SAF, or Sustainable Aviation Fuel, named by the aviation industry, appeared on the scene in 2012.
The idea is simple and interesting, rather than extracting fossil oil, develop fuels based on biomass. This is how the first generation SAFs developed from dedicated crops, especially from palm oil, were born. The problem is that it worked so well that very quickly forests were cut down and agricultural land was reallocated to produce palm oil. The balance sheet of the SAF was then much worse: deforestation, arable land grabbing, competition with food, loss of biodiversity, intensive farming, etc. We could not continue like this, so first generation SAF was banned in favor of second generation SAF. These new fuels are produced with agricultural or forestry « waste ». Of course, these « wastes », as they are called by the industry, were already used elsewhere, as fertilizers or as construction materials. Another problem is that the quantities available are in no way sufficient to meet the gargantuan needs of aviation, which only adds to the other types of transport that use almost all the « biofuels » produced in the world. The aviation industry has found a solution by reintroducing, miraculously, certain « by-products » from palm oil crops, thus reviving an industry in decline following the many problems caused by this intensive cultivation.
The aeronautical industry, as a good pioneer, is always looking to be one step ahead. It quickly understood that second generation SAF would not last long. Just as in the digital industry, 4G calls for 5G, 2G SAF calls for 3G SAF! So the industry plans to open ocean farms to grow its third generation SAF! Imagine a planet with 70% of its surface covered by oceans! Here you are, the industry is planning to exploit the oceans to produce its future fuels. How? By planting genetically modified algae in oceanic mega-farms to transform them into fuel. Thus, no competition with arable land, no expropriation of nasty farmers hostile to progress and millions of km² available for a thirsty industry.
Oceanographers are stunned: do the people who imagine these farms know what state the oceans are in? Do they know how much nutrients are needed to grow algae in astronomical quantities?
Between acidification and mass extinction, and ever-widening stretches of asphyxiated water, how can we ask more of the oceans? We already owe it so much. All this to maintain the growth of air traffic? Really? What the hell!
Other ways are possible:
- Stop the growth of air traffic which goes against the scientific consensus
- Maintain a sustainable traffic and share the access to the sky
- Share work and make it a right
- Invest in research to find real sustainable solutions
- Supporting people to contribute to a world that respects life
Solutions exist to organize ourselves today and not to mortgage our future to simple technological bets. Ladies and Gentlemen, European Ministers of Transport, we ask you to take strong measures on February 3 and 4 during the aviation summit organized by France.
Look up !
Translated with the support of DeepL