Award-Winning Film FUEL Unofficial Sequel to An Inconvenient Truth
Posted Sep 30 2009 10:04pm
I emphasize the importance of cultural change in the fight against global
warming so much that I sometimes worry about repetition. I was greatly relieved,
then, to learn of the award-winning film FUEL which calls itself the unofficial
sequel to An Inconvenient Truth. Welcome to the party, my friends!
FUEL tells the important story of what bio fuels can do for the United States
and the world. However, the main thrust of the story is less about science and
more about cultural change. The film features movie stars. It features
musicians. It features innovators in renewable energy. What emerges in the end
is the ideal bookend to An Inconvenient Truth, which gives everyone an answer to
the question, “OK, so what should we do next?”
Since I have dedicated a great deal of space here on my blog to bio fuels over
the years, the context of the commendable film FUEL is an excellent opportunity
to clarify a few points and apply them to challenges which the alternative fuels
First, there is the question of the wisdom of embracing bio fuels. Simply put,
hydrogen should be our ultimate goal. However, bio fuels can play a crucial role
as an interim solution between petroleum fuels and hydrogen. Then, there is the
question of the source material for bio fuels. As I see it, biodiesel which is
derived from used kitchen waste, or other such sources which would find their
way into a nation’s waste stream, are ideal because a crucial form of recycling
is included in their production.
Third, then, is the question of growing crops specifically to make fuel. This
idea has great potential but must be embraced with great caution. We must not
allow fuel agriculture to skew retail prices of foodstuffs or overtax the
natural systems which play a vital role in the production of food crops. For
this reason, I am very enthusiastic about jatropha.
Jatropha is among a small list of plants which are ideal for growing bio fuels
for the reason you will read in my blog post on the subject. However, jatropha doesn’t grow everywhere so how
do we take the bio fuels industry truly global?
Algae may pose the solution.
I’ve had the privilege of seeing many presentations from various innovators in
the renewable fuels industry. They have much to offer, including the capability
of producing bio fuel from algae on every continent, 12 months out of the year.
This fact is part of the reason that the creators of the film FUEL are so
enthusiastic. I share their buzz and encourage you to visit the project website
to learn more. The URL is
While you are there, be sure to read up on The Algaeus, the first car ever to be
driven from the East Coast of the United States to the West Coast burning only