Second time around? – Great analysis of today’s Phoenix with good action points.

Rogue Columnist: Second time around?.

Solution ideas:

  1. Repeal SB 1070.
  2. Elect Terry Goddard governor.
  3. Throw out the Kook majority in the Legislature.
  4. Raise taxes on the rich and, if the Growth Machine ever revives, enact a real-estate transfer tax and a tax on long commutes.
  5. Stop all residential development outside existing urban footprints (and the extravagant planning maps of Buckeye, Surprise, Maricopa, et al, are not existing footprints). For one thing, there’s not enough water.
  6. Establish a real state commerce department employing best practices to attract high-wage jobs.
  7. Build out the Phoenix Biosciences Campus on a speedy schedule to include a hospital, large med school, pharmacy school and private-sector research facilities. Add a full-court press to lure biomed manufacturing from California.
  8. Eliminate GPEC. Let the cities go their own ways.
  9. Fund the public schools and universities to compete at top levels.
  10. Establish real infill incentives along the light-rail line.
  11. Put a premium on shade, including enhancing and reclaiming the shady oases in central Phoenix.
  12. Reform the tax structure so cities aren’t so dependent on sales taxes.
  13. Create a climate-change emergency plan now and begin acting by, for example, building intercity rail, commuter rail, light rail, streetcars and an integrated, easy-to-use transit system.

Meeting The Nation’s Bioenergy Goals : NPR – April 30, 2010

BioFuel pic from Steve Jurvetson
BioFuel pic from Steve Jurvetson

Talk of the Nation – Listen to the Story [47 min 21 sec]* Download

A federal renewable fuel standard calls for mixing 36 billion gallons of biofuels into transportation fuel by 2022. But the U.S. produces only one-third of that amount today. Ira Flatow and guests talk about meeting that goal with products like cellulosic ethanol or oil squeezed from algae.

via Meeting The Nation’s Bioenergy Goals : NPR.

Dr. BRATIS: Sure. Well, I think one thing that’s important to realize to start with is that you can get an awful lot of cellulosic biomass for $60 a dry ton or less. That happens to be $4 a gigajoule, perhaps arcane units, but that corresponds to $23 a barrel. So you’ve got a cost-competitive, and then some, raw material.

The reason that we don’t have a cellulosic biofuel industry today is actually very simple. It’s the difficulty of making reactive intermediates from this raw material.

Basically, nature has evolved biomass, cellulosic biomass, to be tough and resistant to microbial attack. And that really is where the focus is to remove the limiting factor. And that generally involves something called pretreatment, which is non-biological followed by microorganisms that I believe in the advanced configuration will directly ferment the cellulose. For now, people are also talking about producing cellulose enzymes separately that will dissolve this stuff.