Affordable and clean, renewable, liquid energy isn’t a money problem or a technology problem. It’s a social problem.
Margaret Mead once said, “The only person who likes change is a wet baby.” To which Hunter Lovins added: “And the baby squalls all the way through the process.”
Gas isn’t cheap anymore, and unlikely to ever be cheap again. And the price of a clean environment? Going right through the roof as the climate warms, pollution increases, and America whines about rising prices that most of the rest of the world’s people would happily pay for toxic gasoline.
These are reasons enough to actively support Bioroot Energy’s mission with higher mixed alcohol fuel production in your town. Look in your heart, and your trash can, for timely, affordable answers to America’s fossil energy addiction. This is change we can live with and you can drive to the bank. Without needing to change anything except your mind. Here’s where a little reciprocity will go a long way in fixing America’s sad addiction to fossil energy. It’s anything but cheap.
Posted today in the Opinion section on CNN’s web site. How ironic. As if there was any doubt that the writing is on the wall. If we don’t change the insane, delusional social and economic shell games we’re playing with the planet and each other, it will be game over in as little as 20-30 years. The evidence is all around you, even now. If you think humanity has it coming, you’re right. There’s a time of reckoning coming, and it will be horrific unless there’s a sea change, in you, your family, your neighbors, your community, city, state, country.
Watch the video. Think about what you’re about to see. Deeply. But don’t stop there. Come back from the pit of sadness you’re going to feel after watching and vow to take up arms against this hydra-headed monster called fossil energy. It’s the license we’ve used for 200 years to deny the immutable laws of Earth’s finite systems (air, water, lands, habitats, animals, plants, microbial life, etc.)
Are we making progress as a civilization in stopping this runaway train of progress and growth at all costs fueled by fossil energy? Hell no. In the word of Paul Guilding, “We’re not even slowing down.”
This future that Gilding sees is a dark one, where we are fighting a war, not between civilizations, but for civilization itself. But it’s a time when we will be able to solve problems, to innovate and recreate like never before. And maybe we’ll come out of it with a stable economy, with a mature civilization, better than the adolescent one we now live in.
When we feel fear, we are capable of extraordinary things. There’s no real technical barrier to turning the corner on eliminating CO2 emissions. None! We can do it affordably and sustainably, but we need to first change ourselves by acting as if we only have one planet. Not 1.5, 2 or 3.
Mankind has built a powerful foundation of science and technology. We can use this knowledge base to move past bumbling capitalist innocence and grow up. We can build a sustainable society which is stronger and happier, and built to last. We can choose life over fear. But it will take every entrepreneur, every artist, every scientist, every communicator, every mother, every father, every child.
Fossil energy zombie numbed into a life of slime? Or committed soldier dedicated to doing something while there’s still time? It’s a personal decision. Bioroot Energy is leading a coalition of the ready, willing and able to introduce a liquid fuel that strikes at the heart of the problem of progress at any cost: fossil energy emissions and pollution.
You can help Bioroot Energy begin to fix fossil energy. Or you can recycle cardboard and plastic and kid yourself that it makes any difference in the big picture. Or do nothing and hand over a lifetime of misery to your children.
The evidence is overwhelming. And still some will argue about climate change. Man made or natural cycling of the environment? Who cares, the climate is changing and mankind’s use of fossil energy is at least partly responsible for driving this feedback loop.
Dr. James Hansen heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, a part of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He has held this position since 1981. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.
GE gets it. The climate change argument is over. The atmosphere is heating up, the oceans are rising, habitat is disappearing, and pollution from fossil energy combustion emissions is running rampant. Regardless of the reasons, do you really want to deny any of this is happening on your watch, dear reader of the moment? Go right ahead, but don’t say you haven’t been warned. Listen to GE, they have no particular political agenda here other than good science and a fair and balanced dialog around the burning issue of our time.
“General Electric has brushed aside the doubts leading Republican presidential contenders have raised about climate science.The US industrial and financial conglomerate said it had long seen climate change as a valid concern after an internal evaluation of the scientific case in 2005.
We found enough data there to have a company like GE respond and we have responded,” said Mark Vachon, head of the “ecomagination” sustainable business initiative GE launched in that year. He said revenues generated by operations in his portfolio now totalled $100bn and were growing at more than twice the rate of those in the rest of the company.”
Every activist engaged in combating human-caused climate change or specific elements of the current energy economy knows that the work is primarily oppositional. It could hardly be otherwise; for citizens who care about ecological integrity, a sustainable economy, and the health of nature and people, there is plenty to oppose—biomass logging [for generating electricity] in Massachusetts, mountaintop-removal coal mining in West Virginia, natural gas drilling in Wyoming, poorly sited solar developments in California, river-killing dams in Chile and Brazil, and new nuclear and coal plants around the globe.
These and many other fights against destructive energy projects are crucial, but they can be draining and tend to focus the conversation in negative terms. Sometimes it’s useful to reframe the discourse about ecological limits and economic restructuring in positive terms, that is, about what we’re for.
Here’s a kind and thoughtful man who’s been around the block and learned more than most from the journey. Dick White is a resident of Hamilton, Montana, and a fellow charter member of the Bitterroot Toastmasters Club, to which I belong.
Last Wednesday, I gave a speech to fellow club members titled “Occupy Energy,” which made the case for community involvement and support for developing our clean fuel project in western Montana. Toward the end of the speech in the call to action, I asked people to visit our donation site www.tenmillionpeople.com and drop a dollar or two in the project bucket as a donation to help the project move forward.
Dick doesn’t own a computer, and says he doesn’t care to. He’s enjoys the moment in the real world. He’s also a good listener who understood that I was not giving a practice speech. (Although I did say it wasn’t a practice speech, this is the express purpose of our club.)
Dick is the oldest person in our Toastmasters club. He’s also the wisest, in my opinion. Because he’s no spring chicken, he’s the least likely of all our club members to ever see the benefit from his donation: a fuel that replaces gasoline and diesel and ethanol. Made from a community’s trash and biomass by the community.
At the end of the meeting, he motioned for me to come over and talk. I sat down next to him and he dropped $40 on the table and told me to make good use of it. I was stunned. He reached in his pocket and covered everyone in the room.
I am humbled by his warmth, generosity and kindness. Thanks for paying it forward for the next generation, Dick!
The video points to housing and other traditional markets for wood products. Responsible use of wood from America’s forests can also include using what has historically been piled and burned because there was no better use of the needles, barks, branches and cones from thinning and fuel reduction projects. (All that “waste” biomass can make a lot of great clean fuel, an un-traditional but valuable use of wood.)
Want to see alcohol fuels succeed? Open up the liquid fuels marketplace with flex fuel vehicles and blending infrastructure. Learn about the Open Fuel Standard Act of 2011 legislation currently before Congress and contact your elected representatives to request their support.
DOE ‘Billion Ton Study’ Update Shows Biomass Still Sufficient to Meet Goals
The DOE this week released an update to its 2005 Billion Ton Study that says biomass feedstock under baseline assumptions remain sufficient to meet near- and long-term bioenergy goals, including the production of 85 billion gallons of biofuel annually, enough to displace a third of the nation’s transportation fuel demand. In fact, the update says, under a high-yield scenario, more ambitious goals may be feasible. Unlike the 2005 version, the update takes into consideration environmental sustainability and identifies the likely costs to access the biomass resources.
“National security is not wars out there anymore, it is the war of ideas here in the US.”
“Clean coal” and ethanol just are not that policy, nor will they ever be, they are a charlatans game.
Two sentences in the article linked below stuck out, especially with the bloodbath in the global economy and today’s 300+634 point drop in the DJIA. At what point does America begin to wake from its slumber and realize the house is on fire?
Link to full article: Coal and Ethanol Are Not Alternative Energy Policy, written by Andrew Smolski of oilprice.com
Good article on ethanol. Understand what’s wrong with using a staple food crop, corn, to get you to Wal Mart and back and you will understand what’s wrong with ethanol in your gas tank.
Yes, we need ethanol to clean up gasoline and stretch the petroleum supply as far as possible. But we don’t need the ethanol industry to break the back of the country by insisting it’s the only “oxygenate” fuel. There are others, and one of them spanks ethanol!
At least in the USA, ethanol fermented from corn starch is currently leading the renewables industry in production volume, but its shortcomings aren’t going away. In fact, the inherent shortcomings of corn ethanol are being embraced by emerging “cellulosic” fermentation processes that use crop wastes instead of the food crop itself. For example, cellulosic ethanol has cost billions in investment, yet major questions of its long-term viability remain.
Ethanol, ethanol, ethanol. Ethanol all the time, everywhere you look. It’s easy to think that ethanol is the only renewable fuel, regardless of what it is fermented from. It isn’t. Especially in parts of the country that can’t grow corn!
Here are questions that aren’t even being asked about ethanol, but should be:
Why focus on one single alcohol in the first place? Why choose a fuel that can only be made from certain feedstocks, such as corn or corn wastes? Why choose a fuel that cannot be pipelined because it’s too corrosive? Why choose a fuel that gets up to 20 percent less mileage than gasoline? Why choose a fuel that requires laborious and expensive fermentation?
Why choose a fuel that can only be made in a relatively small number of states? Why choose a fuel that requires billions in subsidies? Why choose a fuel that consumes almost 40 percent of America’s corn crop?
Peruse today’s biofuel publications or articles on the internet for information about higher mixed alcohols. You won’t find much. Not because higher mixed alcohol isn’t an excellent clean fuel, it is! There’s a whole lot to like about a fuel that can be made nearly anywhere, from nearly anything carbon, and has a whopping 138 octane rating.
Nope. It’s because many of these publications, some of them backed by ethanol or petroleum interests, don’t really understand higher mixed alcohols, much less how they are made: using natural gas, coal, municipal solid wastes and biomass. Or worse, they understand completely and are keeping Americans in the dark.
What is the potential of a clean fuel that can rapidly scale to world proportion, rival fossil and renewable fuels in volume, price, and performance, drop seamlessly all types of gasoline and diesel engines without modification, lower tailpipe emissions, clean up coal, and most importantly, provide investors with consistently high returns? With no crops or subsidies required?
What do rampant beetle kill, rising temperatures, massive floods, and oil spills all have in common? They’re all being fueled by fossil-energy combustion—here in Montana, and around the planet.
Crews work to clear oil from the Yellowstone River in Laurel, Montana. (Jim Urquhart, AP/ July 5, 2011)
This poignant article about recent disasters in Montana, as seen through the eyes of two people who are not just fighting floodwaters and an oil spill on their property, they are also working tirelessly (as are we) to educate and inform Montanans about their clean energy options.
Alexis Bonogofsky and her partner, Mike Scott, are at the forefront of the fight against a carbon-centric vision of Montana’s future. When they aren’t growing their own food or taking care of their goats, both are full-time environmental activists: Alexis is with the National Wildlife Federation, Scott is with the Sierra Club. They don’t just fight coal and oil companies; they work to show their fellow Montanans that there are other ways to create energy and jobs.
We sent Alexis and Mike a message of solidarity and asked how we can work together in this “mother” of all fights here in Montana.