping heat inside the Earth’s atmosphere.

Hansen and one of his research partners believed that the problem was so severe that the “ice age” could happen between five and ten years after the report — putting the prediction for extreme global cooling between about 1976 and 1981.

Noel Sheppard blogged about this earlier in the week, and has more info.

Speaking of James Hansen, Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit has caught Hansen altering data on the NASA website (h/t: Steve Verdon). This, of course, is the same James Hansen who accused the Bush administration of restricting and editing what information he gave the public about global warming in an effort to stifle “the truth.”