Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Lyle Estill's journey to sustainability

A great book about his life's path; here's one reader's comment:

Lyle's [book] is about the personal interactions, the social and societal aspect of this alternative fuel, told in story fashion. As the cover says: "The passion, the people, and the politics of the next renewable fuel."
Chapter titles include "Stinky Kitchen", Birth of a Coop", "The lure of the Producer", "The policy layer", and ends with "the road ahead". I think of it as more of a philosophical journey than anything else. That might be where the story will lose a more general audience though - will someone unfamiliar with biodiesel feel any sympathy when reading about making 40 gallons of soap? To most people that probably doesn't sound like anything bad.

I'm fascinated by the amount of dis-information that gets spread about ideas and systems that will undo the power centers. For example, biodiesel takes power away from Big Oil and could give it to Big Agro. So we have rashes of false arguments about how food production will suffer, or there's more CO2 because forests are being burned to plant palm oil trees, or Pimentel's continued re-publication of his 25 year old (faulty) data showing biofuels cost more energy than they deliver. Biofuels are clearly making headway, because the arguments are shifting and dancing. I remember when people were told that running biodiesel in their Jettas would void the warranty, for example.

So I'm glad when a story comes along that brings to life the personal side of choosing small.

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