[permaculture] Svar: Re: David Blume and "Alcohol Can Be A Gas"

trevor william johnson john2116 at msu.edu
Thu Oct 22 00:14:40 EDT 2009


I feel there is a contextual misconception here.  What is  
permaculture and what is not permaculture.  Its all defined by the  
system in which it exists.  We must remember that sustainability/ 
fully interconnected interdependence (permacultures ideal goal) is  
not a location, set goal or certain list of techniques.  It is using  
the conditions of the system to support human life while also  
supporting the earth, caring for each other and sharing the wealth  
(permaculture ethics)

Given that context correction...It cant be denied that the whole  
premise of the book relies cars, tractors or other locomotive/energy  
generating machine which most likely will not be part of long term   
journey towards sustainability. But what is long term? There are  
already a lot of mined metals out there that will be useful for a  
long time. However as a stopgap measure in the meantime it is useful  
to wean us off of more polluting energy sources.

Thomas is quite correct in his assertion that what the alcohol  
creation process uses as feed-stock is actually the necessary base  
for a living and evolving soil food web.  If we break that cycle we  
will only create work for ourselves.

The lesson: dont throw the baby out with the bath water...and/ 
or...contextual permaculture jujitsu

Trevor
On Oct 21, 2009, at 9:46 AM, Albert Johnston wrote:

> I have read the book "Alcohol Can Be A Gas".
>
> I highly recommend this book for permaculturists. The point he makes
> over and over in the book is that feedstock should be waste from other
> processes or selected permaculture crops such as Jerusalem Artichoke.
> The protein and fat coproduced  used as feed for livestock, earthworms
> etc.  Also the possibilities of using cattails in a waste treatment
> facility that produce large amounts of starch.
>
> I especially like the part about using the laws that protect petroleum
> distrubutors to establish local ethanol producers as part of a local
> permaculture cooperative.
>
> Lately I have been pondering a new definition for permaculture. One
> way to define permaculture is ethical capitalism. Perhaps someone can
> start a string on this thought.
>
> I am not a certified permaculturists so be kind on the feedback.
>
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Oct 21, 2009, at 2:32 AM, "Thomas Paul Jahn" <tpj at life.ku.dk>  
> wrote:
>
>> Sorry, but in my eyes this is not permaculture at all. As long as he
>> wants us make believe that we will be driving our cars and lorries
>> on alcohol in substitution for oil this is insane.
>> With large production of alcohol from crops we directly compete with
>> food. Using "waste organic material" (second generation biofuel) for
>> alcohol production is not an alternative either. After reading
>> Fukuoka it was clear to me that straw HAS TO BE used for mulch and
>> cannot be taken out of this direct cycling.
>> It should always be possible to generate some minor amount of
>> biofuel, so the methode in principle may be interesting. But not for
>> large production. Transportation will only go as human powered or
>> electric human powered hybrid.
>> cheers
>> Thomas
>>
>>>>> katey culver <newtribe at hughes.net> 21-10-09 2:23 >>>
>> On Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 5:29 PM, Robert Waldrop <bwaldrop at cox.net>
>> wrote:
>> At the Financial Permaculture summit in 2008, one of the groups  
>> worked
>> on a concept for a farmer-owned cooperative that would make fuel from
>> local production for use in local production...
>>
>> Additionally, prior to the event the hosts of the Financial
>> Permaculture
>> summit had brought David Blume to talk to the Chamber of Commerce of
>> Lewis
>> County (county where Financial Permaculture event was held) and
>> based the
>> Ethanol Production track of the workshop on the ideas promoted in
>> David's
>> book.  The people who came to lead that track are the principles in
>> the
>> company Pesco-Beam.  You can see work on ethanol production at
>> http://www.pescova.com/biofuel_production/ethanol_production.shtml
>>
>> They have been in the ethanol production business since 1980 and
>> have a
>> permaculture perspective.  They were loaded with good energy and  
>> great
>> information.  I think they are very approachable so i would
>> recommend a
>> phone call to them to talk if you are interested in the pursuing this
>> avenue.
>>
>> Katey
>>
>> -- 
>> Katey Culver
>> www.earthandstraw.com
>>
>> On Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 5:29 PM, Robert Waldrop <bwaldrop at cox.net>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> At the Financial Permaculture summit in 2008, one of the groups
>>> worked
>>> on a concept for a farmer-owned cooperative that would make fuel  
>>> from
>>> local production for use in local production with some surplus
>>> available
>>> to be sold to the community, another useful product being the
>>> "brewers
>>> grains" which would go to dairies in the area, all of whom would be
>>> in
>>> the cooperative too.  I think at that level, alcohol production from
>>> biomass makes economic, energetic and permacultural "sense".  Giant
>>> factories using corn to make ethanol for use across a continent is
>>> clearly not a net-energy activity.  Corn is probably one of the  
>>> worst
>>> things to make into alcohol.
>>>
>>> Bob Waldrop, OKC
>>> http://www.barkingfrogspermaculture.org
>>>
>>> Leo Brodie wrote:
>>>> Do any of you have any thoughts or experience with David Blume and
>>>> his
>>> advocacy of alcohol (aka ethanol) as fuel? He touts himself as a
>>> permaculturist (he owns the domain permaculture.com), and does
>>> speak in
>>> terms that make some ecological sense (local production, re-
>>> applying the
>>> mash back to the soil), but I'm not sure it all adds up.
>>>>
>>>> He makes it sound like alcohol burns completely clean, but I've
>>>> found
>>> academic research (e.g
>>> http://petroleum.berkeley.edu/patzek/BiofuelQA/Materials/ 
>>> ClimateHealth.pdf
>>> )
>>> that says otherwise.
>>>>
>>>> I'm asking because I have never heard any mention of his work in
>>> Permaculture circles, but if his claims have any merit we should be
>>> trying
>>> this stuff.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks in advance,
>>>> Leo Brodie, Seattle
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