Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Permaculture: Greening the Desert with Swales

Flat, Salted Earth in the middle east turned into productive land using swales and permaculture techniqes:

More on Swales:

For further info, get a copy of Geoff Lawton's DVD "Harvesting Water - The Permaculture Way."

Community Solution: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba went through an artificial "peak oil" transformation. Collectively they lost 20lbs and now they grow 80% of their food organically close to home and in urban centers. They've transformed into a local economy: Re-localization in action!

This is a must see film for anyone concerned about the post carbon future. The moral of this story is that if we can come together as a community, learn to live with less "stuff", and learn to grow our own food. We'll be ok. Of course here in the USA we will have a different story to tell, hopefully with some great eco-tech to help us along, but we still will need to relocalize and if Cuba can do it, we can do it!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Compost Tea in Alaska

The proof of the effectiveness of Compost Tea is in this video. Prepare to be blown away!

Yes he is in Alaska with more sunlight, so our results will be different but there is something to be learned here! I will be doing this in my gardens in the near future! The book, The Soil Food Web, has information on how to make compost tea and why it is effective.

Geoff Lawton: Creating A Food Forest

UPDATE: The DVD is now available, its inspiring to say the least. Organize a house party and show the DVD, lets create forests everywhere, as forests increase rainfall and improve soil life and create micro climates for us to then plant food below them, planting natives to establish the land first and then coming after to plant in the understory is another idea. Plant seeds everywhere! :) :) has a DVD coming out showing how to create a food forest, the permaculture way! This clip shows how they have a no-dig garden with integrated pest management! Exciting! Great stuff on their site as well, I'm bookmarking it!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Air Cars aka CAT (Compressed Air Technology)

Compressed air cars! Of course, the air is not the fuel, but an energy storage, like a battery. Compressed air can be made from electricity when charging at home or a station or using by using gasoline to charge on board as you drive. The current technology goes 93 miles using their compressed air tanks, the gasoline version goes 848 miles on an 8gallon tank which is 106mpg! The technology is still being developed so these numbers are subject to change and are expected to improve!

For city driving, this technology makes sense. There is also a small truck version, I'd love to see these being used to haul compost to gardens or fresh fruits and veggies to local farmers markets, distributors and restaurants!

MDI from France is the inventor of this technology and their idea for distribution is to license the technology around the world so the cars are produced locally. Tata Motors, the largest car manufacturer in India recently licensed the technology for all of India for $30 million! I'm not sure how the US distribution will shape up but they are looking for investors. A web search brings up ZPI advertising the air car in the USA and is advertising an optimistic date of shipment around 2010!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Path to Freedom

This family from Pasadena, CA is an inspiration!! They grow most of their own food among other things in a traditional sized suburban home. Ever since I found out about them in 2004 (after learning about peak oil), I have been working to catch up to their accomplishments!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Solar Power Village

What an amazing group of inventions! The one that really stood out was the way they harness energy above the green house from solar thermal and turn it into oil to cook and generate energy was amazing! Also building a greenhouse type shelter and then having the house inside of that, along with this really amazing harder-yet-flexible-thin-concrete material!!

They are also helping to recreate this tech around the world to allow people to be autonomous and to live outside the centralized energy and thus political and corporate tyranny!

More info:

Their story:

Mike Strizki and Johnny Depp's Island

*sarcasm* This truly great American who said. Fuck reducing demand. I'll just increase supply. *end sarcasm* has a really expensive yet thorough system he built for his home in New Jersey. Now Johnny Depp hired him to build it on his own island. !!! wow

Mike is using propane tanks to store hydrogen made from electrolysis from solar and a fuel cell to generate heat and electricity in the winter along with geothermal as well. While this is not a realistic solution for us regular folk, it is something.

Energy storage really is the missing link right now. I'm still waiting for the EEStor technology.

More info over at the amazingly awesome Ecogeek.

Eeres a video of mike's new jersey system:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Book Review: The Soil Food Web

"Teaming with Microbes, A Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web" - Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis [Timber Press]

No one fertilizes an old growth forest. Neither does anyone till, dig, rake or weed it either.

The Soil Food Web is another universe of life that takes place naturally, without our help. However, when we follow traditional gardening advice, we get in the way of nature and thus, we work harder, not smarter.

This book explains the what, who, when, where and why that takes place unseen to the naked eye under our feet. There is a magical symbiosis taking place that has been intuitively known for years but now can be scientifically proven.

It makes a strong case for relying simply on compost, mulch and water, and no more digging and tilling every season. I like this idea, it follows the mindset of simple living and follows nature as a guide. With this knowledge we can help enhance the natural processes that take place to improve our soil and its fertility and thus the life and food that grows from it.

This book does handle complex subjects but is written for the average gardener to understand. It will give you a sense of excitement knowing your actions are helping to keep the magic alive below your feet!

Friday, July 18, 2008

We can solve it

Yes! If we want it badly enough, we can have it! Let us begin this great transition away from fossil fuels! What do we want??? Wake up!

*update* - has a post on the feasibility of this plan.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Robert Newman's History of Oil

A very funny and entertaining hybrid-standup/acting routine on the history of oil. I guarantee you'll learn a few things and laugh while you're at it!

Pedal Powered Car

Some humor..

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Water Cars

Water is not a fuel, but an energy carrier. Water contains Hydrogen. Hydrogen can be burned in our existing combustible engines. There are inventors working around the world to find efficient ways to release the hydrogen from water. Here is a sample of videos that I have found online.

For those who say water is not efficient and batteries are better. How long do batteries last? What about the materials and possible limits to their widespread adoption? Are they really sustainable? And what about having to build new electric motors and new cars? I'd like to see a way for us to keep our existing infrastructure without throwing it away... I believe water is a good battery and it will be a matter of time until we hit a great breakthrough.

Daniel Dingel:

This is a great story of guy from the Philippines who made a water car conversion 30 years ago. His technology was stopped from the IMF / Worldbank - more reason to get off this debt money system that allows the rich bankers to control our lives. I think he should get over his need for a patent and release the technology free to us online.

Stanley Meyer Pt1:

Stanley Meyer Pt2:

Stanley Meyer's water car from the 90's. He mysteriously died before his technology was to go public and after he had offers from oil companies. His technology generates hydrogen on demand using an advanced form of electrolysis (electricity splits the bonds). The difference is that he uses frequencies to help break apart the H2O bonds.

Ravi's Stanley Meyer replication:

Stanley Meyer's technology was leaked to the public and now many hobbyists are making them in their garages! The last news I heard is that they can generate the hydrogen, but they are having problems with it lasting for a long time or getting the right amounts produced. We'll have to wait and see!! Patience! :)

Burning salt water:

Florida inventor is using radio waves to break apart H2O in salt water and shows that it is burning. This technology uses a lot of energy to burn the water, but it is an example of what is possible.

Japanese Water Car:

Japanese company Genepax has created a water powered car, as reported recently on reuters. The car is electric and the energy is generated through hydrogen from water. There is some speculation of what kind of materials are used to generate the hydrogen, let's hope they are cheap and abundant.

ITM: Plastic Filter Technology:

This company created a plastic filter that would allow the splitting of water to hydrogen. Their hope is to have the hydrogen generated at home, so there is no need for fueling stations. Freedom!

Water Vapor + Hydrogen = Steam Powered Van:

Another variation, this uses compressed hydrogen mixed with water vapour to combust in the engine. There is no mention how or where the compressed hydrogen comes from though.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Resonated Rice

Wow! Keep your hand on the volume knob, you may want to turn it down as the video moves forward. This is an amazing display of the patterns created from frequencies that some would describe as sacred geometry. Wow. This brings up all sorts of ideas about patterns in the universe. Music and sound sure are magical!