1. The extremely entertaining and forbidden history of alcohol as a fuel,
2. The Big Myths against alcohol as a fuel perpetrated by Big Oil in the Lamestream Media,
3. How to grow clean energy and organic food in local communities right now, and
4. How to use alcohol as an automobile fuel, cooking fuel, heating fuel, lighting fuel,
refrigeration fuel, and electricity generation fuel.
1. Forbidden History of Alcohol
We are told over and over again that Those who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it. But history is written by the winners. Make that, ALL history is written by the winners. So how do we glean lessons from history that is tainted? While both statements above may be true in a superficial way, Mark Twain said it best: History does not repeat itself, but it rhythms. Here are two interesting historical rhythms.
Almost 100 years ago, John D. Rockefeller sponsored a bunch of crazies called the Women's Christian Temperance Movement whose singular purpose in life was to stamp out alcoholic drinking. They wanted to send the devil rum back to hell. What they didn't know was that they'd be working hand in glove with the Devil himself.
You see, John Rockefeller was in the kerosine lighting (as in supplying kerosine fuel for use in kerosine lamps) and heating (as in kerosine heaters) business. He distilled kerosine from petroleum. He would flush into the rivers at night the volatile, explosive, toxic junk left over from his distillation business, because nobody wanted a molotov cocktail as their kerosine lamp in their homes.
John Rockefeller, being a very shrewd Capitalist and Mr. Greed incarnate, found out that he could use this toxic, explosive, waste by-product to run the newly invented automobile in the internal combustion (IC) engine was slightly modified.
Most people don't know that Henry Ford's Model T car originally ran on alcohol first. It was subsequently modified to run on alcohol AND gasoline. Henry Ford's Model T car was the world's first Flex Fuel vehicle. Henry Ford's motto was this: How can we expect the farmers to be our customers if we are not theirs? Good question. He wanted to work with farmers, not against them.
John D. Rockefeller's motto and business practice were a bit different. He called the toxic byproduct of his kerosine distillation business gasoline. And he called the farmers of America his number one enemy.
In the cities, John Rockefeller controlled the gasoline stations and sold his gasoline to the public. When Mr. and Mrs. Smith left the city and went on a cruise in the countryside, they would stop and fuel up at the local farmerʼs alcohol fueling station. Why? Because there were very few gasoline stations in the countryside at that time.
Around 1918, Mr. “Standard Oil of New York” (by the way, what does the acronym SONY stands for?) decided that he had enough of competition from those tens of thousands of pesky farmers in the hinterland of America. So he sponsored the above aforementioned crazies with approximately $4 million U.S. dollars.
What the Womenʼs Christian Temperance Movement did with that money was nothing short of the miraculous! They got the U.S. Congress to pass not just a regular law but a constitutional amendment in 1919 to ban the drinking of alcohol for all of its citizens and, much more importantly, to ban the production of alcohol for all of its farmers and everyone else.
Four million dollars went a long way back them. Do you know how hard it is to pass an amendment to the United States Constitution? Well, Congress did it. One that was ﬁlled with hard-drinking congressmen (no women, of course). Imagine the courage it must have taken for these brave elected ofﬁcials to ban the drinking of alcohol for their fellow hard-working citizens!
The results were nothing short of spectacular. Hundreds of thousands of American farmers lost work because of Prohibition and millions of dollars for millions of families evaporated.
And for John D. Rockefeller? Letʼs just say that in 1933 when Prohibition was ﬁnally lifted, i.e., repealed by Congress, there were no more competition from those pesky farmers because alcohol was no longer available as a fuel for the modern automobile. Gasoline became the only game in town and out of town.
During the early part of the 1900s, most of the farmers in the U.S. and around the world including South America, especially Brazil, Europe, New Zealand, and the Philippines grew crops to make alcohol as a fuel for heating, cooking, and lighting. The by-products from making alcohol using grains were used as nutritious food for animals. More on this later.
Around the same time period as Prohibition, Germany was also in the alcohol business.
The Germans, being very practical and a no-nonsense people, made alcohol from potatoes.
Because they didnʼt have pools of petroleum sitting beneath their fatherland, the farmers would bring potatoes to their local community alcohol distilleries. No money exchanged hands. The cooperative distillery got free alcohol feedstock (the input material for making alcohol) and the farmers got back 1/3 of the alcohol distilled from their potatoes. The cooperative distillery kept 2/3 of the alcohol made, most probably for the war effort.
What is really interesting to note is that the farmers got back all the mash, or the solid leftovers which are full of proteins, fats, nutrients, vitamins, etc. Making alcohol only removes the sugar and/or starch content. These farmers used the mash to feed their cows, pigs, chickens, etc. They used the alcohol for their alcohol lamps, alcohol stoves, alcohol heaters, and for running their tractors and other fuel-driven farm equipment.
This cooperative alcohol distillery model worked so well that it actually prolonged World War 2 as the Allies had to bomb every single one of the 70,000 cooperative distilleries in Germany. Yes, there were that many spread all across Germany.
During World War 2, German Panzer tanks ran on alcohol because of its higher octane (105)
and because it could be stored much longer than either gasoline or diesel.