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Alcohol Can Be A Gas!: Fueling an Ethanol Revolution for the 21st Centuryby David Blume
Synopses & Reviews
The International Institute for Ecological Agriculture is pleased to announce publication of the first comprehensive book ever written on alcohol fuel production and use for home and farm, Alcohol Can Be A Gas! Fueling an Ethanol Revolution for the 21st Century.
Until now, it has been very difficult for farmers, contractors, alternative energy aficionados, those concerned about Peak Oil, and small-scale entrepreneurs to obtain good, accurate information on producing alcohol, or on converting vehicles to run on the fuel. With all the conflicting news stories about ethanol, the public finds it difficult to sort fact from fiction. This text, which has been reviewed by scientists around the world, seeks to be the definitive reference work on the subject.
Alcohol Can Be A Gas! is written by David Blume, an ecological biologist who first began teaching others to produce and use alcohol in the late 1970s, while working at Mother Earth News Eco Village and Research Center. An early version of the book was written in 1983, to accompany the ten-part PBS television series Alcohol As Fuel, which Blume hosted. That version was never printed, due to conflict between PBS and its sponsors. The 2007 edition is completely rewritten; it is based on four years of full-time research, and visits to alcohol production sites in the U.S. and Brazil, by Blume and his team. It retains the original foreword by R. Buckminster Fuller. Alcohol Can Be A Gas! contains 596 pages, with 514 charts, photos, and illustrations to reinforce the information-dense text. The book is geared for the nonscientific reader, but its 473 endnotes provide the technical foundation behind the accessible prose. A 700-word glossary and a 6300-entry index extend the book's usefulness.
"Humanity has used up roughly half of the world's oil and topsoil. Just in time, David Blume has given us Alcohol Can Be A Gas! It's a practical road map for supplying all of our energy needs without drilling, strip-mining, and/or depleting the soil. In fact, following Blume's model, soil fertility would actually increase worldwide; energy production would be not only sustainable, but democratic — and highly profitable on the small scale. This is a brilliant visionary work. And, with Mr. Blume's witty personality, reading it is certainly a gas." Larry Korn, soil scientist, translator, and editor of The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming
"As intersections of the food-energy-climate matrix form in Iowa cornfields, Amazonian rain forests, and Canadian gene-splicing labs, and as end-game battles for their control pit theocratic flat-worlders against biologists, climatologists, and tree-huggers over the very survival of life on Earth, David Blume emerges like a wizard on a misty pinnacle, backlit by the full moon, revealing a gemstone in his extended palm." Albert Bates, author of the Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook: Recipes for Changing Times
"The overarching importance of this delightful book is that it demonstrates how beside the point is the current pseudo-debate about the net energy from corn ethanol. As Blume demonstrates, fuel alcohol must be an important component of our solar-based future. It can be made from a huge variety of feedstocks, including sugar beets and cane, nuts, mesquite, Jerusalem artichokes, algae, even coffee-bean pulp; there is no real scarcity of land to grow fuel. There is a scarcity of independent, original thinking, and Blume's book provides plenty of it, along with ample doses of amazing, startling, and sometimes scary information — ecological, technological, and political-economic. This is a vast, detailed compendium drawn from decades of experience by an alert, smart, and skeptical hands-on thinker. Blume has given us his biofuels bible, and we can learn from him and survive quite nicely — or follow what he calls MegaOilron into oblivion." Ernest Callenbach, author of Ecotopia, Ecotopia Emerging, and Ecology: a Pocket Guide
"Brilliant! This book should be on the reading list of every American!!" Thom Hartmann, New York Times bestselling author and nationally syndicated host of The Thom Hartmann Program on Air America
"Dave Blume has written the definitive opus on alcohol as a fuel. From the 30,000-foot view to the most minute technical detail, Alcohol Can be a Gas! makes a strong case for the practical, ecological, political, and economic sense in converting to ethanol. It's heartening to see the world's original alcohol pioneer stay abreast of the times with a book that has the promise to knock some sense into our insidious fossil-fueled economy. This book is much needed in this era of Peak Oil and fast-accelerating climate change." John Schaeffer, President and founder of Real Goods, and executive director of the Institute for Solar Living
"What a tour de force! This is the most comprehensive and authoritative guide through all the controversy about ethanol as transportation fuel, showing it as a clear winner in the quest for solutions to our environmental and geopolitical problems. Engagingly written, full of important and amazing information and resources, this book meets every challenge to the vision for a clean, democratic path to a prosperous future for all." Joe Jordan Ph.D., atmospheric researcher, NASA/Ames research center, Seti Institute, and Cabrillo College
"Finally, an alcohol book for the layman and backyard enthusiast. In our culture's collective, industrialized love affair with mega-everything, Blume cuts across the government-subsidized factories with ecologically practical models. Here is a viable energy system that can be embedded in a region, linking rural producers to urban users of energy and food. Self-reliance and resiliency follow community-based alcohol production, and we all owe a debt of gratitude to Blume for codifying his life's passion in what is a veritable compendium of information." Joel Salatin, farmer, and author of You Can Farm and Everything I Want to do is Illegal
"Ethanol champion David Blume has completed his opus, Alcohol Can Be a Gas! It is a great read. The history of petroleum, history of alcohol, technical coverage of production process, vehicle development (conversion), and feedstocks — it's all in the text, complete with charts and pictures. David's wit, wisdom, and hardcore experience illuminate this biofuel's potential. We have eagerly awaited this publication and will use it in our Sustainable Transportation and Biofuels courses." Dr. Jack Martin, Appropriate Technology Program, Appalachian State University; vice-chair of Renewable Fuels and Transportation Dvision, American Solar Energy Society
For the last century it has been impossible to find reliable information on alcohol fuel production and use. Oil companies have continuously suppressed data on Henry Ford's favorite auto fuel. For example, by the late 80s, over 90% of the cars in Brazil ran on straight alcohol; any gasoline vehicle and most diesel engines can be inexpensively converted to run on straight alcohol; millions of Flexible Fuel vehicles and even many cars can run on alcohol or gasoline unmodified-but most vehicle owners don't know it.
Alcohol Can Be a Gas reveals this hidden history. The only comprehensive manual on alcohol fuel production ever written, it describes:
The small-scale production of 40-cent per gallon alcohol fuel from a wide variety of energy crops or waste, producing profitable by-products for humans or animal feed
How to form driver-owned cooperatives that get up to 61 cents per gallon tax credit for every gallon burned, and Community Supported Energy integrated farms
Distillery and plant design, vehicle engine conversion, furnaces, and even how to cook with your own fuel.
Detailing the numerous advantages of alcohol fuel-renewable, safe, terror-secure, ecologically-sound, cheap, triggers tax benefits, triples engine life, and reduces emissions up to 99 percent-this book aims to fuel a revolution.
David Blume is President of the International Institute for Ecological Agriculture. Founder of the American Homegrown Fuel Co. Inc. during the late '70s, he produced and hosted a ten-part series for PBS television, through which he taught thousands of farmers and others how to make and use alcohol fuel.
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