water vs petrol/ corn here vs corn there

Submitted by Susan Miller on Sun, 04/08/2007 - 13:52.

I stopped into the very end of David Morgenthaler's talk at CSU a few weeks ago. When I arrived I heard Phil Lane step to the mic to ask Morgenthaler if he was investing his venture capital in second tier carbon trading markets. Lane went onto describe sustainable businesses and innovations like his own innovation which he said is being built somewhere (not Cleveland) currently -- a car that gets 100 mpg. While Morgenthaler indicated that he did not have an interest in investing in carbon trading, he did say that he was interested in knowing more about Lane's auto invention.

Last week we noticed the launch of the XPrize: "The [X Prize] Foundation now plans to offer millions for the first practical car that increases mileage five-fold. The specs for the competition are out in draft form and call for cars in two categories that are capable of 100 MPG in tests to be run in 2009. The categories are: 4-passenger/4-wheel; and 2-passenger/unspecified wheels. The cars must be manufacturable, not "science projects. The prize is expected to top $10 million. The X Prize Foundation says that so far it has received more than 1,000 inquiries from possible competitors."

This website points out that among those thousand's of competitors for the prize -- Lane might be one -- there is this new technology which might be even further along. A car that runs on water. There is a fascinating youtube video with the story. This would be a huge relief from the ethanol markets that are burgeoning driving farmers to increase their corn growing even on agricultural conservation land. US farm subsidies are out of whack and the need for more corn growing in the nation's breadbasket (cornbread?) will most likely increase the size of the growing dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico (the runoff -- yep, just like Lake Erie) and ramp up our national security issues since we provide food aid to third world nations by dumping grain on countries making it impossible for local farmers to supply the needs of their own people.

An interesting perspective in yesterday's NYTimes:
"the law in the United States requires that virtually all its donated food be grown in America and shipped at great expense across oceans, mostly on vessels that fly American flags and employ American crews — a process that typically takes four to six months."

How much corn can we grow, for food and for fuel and who will this monoculturization of so many acres affect the planet?

Perhaps Phil asked the wrong Morgenthaler the wrong questions

I remembered seeing that David Morgenthaler's daughter Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones is seeking innovative biofuel investments... see the NY Times article below. Phil could probably get a meeting with one of them if he approached it right, with the right ask.

From the NY Times

Venture Capitalists Want to Put Some Algae in Your Tank

NILAND, Calif. — The idea of replacing crude oil with algae may seem like a harebrained way to clean up the planet and bolster national security. But Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones and her husband, David Jones, are betting their careers and personal fortunes that they can grow masses of the slimy organism and use its natural photosynthesis process to produce a plentiful supply of biofuel.

Read the whole article in The New York Times.

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Where are the Morgenthalers on the TASK FORCE

Not to waste too much time rehashing a bad jury, can you imagine a smart task force that brought in Morgenthaler-Jones and others who are investing in these technologies, and have NEO roots? Sort of like the whole arts in NEO without Lewis and Gund picture.

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