European biofuel policy is being revised. November last year, the new draft renewable energy directive (RED II) has been proposed, and decisions on it will be taken in the coming months. The main difference with RED I is a further reduction of the amount of first generation biofuels. Nova-Institute reviewed the underlying scientific evidence and
In an interview about digitization of education, Onderwijs moet de voordelen van ICT gebruiken, published in the Dutch newspaper NRC, May 8th, 2017, the president of the Dutch Education Council, also a professor educational economy, was asked whether programming and coding are part of digital skills. Her answer: ‘No. After one year you can discard
Mankind will have to grow more food on less land, so Hidde Boersma and Joost van Kasteren argue in the recently published volume (in Dutch) Ecomodernism, Rethinking Green and Growth. Genetic modification will play a major role in this process. And in order to feed the world, we need not even say goodbye to meat.
In three columns, I have investigated the question of bee colony collapse and neonicotinoids (neonics), the effect of pesticides on pollinating insects and natural pest predators, and finally the services that biodiversity renders to agriculture and the economy. I observed that a simple ‘allow or ban’ decision on neonics may not be adequate. What other
In the first two columns in this series, I pictured the difficulties in establishing the truth on neonicotinoids (or neonics) and their effects on pollinating insects. The stakes are high. Neonics represent one third (in monetary value) of all insecticides sold globally. But NGOs have waged a war on them. Do we have to ban
Neonicotinoids tend to have a detrimental effect on bees and other pollinating species – unsurprisingly so, because these ‘neonics’ (at a much higher concentration) are designed to kill insects. But it appears very difficult to gather solid evidence of adverse effects on pollinators’ health. Actually, a dirty conflict on scientific data and their interpretation has
As the struggle around neonicotinoids in the European Union is nearing a decisive phase, and my mailbox becomes overflown with panicky messages from both sides, I decided to make up my mind as to the truth of bee colony collapse: are neonicotinoids (or simply neonics) the cause of honeybee decline, or not? In a few
The term bioplastics causes much confusion and will continue to do so, according to my conviction. The public does not seem to grasp the difference between bio as in biobased and bio as in biodegradable. As the plastic soup problem tends to become more important than the non-fossil origin of plastics, bioplastics come under fire