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Locally produced ethanol fuel - let's talk about it

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I came away from "Chasing Ice" and a Bill McKibben talk muttering, "We've got to stop burning fossil fuels" - and knowing how helpless we are to stop.

Yep, draft animals is a good direction - but we're all driving cars and trucks; tractors, and most of us heating with fossil fuels, and on and on.

I knew that ethanol is a terrible idea - what is more stupid than burning food in cars!! Besides, it takes away from small farmers in Latin America; and it takes more energy to grow and produce it, than you get out of it when it's burned; and it's bad for engines.


I heard about David Blude and "Alcohol Can Be a Gas!" from a Permaculture group; went to his web site, Permaculture.com (sure sign of an early adopter!), bought his book, and have been furiously working at learning and connecting ever since.

Bloom has been in Permaculture for 30 years, as practitioner and trainer. He had a 140 share, 450 person CSA that he fed from 2 acres (California acres) for 10 years. And what he presents in his ethanol book holds up - beginning with the sources of the oh-so-cleverly-done propaganda that most of us believe (see above for my own pre-awakening mindset - and that of most everyone I raise the subject with). He was with the Mother Earth News biofuels project in the 80s. But it's not about him - he is simply the hardest working and most visible proponent.

Locally grown and produced, sustainable, carbon-negative, useful and economical ethanol is within reach at farm, neighborhood and community scales. I'm working at getting stuff started here in Columbia County, New York. I am building an information website at "HudsonValleyBiofuel.org" This is not a business site. I would love to see farmers and neighbors build up businesses and CSEs - "Community Supported Energy" - but I am not myself in business.

You can do this! It takes work to get going - but the result is not only green, it is cheaper, cleaner, and engines last longer. The "by-products" make great feed for livestock, Tilapia, mushrooms, or earthworms.

I'd love to dialog, answer questions, and share information and connections.

Christian Sweningsen, Stuyvesant, NY