Rod Miner is Founder and President of Lightfoot Cycles Inc., based in Darby, Montana. An accomplished Human Powered Vehicle Designer, Rod has designed, prototyped and developed over 50 distinct human powered vehicle models, and manufacture of over 2,000 vehicles. Lightfoot cycles can be found on remote Pacific islands and Angolan deserts, in the Australian outback and the Scottish highlands. The company’s recumbent mountain bikes have traversed the Sierra and Rocky Mountains. A Lightfoot handcycle has been ridden across the American continent. A Lightfoot electrically-assisted velomobile has crossed the US from coast to coast. Every day, Lightfoot-designed bicycles, tricycles and quadracycles succeed in safely and efficiently transporting thousands of people from home to work and school, across town and far beyond.
In 1996, his father Earl conceived, and Rod developed, the PET (“Personal Energy Transportation”) handcycle for survivors of land-mine explosions. People crippled by war, disease and accident, resigned to dragging themselves through the dust and mud of impoverished rural lands, regained mobility, financial self-sufficiency and social stature through the gift of a sturdy PET tricycle, in which they could carry their small children, tools for their trade and goods for market. Now built by a volunteer corps, over 55,000 PET’s have been distributed. From 1989-1992, Rod also configured over 100 stand-alone photovoltaic electric power systems. Rod earned a Bachelor of Science and Natural Resources with a minor in Energy Economics from the University of Montana.
Bioroot Energy was founded in 2008 and organized in 2010 to develop new markets for Montana’s abundance of woody biomass. Currently, standing dead trees and buildup of woody biomass due to decades of fire suppression is either reduced by mechanical thinning and burned on the spot, or eventually burns in uncontrolled wildfire events.
Our mission is to make biomass more valuable by making fire portable, clean and profitable through responsible harvesting, transport and conversion of woody biomass of all types (needles, barks, branches, cones, small trees) into cleaner, stronger higher mixed alcohol fuel. If a ton of woody biomass was worth $40-$60 per ton, would anyone burn it or allow it to burn if they had a choice?
Tired of using the environment as a dump because you don’t have a wiser and more convenient choice? Join the BEvolution. Bioroot Energy’s mission is to eventually end the practice of landfilling and incineration of society’s solid, liquid and gaseous carbon wastes worldwide through clean, profitable conversion to higher mixed alcohol fuel. Unlike the Tom Cruise movie, it’s not an impossible mission, but we’re not big screen superheroes. We can’t do everything required all alone. Everyone has something to fight for here. Just add enough caring, committed people who take the challenge personally.
Thanks for watching and considering how you can help. There’s a lot you can do.
Bioroot Energy is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Chris Ciesielski-Carlucci, MD to its advisory board. Chris has decades of experience as a medical clinician, public health advocate and educator, and her leadership expertise in the art and science of communicating and educating others on health matters will offer a unique contribution to the Bioroot Energy team.
Salt Lake City’s air this winter is, in a word, gross. It’s unhealthy, it keeps the valley blanketed by gray, dirty air, and it lingers due to high altitude inversion. What makes it a serious problem is hundreds of thousands of vehicles burning gasoline and diesel fuels every day. There is a real need for a cleaner, stronger alcohol fuel to slash these tailpipe emissions. And the Mayor of Salt Lake City, Ralph Becker, is bringing the full force of city government to bear on fixing the problems. Will government’s full force be enough? We don’t think so. It’s going to require fixing the fuels with production and use of a better “oxygenate” than corn ethanol, and that’s higher mixed alcohol fuel.
“If I’m disconnected on the inside, I’m disconnected on the outside…if I trash the environment inside, I trash the environment on the outside. What we work to protect and nurture is this ability to connect in a physical and spiritual way with everything.”
The Midway video is truly profound. A dead bird with its stomach stuffed with the detritus of mankind’s wastes is an unforgettable sight. Tough to look at, but that’s why it’s a good thing. Let what every man (and woman) in the industrialized world is doing to the environment sink in. Consider the impacts of your own waste disposal and energy consumption. Our species is quickly destroying the fabric of life on Earth with our business as usual. You can’t avoid creating solid, liquid and gaseous wastes. Just because you pay someone else to haul your trash, garbage and sewer “away” doesn’t get you off the moral/ethical hook. Forgetting that you have a personal stake in the outcome is not wise. Wake up, this is a problem that can and must be addressed where it starts: with you, and what’s in your own trash can. Learn more about higher mixed alcohol fuel production from your household wastes. Talk to your neighbors, friends, associates, and don’t be shy. (Most people have little knowledge about biofuels.) Write your elected representatives. Write an endorsement. Make a project donation. Join our street team. Form a study group to evaluate the potential for higher mixed alcohol fuel production where you live.
Mankind’s use of hydrocarbon oils (gasoline, diesel, natgas) and coal generates massive volumes of wastes (emissions, pollution) that continue to accumulate. There’s no other place for these waste carbons to go, so there they sit: as pollution over our heads, in/on the oceans, on land, and streaming 24×7 from a billion tailpipes and smokestacks. Add the massive daily onslaught of solid and liquid waste streams of society and industry and this continuous “loading” of the biosphere with waste carbons across the solid, liquid and gaseous spectrum is wreaking havoc.
Our world needs a hydrocarbon-to-oxycarbon fuel shift. Our world needs to end the practice of using the environment as an open sewer for any type of carbon wastes. Anything less is not living up to mankind’s potential: doing justice by people, businesses, animals, plants and the natural world. In order for earth to breathe, we must take a deep breath and begin doing the right things by our world. All “stakeholders” must win or all will surely suffer.
Look at the gutwrenching sorrow in this man’s eyes. Stop and think about what it must have been like to face a monster fire and watch it take the lives of 19 of your closest friends. Brendan McDonough’s fate was to become the lone survivor of a massive wildfire that took the lives of 19 of his fellow firefighters in Yarnell Hill, Arizona last week. This is a person with a tormented conscience on the front lines of responsibility who vividly understands the problems and risks of fighting fires in America’s western forests.
North America’s private, state and national forests are tinderboxes, changing rapidly due to higher temperatures, ongoing drought, decades of aggressive fire suppression practices, and in many parts of the country, massive pine bark beetle infestations that are killing off millions of acres of trees. The result is an enormous buildup of tinder-dry biomass that makes firefighting incredibly dangerous and expensive, and sends millions of tons of airborne pollutants skyward when it burns.
Our company’s position on firefighting is straightforward: Mechanically reducing the volume of excess biomass via thinning projects and conversion of this biomass to higher mixed alcohol fuel is a wiser, kinder and healthier approach to reducing the risks and scope of wildfire, especially in and around areas where people live. Currently, most biomass from thinning projects is piled and burned because there is no market for it, and these thinning projects are entirely funded by U. S. taxpayers, who also foot the bill for fighting these fires.
Ed Delgado, a meteorologist and predictive services manager at the National Interagency Fire Center, acknowledged that the recent string of fires along Colorado’s Front Range, including one that destroyed 500 homes, “was beyond what we thought was probable.”
“There’s a tendency to not forecast extremes,” he said. “It’s human nature to not go beyond what your experience is. If you’ve never seen a 1-million-acre fire, you are probably not going to forecast a 1-million-acre fire.”
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
We the people who drive cars and throw stuff away cannot consume and dispose our way to a sustainable world that works for the long haul future. We must avoid trashing it and produce the world and energy environment we all want to see.
It’s you of course, along with everybody else. America’s mass consumer culture has many good and bad aspects. Consumers don’t need to grow their own food. Consumers don’t need to create their own energy. Consumers barely even need to think about these things as long as they’ve got money to buy what they need or want. That’s the problem with America’s business as usual, and it’s a big one.
We “the people” generate huge volumes of trash, which gets conveniently hauled “away.” We all use toilets. The average American generates about 5 pounds of solid waste per day, including the carbon-based unmentionables we all flush, and the yard wastes we put into trash cans. In a single day America generates at least 1.6 billion pounds of solid waste per day. That’s over 602 billion pounds of personal wastes per year. This does not include commercial and industrial wastes. This does not include the wastes emitted by millions of vehicle tailpipes and power plant smokestacks. This does not include emissions by aviation, maritime, rail or heavy industry.
This astronomical figure is one country’s annual solid, liquid and gaseous carbon waste footprint.
Most people drive a vehicle. Most people buy and burn gasoline or diesel fuel. We all buy electricity produced from coal and natural gas. These “hydrocarbon” fuels are doing a lot of damage to the environment, quickly degrading atmosphere, lands and waters. Between emissions and spills, it’s a globe killer. Driven by the consumer. Enabled by the producers selling the energy equivalent of methamphetamine.
Wonder why the world’s nose is falling off?
It’s all too easy to blame big energy interests for today’s dismal enviroeconomic situation. It’s much more difficult to see how your own consumerism is part of the problem. Hey, all our lives require energy, and we all produce the wastes that are the source of society’s worst problems. There is a boatload of honest clean energy money to be earned addressing and eventually solving these problems for the benefit of all beings, not just the usual suspects.
So give yourself a whack upside your consumerist noggin’. Life in the modern age ain’t no disco, and this isn’t 1999. This is 2013 on the fantail of the USS Titanic, America. But we’re not alone. Every country is facing giant obstacles dead ahead.
Bioroot Energy was built to rock our world the right way. For a change. All the way to the bank and we are going to take all our friends with us. Even the teeming masses who might well care less. They’ll thank us later for turning on the sleeping giant of alcohol fuels: higher mixed alcohol fuel.
Want to help? Educate yourself, or contact us to learn more about what we’re doing with higher mixed alcohols. Many hands and strong minds make light work.
On May 10, 2013, humanity hurled itself across the threshhold of 400 parts per million atmospheric CO2. Media coverage was brief and to the point. We don’t have much time to effect big reductions in emissions. Of course, “we the people” are a caring bunch, but do we dare step up and do what is right by all beings?
Mankind needs a “hydrocarbon-to-oxycarbon” energy shift, and higher mixed alcohol fuel production and use is the best possible means of leveraging this disruptive fuel and its associated GTL (gas-to-liquid) fuel synthesis methods into place in the renewable fuel producer world, and seamlessly dropping this stronger, cleaner alcohol fuel into all types of engines and fossil fuels in today’s transportation fuels marketplace. Dilution and replacement of hydrocarbon energy resources (oil, coal, natural gas and CO2) with clean oxygenate fuel is the bridging mechanism society needs to turn runaway waste carbons into high-value energy products that address and solve big, nasty problems.
“The problem is simply stated: the power of the fossil fuel companies is too great. Among those who seek and obtain high office are people characterised by a complete absence of empathy or scruples, who will take money or instructions from any corporation or billionaire who offers them, and then defend those interests against the current and future prospects of humanity.”
Concluding paragraphs from a recent Salon article, “Getting Rich Off Global Warming”: People were beginning to leave and make plans for lunch, when a deep voice arose from the back of the room. It belonged to a mountain-shaped man named Clayton Honyumptewa, director of natural resources for the Hopi Nation.
“Our ancestors predicted all of this,” he said to no one in particular. “The weather changing in strange ways, the destruction of the land, the water, the fish, the animals. They said, ‘The white man will continue to come, and everything will die.’”
It was a long couple of beats before anyone said a word.
“[The] increase is not a surprise to scientists,” said Pieter Tans, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “The evidence is conclusive that the strong growth of global [carbon dioxide] emissions from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving the acceleration.”
The elephant in the room of civic dialog, or what passes for same in the land of the “free” is carbon-based emissions, pollution and wastes. It’s a personal problem, multiplied by 7 billion practitioners.
As American cities and universities begin to divest from fossil energy, a clear opportunity for medium to large cities to develop municipal-scale higher mixed alcohol fuel projects is emerging. The substantial economic value of locally produced clean fuel from no-value garbage, trash, sludges, and biomass, as well as jobs and new related businesses is compelling.
“Nearly a dozen U.S. cities have announced their interest in withdrawing municipal investments from fossil fuel companies, joining a fast-growing movement among colleges and universities that supporters say is allowing citizens concerned with environmental degradation and global climate change to act in lieu of federal action from the U.S. Congress.”
How sad. We humans, in the span of just 50 years and the invention of plastic, have managed to create the 100 million ton Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the size of Texas, floating 1,000 miles west of San Francisco. It kills millions of marine and avian life every year. And it’s growing, and most of this waste originates from land. Even though this video was shot on Midway Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you really don’t have to look far to find the source of one of the world’s deepest and most pressing problems. In fact, you’re probably only a few feet from the source of this problem as you read this. And so is nearly everyone else in the industrialized world. It’s the trash in your trash can. It’s also the waste in your toilet. It’s the emissions that come out of your vehicle tailpipe. It’s the CO2 and particulate pollution from burning the coal or natural gas required to generate the electricity that lights your home. It’s society’s solid, liquid and gaseous wastes. We’re all using the world as an open sewer for our wastes. So, we are all responsible for the problems we are creating for life on Earth.
If you agree, please consider making some small changes in your daily routine. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Don’t accept plastic bags. Also, please consider writing an endorsement for our clean fuel project. Let the world know know you understand higher mixed alcohol fuel’s unique role in cleaning up the world’s solid, liquid and gaseous wastes. You can make a one time donation or a small monthly donation to the project fund via Ten Million People. Or contact us to discuss other ways to become involved.
Or you can do nothing. Most people choose this option. We understand. But it’s lame.
How bad is the air pollution in Beijing? Today, the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center said the density of PM2.5 particulates surpassed 700 micrograms per cubic meter in parts of the city. The World Health Organization considers a safe daily level to be 25micrograms per cubic meter.
Educate people about the importance of funding and building a world-scalable “carbon-bridging” pollution solution.
Begin converting coal-fired power plant CO2 and methane to higher mixed alcohol fuel. Fastest, most profitable method to achieve biggest possible reductions by converting these 2 greenhouse gasses to clean, biodegradable, water-soluble fuel that blends with or completely displaces petroleum oil-based fuels.
Begin converting municipal solid and liquid wastes to higher mixed alcohol fuel.
Begin converting waste biomass to higher mixed alcohol fuel.
Retrofit or build new coal-fired power plants to use gasification instead of incineration, which eliminates coal combustion emissions entirely.
Why is reducing carbon emissions important? Read this.