Biofuels – Are they a Valid Alternative?

Many great things are being said about Biofuels – where they are depicted as ‘the solution’ to traditional carbon polluting oil. When hearing the word ‘biofuels’ – picturesque images pop up in one’s mind of beautiful corn, soya and sugar cane fields.

It’s plants, it’s green, and generates anywhere between 50 to 90% less carbon dioxide when being used than gasoline – so it must be good, right?

Let us investigate what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ – meaning – ‘how are these biofuels produced’ – to get an idea of the implications of replacing our current oil consumption with new ‘green fuel’.


First, we’ll have a look at the manner in which corn is processed to become a usable fuel:

-          First, the corn is ground and mixed with water
-          This mixture gets heated
-          Added enzymes convert the starch into sugars
-          Then, the mix gets transferred into a fermentation tank
-          In the fermentation tank the sugars gradually transform into alcohol
-          The alcohol gets separated from the water by a process of distillation
-          The leftover which are known as “distillers’ grain” are fed o the cows
-          Some of the wastewater being high in nitrogen are applied to fields as fertilizers

This whole process gives off large amount of carbon dioxide. Most ethanol plants (=biofuel) make use of natural gas and coal to create the heat and steam which is necessary for the process of distillation.

The growing of corn also uses up a lot of natural gas and diesel. This is because in the planting and growing process of corn nitrogen fertilizers and farm machineries are used – which run on diesel. Some studies even reveal that the amount of carbon dioxides released during the process of creating ethanol pretty much cancel out the later ‘carbon dioxide reduction’ through replacing oil with ethanol as an energy source.

If this isn’t already bad enough, considering the rising prices of corn crops which give incentive to farmers to expand their production -- there’s as much as 35 million acres of marginal farmland which was actually set aside for soil and wildlife conservation which will be used for corn production for farmers. This may potentially cause an increase in the release of more carbon in fallow fields. Corn is also a highly erosive crop which means a lot of time and energy will have to be placed in rehabilitating the soil.

Furthermore, we are directing food crops towards an energy consuming industry and society while everyday 25 000 people die (of which most are under 5!) of hunger – which is completely unacceptable. In addition, we cannot simply shift our dependence from oil to ethanol as current and future climate changes may very well undermine this type of agricultural activity. The soya story goes much the same way, although is maybe a bit less disastrous.

Sugar Cane

Brazil seems to have had some success in using sugar cane as medium for biofuels.

Unlike corn, sugar cane already contains 20% of sugar in an entire sugarcane stalk, and it already start to ferment the moment it has been cut. Sugar cane fields also yield much higher rates of ethanol per acre compared to corn: 600 – 800 gallons an acre, which is almost twice as much as corn. In general sugar care seems to have much higher and better benefits than corn – though again, it is not without its implications and side-effects.

Most Brazilian cane is cut by hand. Although this type of labour is well paid, the conditions are hot and extremely strenuous to the back. To facilitate the cutting by hand of the cane fields, the fields are mostly burned before harvesting to kill any looming snakes and to make the canes easier to cut. This process fills the air up with soot while releasing methane as well as nitrous dioxide – which are both potent greenhouse gases.

Similarly as with corn, as biofuels will boom and thus the prices as well – this will push farmers to take up more land. This in turn will drive cattlemen deeper into territory such as the Amazon and the ‘cerrado’ (biologically diverse savannahs). So even though all these biofuels are deemed as ‘clean’ and ‘environmental friendly’ – the process behind their creation tells us quite a different story.

Replacing oil with any other ‘alternative energy source’ is always going to end up in a disaster at this point. We simply cannot replace oil with any other fuel at the rate that we are producing and consuming things. The rate at which we are producing, consuming and creating waste, is so disproportionate in relation to the resources available on Earth – that we’re always going to end up with some undesirable consequence that we want to ‘fix’ – but won’t be able to fix. The problem is not the fuel/energy source itself – it’s us humans and our ridiculous obsession with consumption and greed. As long as we do not fix the core problem – which is us – we’re not going to get anywhere (except maybe our own annihilation as a race and the destruction of our home planet).

Times is running out and we must decide NOW, act NOW. We must consider an alternative socio-political and economical system within which we live our lives. We must design and implement a system that is in total balance and equilibrium with planet Earth, nature and all its living beings. The Equal Money System is this new system. It is the only way through which we are going to be able to sort out this mess and ensure a safe and secure future for the children to come.

It’s time to let go of our greed, it’s time to let go of our self-interested obsessions and start considering Life as a whole. You can play a part in this transformation for a better life and future. Investigate Equal Money and let your voice be heard!

National Geographic Magazine, October 2007, “Green Dreams”, pp 38

Oil – How much longer can we sustain our Lifestyle?

Sadad I. Al Husseini, a former head of exploration and production for the state-owned oil company ‘Saudi Aramco’ – made a discovery in the year 2000 through his own research where he concluded that many oil experts “were either misreading the global reserves and oil-production data or obfuscating it”.

Mainstream projections display a steadily rising output of oil which keeps up with global demand – Housseini’s calculations however show a decline in output as early from 2004. In addition, he asserted that this new declining level of production would stay at the same rate for at least 15 years – after which the output of conventional oil would merge into “a gradual but irreversible decline”.

The so called ‘optimistis’ dismiss Housseini’s results and that of other who have come to similar data on the grounds that the Earth still has so much oil yet to be discovered. And where previously a “peak” was predicted in history, new technology surfaced in the oil-field which kept oil output rising.
Nobody really knows ‘how much’ oil the Earth really holds. What we do know is that it is not an infinite reserve which will last us into eternity at the current rate that we are consuming it.
We are not finding oil as easily anymore as all the “elephants” (= very big, easy located oil fields) were discovered decades ago – and what remains of them currently is only a fraction.

The rate at which we are finding new oil fields is declining – and these oil fields are significantly smaller than the old ‘elephants’ everyone was used to. This means that in order to reach the same level of output as before, we have to find x-times more oil fields, which means x-times more oil rigs, which means x-times more expenses = everything gets x-times more expensive. So all we are seeing is decline, decline, decline – yet our consumption is just rising and rising and rising. This is a lethal combination.

Even the most ‘optimistic’ of oil professionals believe that if a peak is not in sight in the very near future – that we will hit peak oil before mid-century – which is honestly also not that far away. 
Oil is running out – whether we’re ‘optimists’ or ‘pessimists’ – it’s going to happen, it’s inevitable and 2020 seems to be the year all the data is pointing to.
So we still have time – for now – to change our lifestyle and take a different course will oil production and consumption. 
Let’s have a look at all the various products for which oil is needed:

One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make things like:
Diesel fuel
Motor Oil
Bearing Grease
Floor Wax
Ballpoint Pens
Football Cleats
Bicycle Tires
Sports Car Bodies
Nail Polish
Fishing lures
Golf Bags
Dishwasher parts
Tool Boxes
Shoe Polish
Motorcycle Helmet
Petroleum Jelly
Transparent Tape
CD Player
Faucet Washers
Food Preservatives
Vitamin Capsules
Panty Hose
Life Jackets
Rubbing Alcohol
TV Cabinets
Shag Rugs
Electrician's Tape
Tool Racks
Car Battery Cases
Insect Repellent
Oil Filters
Hair Coloring
Toilet Seats
Fishing Rods
Denture Adhesive
Ice Cube Trays
Synthetic Rubber
Plastic Wood
Electric Blankets
Tennis Rackets
Rubber Cement
Fishing Boots
Nylon Rope
Trash Bags
House Paint
Water Pipes
Hand Lotion
Roller Skates
Surf Boards
Paint Rollers
Shower Curtains
Guitar Strings
Safety Glasses
Football Helmets
Ice Chests
CD's & DVD's
Paint Brushes
Sun Glasses
Heart Valves
Artificial Turf
Artificial limbs
Model Cars
Folding Doors
Hair Curlers
Cold cream
Movie film
Soft Contact lenses
Drinking Cups
Fan Belts
Car Enamel
Shaving Cream
Golf Balls

Most of these products are your everyday consumption articles – many of them with which we can go without, or find more environment friendly alternatives.

Within an Equal Money System, we do not propose a drastic decrease in production and consumption of objects of consumerism from the starting point of preference or opinion. We propose drastic measures because we are facing a real life-threatening scenario.

Unless we change our lifestyles and let go of all the products designed for the purpose of consumerism only – or by redesigning and re-engineering products to a level of absolute effectiveness and perfection so that they will actually last so people aren’t forced to keep on re-buying the same items over and over which adds to our waste pile --- we are literally ripping apart the future of the children to come.
Putting a limit to our level of consumption is not a choice – it is a MUST – Equal Money is the Future.

-          National Geographic Magazine, June 2008, World Oil Bust pp 86-91


I recently started studying ‘Environmental Economics’, which basically deals with analysing and observing the impact the economy has on the environment and how we can find more effective ways to reduce negative impact for the sake of everyone’s health and the future of our planet and the generations to come.
In the book they started off with explaining how there are two views/stand points within environmental economics – where you have the ‘pessimist view’ and the ‘optimist view’.

Now, what does the pessimist view consist of? It basically says that we ought to get our shit together and start looking at new ways of dealing with production and our energy usage because we’re going to come to a point where our resources are going to run out, if not now then in future generations  - and then we’re going to be in big shit.

The ‘positive view’ takes the standing that we shouldn’t worry, and that if we leave everything to the market forces we will automatically adapt to scarcity and that somewhere in the future we will probably have technology to release us from the ‘scarcity of resources’ limitation.
What I find fascinating is how they could have possible named these two perspectives ‘pessimist’ and ‘optimist’. All the so called “pessimists” are stating, is the actual state of affairs that we’re faced with and taking into consideration the practical consequences of our actions. There’s nothing ‘pessimist’ about it – it should have been called the ‘realist’ point of view!  It might not be what everyone wants to hear, and it might not be a situation that we want to be in – but that is not the point.  It is what it is and just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean you should label it as ‘pessimist’. Or maybe it should have been labelled as the ‘optimist view’ as it’s the only view that will lead to a bright future.

And ‘optimist view’? More like ‘La-la-land view’. Basing a theory and perspective on a future that is completely uncertain is stupid and irresponsible. Instead of dealing with the problem it just gets shoved to ‘out there’ in ‘the future’, where market forces, future people and some other technology can deal with it (technology you’re not even sure is going to exist). It’s probably the same line of thinking people were used to a hundred years ago, which make US those future people, it makes US the ones who probably would have ‘invented new technology’ – the time is here, and we don’t have much more to waste!

The labelling of these views is absolutely ridiculous but nicely shows how one wants to ‘dress up’ the situation. Negative energy and vibes are BAD, we must focus on the POSITIVE things in Life!
It’s so easy to call someone a ‘pessimist’ and completely ignore their input, as if it’s just that they’re in a bad mood, they got up on the wrong side of the bed and if they just get a nice night’s rest they’ll be just fine the next day – ready to join the optimists again!

People just don’t seem to see and understand how our ‘positive views’ of valuing ‘liberty’, ‘free choice’ and ‘free will’ - is exactly that which creating the mess on Earth we so dearly want to ignore.
That’s why it is important to study the Desteni material and the Desteni message, so we can wake up and tear this veil of blind optimism away from our eyes – so we can actually see what is going on and thus see what it is that we practically have to do to ensure a bright and secure future for all.

Equal Money – it’s the only way.

Our Economic System – Doomed to Face a Crisis from the Start?

Note: all economic terms marked with an asterix* are explained at the end of this blog.

At the heart of economic theory and activity lies the dilemma of human ‘unlimited wants and needs’ and ‘scarcity of resources’. Within this, the economist concludes that decisions require to be made in terms of what resources will be allocated to what unlimited wants and needs.
From this, the supply* and demand* model is derived whereby the price of a good or services ‘decides’ whether one will be able to acquire these goods and services or not. (Whereby demand is defined within the context of having a want or need while having the financial means to back up one’s want/need – i.e. whether you have sufficient the money to purchase the particular good or service you want/need). This way, the economy can limit and control the amount of people who can have access to a particular good or service according to the ‘scarcity’ of what it is they want.
Let me illustrate with a diagram how the ‘forces’ of supply and demand interact with each other, which in turn determines the affordability (which in essence is the same as accessibility) to particular goods and services:
 On the vertical Axis we can read the possible prices at which bread can be sold, at $ per unit.
On the horizontal Axis we can read the amount of bread which can be demanded at any particular price.
The red line/curve represents the ‘Supply’, whereby one can distinguish at which price a particular amount of bread will be supplied: At $1.00, the supplier is willing to supply only 1 bread (The self-interest of the supplier lies within the price of a particular product as the supplier wants to be able to reap as much profit from selling a single unit – thus when something is considered to be ‘cheap’, the supplier is not motivated to produce/sell a great quantity of this product/service, as it is considered to be non-profitable, and he could be doing/selling something else which will reap more profit – this is known as ‘opportunity cost*’ within the world of economics), at $2.00, the supplier is willing to supply 2 Breads -- at $3.00, the supplier is willing to provide 3 Breads – and at $4.00, the supplier is willing to supply 4 Breads.
The blue line/curve represents the ‘Demand’, whereby one can distinguish how many breads the consumer will buy at a particular price: When a bread costs $4.00, only 1 bread is demanded (the self-interest of the demander/consumer also lies within the price, but at the opposite pole of the supplier – the consumer wants to be able to get as many possible products/services per unit of money he owns – thus the ‘cheaper’ something is, the more will be demanded (and also the more people who will be able to afford it), and the more ‘expensive’ things get, lesser quantity will be demanded.), at $3.00, 2 breads are demanded – at $2.00, 3 breads are demanded – and at $1.00, 4 breads are demanded.
Where the demand and supply curve meet (the cross in the centre, indicated with the light blue dot) – is what is referred as the ‘equilibrium*’.  At this particular price (in this case $2.50) all the goods/services in question will be met with an equal amount of quantity demanded (in this case 2.5 breads) which implies that all the goods will be sold – there is no ‘excess supply*’, there is no ‘shortage in supply*’, there is no ‘excess demand*’ and also no ‘shortage in demand*’). This ‘equilibrium’ point will then be the point to which prices will be set.

From my perspective however, this is an unacceptable model to lead one’s economy by. Using the ‘Demand and Supply’ model – there will always be winners, and thus there will always be losers. There will always be people without access to resources, simply because they don’t have the money to do so. If we go back to the diagram, we indicate it as following:

Anyone with the a financial capacity which is unable to reach $2.50 for 2.5 loaves of bread (indicated by the grey area in the diagram) simply gets ‘eliminated’ and ‘removed’ from the Supply and Demand framework as their want/need now no longer falls within the category of ‘demand’. The system will not provide for these people – and this is how the economy manages and distributes its resources as a solution to everyone’s ‘unlimited wants and needs’ in the face of ‘limited resources’.

You see, the problem lies within the premise itself (people have unlimited wants and needs, but there are only so many available resources – what goes where/who gets what?). The economist immediately jumps to making a plan in alignment with this premise, where the only possible outcome is to satisfy ‘some’ beings their wants and needs, while keeping others from getting the same resources to satisfy their wants and needs -- whilst providing a ‘mathematical system’ to justify why resources are distributed in this particular manner (Supply and Demand).
Instead of just ‘going along’ with the statement and ‘trying to make it work’, they should have looked at the implications of the statement itself, and decide whether this statement in itself is an acceptable basis to build an economic system upon.
If we have a closer look at the statement (here it is again:)
“people have unlimited wants and needs, but there are only so many available resources – what goes where/who gets what?”
we are able to translate this statement into an equation, whereby we are trying to satisfy infinity () with something which is finite (x) – this in itself is simply impossible. So why even try and make it work if you know that it is never going to be able to. Instead of conjuring up a ‘Supply and Demand’ system to manage this equation which is inherently out of balance, they should have changed the very equation itself before constructing a system of distribution based on something unmanageable.
What they ought to have done, is look at the variable of ‘unlimited wants and needs’ and firstly separate them into two separate components (instead of giving both equal value).
Once we distinguish between wants and needs, we can recognize that needs (unlike wants) are actually quite limited and defined. Needs include things we can name such as: housing, food, clothing, security, – etc. There is a limit to what can be defined as a ‘need’ whereby everything placed under the heading of ‘need’ is directly related to the achievability of a life of sustenance. In essence, the first system of distribution that should have been designed should have pertained to the satisfaction of everyone’s basic needs. Once the needs are sorted out, can one look at designing a system pertaining people’s wants.
Currently the system of Supply and Demand is the embodiment of ‘irresponsibility’ – because it decides to spent precious resources on people’s wants, knowing that this cannot be sustained, knowing that needs are not considered if it is not a ‘demand’.
It is fundamentally a system of discrimination between those who have money and those who have not (or very little). In my next blog I will be going deeper into this discrimination point and on what principles it was found, and how it currently is still being justified.

Supply: The supply of a product is the amount of the product that producers are willing and able to offer for sale at a certain price.

Law of Supply:
The law of supply states that if nothing else changes, suppliers will supply more goods and services to the market when these goods and services have higher prices, and will supply less if these goods and services have lower prices.

A demand for a product or service exists when people want to buy it and also can buy it, in other words if they have the financial means for it (can afford it).

Law of Demand:
The law of demand states that, if nothing else changes, people will buy more of a product when the price of the product decreases, and will buy less of the product when the price of the product increases.

Excess Demand / Shortage of Supply:
This occurs when the quantity demanded of a good is greater than the quantity supplied of a good at that particular price.

Shortage of Demand / Excess Supply:
This occurs when the quantity supplied of a good is greater than the quantity demanded of a good at that particular price.

Opportunity Cost:
This is the cost of something you have to give up to get something else, that is, the value of alternative opportunities that have been given up.

The price at which the quantity demanded equals the quantity supplied