In this program, we interview Greg Melville, author of Greasy Rider, a nonfiction account of his trip across America in a fry-oil fueled 1985 Mercedes Benz stationwagon. Then we speak with Thor Bailey, president of Ag-Biomass, a northern California organization that is seeking to help farmers make better use of the biomass on their lands.

 Listen online now!

WORLD NEWS ON BIOMASS AND BIOFUELS

 

  • International Herald Tribune.  In a report released this summer, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (a consortium of mostly EU countries, plus Japan, Australia, and the U.S) concluded that government support of biofuel production in OECD countries was hugely expensive and “had a limited impact on reducing greenhouse gases and improving energy security.” http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/10/07/healthscience/fuel.php

 

  • From Science Daily comes a report  on “Discovering Drugs, Biofuels In Tropical Seas,”  (Oct. 7, 2008) — The National Institutes of Health has awarded $4 million to a group of Philippine and American scientists to aid in the discovery of new biofuels technology from marine mollusks for development in the Philippines. Shipworms, the marine equivalent of termites and the scourge of wooden structures in estuarine and marine habitats worldwide, are the focus. A relative of the clam, the shipwworm hosts bacteria inside its gills that produce enzymes to help them digest wood and may prove useful for converting cellulosic biomass into biofuels. Cellulosic ethanol can be produced from cheap and abundant sources such as agricultural residue, fast-growing prairie grasses, lumber mill waste, and even municipal garbage. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007073930.htm

 

  • From Mother Jones comes an intensive investigation of the possibilities for U.S. energy independence.  Paul Roberts, author of The End of Oil, call the notion of energy independence a “populist charade masquerading as energy strategy?” He argues that “energy independence” is primarily being used as a political trick by ethanol cheerleaders, electric utilities pushing coal and nuclear, and supporters of drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. He notes that it’s taken nearly eight years for hybrid cars to reach three percent of the new car market. Despite all the talk about other wonder car solutions—including clean diesel, cellulosic ethanol, plug-in hybrids, hypercars and hydrogen vehicles—those technologies have not even entered the market. If we fully acknowledge that these solutions will take a lot of time to roll out, then we’ll realize that we need to completely redefine the problem. Roberts writes:“Even if we had good alternatives ready to deploy—a fleet of superefficient cars, say, or refineries churning out gobs of cheap hydrogen for fuel cells—we’d need decades, and great volumes of energy, including oil, to replace all the cars, pipelines, refineries, and other bits of the old oil infrastructure.”  http://www.hybridcars.com/oil-dependence/energy-independence-charade.html

 

  • From the British newspaper The Sun and the Kicking Tires blog comes a discussion of whether or not Mercedes Benz might produce a fossil-free fleet of cars by 2015.  The Sun reported that a top engineer for Mercedes-Benz said the company could ditch petroleum-fuel vehicles entirely by the year 2015. Blogger Stephen Markely says the story is somewhat  misleading because the engineer, Herbert Kohler, actually said that he saw alternative fuel and electric vehicles becoming dominant in urban areas by 2015. Markely observes that  the story was meant to highlight the rapid progress Mercedes hopes to make in shedding petroleum as the primary fuel for its cars. Ranging from Smart electric city cars to the Mercedes-Benz-branded hydrogen fuel-cell F600 Hygenius, the German automaker is trying to get a jump on the expanding market of alternatives to gas and diesel.  Still, it’s one thing to invest in fuel-efficient technology and another to say that in seven years an automaker will only manufacture cars that don’t need a drop of gasoline. But if a car company were to add more expensive, fuel-saving technology, it would help if its buyers were already used to spending luxury-car money at the dealership. (Merc Plan Fuel Seven Year Ditch (The Sun) Posted by Stephen Markley on July 2, 2008 in Hybrids/Alternative Fuels, Mercedes  http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2008/07/can-mercedes-be.html )

 

 

OUR GUESTS

 

  • Greg Melville is a freelance journalist who’s written for such publications as Men’s Journal, Outside, the Wall Street Journal, and National Geographic Adventure. His book, Greasy Rider, is about his cross country trip in a 1985  Mercedes diesel stationwagon converted to burn recycled vegetable oil.  Along the way, his traveling companion and old college friend, Iggy, challenges him to do additional research on sustainability, including finding out whether Al Gore’s home is truly green and how farmers can make money harvesting wind.  It is published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill,

 

  • Thor Bailey is president of the Ag Biomass Council is a California-based nonprofit dedicated to expanding the biomass industry by improving public policy through environmental mitigation and compliance at the grassroots level. Their website says: The focus of the Ag Biomass Council is to provide a means for the California farming community to improve upon the current method of production in managing a sustainable operation. This includes  converting agricultural waste into high-value soil amendment, reducing the volume of material in landfills, improving air and water quality and producing renewable, carbon neutral energy. he Ag Biomass council is online at http://www.agbiocouncil.org/,

 

DO-IT-YOURSELF RESOURCES

 

·         Department of Energy–Exploring Ways to Use Biomass Energy.   Ever since humans started burning wood or other organic matter to keep warm and to cook food, we’ve been using biomass energy, or bioenergy. Today we can also use biomass to fuel vehicles, generate electricity, and develop biobased products.” Good set of web links to:  BiofuelsFuel your vehicle with ethanol or biodiesel.  BiopowerBuy clean electricity generated from biomass. (Includes a discussion of animal methane as well as a map of bioresources.) BioproductsUse products, like plastics, made from biomass. (including: antifreeze, plastics, glues, artificial sweeteners, and gel for toothpaste). Bioheating:Alternative ways to heat and cool your house.  http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/renewable_energy/biomass/index.cfm/mytopic=50001

 

·         Compost Guide – Composting Fundamentals  Includes numerous vegan recipes for after you finish growing food from your composting system. Introduction to Composting, How to Compost, What to Compos, What NOT to compost, Composing Bins and Systems, Compsoting Resources, Compositing Demonstration Sites, and Contributing Your Own Article on Composting.  http://vegweb.com/composting/

 

PLAY LIST

 

 

1.Big Yellow Taxi  2:17       Joni Mitchell Ladies Of The Canyon       Pop

2.Route 66 3:03        Natalie Cole  Unforgettable: With Love    R&B/Soul

3.Route 66 7:14        The Brian Setzer Orchestra           The Ultimate Collection      Rock

4.Route 66 3:31        The Cheetah Girls   Route 66 – Single     Pop

5. Route 66 3:05       Buckwheat Zydeco  Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire          Country

6.  Route 66  2:59    Beegie Adair Martini Lounge         Jazz

7.Weave Me the Sunshine            4:28    Peter, Paul And Mary          The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary         Folk