Craig Shields Is At Your Service—Most of the Time

Craig Shields Is At Your Service—Most of the Time Earlier this week I signed up a client for my “At Your Service” product (a one-day consulting action on any cleantech business concept for $1000 plus travel reimbursement), but I could see in advance that it wasn’t going to work out, so I returned his money.

He has an idea that I’m 99+% confident won’t work with any cost-effectiveness at all.  He thinks I’m wrong, which I suppose I could be, conceivably.  But in order to prove this point one way or the other he’d have to build a prototype and test it, which he can’t afford.  So we’re reduced to this unending conversation: my explaining why I can’t imagine that this thing can work, and his explaining how I haven’t fully understood his idea and that he’s sure it will perform beautifully.

To explain it to my wife, I gave her this analogy:  imagine that he believes that the chandelier in my office is held to the ceiling by angels.  There is no reason to believe that’s true, but I can’t prove it’s false.  I don’t want to take his money to talk about it for a day, and I certainly don’t want to do it for free.

 

 

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65 comments on “Craig Shields Is At Your Service—Most of the Time
  1. I designed my innovation to help everyone on the planet and so that I could make my own prototypes and do my own preliminary testing, which I’ve done all out of my own financial resources. What I failed to understand is that whenever I would tell people about my new innovation they would not be able to see the advantages of conversion of all kinds of bulky biomass and wastes to various higher value energy resources as opposed to paying for waste disposal and paying for those resources that could be made out of them. I’ve made about 5 to 7 prototypes that would have cost several thousands of dollars each and done years worth of testing and research but small minded people are the obstacle. You can see one of my prototypes at http://aaecorp.com/ceo.html and email me at LBlevins@aaecorp.com for more info.

    • Les,
      You are working within a world that is very complex and fraught with pitfalls. While you may have a reasonably sound technology, that’s not going to cut it. In order to be a real player in the waste to energy field, you will need to find a customer, negotiate a financed deal, and build a commercial plant. After it has been in real world operation for a number of years and has met its projections, you can find all kinds of buyers. You won’t find anyone to take a prototype and buy it, there are too many shysters in the waste to energy field for anyone to believe their “black box” claims. Make it work, sell the power to a customer, and you will have real customers.

  2. I designed my innovation such that it could help everyone on the planet and such that I could make and test my own prototypes.

  3. And I did all that and more out of my own financial resources. What I failed to realize is that when I told people what I had created they would not be able to get their minds around a new innovation for turning all kinds of bulky biomass and wastes that they were paying to dispose of to higher value products that they were buying.

  4. I’ve made and tested five to seven prototypes that would have cost several thousands of dollars each and researched the various issues relating to the various markets my new and novel innovation could appeal to but willful denial is rampant and will most likely doom us all.

    • 1.) “The idea that cavalry will be replaced by these iron coaches is absurd. It is little short of treasonous.” — Comment of Aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Haig, at tank demonstration, 1916

  5. Oh well, live and learn I always say.

    • 2.) “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” — Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878

      • 3.) “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” – Western Union internal memo, 1876

  6. “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it” ~Albert Einstein

    “Insanity is repeating the same behavior over and over and
    expecting different results” ~Albert Einstein

    To put it another way; it’s insanity to believe we can solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. ~Les Blevins

  7. We may need to solve some problems not by removing the cause but by designing the way forward even if the cause remains in place.
    ~ Edward de Bono
    de Bono points out that the term “problem solving” implies that there is a single problem to respond to, and that it can be resolved. That doesn’t take into account situations where there is really no problem at all, where a large and/or complex problem exists that cannot be completely resolved no matter what is done (like global warming and climate change) and situations where many problems exist that could all be dealt with at once, but many still perceive themselves to be benefitting from the old order. ~ Les Blevins

  8. “It is critical that we do everything we can to reduce our dependence on petroleum based fuels. Turning waste products into energy is good for the economy, local job creation and our environment.”
    ~ Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

    “Basically, the technology for disposing of waste hasn’t caught up with the technology of producing it.”
    ~ Senator Al Gore 1992 ‘Earth In The Balance’ pg. 148

    “The country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable
    energy will lead the 21st century.”
    ~ President Barack Obama

    “A fundamental rule in technology says that whatever can be done
    will be done”
    ~ Andy Grove, Co-founder of Intel

  9. “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things for the reformer has enemies in all who profit from the old order.” –Niccolo Machiavelli, 1513

  10. “Humanity has pushed the world’s climate system to the brink, leaving itself only scant time to act. We are at about five minutes before midnight.”
    — Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2013

  11. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
    – R. Buckmister Fuller

  12. Fuller’s advice is to build a new model that makes the old model obsolete, and I’m seeing it being said the utilities model is obsolete according to this article.

    The Utilities Are “On the Wrong Track,” Say Experts
    02/18/2015 | Aaron Larson

    Len Hering speaks to attendees at the Energy, Utility & Environment Conference in San Diego, Calif. Source: POWER/Aaron Larson
    “I honestly believe they’re on the wrong track, clean and simple,” Hering said, suggesting that the transition needs to happen at “five times the pace that these folks are talking about.”
    “The truth is, distributed generation is the answer, and the chaos that’s needed in the utility sector is needed today,” adding “If the energy companies can’t figure out how to get there from here, we’re going to figure it out on our own.”

  13. Disruptive technology is what is needed it seems and I believe I’m on the cutting edge with my world repowering concept approach. Now who will help me plant my corn?

    “Who will help me plant my corn?” said the little red hen.
    “Not I,” said Exxon the fat cow.
    “Not I,” said BP the black duck.
    “Not I,” said Chevron the plump goose.
    “Not us,” said the two smelly Koch brother pigs and all the dirty coal fired power generators..
    “Then I will do it myself,” said the little red hen, and so she did. She planted her corn, and it grew very tall and ripened into golden yellow grain.

    Now if Craig or anyone else wants to help me harvest my corn I’ll gladly share the harvest.

  14. What say ye of little faith?

  15. Breath on the Wind says:

    Craig at what point should we consider someone’s long conversation with themselves a hostile take over of the comments section? It sometimes amazes that there are inventive people who have so little understanding of human nature. Rather than the usual understanding of genius this seems to describe high functioning autism. Perhaps that was the situation with your client as well.

    Sometimes people just need someone to listen. Perhaps you should have a reduced fee for listening for an hour and asking intelligent questions that may help guide someone’s thinking.

    • marcopolo says:

      @ Breath on the Wind

      Your assessment of Les Bevins is possibly accurate. Most of the corespondents to Craig’s articles have at one time or another tried to conduct a meaningful dialogue with Les, or at least give him constructive advice, but sadly with little positive effect.

      Your kind advice does you credit, but I fear Les has problems beyond Craig’s professional qualifications.

      Unhappily, Les is obviously suffering from a personality disorder that needs professional help. I don’t believe people like Les shouldn’t be mocked or ridiculed, or made to feel even more disconnected and insecure, but they do need expert assistance from experienced mental health professionals.

      It’s a difficult issue for any compassionate society. Where does the line between beneficial intervention and unwarranted interference in individual liberty and civil rights get drawn ?

  16. Les Blevins is not the client to whom I referred in my piece (though there are some similarities, to be sure).

    You make an excellent suggestion here, btw.

    • In fact, a colleague wrote: Apparently Les Blevins was the non-client?

      Again, no, bizarre as it may sound, there are at least two people connected with me/2GreenEnergy with very similar behavior patterns. :)

  17. It takes a certain kind of person to come up with something truly revolutionary. I like to say I’ve got uncommon sense. But what Chris suggested requires an alliance with an entity with the financial wherewithal needed and that’s what I’m looking for. I’ve proved using my black box fuels processor can save 75% of a home’s heating bill during the coldest 3 months of a cold winter and it seems to me a town or a city would want to save 75% of it’s ongoing energy needs, and in fact they do they just don’t know yet how to go about it, I do. The following item tells it like it is guys..

    One man’s trash… could be his community’s energy-rich biomass

    March 22, 2007

    The idea sounds so outrageous that one is tempted to dub it Fitch’s Folly.
    Warrenton VA Mayor George Fitch has set a new goal for himself: To make his town “energy independent” within the near future.

    Fitch wants to create ethanol and generate electricity using biomass as a feedstock and fuel. What kind of biomass? All kinds. The waste that goes into the county landfill. Tree clippings from forest maintenance. Corn husks and switchgrass. Wooden construction debris. Old tires. Sewage sludge.

    Virtually any organic waste that can be rounded up from within a 20-25 mile distance from town that other people would let rot or, better, pay to get rid of.

    After extensive research, Fitch has conceptualized a project that would cost about $30 million. It would generate about five megawatts of electricity for sale into the electric grid, enough to power about 5,500 households, and would yield 10 million gallons a year of ethanol.

    As long as the price of ethanol stays above $1.25 a gallon (it’s about $2.25 right now) and the price of crude stays above $38 per barrel (it’s over $60), he says, the project will be profitable.

    “I’m a fiscal conservative,” says Fitch. “Government shouldn’t be wasting peoples’ money. We have a landfill. We’re taking garbage and burying it in the ground.” That just doesn’t make sense, he contends, when the garbage is loaded with BTUs that can be converted into electricity and liquid fuel.

    Fitch is working to “tee up” the project, ensure a reliable supply of biomass feedstock, find a private-sector operator to take ownership, and lobby for federal loan guarantees to reduce the risk for investors.

    His goal is to negotiate terms that would allow him to re-sell the electricity to Warrenton residents for about half of what Dominion charges.

    “If my residents are paying 5.9 per kilowatt to Dominion,” he says, “let’s bring that down to three cents.”

    The gasification technology is well understood, although the engineering probably will need tweaking to accommodate the wide range of waste products that Fitch contemplates.

  18. Page 2

    As the mayor describes it, the process entails heating the waste materials to an extremely high temperature in the absence of oxygen – as high as 2,000 degrees – then cooling it to 98 degrees.

    The material would not burn, it would gasify, leaving about 2 percent of the original volume as residue to dispose of.

    Waste heat from the cooling would be used to generate electricity, while the organic compounds in the gases would be converted into ethanol.

    If the Warrenton project pans out, Fitch sees the idea spreading nationally.

    There are implications for Virginia energy policy, too. The environmental community is pushing a Renewable Portfolio Standards bill that would require Virginia electric utilities to generate 12 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020.

    Although the legislation has been sidetracked while the General Assembly takes up re-regulation of the electric power industry, the issue is not likely to go away. Municipal projects built around local landfills across the state could make a significant contribution to that 12-percent goal.

    Small-scale projects like the one Fitch proposes, are consistent with a “distributed generation” approach to organizing the electric power grid.

    In theory, an electric grid consisting of many small producers located close to their consumers is more stable and less vulnerable to disruptive blackouts than a system depending upon massive power plants linked by equally giant transmission lines.

    “If you drop in a five-megawatt plant and flow the power into the distribution grid, there’s a range of benefits,” says Brad Schneider, founder of Recovered Energy Resources, a Rappahannock County company that designs biomass-to-energy plants, who has advised Fitch.

    Balancing the grid with locally generated electricity affects the harmonics and stability of the system.

    For Warrenton and the northern Piedmont, grid harmonics are no small thing.

    Dominion wants to run a transmission line through the region in order to wheel more electricity from the Midwest into Northern Virginia. Not only would a Warrenton power plant increase the supply of locally generated electricity, a better load balance in the region might enable the power company to increase the capacity of existing transmission lines.

  19. page 3

    Fitch has had conversations with oil giant Chevron, which wants to get into the field.

    The next phase of the project is finding $300,000 for design and engineering. That’s more than Warrenton can afford, but Uncle Sam is handing out renewable-energy grants like bingo cards in an old folks’ home.

    Fitch thinks he has a shot at getting support. His argument: A successful demonstration of the technology in Warrenton could open up opportunities for municipalities across the country.

    Fitch insists that his project would stand on its own merits. But as gravy for investors, there is a host of credits and incentives. There’s a 51 cents per gallon credit for ethanol, plus an extra ten cents a gallon for small producers.

    There’s a credit of 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour for producers of “green” electricity, and $20 per ton for using agricultural/forest residue to produce energy. A loan guarantee from the federal government would eliminate any remaining risk for private investors.

    Also working in Fitch’s favor: The Kaine administration is eager to support renewable fuels in Virginia.

    Although the Commonwealth has limited resources to devote to the sector, it can function as an intermediary between entrepreneurs like Fitch, academic resources and market opportunities.

    Dr. Y.H. Percival Zhang at Virginia Tech has developed a promising biochemical process to convert cellulosic material (wood waste, corn stalks, and switchgrass) into ethanol in small-scale biorefineries.

    Meanwhile, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy has spotted some potentially large-scale ethanol customers in the state – the oil refinery in Yorktown is one, military bases are another – to which local vendors could sell.

    Fitch is bursting with enthusiasm at the potential for his project. He thinks he’s got all the angles covered, although he’s wise enough to temper his comments with a note of caution: “There’s a huge caveat. Like most things new, you go through a trial-and-error process. You go up the learning curve.”

    Jim Bacon, of Richmond, publishes the Bacon’s Rebellion Web site and authors the column of the same name.

    ©Times Community Newspapers 2007

  20. Craig when I read this blog early today I too thought you might be talking about me without coming right out and saying so. This is the reason I looked at this as an opportunity to try again to make my case clearer. On the subject of Uncommon Sense Google that two word phrase along with the name J. Robert Oppenheimer and see what you find. He could have found a doubting group like we have here but instead he talked to someone who understood what he was talking about and that person took the message to President FDR… Think about it guys…

    • marcopolo says:

      Les,

      Don’t take this the wrong way, but I have four suggestions that might help:

      1) Consider the possibility that “everyone else” might be right, and you might be wrong, or that even if the song is right, maybe you are the wrong person to sing the song ?

      2) Build you own website where you can really explain your project. The response will help guide you to more effective communication with those that are interested in your project.

      3) Stop telling everyone how you are misunderstood and surrounded by fools and scoundrels. This doesn’t inspire confidence. Study a little more of the techniques of the great American author Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and influence People” rather than the author of “Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice ” (Viereinhalb Jahre (des Kampfes) gegen Lüge, Dummheit und Feigheit) .

      The second author certainly made an impact, but not one that could be described as beneficial !

      4) Become involved with a small scale volunteer eco-project that requires team work and helps you develop communication skills, and a greater ability to relate to others.

      good luck

  21. marcopolo says:

    Craig,

    Your integrity and wisdom will return a practical divided by reducing your involvement with impractical dreamers, and allow you to invest your valuable time with people and projects with real potential.

    I greatly admire the way you manage to combine passion and idealism for Green Energy and environmental concerns, with practical assistance to develop better methods of implementing Clean Tech.

    Like you, I spend a lot of time sifting through hundreds of hopeful propositions each year. In order to save time (and money) over time, I’ve developed an imperfect screening process for my staff to weed out projects with less potential, or are unsuitable for our expertise.

    Over the years by employing this method I’ve definitely missed a few worthwhile opportunities (and duly kicked myself !). However, I know I would have missed a great many more opportunities if I let myself waste time on people and projects of no practical value or profit.

    Idealism is great, but like most things in business, Clean Tech projects must make profits to survive. Profitability is a very tangible measure tot prove others appreciate the technology enough to pay for benefits provided by the product.

    Although profit isn’t necessarily a measure of the value of a product or technology, it provides a very reliable indicator. It’s very easy to get lost in the idealism or passion for altruistic projects. Especially projects that need constant taxpayer funding for increasingly dubious benefits. That’s not to say all not-for-profit projects don’t have worthwhile objectives, just that even projects which don’t have a profit motive should be managed as efficiently as possible.

    Keep up the good work !

  22. Ken Chan says:

    Dear Craig:

    Do not waste your energy. This person has ‘anger energy’. Wonder why is he so angry.

    So it would be wise to close the case.

    Life’s short.

    From your friend Ken

  23. Pierre says:

    this is being done in Alberta and Quebec, Canada
    http://enerkem.com/facilities/enerkem-alberta-biofuels/

    • marcopolo says:

      Hi Pierre,

      Enerkem’s technology and business model certainly deserves praise for it’s advanced technology.

      This technology may seem fairly small and initially expensive, but it does address a number of environmental objectives in a positive way. !0 million gas per year of ethanol, in a nation consuming nearly 80 billion gallons of gasoline may seem just a token gesture given the relatively small amount of difference when all the factors are considered, but landfill and other environment benefits must also be taken into consideration.

      The City of Edmonton currently spends nearly $45 million on fossil fuel to operate it’s municipal flee, so 10 million gallons of ethanol could represent a 10% saving in fleet fuel costs.

      However, Edmonton also gets revenue from the Provincial Government City Transportation Fund, based on five cents per litre for the volume of taxable road-use gasoline and diesel fuel sold in the province. Projects such as construction, upgrading and rehabilitation of provincial highways and arterial streets (including interchanges) as well as LRT lines and bus purchases are eligible for cost-sharing at up to 100 percent Government funding

      Often grants like these can act as a disincentive for eco-friendly projects.

      Maybe this project is only relatively small, but that doesn’t lessen it’s long term potential.

  24. My firm’s technology based approach to conversion of agricultural biomass and municipal and industrial wastes and storm debris and flood debris to power and biofuels will eventually become a model for communities around the world that are considering the circular economy and are looking for a sustainable way to effectively manage waste by conversion of all locally available bulky bio-based low-value feedstocks to electric power and other higher value end products. My technology has many advantages over the technology shown in the link in the above posting by Pierre. See more at: htttp://aaecorp.com

    The novel AAEC fuels combustion, gasification and pyrolysis system is deemed to have the following unique set of qualities

    1) Ability to utilize raw MSW as well as many other diverse biomass and waste based fuels in particle sizes from sawdust, wood shavings, corn cobs, pellets, briquettes to small square to large round or industrial size bales, either manually or automatically fed into the combustion furnace or gasification reactor.
    2) Lower fabrication, and installed cost, when compared to other conversion systems with fewer features
    3) Lower operating and maintenance cost
    4) Simpler, more effective, and lower cost pollution control
    5) Ability to pre-dry any incoming fuels, as needed, using recovered waste heat from the hot flue gas stream
    6) Ability to utilize high moisture stems, straws, manures and sludges as fuel to produce heat, syngas, methane and/or hydrogen when properly equipped
    7) Ability to commercially produce higher valuable products including heat, power, chemicals, char-fuels, agrichar, cellulosic ethanol, alcohol, diesel fuel, gasoline, methane, hydrogen, and other synthetic gases and custom gas blends.
    8) Ability to be modular in design for easier fabrication, transport and installation
    9) Ability to be portable and be used in temporary applications for remote forest thinning uses or other short period uses such as landfill mining and reclamation operations, spill-site cleanup and/or temporary or long term military applications
    10) Expandable without limit by closely arranging multiple units to achieve the total throughput capacity required
    11) Can be operated as simple distributed generation (DE) or combined heat and power (CHP) or integrated combined cycle power generation (ICCG) system
    12) Can be locally built, installed and operated in any locality where approval is available and where the financing and economics are suitable
    13) Does not require pre-sorting, pre-shredding or size reduction by chipping of logs, scrap tires, scrap pallets etc. to the extent that other technologies require.
    14) Will accept and process difficult fuels such as used carpets, old furniture, demolition debris, storm debris, shingles, scrap tires etc.
    15) Is highly tolerant of non-combustibles such as bricks, glass, metal, stones, dirt, electronic devices, small appliances etc.
    16) Can be operated in direct combustion, pyrolysis or gasification mode at the will of operators and can be switched from one mode to another during operation.
    17) Installations scalable from throughput capacity of less than 10 lbs per day upwards with no limit (example 1,000 or 2,000 or 3,000 tons per day or more)
    18) Can combust, gasify or pyrolyse liquids, sludges and/or solids and divide the process into multiple stages as well as automatically manage each stage for optimum results and “engineer” the gases produced in one or more automatically and continuously recharged conversion chambers where selected conversion processes can be automatically computer optimized for each of the feedstocks being processed. Blevins has also visualized various modifications to his fuels processor to enhance its capabilities and usefulness; including but not limited to by enabling updraft and downdraft configurations and the inclusion of plasma arc and microwave processing among others.

  25. 1. GENERAL DESCRIPTION

    The Sequential Grates ™ combustion system consists of an inclined, tall, free standing, self contained, firebrick or ceramic lined combustor, furnace, gasifier, pyrolyser or boiler. Contained within the unit is an automatic solid fuels stoking system consisting of several pivoting grates. Air pollution abatement (via secondary combustion) is combined within the design. Fully automatic fuel input, heat or power output and ash removal are readily available design features.

    2. TECHNOLOGY EMPLOYED

    Combustion and gasification of various biomass and wastes are proven technologies, employed in both small and large scale applications. The ability to co fire difficult combinations of wastes, biomass and conventional fossil fuels is combined in the new furnace. Solid fuels are introduced into the unit through an opening, from a conveyor, and are then dropped downward “sequentially”, from grate to grate. The grate design and action is such that solid fuels are classified by size, and dropped to reposition them periodically and to separate accumulated ashes automatically while conversion commences.

    The Sequential Grates ™ stoking action starts at the bottom grate and moves (from grate to grate) -sequentially- upwards, so as not to drop fuels onto grates already containing fuel. Pollution abatement can be incorporated, within the system by the addition of a proprietary smoke re-circulation system and/or by the addition of gas burners to re-ignite and achieve secondary combustion of the remaining volatile organic gases and particulates. Other off-the-shelf abatement technologies may also be employed.

    3. ADVANTAGES

    Advantages of the Sequential Grate system are the ability to utilize the various renewable biomass and waste fuels available in a given area at any time and allows co-firing these with conventional fuels when desirable. Co firing has economic and environmental advantages as it provides plant operators the ability to select the most economical and environmentally friendly fuel combinations at any time or place. In the AAEC Sequential Grates ™ combustion system this flexibility is further combined with a multi-stage combustion process, to maximize benefits the fuels flexibility provides. It further combines this over all fuel flexibility with an inherent, effective and economical air emissions control system. These advantages are useful in both area and district heating, co-generation, distributed generation, independent power production and could be used very effectively to power communities and cities on extraction of carbon from the atmosphere.

    Combustion of MSW is currently accomplished using mass burn, refuse derived fuel or gasification processes. In the Sequential Grates ™ system each choice is available. The system can be utilized for any of these processes or as a “combined process” combustor, furnace, Pyrolysis or “controlled air” combustion unit, or retort for making either charcoal, charfuels or agri-char.

    Additionally units of the Sequential Grates ™ concept/technology can be sized appropriately, or arranged in close proximity with other units, to achieve any desired total input and output. When units are closely arranged it becomes possible to shut down a part of the system, without shutting down the entire system. This is very helpful for adjustment of the load carried and for periodic maintenance of the system that allows 24/7/365 operations to continue.

    Additionally this new system has a small “footprint”. That is to say that as it is a vertical system and the ground area required is much smaller, it allows for installations in confined spaces such as beside or between existing buildings or other facilities such as at power plants or landfills.

    For more information contact;

    Les Blevins, Advanced Alternative Energy
    1207 N 1800 Rd., Lawrence, KS 66049
    Phone; 785-842-1943 – Fax line 785-842-0909
    Email LBlevins@aaecorp.com
    Website http://www.aaecorp.com

    For details on biorefineries see http://www.nrel.gov/biomass/biorefinery.html

  26. Again Disruptive technology is what is needed it seems and I believe I’m on the cutting edge with my world repowering concept approach. Now who will help me plant my corn?
    “Who will help me plant my corn?” said the little red hen.
    “Not I,” said Exxon the fat cow.
    “Not I,” said BP the black duck.
    “Not I,” said Chevron the plump goose.
    “Not us,” said the two smelly Koch brother pigs and all the dirty coal fired power generators..
    “Then I will do it myself,” said the little red hen, and so she did. She planted her corn, and it grew very tall and ripened into golden yellow grain.
    If Craig or anyone else wants to help I’ll gladly share the harvest.

  27. Chris keeps telling me that;

    You are working within a world that is very complex and fraught with pitfalls. While you may have a reasonably sound technology, that’s not going to cut it.

    So I’ll keep reminding him that technology doesn’t fail but we can fail to develop technology if we don’t work at it. Didn’t we put men on the moon and return them to earth? Coming up with the technology that enabled those men to travel to the moon and back was no simple feat. I don’t say that I can cut it but that I can empower it much as von Braun enabled the Saturn B Rocket and much as Oppenheimer empowered the USA with his “uncommon sense” about splitting atoms) during the Manhattan Project. What I’m looking and asking for is a Manhattan scale approach to enabling human sustainability via reductions in greenhouse emissions. I’ll ask Chris and other doubters; “Were those people not working within a world that was very complex and fraught with pitfalls?” and looking back which of them would you try again and again to discourage?

    “A fundamental rule in technology says that whatever can be done will be done”
    ~ Andy Grove, Co-founder of Intel

    We may need to solve some problems not by removing the cause but by designing the way forward even if the cause remains in place. ~ Edward de Bono

    de Bono points out that the term “problem solving” implies that there is a single problem to respond to, and that it can be resolved. That doesn’t take into account situations where there is really no problem at all, where a large and/or complex problem exists that cannot be completely resolved no matter what is done (like global warming and climate change) and situations where many problems exist that could all be dealt with at once, but many still perceive themselves to be benefitting from the old order. ~ Les Blevins

  28. “To try and fail is at least to learn. To fail to try is to suffer the loss of what might have been.”

    ~ Benjamin Franklin 1706 – 1790 ~

    “This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”

    – Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882

    “Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

    – Lord Chesterfield

    Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

    Calvin Coolidge (1872 – 1933)

  29. So all things considered I’ll stay the course. I’ll keep looking for those with enough gumption to join me. All I need is one man or woman to start the ball rolling and the rest will follow.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

    — Margaret Mead

  30. AS THE CLIMATE BEGINS TO TURN AGAINST US COMES A WARNING AGAINST BLENDING IN

    In Ezekiel 7:3-4 God declared,

    “The end is now upon you and I will unleash my anger upon you. I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices. I will not look upon you with pity or spare you; I will surely repay you for your conduct and the detestable practices among you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

    We know that God tells us that there will be a difference in the outcome between those who serve him and those who do not.

    It is very easy to give in to the patterns of the world – to blend in without even noticing the compromise we are making at the time. For example we have become complacent about what we follow on TV and what we spend our time and money on. (pro sports for example)

    • marcopolo says:

      Les,

      Calm down, now you are just ranting. Whatever value your message may have possessed is totally lost in the delivery.

      It’s also counter-productive ! Potential investors or backer of a business project are unlikely to be attracted to a promoter who raves like a delusional street preacher. You are not conveying the image of a serious minded business person, but more of a mentally unstable would be cult leader.

      When you find people are not listening to your message, it time to start listening to others so you can discover a more effective method of communication. Just shouting louder, is unlikely to attract more listeners, just reinforce a negative image of you as a person.

      But not only are you letting yourself acquire a negative image, but you are presenting a negative image for the technology you wish to promote and environmental causes in general.

      I’m sure that’s the last thing you really want, so take so well meant advice, take a deep breath and revise your thinking. Try developing you own website. In that way, instead of just being annoying, you can direct those who are interested in your message to explore it in a more positive and appropriate forum.

  31. If you don’t mind I prefer to heed the advice of those who don’t hide their identities.

    “To try and fail is at least to learn. To fail to try is to suffer the loss of what might have been.”

    ~ Benjamin Franklin 1706 – 1790 ~

    “This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”

    – Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882

    “Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

    – Lord Chesterfield

    Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

    Calvin Coolidge (1872 – 1933)

  32. Here are a few more people who are not hiding their identities and have words of wisdom for those of us who care to listen to others.

    “We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, and we’re the last generation that can do something about it. We only get one planet. There’s no Plan B.” ~ President Barack Obama

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
    – R. Buckmister Fuller

    “There are risks and costs to any program of action, but they can be far less than the long range risks and costs of inaction”
    ~ President John F. Kennedy

    “It is in our vital interest to diversify America’s energy supply — and the way forward is through technology.”
    – President George W. Bush, 2007 State of the Union Address

    “Biofuels will play an important role in America’s clean energy portfolio,” “These projects will allow us to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, support the growth of the biofuels industry and create jobs here at home.”

    ~ Energy Secretary Steven Chu

    “It is critical that we do everything we can to reduce our dependence on petroleum based fuels. Turning waste products into energy is good for the economy, local job creation and our environment.”
    ~ Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

    “Basically, the technology for disposing of waste hasn’t caught up with the technology of producing it.”
    ~ Senator Al Gore 1992 ‘Earth In The Balance’ pg. 148

    “The country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable
    energy will lead the 21st century.”
    ~ President Barack Obama

  33. Who else has developed technology that can power our energy needs on extraction of Co2 from the atmosphere and that can heat a home with low grade wood, household trash, wood pellets, electric heat, natural gas or coal if no low-carbon fuels are available – and do so with no need of utility power as in a remote off-grid locations or during power outages and can be scaled up to use agricultural biomass or municipal wastes to create heat, power and liquid or gaseous biofuels at any village, town or city in developed or in developing countries and can be made virtually anywhere people live?

  34. Every light bulb, radio, TV, microwave oven, automobile, airplane, train, truck, motorcycle or tractor is made to operate on pumping more carbon emissions into earth’s atmosphere. I’m under the impression that it is time for devices that can power those things on extraction of carbon from the atmosphere and that is what I intend to offer the world whether you like it or not Mr. unknown detractor.

  35. “Climate change is a growing and pressing problem. It is now clear that if we continue on our current path, we run the risk of dramatic disruptive changes to our climate in the lifetimes of our children and our grandchildren. At the same time, we face immediate threats to our economy, our national security that stem from our dependence on oil,” ~Secretary Steven Chu
    “We have tomorrow bright before us like a flame.”
    ~ LANGSTON HUGHES

    “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi 1869-1948

    “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things for the reformer has enemies in all who profit from the old order.” –Niccolo Machiavelli, 1513

    • marcopolo says:

      Les,

      Everyone has tried to be polite and caring for your feelings, but you’ve become like the guy in a bar or at a social event, who just won’t take a hint ! No one is listening to you, you are embarrassing yourself and obviously hurting from rejection.

      Do a good thing, and show some consideration for Craig’s readership by restricting yourself to relevant comments, not narcissistic rants.

      ( Seriously, consider building your own website ).

  36. I have four websites. The oldest is at http://aaecorp.com. And by the way all my comments are relevant and most are in response to your comments. Do a good thing and let us know who you really are.

  37. To those who are reading this banter I’d like to say it isn’t embarrassing to me to have people like President Obama and Pope Francis and former Energy Secretary Steven Chu and all the others I like to quote speaking for exactly what I’m proposing – but I suppose it bothers some who prefer that I don’t repeat and point out their respected positions since they seem to back up what I’m saying and since they contradict what the one who likes to belittle me and likes to make personal attacks has been saying.

  38. Every electrical device ever made, every light bulb, radio, TV, microwave oven, automobile, computer, printer, fax machine, airplane, train, truck, motorcycle, road grader, and tractor is made to operate on pumping more carbon emissions into earth’s atmosphere. I’m working under the impression that it is time for devices that can power those things on extraction of carbon from the earth’s atmosphere, and that is what I intend to offer the world whether you or anyone else likes it or not Mr. unknown detractor.

  39. Many farmers from the Midwest to California that rely on irrigation of their crops are finding themselves threatened by the drought of recent years in the western half of the U.S. which is trending toward desertification. Other areas have also suffered. Yet there are drought tolerant crops that do not require irrigation. Miscanthus grass is a crop that can be grown on marginal land (see chapter six in Al Gore’s book “Our Choice”) but there isn’t reliable demand enough yet for biomass fuel crops to allow farmers to make the transition to growing them in place of irrigated crops. Building county scale biorefineries designed to utilize large round or square cornered bales could create more demand for these fuel crops. If a county can be identified that wishes to build such a biorefinery and base it on the technology I’ve developed I’ll gladly grant a no cost license to do so and to operate the biorefinery at no cost for the commercial use license without any time limit. In other words a free license to build and operate such an installation forever. All they need is a contractor willing to build the facility and the financing. I’ll contract with the builder to serve as the front end technology consultant and he can also contract with back end technology suppliers. My terms would be very favorable as I sincerely desire to see such a facility built as there are around 3,000 counties in the United States and of course there are other countries looking for such technology designed for repowering with low-carbon fuel sources that can back up wind and solar with dispatchable fuels.

  40. This is off-topic but I just wanted to say now that the World Series is over; If the people of this insane country cared 1/100th as much about protecting the planet as they do about pro sports we could contain global warming and hand off a livable planet to our descendants. I for one would not pay a plug nickle to see a pro-sports event even if it were right across the street, let alone travel even a city block to see one.

  41. Back on topic I just wanted to clear something up for those who think I’m angry, nope I’m not but as an activist member of the Green Party I’m happy to say we are real environmentalists and advocates for social justice. We are nonviolent resisters and regular citizens who’ve had enough of corporate-dominated politics. Government must be part of the solution, but when it’s controlled by the big money 1%, it’s part of the problem. The longer we wait for change, the harder it gets. Don’t stay home on election day. Vote Green.

  42. I understand one of the multi-billionaire Koch Brothers just made a candid admission: In an interview on MSNBC yesterday, Charles Koch apparently revealed that if he spends millions to influence elections, he “expects something in return.” I say this proves our political system is corrupt. But it’s our responsibility to change it not his. In fact we cannot blame the rich nor even the fossil fuel hawkers for what they do to corrupt the system and lead us to destroy the planet’s livability,, we must blame those who spout the rhetoric of their willful blindness and find fault with those of us who are doing their best to empower changes of a fundamental nature.

  43. Copied below is a news release about the “world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant” which recently opened in Iowa.

    Eventually the world will see what I think is a much better approach for other areas based on the new concept technology my firm is developing. I say that because the larger a cellulosic ethanol plant is the greater the total area it must collect feedstock from, and this adds to the transportation costs of bringing in the feedstock. This size facility must of necessity bring in feedstock from multiple counties surrounding the plant. My solution is to offer technology for smaller county scale biorefineries that can operate on the feedstock available within a single county or in other words about 20 to 30 miles or so. In the middle of corn growing Iowa there will surely be a lot of available corn stover available (in the surrounding counties) on which to operate a large cellulosic ethanol plant – but in states like Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and many other areas there would not be enough corn stover so a cellulosic ethanol plant must be able to utilize large round or square cornered industrial bales of other types of crops, such as switchgrass or giant miscanthus for example. There are far too many other reasons AAEC technology will prove more appropriate to list here and why it will be used in many times over the number of plants that the DuPont scheme is used in.

    October 30, 2015
    DuPont has celebrated the opening of its cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa, US with a ceremony attended by the state’s governor Terry Brandstad and other dignitaries.
    With the capacity to produce 30 mgy of clean fuel that offers a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to petrol, this biorefinery is the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant.
    The raw material used to produce the ethanol is corn stover – the stalks, leaves and cobs left in a field after harvest. The facility will demonstrate at commercial scale that non-food feedstocks from agriculture can be the renewable raw material to power the future energy demands of society.
    Vital to the supply chain and the entire operation of the Nevada biorefinery are close to 500 local farmers, who will provide the annual 375,000 dry tonnes of stover from within a 30-mile radius of the facility. In addition to providing a brand-new revenue stream for these growers, the plant will create 85 full-time jobs at the plant and more than 150 seasonal local jobs in Iowa.
    ‘Iowa has a rich history of innovation in agriculture,’ Branstad said at the opening. ‘Today we celebrate the next chapter in that story, using agricultural residue as a feedstock for fuel, which brings both tremendous environmental benefits to society and economic benefits to the state. The opening of DuPont’s biorefinery represents a great example of the innovation that is possible when rural communities, their government and private industry work together toward a common goal.’
    The majority of the fuel produced at the Nevada plant will be bound for California to fulfil the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The plant also will serve as a commercial-scale demonstration of the cellulosic technology where investors from all over the world can see first-hand how to replicate this model in their home regions.

  44. Corn stover and baled dedicated energy crop feedstocks offer enormous opportunity but these energy sources are not the only feedstocks AAEC’s technology can utilize. Consider this;

    “Wood to Energy” 2015 A Success!
    The Western Statewide Energy Teams (SWET) converged in The Dalles, OR on October 27-29th, 2015 for their second annual meeting. SWET discussed possibilities for collaboration, common challenges, and most importantly creating a truly regional vision for the future of woody biomass in the Western United States. Overall, the conference highlighted the power that a regional approach can have for the biomass industry, and those attending walked away from the gathering with an experience that is likely to improve their communities and the industry as a whole.

    Woody biomass and communities are key words in the above message and I have a 12 page position paper that begins with the below wording that I’ll email to anyone that requests it via an email message addressed to LBlevins@aaecorp.com with the words Community scale utilization in the subject line if anyone here is open to new concepts…

    Community scale utilization of biomass, municipal wastes and coal as fuels for distributed generation, and biofuels production
    Les Blevins believes the best way for keeping a lid on carbon emissions from both power generation and transportation is producing more of our electric power and liquid and gaseous fuels by using our abundant biomass and waste resources as feedstocks – along with abundant coal reserves – in much more widely distributed clean energy conversion systems based on AAEC’s novel new Sequential Grates ™ Fuels Conversion System Technology.

  45. Thank God the State Department and the President have rejected the Keystone XL pipeline

  46. An independent assessment of popular pellet stoves conducted by the Alliance for Green Heat found that pellet stoves, unlike most wood stoves, can achieve low levels of emissions in real world settings.

    What I’m offering is an outside furnace that can burn wood or waste based pellets, sawdust, wood shavings, shredded wastes and other types of fuels that can be fed through an auger and the auger can be scaled from around 3″ in diameter to up to 3′ in diameter or even larger. Unlike stoves an outside furnace can provide heat to a central heating system such that it can distribute clean renewable heat throughout an entire house, mobile home (or any other types of buildings) and it will not take up any inside floor space nor require modifications to a home or other types of buildings such as a flue pipe running up through a roof.

    Simple, low cost and effective emissions abatement is an available option.

    My furnace can be made in any town, city or county and in developed or developing countries therefore it can be replicated at the rate of many thousands of units per week and near where the units are to be installed. It also requires no expensive or hard to obtain materials nor cast iron parts nor any difficult manufacturing procedures. In short it is exactly the right concept for these increasingly difficult energy, economic and environmentally challenging times. Emails sent to LBlevins@aaecorp.com will be provided more information.

    AAEC developed this new concept technology to enable homeowners, businesses, farms, towns, cities and counties to convert completely to cleaner energy. AAEC is for all those who understand that distributed alternative / renewable energy derived from solar, wind, biomass and waste is a viable pathway to stall global warming and produce a much better future for our descendants, and ultimately for all humanity. AAEC offers a viable way to move to a future where we are better at controlling global warming. Fossil fuel firms and utilities may at first oppose what AAEC offers and prefer to continue passing on the costs in cleaning up their operations to their clients and customers even if better options are available that would benefit them as well.

    Les Blevins
    Advanced Alternative Energy Corp.
    1207 N 1800 Rd., Lawrence, KS 66049
    Phone 785-842-1943 – Email LBlevins@aaecorp.com

    For more info see http://aaecorp.com/ceo.html

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Advanced-Alternative-Energy/277213435730720

    http://buildings.ideascale.com/a/dtd/SCALABLE-MIXED-WASTE-TO-ENERGY-CONVERSION-TECHNOLOGY/84117-33602

  47. Over the last two decades, Covanta claims it has “worked diligently” towards eliminating the environmental impacts from our Energy-from-Waste facilities like Metro Vancouver’s, which is now “leading to dramatic reductions of over 95 per cent for most emissions,” said Christopher Baker, Covanta Vice President of Client Business Management in a news release. “With our new technology, we now have the ability to significantly reduce nitrogen oxides emissions to the lowest concentration in the North American industry. We are so pleased to provide this breakthrough technology to our valued partner, Metro Vancouver.”

    Using advanced waste-to-energy technology to both lower pollution and to lower the amount of trash heading to landfills has multiple benefits for large cities such as Vancouver. But when a small start-up company can find a way to make such operations both more environmentally friendly and more available to counties and even to small towns, cities, it also merits notice. I am pleased to be able to provide this breakthrough technology to the wider world just as the inventors Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak did for bringing personal computing to the masses says Les Blevins of Advanced Alternative Energy Corp. (AAECorp.com.)

  48. If anyone thinks they know more about what I’m proposing than I do should take time to see and read this current article in American Recycler. I can assure doubters that these people are aiming for exactly what my advanced technology is designed to do but my technology is still well ahead of what these people are working with and apparently doing well with but they are still not able to do it as efficiently as my technology can do it and I can and will explain to interested partners or collaborators or investors why my approach will be considerably more widely accepted in due time. The article is entitled “Biomass-to-energy production evolves” and the technology I’ve developed can do what they are doing much more efficiently than what this approach can and it can do it at any scale and it can use a broader range of fuels.

    It the link doesn’t work you might have to copy and paste it into your browser.

    http://americanrecycler.com/8568759/index.php/news/category-news-1/1367-biomass-to-energy-production-evolves

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