18 August 2008

More cool science stuff

Originally from Science Friday

In recent years, the use of ethanol as a biofuel to help deal with the ongoing energy crisis has received a good deal of attention from Washington. But can we produce both food and fuel -- and can ethanol truly replace oil and gas?

In this segment, Ira talks with ethanol biofuel advocate David Blume about common misconceptions about the use of ethanol for fuel, and about Blume's vision for decentralized, community supported ethanol production in the US. Could a neighborhood ethanol distillery be in your future? Teachers, find more information about using Science Friday as a classroom resource in the Kids' Connection.

David Blume
Executive Director of the International Institute for Ecological Agriculture
Author, "Alcohol Can Be A Gas" (International Institute for Ecological Agriculture, 2007)
Santa Cruz, California

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Segment produced by:Charles Bergquist

This is some pretty cool stuff. A former farmer talking about ideas to make ethanol useful. Similar to subsriber farms, where a group of local people pay a fee to the farmer to receive a portion of the harvest. Farmers could do a similar thing with ethanol. A small distillary at the farm would allow production of the alcohol for consumption by local people. I haven't previously had too much faith in ethanol as a viable alternative energy. This would make it nearly as useful as oil. The difficulties of carbon emmisions and alcohol tending to corrode engine parts still remains however.

15 August 2008

Attack ads

Lately, its seems that all I hear about the US Republicans are their attack ads. I really dislike this style of politics, since I feel that public figures ought to be elected for their own merits, rather than the fact that they threw more mud at their opponent. Pointing out differences in policy makes for good argument and debate. Pointing out "weaknesses" that don't directly relate to the ability to govern is stupid. This is the latest.