tagged w/ Biofuels
Move Over Corn: Sugarcane Rising Up in the Biofuel World, and Why Hemp Shouldn't Be Far Behind : PlaSugarcane is seen as the most successful alternative fuel so far. It is the crop fueling Brazil's ethanol industry, which is the second largest in the world (at 24.5 billion liters last year) and considered to be the world's first sustainable biofuels economy. It is much more efficiently converted to fuel than corn, in part because a byproduct of sugarcane known as bagasse can be used to heat the distillation process.
http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tech-transport/sugarcane-rising-fuel-world.htmlSugarcane is seen as the most successful alternative fuel so far. It is the crop... more
Under the provably fraudulent and completely corrupted justification of fighting global warming, the Obama administration has ordered the World Bank to keep “developing” countries underdeveloped by blocking them from building coal-fired power plants, ensuring that poorer countries remain in poverty as a result of energy demands not being met.
Even amidst the explosive revelations of the United Nations IPCC issuing reports on the Himalayan Glaciers and the Amazon rainforest littered with incorrect data, the U.S. government has “Stepped up pressure on the World Bank not to fund coal-fired power plants in developing countries,” reports the Times of India.
The order was made by U.S. Executive Director of the World Bank Whitney Debevoise, who represents the United States in considering all loans, investments, country assistance strategies, budgets, audits and business plans of the World Bank Group entities.
By preventing poor nations from becoming self-sufficient in blocking them from producing their own energy, the Obama administration is ensuring that millions more will die from starvation and lack of access to hospitals and medical treatment.
Not only does strangling the energy supply to poorer countries prevent adequate food distribution and lead to more starvation, but hospitals and health clinics in the third world are barely even able to operate as a result of the World Bank and other global bodies ordering them to be dependent on renewable energy supplies that are totally insufficient.
A prime example appeared in the documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, which highlighted how a Kenyan health clinic could not operate a medical refrigerator as well as the lights at the same time because the facility was restricted to just two solar panels.
“There’s somebody keen to kill the African dream. And the African dream is to develop,” said author and economist James Shikwati. “I don’t see how a solar panel is going to power a steel industry … We are being told, ‘Don’t touch your resources. Don’t touch your oil. Don’t touch your coal.’ That is suicide.”
The program labels the idea of restricting the world’s poorest people to alternative energy sources as “the most morally repugnant aspect of the global warming campaign.”
As we have previously highlighted, the implementation of policies arising out of fraudulent fearmongering and biased studies on global warming is already devastating the third world, with a doubling in food prices causing mass starvation and death.
Poor people around the world, “Are being killed in large numbers by starvation as a result of (climate change) policy,” climate skeptic Lord Monckton told the Alex Jones Show last month, due to huge areas of agricultural land being turned over to the growth of biofuels.
“Take Haiti where they live on mud pie with real mud costing 3 cents each….that’s what they’re living or rather what they’re dying on,” said Monckton, relating how when he gave a speech on this subject, a lady in the front row burst into tears and told him, “I’ve just come back from Haiti – now because of the doubling in world food prices, they can’t even afford the price of a mud pie and they’re dying of starvation all over the place.”
As a National Geographic Report confirmed, “With food prices rising, Haiti’s poorest can’t afford even a daily plate of rice, and some must take desperate measures to fill their bellies,” by “eating mud,” partly as a consequence of “increasing global demand for biofuels.”
In April 2008, World Bank President Robert Zoellick admitted that biofuels were a “significant contributor” to soaring food prices that have led to riots in countries such as Haiti, Egypt, the Philippines, and even Italy.
More at link:Under the provably fraudulent and completely corrupted justification of fighting... more
I will answer that question with a resounding YES. GMOs are the greatest scam foisted upon the people of this world. It is the most crucial environmental and social issue of this century and encompasses health, economy, environment (climate change), soil health, biodiversity, and our very lives, as well as our freedom. And the word is getting out and more people are fighting back. This year is the year to say NO MORE GMOs and fight for true food freedom and sovereignty! We do have the power to take back our food with our votes, with our voices, and most importantly with our dollars.
Take that Monsanto!
BTW, this is a great informative video explaining it in three minutes.
Too bad the US media is so complicit in keeping people ignorant to the real threats to their health and freedom. Thankfully there are organizations picking up the slack for their irresponsibility.I will answer that question with a resounding YES. GMOs are the greatest scam foisted... more
In response to the growing interest in algae cultures on the part of teachers, educators and students, a website set up to promote algae has released an educational kit to meet the needs of inexperienced people who want to get started. http://twilightearth.com/environment/organization-teaches-kids-how-to-grow-algae/In response to the growing interest in algae cultures on the part of teachers,... more
Researchers have developed a way to boost the naturally-occurring oils in tobacco, increasing its potential for use as a biofuel. c plus big oil? What could possibly go wrong?
It seems that the seeds of the tobacco plant are naturally high in oils that would make them ideal for use as a biofuel — but an acre of the plant only produces around 600kg of seeds. Researchers from the Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories at Thomas Jefferson University have found a way to modify the plants to produce 20x as much oil in the leaves — by tweaking the diacyglycerol acytransferase (DGAT) and the LEAFY COTYLEDON 2 (LEC2) genes. This would significantly increase the amount of biofuel that could be generated.
Large areas of America are already set up for tobacco farming, so the switch to biofuel production may not be too difficult. We might even see large tobacco firms using this as a PR offensive, as a way to clean up their tarnished image. Who knows, maybe they'll even team up with big oil, for a megacorp lovefest.
http://www.jeffersonhospital.org/news/2009/article18890.htmlResearchers have developed a way to boost the naturally-occurring oils in tobacco,... more
Welcome to the Angry Mermaid Award |
Out of the eight nominees that were put forward for public vote on this website and at the Klimaforum in Copenhagen, Monsanto emerged as the winner of the Angry Mermaid Award 2009 with 37 per cent of the ten thousand votes that were cast.
Oil giant Shell ended second place (18 per cent), for lobbying to sabotage effective action on climate change, followed by the American Petroleum Institute (14 per cent).
Agriculture giant Monsanto was nominated for promoting its genetically modified (GM) crops as a solution to climate change and pushing for its crops to be used as biofuels. The expansion of GM soy in Latin America is contributing to major deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) of which Monsanto is a member, is helping to promote the company’s cause by allowing GM soy to be labelled as “responsible”. Monsanto also wants GM soy to be funded under the Clean Development Mechanism.
Crucial UN climate talks take place in Copenhagen this December. While people, organisations and social movements around the world are calling for strong action to prevent climate change and ensure climate justice, big business has been lobbying to block effective action to tackle the problem, while also seeking to benefit from it. Lobbying is defined as attempting to influence the decision-making process.
The Angry Mermaid Award has been set up to recognise the perverse role of corporate lobbyists, and highlight those business groups and companies that have made the greatest effort to sabotage the climate talks, and other climate measures, while promoting, often profitable, false solutions.
Named after the iconic Copenhagen mermaid who is angry about the destruction being caused by climate change, the Angry Mermaid Award winner will be decided by a public poll.
http://www.angrymermaid.org/Welcome to the Angry Mermaid Award | Out of the eight nominees that were put... more
The implementation of policies arising out of fraudulent fearmongering and biased studies on global warming is already devastating the third world, with a doubling in food prices causing mass starvation and death – a primary reason why the climategate crooks and their allies should be criminally investigated and hit with the strongest charges possible.
As Lord Monckton outlined in his recent Alex Jones Show appearance, climate change alarmism and implementation of global warming policies is a crime of the highest nature, because it is already having a genocidal impact in countries like Haiti, where the doubling of food prices is resulting in a substantial increase in starvation, poverty and death.
Poor people around the world, “Are being killed in large numbers by starvation as a result of (climate change) policy,” said Monckton, due to huge areas of agricultural land being turned over to the growth of biofuels.
More at the Link
http://www.infowars.com/third-world-under-attack-from-genocidal-climate-change-policy/The implementation of policies arising out of fraudulent fearmongering and biased... more
What a disgrace. Yet, our military defense budget is obscene. So please Obama, don't continue talking and saying you are going to work on 'reversing this trend' when this is more than just a trend for one, and you then sign bills giving more money for defense spending and wars. A country's character is defined by its priorities. We need to work a lot harder on ours.
And by all means, please keep on appointing Monsanto insiders as well to show how much you truly care for the poor and the environment.What a disgrace. Yet, our military defense budget is obscene. So please Obama,... more
As if turning grapes into wine wasn't enough, now wineries are aiming to transform their wastes into fuel.
The first example of a new renewable method for generating hydrogen fuel from wastewater is now operating at a California winery.
The refrigerator-sized generator takes waste from the Napa Wine Company in Oakville, Calif.,
and feeds it to microbes inside. With the aid of a little electricity, these naturally occurring bacteria break the organic material in the wastewater into hydrogen gas.
There is a lot more energy locked in the wastewater than is currently used to treat it, explained researcher Bruce Logan, an environmental engineer at Penn State University. Eventually, the winery would like to use the hydrogen to run vehicles and power systems.
"It's nice that Napa Wine Company offered up their winery and facilities to test this new approach," Logan said. "We chose a winery because it is a natural tourist attraction. People go there all the time to experience wine making and wine, and now they can also see a demonstration of how to make clean hydrogen gas from agricultural wastes."
http://www.livescience.com/environment/091103-renewable-wine.htmlAs if turning grapes into wine wasn't enough, now wineries are aiming to... more
Initial flight tests have found that jet fuel made partly of camelina, algae or other bio-feed stocks can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes by more than 50 percent, doesn't affect performance and presents no technical or safety problems, a top Boeing official said Thursday.
"It meets all jet fuel requirements and then some," said Billy Glover, who heads Boeing's environmental strategy group.
Glover said a full report on the test flights would be released next month and aviation biofuel could be approved for use as early as next year. Despite its promise, however, Glover said the real problem is how quickly growers can start producing and refiners processing enough biofuel to make it an alternative to the Jet A fuel used today.
Aircraft account for about 3 percent of the nation's carbon dioxide emissions, the principal greenhouse gas, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Though Boeing doesn't expect much growth in aircraft carbon dioxide emissions, some have estimated they could triple by 2050.
Boeing, Virgin Atlantic, New Zealand Air, Continental Airlines and Japan Airlines, along with GE Aircraft Engines, have conducted four tests using a mixture of biofuel and regular jet fuel over the past 15 months. The planes involved included wide-body 747s and single-aisle 737s. The biofuels included blends of babassu, sustainably grown coconut oil, jatropha, algae and camelina.
Babassu oil comes from a tree that grows in the Amazon region of South America. Jatropha is a scrub brush that grows on marginal farmlands. Camelina, which provided oil for lamps in the days of the Roman Empire but for centuries was dismissed as little more than a weed, also can be grown on marginal lands, perhaps in rotation with such crops as dry-land wheat.
Of all the crops, camelina, for now, holds the most promise, Glover said.Initial flight tests have found that jet fuel made partly of camelina, algae or other... more
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Friday it would approve biofuels for commercial flights by 2010 in a bid to drastically reduce the industry's carbon footprint.
Paul Steele, who heads IATA's environmental initiatives, told reporters in New Delhi biofuel would be certified "by the end of next year".
Certification is widely regarded as a first technical step that could eliminate some of the investment uncertainties clouding the use of high quality biofuels in aviation.
"For the first time, air transport has the possibility of an alternative to traditional jet fuel," said IATA chief executive Giovanni Bisignani.
IATA estimates aviation biofuel could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent "on a full carbon life-cycle basis" and that it would save 600 kilogrammes (176 pounds) of emissions per flight on a Boeing 747-400 plane.
Steele said recent flight tests by carriers intended to "decouple traffic growth from emissions growth" had shown biofuel and traditional fuel could be successfully blended without changes to aircraft engines.
But airlines face the challenge of controlling costs and procuring biofuel without affecting the food chain, he added.
Biofuels are controversial as critics say widespread production could affect food crops, exacerbate global shortages and strain water supplies.
Bisignani said biofuel was only a part of IATA's strategy to achieve carbon-neutral growth and eventually zero carbon emissions.
He urged nations to treat the aviation sector as a separate entity ahead of international climate change talks in Copenhagen in December aimed at finding a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
"If not, we face the risk of uncoordinated competitive government taxation that won't reduce emissions but will be harmful to global economic development," said Bisignani.The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Friday it would approve... more
Middlebury College to use quick growing Willow shrub as a fossil fuel alternative to heat.
Sweden, for instance, has set a 40 per cent target for 2020 and a new government bill requires its transport sector to be fossil-free by 2030. While such initiatives may be applauded, Sweden is as a result investing heavily in research and influencing EU-wide policy that provides financial incentives for companies to buy up land in Africa for biofuel production. Two Swedish biofuel companies, SweTree Technologies and SEKAB, currently sit on the industry-dominated board of the European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP). The EBTP have privileged access to European Commission decision-making and help shape research direction and spending of public money. SweTree Technologies, for instance, is researching second-generation biofuels by genetically modifying trees for fuel conversion. SweTree’s director, Björn Hägglun, also happens to be the chief director of WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Sweden, only one of only two NGOs that has openly admitted its involvement with the EBTP. Second-generation biofuels are now mandated to produce twice as much energy compared to first-generation biofuels in meeting the 10 per cent EU-wide transport target.
Exporting biofuels or feedstocks from developing countries to the EU will push up food prices and hurt poor consumers. Studies and countless media reports link biofuel plantations with a number of destructive conditions that directly undermine their potential, not to mention ethics. For instance, the EU has a contractual obligation to import sugar from ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) states entering into an EPA (economic partnership agreement). But there are no clear legal mandates to determine the difference between 'environmentally sound' and 'environmentally damaging' imports.
As such, European companies are scrambling for a slice of African soil. The financial incentives along with home policies drive the business fury and yet, according to a report by the European Parliament, only a tiny percentage of biofuel is imported from Africa because of high tariffs. The United Nations FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation) along with the IIED (International Institute for Environment and Development) and the IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) conducted a study that looks at the impact of land acquisition in Mali, Ghana, Sudan, Ethiopia and Madagascar. Since 2004, close to 2.5 million (ha) hectares of land – excluding land allocations below 1,000 ha – have been appropriated by foreign acquisition in these countries. Two-thirds of 3 billion people survive on around 500 million parcels of land less than two hectares in size. Most of the land claimed by foreign acquisition was already in use by local people. Women, who are the main food producers, were more easily driven out due to discrimination. In Tanzania, a sugarcane plantation for biofuel in the Wami basin displaced 1,000 farmers. The results are disheartening as people end up in over-populated urban centres and their outlying slums.
The promise of easy money in an environment without strong regulation and cheap land is a motivating factor for companies and the hosting government. Weak legislation means mechanisms that are supposed to protect local rights, interest, and welfare is disregarded. Rich arable land used for commercial biofuel production has serious implications for a people who already spend 70 per cent of their incomes on food. Food and energy security concerns are supposed to be key drivers behind government-backed investments. However, the key driver behind these deals is investment opportunities. This is compounded by a global demand for non-food agricultural commodities and biofuels, which promise high rates of return. The buy-outs and speculation of African land is also driving up its value while policy measures in home and host countries encourage the scramble.
more at the link.Sweden, for instance, has set a 40 per cent target for 2020 and a new government bill... more
Converting the rubbish that fills the world’s landfills into biofuel may be the answer to both the growing energy crisis and to tackling carbon emissions, claim scientists in Singapore and Switzerland. New research published in Global Change Biology: Bioenergy, reveals how replacing gasoline with biofuel from processed waste could cut global carbon emissions by 80%.
Biofuels produced from crops have proven controversial because they require an increase in crop production which has its own severe environmental costs. However, second-generation biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol derived from processed urban waste, may offer dramatic emissions savings without the environmental catch.
“Our results suggest that fuel from processed waste biomass, such as paper and cardboard, is a promising clean energy solution,” said study author Associate Professor Hugh Tan of the National University of Singapore. “If developed fully this biofuel could simultaneously meet part of the world’s energy needs, while also combating carbon emissions and fossil fuel dependency.”
The team used the United Nation’s Human Development Index to estimate the generation of waste in 173 countries. This data was then coupled to the Earthtrends database to estimate the amount of gasoline consumed in those same countries.
The team found that 82.93 billion litres of cellulosic ethanol could be produced from the world’s landfill waste and that by substituting gasoline with the resulting biofuel, global carbon emissions could be cut by figures ranging from 29.2% to 86.1% for every unit of energy produced.
“If this technology continues to improve and mature these numbers are certain to increase,” concluded co-author Dr. Lian Pin Koh from ETH Zürich. “This could make cellulosic ethanol an important component of our renewable energy future.”Converting the rubbish that fills the world’s landfills into biofuel may be the... more
Today Washington DC-based company Envion opened a $5 million dollar facility that they claim will be able to efficiently transform plastic waste into a source of oil-like fuel. The technology uses infra-red energy to remove hydrocarbons from plastic without the use of a catalyst, transforming 82% of the original plastic material into fuel. According to Envion, the resulting fuel can then be blended with other components, providing a source for gasoline or diesel at as low as $10 per barrel.Today Washington DC-based company Envion opened a $5 million dollar facility that they... more
Earlier this week, the LATimes reported that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (hereafter “the Chamber”) has petitioned the EPA to hold a trial-like hearing on the science of climate disruption. According to the article, officials for the Chamber want to make it “‘the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century.’”
EPA officials interviewed for the LATimes article are dismissive of the Chamber’s petition, referring to it in the article as “frivolous” and a “waste of time.” However, given that the Chamber has threatened to take the EPA to federal court to force them to hold this trial-like hearing, it’s unlikely that the Chamber considers their petition “frivolous.”
According to a new study reported in the BBC, the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite has detected a significant reduction in the amount of groundwater in India. According to the BBC, the study finds the reason for the falling groundwater level is overuse for irrigation. According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory press release, the total loss from 2002 to 2008 was 108 cubic miles.
According to a ClimateWire story, scientists are becoming concerned about the potential for biofuel crops to become invasive weeds. The problem, as the article points out, is that the best cellulosic biofuel crops are going to need very little water, little to no fertilizer, and produce high yields.
A couple of weeks ago, General Motors announced with great fanfare that the Chevy Volt was so energy efficient that it would get 230 MPG. According to the NYTimes, GM used an EPA-approved methodology, but the number itself hasn’t been verified or independently tested. According to an interview with Larry Nitz, GM’s executive director of hybrid powertrain engineering, at GM-volt.com, the EPA methodology is a baseline that is based on a statistical traffic study done in 2001 that measured how the typical vehicle will be used.
Let’s perform a simple experiment. First, find a pen. Second, put it on the edge of the table and scoot it slowly off the edge. If you watch it closely as it starts to tip over, you’ll notice that it doesn’t start to tip until about it reaches about the middle. This is because the pen’s center of gravity is supported by the table until you reach approximately the pen’s center. But as soon as the pen’s center of gravity is unsupported, it starts to tip over and will eventually fall to the floor.
This fact – that a cantilevered beam doesn’t start to fall until it reaches it’s midpoint – is the basis behind a new form of train that the developers claim will cost 60% less than traditional rail. It’s called tubular rail, and its developers are at Tubular Rail, Inc. (TRI)
The Associated Press has reported that the average global ocean sea surface temperature in July set a record for the hottest July since measurements started. The ocean was 0.5924 °Celsius over the previous record, set during the strong El Niño in 1998, of 0.5761. This is according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) July 2009 highlights page. What the AP didn’t report, however, and neither did the NCDC, is that the preliminary data from July shows that July 2009 was the hottest sea surface temperature anomaly since recording started 130 years ago. Previously, the warmest month was December 1997 (0.5776 °C), as the 1998 El Niño was starting.
For your information, the warming water trend is called “El Niño” because it historically peaks in December, which is why it’s named after the Spanish name of the Christ child.
More at the linkEarlier this week, the LATimes reported that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (hereafter... more
The fluorescent green mantle of biofuel savior has come to rest upon algae—slimily, sure, but for good reason. Algae grows in fresh water or salt water or sewage, rather than competing with food crops for land or resources. And algae actually sucks out the pollution from coal-fired power plants, with a theoretical yield of oil per acre that's hundreds of times greater than, say, corn.
But after all the hype—and there's been plenty of it—the fact remains that nobody has yet proven they can cheaply and reliably transform the stuff from a thick, green slurry to a finished fuel capable of making a dent in America's 870 million–gallon-per-day petroleum habit.
"I get a lot of people telling me that they've got thousands of gallons, but when I actually ask for a sample I can get maybe two," says Jennifer Holmgren, director of the UOP renewable energy and chemicals division, which is working to refine jet fuel from feedstocks that include algae.
"Google some of the numbers, and you've got people claiming that right now they're producing 35,000 gallons per acre per year, and they'll be producing 100,000 gallons—and that's just impossible," says Solix Biofuels lead scientist Bryan Wilson, a veritable grandfather with two successful years in the fledgling algae industry. "There's probably not more than a few barrels floating around right now."
Two years ago, there were less than a handful of companies chasing the next wave of so-called "pond scum" power. Today, there are dozens, many backed by big energy industry players such as Chevron and Shell. Last year, DARPA granted UOP $6.7 million to study how "second-generation" feedstocks, or nonfood crops, could turn into JP-8 jet fuel for U.S. Air Force and NATO fighters. Just this month, Airbus and JetBlue announced goals to replace 30 percent of jet fuel with second-gen biofuels by 2030. Air New Zealand and Dutch airline KLM have similar plans in the works.
All that's missing, for now, is all that oil they need to refine.
"It's frustrating for the outside world, but we've been learning how to do agriculture for about 5000 years, and we've been learning how to make oil from algae now for only a couple of years. So there's a lot of learning, and the curve is pretty steep," Wilson says. "This is probably going to be the first summer that you're getting anything more than just test tubes of oil produced."
This is algae's second coming. The first attempt, run by the U.S. government in the wake of the last oil crisis, was killed in 1996 by the Clinton administration while oil hovered around $20 per barrel. But even now, with record-high petroleum prices, algae stands in no position to compete, and hurdles remain at every stage of production.
Just choosing which kind of algae to start with is a herculean task. There are well over 100,000 species, each adapted to grow in different environments at different rates, and each capable of producing different amounts of oil—or none at all. The government collected more than 3000 different strains from all over the world in the 1980s, 300 of which were deemed promising. Today, many algal strains have been engineered into genetically modified superplants—the secret formulas of biofuel startups—but there is, as yet, no proven winner. Not to mention, there remains the small matter of how to make the algae flourish, how to cheaply dry several million gallons of subsequent slush, and how to get the oil out of minuscule cell walls and into the metaphorical barrel.
"It's not as easy as running a combine through a field of canola to get the seeds and crush them," says Michael Weaver, CEO of the Washington biofuels company Bionavitas. "For anybody who thinks that we can go from ‘Hey, let's look at algae,' to full-on fuel production in the period of the past three to five years, it's just never going to happen that way."
A number of pilot plants scheduled to come online in the next several months will likely give .....The fluorescent green mantle of biofuel savior has come to rest upon... more
Fuel companies are accelerating the destruction of rainforest by secretly adding palm oil to diesel that is sold to millions of British motorists.
Twelve oil companies supplied a total of 123 million litres of palm oil to filling stations in the year to April, according to official figures obtained by The Times.
Only 15 per cent of the palm oil came from plantations that met any kind of environmental standard. Much of the rest came from land previously occupied by rainforest.
Vast tracts of rainforest are destroyed each year by companies seeking to take advantage of the world’s growing appetite for plant-based alternatives to fossil fuel.
In theory, greenhouse gas emissions from burning biofuel are lower than those from fossil fuel because crops absorb carbon dioxide as they grow.
But clearing rainforest to create biofuel plantations releases vast quantities of carbon stored in trees and soil. It takes up to 840 years for a palm oil plantation to soak up the carbon emitted when rainforest is burnt to plant the crop.
Deforestation, mainly in the tropics, accounts for almost 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The expansion of the palm oil industry in Indonesia has turned the country into the third-largest CO2 emitter, after China and the US. Indonesia has the fastest rate of deforestation, losing an area the size of Wales every year. The expansion of plantations has pushed the orang-utan to the brink of extinction in Sumatra.
Last year British motorists used 27 million litres of palm oil from Indonesia and 64 million litres from Malaysia, according to the Renewable Fuels Agency, the government-funded watchdog that monitors biofuel supplies. Fuel companies also supplied 32 million litres of palm oil from “unknown” countries.
Several leading fuel industry figures sit on the agency’s board, including a director of the oil company BP and a senior executive from the coalmining group Anglo American. The agency said that the directors had not been involved in the decision to withhold the names of the companies.
Ian Duff, a forest campaigner for Greenpeace, said: “It cannot be right that the watchdog on biofuels has oil company directors on its board. The agency is preventing the public from discovering which of these companies are selling us palm oil, one of the cheapest and most environmentally damaging biofuels.”
Several major oil companies are exploiting a loophole in the agency’s reporting system to avoid declaring what type of land has been used to grow their biofuel. They are obliged to submit a sustainability report but in the section on the previous use of the land are allowed to say “unknown”.
When calculating the greenhouse gas savings from biofuel the agency ignores the previous use of the land.Fuel companies are accelerating the destruction of rainforest by secretly adding palm... more
Winner of Best Documentary Short in the Durango Independent Film Festival this month, and directed by Moez Moez, “Green” is a documentary film that uses a strong visual storytelling structure and a creative sound bed, a film documenting the last moments of a female orangutan’s life.
We first see the orangutan, who we’ll later learn is named Green, in a duffel bag with head hanging out, riding in the back of a pickup truck. This initial shot is emotionally shocking and lasts for what feels like a full minute or more. The viewer has no context of the circumstances. We aren’t even sure she was alive.
Shortly after, we discover that the form of this film is absent of interviews and narration. In fact, not many words are heard throughout the entire piece. The narrative proceeds with a dissolve, from the bed-sickened Green into her life memories. We experience a lush jungle and rich ecosystem, full of primates and other wildlife.
The filmmaker uses point-of-view and dutch-angle shots to place us into the orangutan’s perspective. As the story continues, Green’s perspective is juxtaposed with the process of development destroying her home through deforestation to biodiesel production. It’s a gradual transition into the harsh reality of globalization. The forest is destroyed, primates suffer, palm oil is manufactured, and the fast-paced urban world seems oblivious.
“Her name is Green, she is alone in a world which doesn’t belong to her. She is a female orangutan, victim of deforestation and palm oil plantations.”
“Green’s” heart-felt message addresses our current global crisis through a universal lens. The Director can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and asks that it is promoted as far and widely as possible.Winner of Best Documentary Short in the Durango Independent Film Festival this month,... more
Moffett Field, Calif.-based scientists plan to apply a new bionanotech approach, which breaks down inedible plant material into usable sugars.
CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE....Moffett Field, Calif.-based scientists plan to apply a new bionanotech approach, which... more