Just say no to foreign oil and abstain from fossil fuels
Hello, my name is the United States of America and I'm addicted to foreign oil. My addiction is destroying my neighborhood, bankrupting me and my children and is making me do things I am not proud of. I have put far too much power in the hands of dictators and terrorists and have been sending my children to dangerous places to support my bad habit. My addiction is dividing my family and destroying my home and I am here today to pledge my commitment to find a better way.
As with most addictions I have wrapped myself in denial and fabricated elaborate rationalizations. But one morning I woke up and realized I had tortured hundreds of innocent people looking for something that did not exist and knew then I must do something to stop this addiction before another 3000 of my children die in the Middle East to support my bad habit. Please help me break my addiction by finding alternative, renewable and clean forms of energy that break my dependence on foreign oil and help reverse the effects of global warming.
There are a number of excellent options that can be put into action right away. Of course conservation is the best of all options. Learning to conserve energy is the cleanest, renewable option available. Solar and wind power are excellent and they get us part of the way. For the rest of our goal there are biomass fuels like bioethanol, biodiesel and biomass power as direct alternatives to fossil fuels like gasoline, diesel and coal.
Biomass energy is produced from plants and organic sources like soy beans, switch grass, dandelion, sugarcane, and algae as renewable, clean alternatives to fossil fuels like gasoline, diesel and coal. Biomass fuels can eventually replace petroleum but they can be added to existing fossil fuels to immediately help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil and cut down CO2 emissions which threaten the future of our planet.
For example: Bioethanol can be added to gasoline at 10% and run in normal cars without modification. Biodiesel can be added to petroleum diesel at 20% and run in normal diesel engines without modification. Biomass can be added to existing coal burning electric plants; all of which reduce our use of fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions. Biofuels are already being used all over the world and can be used right now in America using our current infrastructure.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, tripling our use of biomass energy could provide as much as $20 billion in new income for farmers and rural communities and reduce global warming emissions by the same amount as taking 70 million cars off the road.
There are three major biomass energy applications:
- Biofuels - Liquid fuels for transportation like ethanol, butanol and biodiesel.
- Biopower - Converting biomass to electricity by burning or chemical reaction.
- Bioproducts - Converting biomass into chemicals for making products similar to plastics.
Switchgrass is a promising biomass energy crop for producing ethanol because switchgrass is easier and less expensive to grow than most other energy crops like soy beans and corn. It is resistant to floods, droughts, pests and requires very little fertilizer to produce consistent high yields. It's an easy transition crop because it uses existing farm equipment to plant, harvest and transport.
Microalgae is a promising crop for producing biodiesel because some types of algae contain more than 50% oil and can produce 10,000 gallons of biodiesel per acre of land. This would make it possible to replace all petroleum used in the US with only 0.3% of the land mass. Algae can be grown just about everywhere using sewer water, coal mine waste water or ocean salt water. The leftover material from making biodiesel can be used to make bioethanol or biomass electricity. Algae can also be used to make pharmaceuticals and clean factory smoke stacks.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
- The first thing we must do is get the word out and inform and educate as many people as possible about the threats we face and what we can do about it. Learn more about climate change and renewable energy and tell your family and friends.
- Tell your elected officials you want them to support renewable energy initiatives and stop taking money from big oil companies and vote for candidates that pledge to do the same.
- Try to incorporate renewable energy into your life as much as you can by looking for gasoline with ethanol added, conserve energy, write letters to local news outlet and look into buying a more fuel efficient car or truck.
Think of it like this: Every acre we use to grow bioethanol in this country means a 19 year old kid doesn't have to die in the Middle East to support our addiction to oil. Every acre we use to grow biodiesel means a plane load of innocent people won't be slammed into a building by a terrorist. Every biofuel refinery we build means a city full of people won't be flooded out by the effects of global warming. Think of it in those terms and the problems we run into along the way won't seem all that difficult.
In addition to saving our children and our planet, biofuels will also save our family farms, reduce our trade deficit, create jobs that can not be outsourced and stimulate our own economy with billions of dollars that would normally go overseas to support dictators and terrorists. The United States makes up less than 5% of the earths population but uses more than 25% of the oil. That is a big problem. Remember Osama bin Laden's stated reason for attacking on 9/11 was because of US troops stationed in Saudi Arabia and they were there because of our addiction to oil. When we invaded Iraq under false pretenses and became an occupying force in the cradle of Islam we gave Osama bin Laden exactly what he needed to ignite the Muslim world against us. We can take back this gift we gave the terrorists by growing renewable energy in our own country and staying out of the Middle East all together.
DID YOU KNOW?
Henry Ford invested heavily in bioethanol production from sugar beet farming and envisioned that American farmers would supply all the fuel for the booming automobile industry.
Rudolf Diesel demonstrated his patented Diesel engine at the 1900 World's Fair, running on peanut oil.
Richard Branson (Virgin) recently pledged $3 billion to fight global warming and has started by investing in modular bioethanol refineries with 55 million gallon annual capacity that are expected to be greener & cheaper than existing refineries.
On June 1, 2005 all U.S. Navy and Marine non-tactical diesel vehicles were required to operate on a B20 (20 percent) biodiesel blend as part of the military's efforts to increase their use of domestic and clean fuels.
Biodiesel is renewable, non-toxic, biodegradable and can be used by existing diesel cars, buses, trucks (18 wheelers and all service fleet vehicles), construction equipment, boats, and generators with little or no modifications. It can be mixed at any level, so if you run out of 100% biodiesel you can switch to petroleum diesel at any time.
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