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July 25, 2008

Cody's biofuel road trip begins!

Posted: 11:25 AM ET

Hi! This is producer Cody McCloy. Web developer Brian Hardy and I are jetting off to Cali today to kickoff our road trip with renewable biodiesel fuel from the San Francisco Bay to Atlanta. Read Cody's kickoff article

Along the way we’ll cover things a road-tripper might find interesting, such as how to save money on the road and how cleaner-burning alternative fuels can reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Of course we’ll also hit some major destinations and roadside attractions as we rattle and hum down the highway in our classic 1978 International Harvester Scout.

Watch our live video broadcast this Monday at 9:40 a.m. ET on Live!

And of course, you can follow along right here on the SciTech blog.

If there’s something you think we should stop and see along the way – please hit us up via  and send us photos and videos of places you want us to visit.

And finally you can vote on our destinations at’s special report American Road Trips.

See ya on the road!


Filed under: environment • Road trip

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Michael Wyrick   July 25th, 2008 12:09 pm ET

There are a number of factual errors and misleading statements. Biodiesel is not “a mixture of diesel gasoline and vegetable oil.” It is also not a gasoline alternative since gasoline vehicles can not use biodiesel. Diesel gasoline doesn’t exist and biodiesel is produced from vegetable oil while. Most diesel vehicles can run on a biodiesel blend but anything more than 10% will void most warranties. While pump price can be reduced with biofuel blends, you are completely ignoring the $1 per gallon subsidy and the reduced mileage associated with ethanol. Increasingly, we are importing vegetable oil from other countries to produce biodiesel thus shifting the majority of the cost from the Middle East to Southeast Asia and South America. This action ends up funding deforestation instead of hostile regimes and terrorist groups. For a project partially focused on environmental benefits, your choice of vehicle is ironic. I’m not sure of the exact mileage of a ’78 Scout but I am willing to bet it isn’t something you would be proud to print. You do our country a disservice and make a joke of a very serious issue we all face by printing this.

Andy   July 25th, 2008 12:45 pm ET

Energy Independence is in the Air!
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The Self Powered Systems™ the firm is bringing to market, include a revolutionary, patent pending, technology, which converts ambient heat into electricity. This non-magnetic breakthrough has the potential to go to production in the near future. The system has proven capability to recharge batteries from heat extracted from the air; an alternative to the need to plug-in. This technology can give electric cars unlimited range, as well as turn them into power plants.

MPI is also developing breakthrough magnetic energy technologies including POWERGENIE™ (Power Generation of Electricity by Nondestructive Interference of Energy). Based upon proprietary discoveries in MPI’s labs, generators are being designed that operate continuously, without fuel, extracting electricity by converting an abundant, renewable, extremely dense, energy source that has never before been commercialized. The process will create no pollution. Variations will provide a permanent power supply that can eventually replace the need for batteries of all sizes. Conventional power costs are rising. The cost of electricity from these technologies promises to be less than any competing form of power generation today, or in the foreseeable future.

Andy   July 25th, 2008 12:48 pm ET

Take a trip here and see if this is really true.

Magnetic Power Inc.
301A North Main Street, Sebastopol, CA 95472
voice: 707 829-9391 fax: 707 829-1002

Sandra, Wadley Georgia   July 25th, 2008 1:06 pm ET

Brian and Cody:

Happy motoring. Do you have air conditioning in the '78 Scout? The heat sure is oppressive on the way to Atlanta. Just in case you break down and are in need of parts, I did find a dealer: Scout Light Line Parts; toll-free number 888-288-0550 and they do accept major credit cards. You must follow through with this trip (breakdown or not) even if it costs more than expected; I eagerly look forward to your broadcast Monday night. By the way, I missed Anderson's Copperhill TN segment the other night. If you happen to be in that vicinity, please stop and say hello to the folks there. Take care and God Bless you both.

Steven Choat   July 25th, 2008 1:14 pm ET

I have been recently reading about Hydrogen boosters for cars, motorcycles and trucks which increase the gas millage 25-50%. There is a site that makes you buy their books for $97 first, but also sells a complete booster kit for $299(I think it was this site). These are boosters that you make yourself for about $60-160 from the estimates that I've seen. You can read about boosters there and also you can go to and read about them just click on hydrogen boosters. You can buy complete kits like the smack booster for $270 and others if you want one already together. There are other companies that sell stainless steel models for about $1000. There is a company at boostersgarage that guarentee's a 50% increase. They have a challange that they will test then install($750 cost) the booster($1000), and if they don't get you 50% better milage it's free, but if they do you have to pay double for the booster.

I also read about someone who took a hybrid and removed the gas motor and replaced it with a semi truck generator to make it run only on electric and self charging. I also have been reading about water powered cars and such. I just thought that I would let you know about this. I am not currently affiliated with any of these companies.

David Egli   July 25th, 2008 1:36 pm ET

Government had a geothermal project in Hawaii which could have powered much of the island which was canceled, renew this effort. Solar and wind farms on top of high-rises in cities (tax incentives). Germany has solar panels along autovons stretching hundreds of kilometers. Why not interstates? Use thermal gradients in deep ocean hot spots. There is abundant energy all around us, just need to motivation to harness it. Kick the politicians in the butt, and begin a energy program with the intensity of the space program and you will see benefits within five years.

Gary   July 25th, 2008 2:54 pm ET

Okay Cody McCloy. Maybe when you get back you can do a report on people starving due to biodiesel fuel.

Gene   July 25th, 2008 4:56 pm ET

Here's a little reading material for you on your trip. Please take the time to verify the data and sources Mr. Savinar mentions, and his credentials. Don't dismiss it out of hand. Then include it in your report. Just looking for a little fair and balanced coverage of this.

Another excellent source of information on everything to do with energy, is .

Michael Wyrick, and others who have problems with this publicity stunt, I agree completely.

Dave   July 25th, 2008 6:51 pm ET

While the conversion away from petroleum based power is essential to shift the balance of power, we must also focus on evolving beyond the internal combustion engine. Global warming is caused by far more than the emissions – we are sitting in our green house and every body has a fire going. Even if we find a way to create that fire and reduce the exhaust gases, we are still raising the temperature of our living space. Eventually, we will cook ourselves. Bio-fuel will not stop global warming – We will simply have clearer lungs when turn medium-rare.

Bill   July 25th, 2008 6:53 pm ET

You guys need to stop by Minden, Nevada. Bentley Ag., on Buckeye road has a big, biodiesel operation. There's such a demand that an actual filling station is being built in this little town in Nevada. Folks come from as far north as Reno and as far south as Bridgeport, CA. just to buy biodiesel. Stop and see the sites in Tahoe, then come on down about 26 miles into Minden, NV.

Sean Parsons   July 25th, 2008 11:37 pm ET

Biofuels are a stop gap, nothing more. I myself drive an 84 Mercedes 300dt that I converted to run on used vegetable oil. It's really great, but...

I drove about 1600 miles few weeks ago on WVO, and saw a station selling biodiesel. "Wonderful!" I think, yet I then saw it was still $4.69 a gallon. That was 10 cents cheaper than diesel.

The fuel prices have more to do with demand and what the public will pay for them. We're still willing to pay over $5.00 a gallon, so the prices will continue to be high. The issue of ethanol and biodiesel is that it will be using more farm land to create fuel, and in essence, raising the prices of anything that has corn (or otherwise) in it from dog food to Cheerios. I find it ironic that we're now paying attention to this "alternative" fuel source when Mr. Diesel originally designed his engine to run on peanut oil so farmers could create their own fuel decades ago.

Fuel prices are high because we keep buying it, plain and simple.

Franko   July 26th, 2008 1:49 am ET

Something more exciting, please !
Try being chased out by a hurricane in Florida, all the way to Alaska
Divert a while to South America, to get the real biofuel experience.
Pay off the druglords for safe passage. Impoprt some for CIA.
Pick up Mexican hitchikers, redy to pick fruit.
Bounce around US, then across to Canada ,and finally Alaska.

This could become a TV series, Real Live Reporter, Biofuel Survivor.

Hank   July 26th, 2008 2:14 am ET

Guys - I have to agree with an earlier post that you couldn't have chosen a worse vehicle ... a International Scout ... its like the proto-type of the modern SUV. One of your best choices would have been one of the Volkswagen TDI models (2002 – '04 ). A fiend of ours regularly gets 50MPG.

And that choice (a fuel guzzling Scout versus a fuel sipping TDI diesel) is really the message that needs to be discussed. Bio-Fuels are nice but they can never replace the vast amount of oil we use. They can supplement but not replace. So we need to move to super-efficient vehicles very quickly. This is the easiest and quickest way to cut our consumption.

Also – if you're really serious you need to visit this place on your journey:

oneStarman   July 26th, 2008 2:18 am ET

BURN BABY BURN – it's pretty scary isn't it to think that we are still talking about finding new sources of carbon to pump into the atmosphere. Luckily if we fill enough vehicles tanks with 'diesel gasoline' we won't need to worry about their engines doing any more damage to the environment – they will however be rather large paperweights. Then maybe the owners will buy an electric commuter car to take him to his new job at the wind farm.

Robert   July 26th, 2008 3:07 am ET

Bio-fuels are not going to have a significant impact on our (global) problems. It doesn't make sense to trade food for fuel. The technology in your test vehicle is 30 years old. You could make a significant reduction in polution and (probable) increase in fuel economy if you used a more modern engine that has lean-burn technology and an engine-management chip. Americans haven't grasped the concept of conservation. The goal shouldn't be to find additional ways to continue our current over-consumption of energy.
The trip is not necessary. It is a self-promoting stunt. Scrap the Scout.
Trash the trip. Donate the budget to education scholarships.

Kip   July 26th, 2008 10:21 am ET

To Gary and Michael who raise valid concerns about the rising cost of food and deforestation in South America and Southeast Asia check out this video of Rob Del Bueno that Cody included on the site:

Rob clearly addresses the difference between using recycle waste veggie oil versus virgin oil as well as the differences between decentralized local biodiesel production and producing mass quantities to be shipped all over the country.

That pump that Rob is standing by is where Brian and Cody currently purchase fuel for their cars in Atlanta.

Rob A   July 26th, 2008 12:33 pm ET

Bio-Diesel is a great idea. It has so many more options than the gasoline mixture that American car makers have pushed. Are there any foreign car companies that have made those ridiculous vehicles? That was a trick by the big 3 to keep selling their fuel hogging trucks and SUV's, and PRETEND to be green. What a farce.

A diesel engine is actually best suited for hybrids as it can be very efficient when designed to run at one speed. I am excited to see how Volkswagen's new hybrid Jetta does. They claim an average of 70 mpg. And if you could run that on old grease we could really say goodbye to mideast oil! 🙂

BoogerHook   July 26th, 2008 1:13 pm ET

Stop by Baytown, Texas and fill up on a biodiesel that is made from non-food feedstock.

Clean, efficient fuel – no starvation.

Nicole   July 26th, 2008 2:25 pm ET

I think it's irresponsible to tout biofuel as an environmentally friendly fuel.

People all over the world are converting rainforests and wetlands into farmland to grow the plants used for biofuel. We already know about the importance of rainforests to our environment and to us. The wetlands are important, too; scientists believe that wetlands can decrease the cost of floods by billions of dollars. Wetlands also store 20% of all terrestial carbon; what will we do when they disappear?

Also, palm oil is beginning to be converted into biofuel. Since palm oil plantations are located in areas which were formerly virgin forests, this causes problems for the animals who live in these habitats. Orangutans in Indonesia and Malaysia are suffering because of loss of habitat due to palm oil plantations. Many orangutans are burned alive when farmers burn down their forests to make way for farmland; others are hacked to death with machetes when they venture near the palm oil plantations. Scientists estimate that if these trends continue, orangutans may be extinct in less than 10 years.

Biofuels have a human cost, too. Many countries believe we are selfish for using food (corn, etc) as fuel while their people starve.

I appreciate your search for alternative fuel and energy sources. However, please don't assume that biofuels are "the fuel of the future" simply because they may reduce our dependence on oil. Please explore both the pros and cons of biofuel. People deserve to know about both sides of the biofuel issue.

S Callahan   July 26th, 2008 2:46 pm ET

I can't go a day without you putting a smile on my face you

John   July 26th, 2008 4:43 pm ET

Actually they should have used a VW Touareg V10 diesel.
Bi-xenon headlights
Adjustable suspension
front/rear heated seats
tire pressure monitor
different AWD settings

You're just polluting the environment even more with that US death reap.

But there's something to be said that VW should be making smaller diesel engines for their SUVs. It's idiotic that they'll put a 4cyl turbo plant in an Audi A6 or even the big ol A8 limo, but only give the US market a V6 or V8 or twin turbo. And the Touareg now has a 3L V6 TDI.

Here's something to whet the appetite of obnoxious SUV owners, TOP GEAR diesel Audi, winter olympics

KCurran   July 26th, 2008 4:59 pm ET

My friend did an entertaining documentary about this 12 years ago....
I'm amazed at how little things have changed. Good luck on your road trip!

BoogerHook   July 26th, 2008 10:04 pm ET

So Nicole thinks that biofuels will force orangutans into extinction?

Looks to me like orangutans better learn how to explore, drill, pump refine, and distribute petroleum (I don't think they're quite ready for the wind and solar stuff) pretty darn quick.

For their own sake!

Franko   July 27th, 2008 4:52 am ET

US farmer used to feed the world. Very efficient.
Now, scaled back, where is the advance, several years back ?
The price spike now, is the backpay !

More food, greater capacity to come. Lower food prices, on high volume.
Decrease in demand, bad weather, the greatest gambler, the farmer.
in trouble.

Sarah S.   July 27th, 2008 8:46 am ET

The usage of corn and soy in biofuels is what's pushing grocery prices through the roof and straining the budgets of the average American.

And its not just foods that contain those two ingredients – biofuel production has also increased the price of animal feed, affecting meat and dairy products.

Biofuel is NOT the answer!

Alan   July 27th, 2008 10:47 am ET

It is so rewarding to see that CNN's readers are so much smarter than CNN's reporters.

Biofuel in the U.S. is all about how agribusiness bribed congress to give them handouts from we, the people's pockets. Biofuel proves that the whining, save the planet political crowd is all about greed and profits. Biofuel is all about cutting down the rainforest to save the planet. What's really aggravating is the same group of people who claim they "care", and that the other side is "evil and greedy" is happily starving people to death in the name of greed.

That's the real story. You won't hear any of that here.

Maureen C.   July 27th, 2008 11:58 am ET

The original diesel engine ran on peanut oil. They can again; search "diesel conversion kits." Filter used restaurant oil. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Daver   July 27th, 2008 9:37 pm ET

Using Biodiesel (or any diesel for that matter) is a better step forward to reducing our dependence on petroleum and gasoline than all the wishful thinking that we will give up our gas burning cars and "hybrids". Modern diesel engines are far more efficient than any gas engine. The idea that we need to make biodiesel from new food/crop sources is false. Think instead about recycling all the waste vegetable oil from all the fast food joints in the nation, and running all the semi's on the nation's roads with the end result. It's a very simple process, and we would reduce the petroleum diesel needed significantly. We'd end up reducing the petroleum demand and likely the price at the same time. Biodiesel does not have the impurities found in petroleum diesel, there isn't a lot of sulfur, etc. in veggie oil, so the pollution effectively decreased by using biodiesel too.

David   July 28th, 2008 3:17 am ET

Here are some facts to clear up A LOT of misinformation here. Even the article is wrong in saying biodiesel is a mixture of diesel and vegetable oil. Biodiesel is an approved fuel made from the transesterification of vegetable oil, usually with methanol. It consists of about 15% methanol, which comes from oil and 85% vegetable oil that has been chemically changed by the transesterification reaction. It is not a mixture of the two but an entirely different chemical resulting from them being chemically combined. Biodiesel is used in many farms throughout the country. Biodiesel is not a gasoline alternative in a direct sense. It is an alternative for diesel in that it burns in diesel engines, not gasoline engines. Biodiesel is actually "energy positive" and has little effect on food prices at this point because most is made from waste vegetable oil, and there is very little of it made anyway. The food price problem is a result of ethanol, not biodiesel. Also, Brazil is not energy independent because of biodiesel, and they do not use sugar cane to make biodiesel. They make ethanol out of sugar cane, and that's what makes them energy independent. Ethanol is what uses a bunch of corn and other food products(here in the United States) to get just only as much energy out as is put in. However, when ethanol is created with byproduct or harvested cellulose, it is extremely energy positive. Besides, all those studies stating that ethanol is "energy negative" assume all the tractors and vehicles in the farming and shipping of ethanol are using fossil fuels. That will not be the case, so ethanol is actually energy positive even from a corn standpoint. Besides, if ethanol were energy negative as all those studies say, then the demand of fossil fuels from the U.S. in the past few years should have increased disproportionately(more than it would have if ethanol were not used) since many cities in the U.S. starting mixing 10% ethanol in gasoline, but the demand has not disproportionately increased although we are making about 7-11 billion gallons of ethanol per year at this point. Therefore, there should have been in increase of fossil fuel used in comparison to ethanol if it were energy negative, which has not happened. It turns out that it's about equal. For every gallon of ethanol, it takes about a gallon or a little less of fossil fuels to produce it. The benefit is less air pollution in cities, and less need for fuel importation. It should only get better. Ethanol and biodiesel are different fuels altogether. Ethanol can be run up to a 10% mixture with gasoline in gasoline cars and up to 85% in "Flex Fuels" vehicles that simply "recognize" the higher amounts of ethanol and adjust the fuel/air ratio according for a gasoline engine to run on it. Vegetable oil is not biodiesel. In order for a diesel engine(usually older ones are better) to run on vegetable oil(and last for more than a few thousand miles), the vegetable oil must be heated before entering an engine. Therefore, a conversion is needed where you create a separate vegetable oil tank and heater to run this in a diesel car. Cody is most likely running biodiesel although it doesn't really say for sure. He can simply pour that into his tank and run it. However, vehicles older than 1993 can have some issues with seals being damaged by biodiesel, so older vehicles should have Viton seals put in them before running biodiesel. Biodiesel is biodiesel. Vegetable oil is vegetable oil. And ethanol is ethanol.

David   July 28th, 2008 3:30 am ET

Alan: If you want to talk about bribes, read about how the agribusinesses have bribed the government into making our whole food economy depend on corn since the 70's. That's why most everything in our food has high fructose corn syrup, which is in many ways killing us. And the only reason Mexico and other countries eat our corn is because it's so cheap. Their government sold them out to our country by making trade deals with our agribusinesses when Mexico was and is plenty capable of feeding their people with their own corn. However, they no longer grow enough because they could get it cheaper buying it from here(and the Mexican government officials loved that). So don't go on some blame rant. It's just not true. They will soon be growing their own once again, just like many countries throughout the world are doing to adjust to the in price. It's sad what's happening to people, but you cannot blame it all on biofuels. You have to take into consideration that their own government sold them out a long time ago by making them dependent upon us for corn when they had plenty of land and resources to grow their own, EVEN MORE CHEAPLY, just like our government sold us out long ago to make us completely dependent on foreign oil, which is the primary reason for much of this in the first place. Darned if you do, darned if you don't.

Besides, all of this is a step in the right direction, even ethanol because it is already shifting to being made from cellulosic sources instead of food sources. It's a matter of time before it's all cellulosic. And corn has very little to do with biodiesel anyway. Again, everyone is confusing ethanol with biodiesel. Biodiesel is one of the best things we have going for us, both from an energy standpoint and a food standpoint. It can be made from almost any vegetable based or animal based fats or oils. And the algae thing is also quite promising. Biodiesel is much more efficient than ethanol.

David   July 28th, 2008 3:45 am ET

Also, I'm not just talking about Mexico. Many other countries have governments that contribute more to the problem than biofuels. Another point is that food prices have risen because of the cost of oil, too. And they will continue to rise because of the cost of oil. So, in a sense, you can then blame all of us for using too much oil and starting wars and wasting energy, all of which increase the price of oil and therefore the price of food worldwide because the main reason why biofuels are being used is because of the high price of oil. So, in essence, biofuels and energy efficient cars and energy conservation are what fight world starvation.

So now are people going to start telling everyone to quit driving? That is the real issue if you ask me. That is why my car gets 40 mpg! If you drive a gas guzzler and/or commute further than a few miles to work, you are starving people! Common people, if you want to open that can of worms, we can! That's not the way to make progress in the world!

I assure you all we are starving people less by pushing for alternatives like biofuels, alternative forms of travel, and, most effectively, energy conservation.

What ever happened to critical thinking?

David   July 28th, 2008 3:59 am ET

For clarity:


Low Fuel Economy/Long Commute/Wars/Suburban Living = High Personal Oil Usage = Huge Oil Demand from U.S. = Higher Oil Prices = Higher Food Prices AND Demand for Biofuels = Temporary Starvation for those in Poor Countries(Mostly caused by terrible governments and high oil prices in first place anyway)


High Oil Prices = Demand for Higher Fuel Economy/Shorter Commutes/Car Pooling/More Biofuels(from cellulosic or non-food sources) = Lower Oil Demand from U.S.(more like most other countries) = Lower Oil Prices = Less Starvation

But the cool thing is if we have a bunch of biofuels that are not using food sources, which will happen in time, we will not go back to beginning of problem, i.e., wasting oil on lower efficiency and long commutes because of it being cheap. We'll be using more biofuels instead, and we'll hopefully stick to efficiency because our government requires it to prevent us from getting into the situation we're in right now long in the future. Biofuels won't ever replace oil, but they'll make it less essential and pave the way to a hydrogen economy or some other alternative.

Franko   July 28th, 2008 4:04 am ET

No pollution control, no radiator engine possible for Methanol.
Or use Methanol in fuel cell, for electric vehicle.
Even make from waste cellulose, such as wood chips or paper.
Easier to use than Hydrogen. Saw Zubrin interviews.

More complicated than either food or fuel theory.
Price of Corn futures collapsing. See: Commodity Futures Charts
Given some time, the farmer demonstrates efficiency.

Pickens wind seeks to free up natural gas, for trucking fleet,
while Zubrin Methanol plan could convert natural gas to Methanol.
Anyone explain the tradeoffs ?

David   July 28th, 2008 4:12 am ET

Law of Syllogism: If A, then B. And if C, then D. If A, then D.

If high oil prices cause the increase in biofuel production(by makng them profitable and in demand). And if biofuels cause starving(which I don't fully agree as there are many more factors than just biofuels). Then high oil prices cause starving, not biofuels.

Therefore, if you ask me, the whole "starvation" thing is most likely just nonsense created by those that don't think a whole lot and want to paint the U.S. or the green revolution as bad. The problem is that everyone jumps on the bandwagon and ignores the real truth.

David   July 28th, 2008 4:17 am ET

Franko: Good points. One thing for sure is that we don't have enough natural gas to power this "Pickens" plan for more than a few years as we only have around 200 trillion cubic feet in reserves in the U.S., that is unless we start buying a whole lot from overseas. That sounds like a lot, but if you start powering the transportation sector in addition to the residential sector, it isn't much. His plan to replace the natural gas in the residential sector by offsetting it with nuclear and wind is quite impractical and almost downright impossible without serious struggle. Maybe that's what's up his sleeve. I guess you could consider that a tradeoff. If you ask me, it would put us in the same precarious situation, only with natural gas.

David   July 28th, 2008 4:19 am ET

The thing that gets me is not one of these "Great Plans" ever includes energy conservation. I think we're listening to the wrong people, or the wrong people are the only ones that can speak to the public with a megaphone.

David   July 28th, 2008 4:23 am ET

Thanks CNN, and everyone else. I'm done using my megaphone.

Agfr   July 28th, 2008 8:18 am ET

Lets try this one more time.

Go to the end of the blog to see the "truck."

More views of the "truch."

Gene   July 28th, 2008 10:50 am ET

David, the elephant in the room has a name: "Growth". Growth in population and in standard of living (worldwide ). If it were somehow possible to freeze the population and standard of living at it's present levels worldwide, there might, might, be some chance of stretching the finite resources of this planet to accommodate us for the next couple hundred years. But, we all know that's not going to happen.

We've been on the biggest block party of all time for the past 100 years. Everybody loves a party, but nobody wants to stay and help clean up when it's over.

Franko   July 28th, 2008 12:59 pm ET

The starvation theory implies rigid, local, near maximum utilization.
People and supplies adjust, helped by the flexibility of money.
Someone in Africa starving, because you purchased a Chinese backscratcher!
Long chain of tightly coupled events, fuel hogs, real pigs, in alternate universes

Fixing standards, the present, past, future, blended, welded together.
Eternal is Death, to be enjoyed by the remaining Greenie Commies ?

weheritage   July 28th, 2008 3:05 pm ET

Not one post about algae.???? Algae in many cases doubles every 24 hours or less and can produce as much lipids of oil as 50% in weight. It will grow in any type of water fish ponds or a controlled algae farm. It only requires sun light and C02 to grow (aren't we trying to put CO2 in check). Corn produces 18 to 20 gallons of BIO per year per acre while algae can produce in excess of 10,000 gallons per year per acre. Algae also has no effect on food supply. Green Diesel, Green Gas and Green Jet fuel is a reality. (Green Diesel and BioDiesel are not the same thing.)


David   July 28th, 2008 5:54 pm ET

You got it Gene!

David   July 28th, 2008 6:12 pm ET

Growth is good as long as it's sustainable. At the rate we're going, we'll see serious unrest and pain unless we as a world accept the big picture and realize that unchecked economic growth always kills itself in the end. Capitalism is great, but it must be kept within boundaries through regulation, or pain and bubbles will form. Sustainable economic growth(as well as population growth) is the only answer. Standard of living is the key. If everyone has a decent standard of living, population growth will slow on a global basis. All developed countries have either a stable or a negative population growth rate. The answer lies in the middle between extreme capitalism and socialism. We once had this balance in the U.S. where the government did its job and regulated when necessary, but we've lost it. Most other developed countries have already accepted this, and we're last to accept it. They're doing better while we're having an economic crisis and crash of the dollar and housing market, etc. Even developing countries have realized they need to use oil wisely and push for alternatives. China has much higher fuel economy standards and alternative fuel mandates. All of Europe is far ahead of the game, but they're a little to far toward the socialist side. One day, they will probably get fat and get into our same predicament. They all learned from our mistakes, and we wonder why we're being overshadowed. We send practically all our money overseas in the name of profits. Well, that finances the development of other countries. It won't be long before other countries will be hiring us for cheap labor and cheap products. In a way, our unchecked capitalism has become much like a communist dictatorship. We have little choice but to stay obedient to the corporations, our real government.

Press to Digitate   July 29th, 2008 3:51 am ET

It is a flat out lie to contend that anyone on the planet is deprived of food because of the growth of biofuels. This lie is being paid for by the petroleum industry.

Where famine exists, it is because farming does not. We humans manufacture two distinct types of fertilizer as a consequence of our biology. There is no place on Earth where the inhabitants cannot grow sufficient food locally to feed themselves. We have bred a culture of dependency in the developing world by sending food grains (bought to pay off American farmers) instead of helping to train new farmers in Africa and Asia.

Next generation algal biofuels produce a high protein residue in addition to the sugars and oils which are turned into Ethanol and Biodiesel. When pelletized, this is an excellent livestock feed. The future of biofuels is not "Food vs. Fuel" as the oil companies would have you believe, but "Food FROM Fuel".

Those behind the pushback on biofuels are the same people, think-tanks, and companies who perpetuate Skeptical Denial with respect to Global Warming. They are dangerous, and many would-be environmentalists have fallen for the delusion they want to sell you: The con that 'grown fuels' are somehow worse than 'just drilling for more oil'.

Algae will win out over Oil – and Corn and Sugarcane and Soybeans – because it is so much more productive. Instead of 300 – 600 gallons of biofuel per acre per year with food crops, Algae can produce on the order of tens of thousands of gallons of biofuel per acre per year. There is just no contest. Corn, Soy and other foods are already obsolete as biofuel feedstocks. But, they did get an industry jump started, and attract capital to the fledgeling biofuels industry. That in itself is an accomplishment, and worth the few ears of Corn consumed in the process.

Franko   July 29th, 2008 7:32 pm ET

Good posts !
Food, Oil, Farmer, Wind, US, sybiotic, tending to virtual harmony.
For a while, I cringed that the Greenie Zombie mind control machine is US.

Multivariate assumptions, generalized, averaged, from quantum events.
Time space energy, optimized, personally. Money flies, diminishing locality.
Most efficient are your local taxes, not spent on IPCC horror projections.

Nothing is sustainable, got it, use it, hungry, kill and eat, or starve, be eaten.
Run out, search for another smorgasboard.
Unchanging Commie Utopia of Death, US not !   July 30th, 2008 7:21 am ET

Biodiesel is also produced from Jathropa a plant which yields diesel.
Now the problem is farmers who used to grow wheat are now growing Jathropa since it is more profitable and does not require high maintenance.

I think since 90% of our known UNIVERSE is H2 it is very likely that fuel of tomorrow will be Hydrogen.

Nic "Scoutman" Hawker   July 30th, 2008 8:44 am ET

I'm happy that ya'll picked a Scout to go road trippin' with. If you have any troubles near Oklahoma City, let me know. I have three Scouts and have learned a trick or two about keeping them on the road. Ya'll are welcome to come and stay out at the farm too. It's just a bit south of OKC, we can check out the mechanicals while you're there. I don't want to post my contact info here, but I'm sure CNN can help you out by giving you the e-mail address that I entered.
Good luck and happy Scouting.

Burnet1187   July 30th, 2008 11:28 am ET

What's the point of using biodiesel? It costs the same as regular diesel. I have converted my diesel truck to use vegetable oil as fuel. If you buy this stuff, it costs about half the price of diesel and even less than gasoline. Plus it is not produced by arabs or OPEC. I would hazard a guess that filtered waste vegetable oil is more available than biodiesel.

So this story is a little wacky... something that liberals would do. Put on many extra miles, and average less than 40 mph just to pay the same and pollute the same as diesel.

See for info on vegetable fuel systems for cars and trucks.

Bob Barker   July 30th, 2008 2:11 pm ET

Depending on your route there are some biofuels stations in santa fe, NM and around denver (colorado springs area)...I know because i've made the trip from atlanta to Los angeles on biofuels. You'll make it, good luck!

shiner-bock-beer   July 30th, 2008 9:19 pm ET

Congrats on your choice of vehicles. You obviously didn't investigate the Scout thoroughly, or you would have known the gauges wouldn't work. 22 MPG is impressive, I might get 10 out of any of my Scouts. You could have chosen an ultra-yuppy VW, but instead you choice old school American iron. And consider this, at 22 MPG, you are getting slightly less than the GM Hybrid Vehicles in a 30 year old hunk'o'iron. GM can stick it in their ear!!!

Consider a swing through TEXAS-Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio/Austin or Houston. Beds and mechanics standing by. Also consider visiting The IH community is everywhere-any always willing to support. Lots of IH Scout enthusiasts are watching your trek. And, almost every single one is willing to wake up in the middle of the night to come help you out. Remember that. The bio-diesel folks and tree-huggers will be snug in their beds while fellow IH'er's (Binders) will slog through rain, sleet, and mud to help you out.

God bless International Harvester!!!!

Mike   July 31st, 2008 8:23 am ET

If you stop by Albany Ohio 45710 my friend and I will give you a tank of wvo diesel for your trip. Mike

Rovier   August 5th, 2008 10:33 pm ET

Cody, check this system out if you really want to save some gas.

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