Non-Food ‘Cellulosic’ Ethanol Could Be Price Competitive With Gasoline By 2016.

Cellulosic ethanol production.According to research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), ethanol produced from non-food materials (inedible parts of plants, woods, and grasses) will be price competitive with corn-based ethanol and gasoline by 2016. It’s a second generation biofuel called cellulosic ethanol and for years, figuring out how to cost effectively produce ethanol from non-edible plants has been a challenge. From BNEF:

“The survey collected data and predictions on the production costs of 11 leading players in the cellulosic ethanol industry. All use a technique, commonly called enzymatic hydrolysis, to break down and convert the complex sugars in non-food crop matter, and a fermentation stage to turn the results into ethanol. The results showed that in 2012, the cost of cellulosic ethanol production was $0.94 per litre, around 40% higher than the $0.67 per litre cost of producing ethanol from corn, which dominates the US biofuel market and is competitive with US gasoline. By 2016, respondents thought the price of cellulosic ethanol would match that of corn-based ethanol.”

Why is the move to cellulosic biofuels so important? From BusinessGreen:

“Cellulosic biofuels are widely regarded as critical to the development of the biofuels industry, as they allow developers to produce fuels from waste material or fast-growing grasses removing the need for energy crops that have been blamed for eating into agricultural land and driving up food prices.”

Another benefit of cellulosic ethanol is that its production can reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by up to 85% over reformulated gasoline according to a study conducted by Michael Wang of the Argonne National Laboratory. Starch-based ethanol made from corn reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 18-29% over reformulated gasoline. [BusinessGreen and BNEF]

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Going Beyond ‘Icky’: Earthworms Contribute To Global Warming.

Earthworms - Enemy of the EnvironmentWhen you think of climate change, it’s easy to point the finger at the burning of fossil fuels, Koch Bros, and Jim Inhofe. But earthworms? Yep – according to a new study posted in Nature.com, our subterranean and planet sharing earthworms are contributing to global warming by increasing the release of greenhouse gases. Researchers from Holland, Columbia and the US found that earthworms increase nitrous oxide emissions by 42% and carbon dioxide emissions by 33% when compared to earthworm-free soil.

Sorry earthworms but we have to put a dent in your greenhouse-gas producing population; we’ll have to figure out how to eat you or we’ll go on more fishing trips. We’re in a tough spot. If we don’t reduce your population – the fossil fuel industry, Koch Bros and Jim Inhofe’s are going to blame you for global warming rather than taking responsibility for their own actions. Yes, earthworms have been making the soil more fertile for eons and your greenhouse-gas emissions are just a byproduct of that effort but when excuses are made and blame is passed by climate change deniers, you’ll be at the top of the list. [Inhabitat]

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Arctic Sea Ice Melt Disaster: Not In 40 Years, Not In 30 Years – One Expert Predicts It’ll Happen In 4!

Arctice sea ice melt since 1979. NASA, NRDCNow this is scary. We’ve all heard the dire predictions about the Arctic ice melt that give us 20+ years to not act. But Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, an expert on Arctic sea ice, is putting it all out there by predicting that the Arctic sea ice will collapse around the time of the 2016 Olympics. From the Guardian:

“Climate change is no longer something we can aim to do something about in a few decades’ time, and that we must not only urgently reduce CO2 emissions but must urgently examine other ways of slowing global warming, such as the various geoengineering ideas that have been put forward.”

What’s even scarier is knowing that Professor Wadham, who has spent years studying and measuring Arctic sea ice, now recommends going with geoengineering as a viable solution to slow down the melt and global warming.

Check out the article for more info on the implications of an Arctic ice melt. Professor Wadham really changes the game by predicting an Arctic ice melt disaster and accelerated global warming before most of think we’ll be able to live on Mars. [Guardian]

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Cremation Without All That Burning And Emissions.

Burial, Cremation or Cryomation?Reuters posted an article, “Body disposal technology widens green funeral choice,” about changing the way we complete our final act. For some, it will still involve a large casket, headstone and a lot of guilt being absorbed by your relatives for not going bigger. For others, it’s a hot exit via cremation. Unfortunately, cremating a body uses about as much energy as the crematee would have used in a month, alive, and will release a good chunk of CO2 and mercury (from tooth fillings). It’s estimate that in the UK, 16% of the mercury emitted each year comes from crematoriums.

So your final act isn’t because your Greenhouse CO2 gas and toxic mercury will be haunting the still living and contributing to more problems.

That’s why companies like Cryomation Ltd want to change the way bodies are cremated by going to the other extreme – freezing. Their technique is to use liquid nitrogen and freeze the body until it is brittle, remove the mercury-carrying choppers and then turn the remains into a powder. No emissions and the same result.

In 2010, I wrote about how people are moving toward more natural burials. I talked to my daughter about this and told her that I want to be cremated (pre-Cryomation story). She asked me where I wanted to be spread and I pointed out to her that she could dump me someplace she thought was special and her brothers could do the same. My daughter thought about it, the sharing with her brothers part, and she pointed out a good way to do this is to “cut my body into even thirds” so they could each get a chunk to cremate. Basically she wanted to part me out! I had to explain to her that it might be easier to cremate me first and then split the ashes into thirds. She agreed and I was relieved that we had the talk. [Reuters ]

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Video: The Hidden Costs Of Hamburgers.

Video: The Hidden Costs Of Hamburgers.
Carrie Ching
Director/Producer/Reporter
Arthur Jones
Illustrator/Animator
Sarah Terry-Cobo
Reporter

Great video about the true, and mostly hidden, cost of producing beef. The message in the video is not to totally give up beef but to consume less of it. The benefit of eating less beef will not only be good for your health but also for the environment. [Mother Jones and CIR Online]

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Senator Jim Inhofe Is Our Cymbal-Playing Performer Of The Week.

Senator Jim Inhofe:  The Cymbal Playing Monkey In The RoomSome people thrive on negative attention. Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma is perfect example. His irrational effort to hoaxify global warming and climate change is fact-defying and all part of his performance to frustrate the movement. Inhofe is a fossil-fuel bought bad guy who welcomes the boos because he knows he’ll never get the cheers.

At a recent Senate committee meeting on the environment and public works, Sen. Inhofe got on his soap-box again and acted like an industry-tool. He continued with his climate change denying message while pushing for more drilling. George Monbiot of the Guardian wrote about how protecting the environment will always hit a wall as long as politicians, like Inhofe, are in the back-pocket of corporations.

Angry looking Stay Puft Marshmallow ManWe feel like any effort to limit what corporations and PACs can give to members of congress will never succeed. That’s why Jubbling has decided to fight back by going Inhofe-free for the next 30 60 days. We realize now that he’s kind of like the Stay Puft marshmallow man from the Ghostbusters movie and gets stronger from negative energy. If we all ignore Inhofe’s message, he’ll lose his power.

So, sorry Senator Inhofe but Jubbling’s done with you. Our feeling is that if we don’t react to your brand of sponsored crazy, you won’t be of any value to the folks feeding your re-election coffers. Without funding, you’ll go away. [Guardian]

Related News: 64 Oklahoma Weather Records Broken Or Tied In July 2012, Says National Climatic Data Center – Huffington Post.

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