Back in his salad days, the Sceptic Tank spent rather too many hours in the student union bar of a second-tier university listening to music on a rather dilapidated juke box.
As the day wore on it became inevitable that people would turn to that often overlooked musical sub-genre known as late 90s drinking songs (it was that sort of university).
There were plenty of classics to choose from – Chumbawumba's seminal 'I get knocked down', The Levellers' ode to sobriety 'Just the One' – but the one song played more than any other to near universal acclaim was Terrorvision's opus 'Tequila'. Sample lyrics: "Tequila, it makes me happy".
The Sceptic Tank always viewed the song as a celebration of hedonistic excess and Mexican liquor, but it has now emerged that it could also have been the first song written to promote biofuel.
According to a series of papers published in last month's edition of Global Change Biology Bioenergy, the agave plant on which tequila is based has huge potential as a potential energy crop.
Scientists reckon that unlike first-generation energy crops, such as corn or sugar cane, agave plants can maintain high yields in semi-arid conditions, meaning they could deliver crucial oils to biofuel refineries without eating into land used for food production.
As Arturo Velez, a former coordinator at the National Confederation of Forestry Producers and head of Mexico's Agave Project biofuel initiative, told the SciDev.Net website, some varieties of the plant can produce three times the sugar of sugarcane, and four times more cellulose than eucalyptus, while capturing five times more CO2 than the most productive ecosystem.
Altogether now, "tequila, it makes me happy; tequila, it drives my car".
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