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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 industry faces.

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 bio fuel.

Fomenting the Triple Bottom Line

Corbett Kroehler

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