Now is the time to renew and rebuild our food systems and local economies; regenerate our soils and communities; and create new ways to live and work together.
We’re in a time of material descent. The world is “downsizing”; industrial economies are contracting, supply lines stretched thin, energy supplies increasingly vulnerable, and soils depleted; we're facing deep deficits in energy, natural resources, and water and food.
It’s time to be asking, “Which deeds are “future bearing” and give birth to a future we want to see?” The times call for the creation of deep-rooted, embodied resilience where we actually live; our towns and counties, our water- and foodsheds.
Whole-systems designs incorporating Permaculture principles and interlinked local farms can rebuild soils, strengthen local farms and economies, and provide resilient alternatives to fossil fuel dependence.
Any automobile or small engine built since 2001 can run on alcohol fuel without alteration (Doubts? See "Busting Ethanol Myths" above); as will any oil furnace.
It is important that we not squander resources needed for the sustainable production of electricity; that we concentrate their use where their particular qualities yield the most benefit.
Electricity is well-suited for lighting, communications, controls and small motors. From a whole-systems standpoint electricity is utterly unsuited for the bulk of transportation needs, where liquid fuels are far superior. We have great needs for sustainable electricity generation, but photovoltaic panels and vehicle and large scale batteries are extremely resource-intensive, requiring large amounts of rare elements that are in limited supply. Motors and generators, as well as the required electrical grid build-out, will consume vast amounts of copper that has already reached peak production capacity.
The transportation issue is not about liquid fuels, it's with non-renewable fuels. The criticisms of ethanol are not of ethanol as such, but the extremely destructive practices of industrial-scale corn ethanol production. Plant-based ethanol is carbon neutral; what is produced by combustion, has recently come from the atmosphere, not from fossil fuel. In fact regenerative growing practices sequester carbon, while healing soils.
The Model T could run on alcohol fuel; Henry Ford said, "The future of the automobile is with local, farm-grown alcohol fuel." Standard Oil disagreed, and financed Prohibition in order to break the back of people's access.
We know we've got to stop burning fossil fuels NOW - but we're helpless, right? We voted for the right guys, what else can we do? We need fuel to drive, we need heat, we need jobs.
What we can do is to START, right here, right now, and set to work. Whatever else we manage in our lives, this is a moral imperative - period.
Take whatever path calls you. This site is dedicated to one - locally produced, organic, regeneratively-grown ethanol fuel for transportation and home heating that will be cheaper, renewable, carbon-negative, better for vehicles, and burn clean. It will create jobs and strengthen our farms and local economies.
We all know ethanol is terrible - yes? NO! Inform yourself, break the chains of helplessness and misinformation; let's get together and ACT. In Columbia County, in the Hudson River Valley, NOW. See "Resources" in the menu above.
Why Alcohol Fuel?
Adapted from Permaculture.com
- Organic, regenerative farming practices are needed to heal and revitalize our farms and soils
- We can revitalize the economy instead of suffering through Peak Oil; locally produced ethanol supercharges regional economies - it's cheaper for consumers and businesses
- The byproducts of small-scale alcohol plants are valuable; they can be used in profitable, energy-efficient, and environmentally positive ways.
- Unlike hydrogen fuel cells, we can easily use alcohol fuel in the vehicles we already own.
- Scale matters—most of the widely publicized potential problems with ethanol are a function of scale.
- Almost every country can become energy independent.
The Oil Industry's Campaign to Discredit Ethanol
From Open Fuel Standard
Here are some of the things the oil industry did to discredit ethanol:
1. Created an "anti-ethanol" information campaign
2. A professor at UC Berkeley, Tad Patzek wrote a paper in 2005 stating that it takes more energy to make ethanol than you get by burning it
3. Came out with a paper saying that ethanol only produces the same amount of energy as it takes to make it, and that its lower pollution would be offset by the loss of rainforests to grow crops for ethanol.
[In the "Controversies" section of this web site you'll find scientific and common sense refutations of this misinformation.]