Thursday, 24 March 2011

Snippets from the Interwebs 5

Everything you need to know about the Real Bread campaign


Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops may be encouraging the proliferation of a new pathogen – a viral sized microfungus. If so, then they should be outlawed. Click for a letter from the (emeritus) professor who discovered the pathogen to the US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack warning about the new problem.


An article from “The Green Economy Post” - Wind Solar Water Alone Could Power the World by 2030 New Study Claims

Here’s a link to the paper that the article was based on

And here’s another similar claim

and a brand new article on (which is mostly the best source on the Internet for skewering denialist disinformation) – A plan for 100% renewable energy by 2050


I remember the cost of the US space programme being compared to how much the US consumer spent on cosmetics or toothpaste or some such a long time ago. This was because there were people then claiming that spending on NASA was starving funds from those who would do good works for the poor and hungry etc.

Here is an interesting graphic (source : Wellhome) which truly puts into perspective how much US government spending is being invested in renewable energy compared with how much the US consumer spends on such vital expenditure as that on the weight loss, plastic surgery and tanning industries.



Oil from algae is a technology that has been mentioned for years. A lot of work was done in the Jimmy Carter years but was almost abandoned when the Reagan/Bush years happened. There are plenty of “algoil” start ups around nowadays and one of the most promising is Origin oil who are near commercialisation.

Link to Businesswire article about Origin Oil


Pepsi recently announced (March 15 - click for link to story) it has developed the world's first PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based, fully renewable resources, enabling the company to manufacture a beverage container with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. This  steals a march on Coca Cola’s Plantbottle which so has 30% plant based material in it.


Agave, the cactus that Tequila and Mezcal is made from, looks like it could have real potential as a biofuel. Link to paper. It is being investigated for use in Australia where its low rainfall requirement would be ideal.Reported dry biomass yields of various Agave species, when annualized, range from <1 to 34 Mg ha−1 yr−1 without irrigation, depending on species and location. A. salmiana and A. mapisaga can have high nocturnal net CO2 uptake rates and high productivities averaging 40 tonnes dry weight ha−1 yr−1.


Build your own biogas system using 3 IDB tote tanks. These are widely used and available second hand Click for detailed instructions




Join the Cloud Appreciation Society! Have another look at my two recent posts featuring clouds - “Both sides now” and “Flytec 2010” - then head over to and celebrate finding that there are others who are a little deeper than those who only indulge in blue sky thinking.




Carly said...


I have a quick question about your site. Would you mind emailing me back @


Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Hi Nick,
I love the graphic "How important is Alternative Energy research", can you tell me where you sourced it? Is it available on the Web?
Thanks, Stuart

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Oops, forgot to click the 'email follow-up comments' box!

Nick Palmer said...

Hi S&G,

Here's a link to the ultimate source of the graphic, although that is not where I got it from.

link to infographic

I think I originally got it from Joe Romm's Climate progress blog which is so active that it's hard to easily find anything from the past...

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Thanks for the links, Nick.

Beware of the comment from 'Carly'. I had the same and so did another blog I watch (The Hardworking Hippy). Her question wasn't specific and her profile isn't visible, I suspect Internet nastiness afoot!

Nick Palmer said...

Thanks! I too wondered about the legitimacy of "Carly". I did reply but I used a disposable email address with a life of 2 weeks, because I suspected them to be harvesting email addresses for a spam campaign or similar.

"Carly" did not get back to me...