Ride for Meaningful Climate Change Legislation

During the week of September 20th, my friend Jake Stewart, will be participating in the 1st annual Climate Ride. On Sept 20th, he will join others to start a 300+ mile bicycle journey from New York City to Washington, DC. They will be delivering a unified and non-partisan message to the Capital encouraging our government to adopt meaningful climate change and renewable energy legislation.

Jake shares a personal blurb of why he's riding in this event and why he's asking for support:
I sincerely believe there are few issues more important to future generations than ensuring a stable climate and healthy planet. This is not a partisan issue, this is purely a Human issue and there is nothing that we share more commonly than the planet that sustains us. In that light, I'm convinced that we can overcome the many standing hurdles if we come together in a positive way.

Progress is being made. In fact, despite fervent protest from oil & coal interests, even the few remaining figures that remained hesitant of climate change action (President Bush, etc) are now publicly acknowledging that the science is overwhelming: climate change is happening and it is being driven largely by human activity. The good news is that scientists have determined we can slow down and possibly reverse the global warming process that man has set in motion. But we must take substantial and immediate action to reduce the almost 10 billion tons of fossilized carbon we are releasing to the atmosphere every year.

I'm optimistic that we will rise to this challenge and that America will take a leadership role in this effort. In a small nutshell, that's why I am riding and asking for your help.
If you'd like to donate to Jakes ride, you can do so here.

Some more background and info:

About Climate Ride
Today's climate change reality
Why we must act now

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posted by ashley


Climate Change Protection in Austin City

I'm excited to share with you some news about the city of Austin's progressive steps towards addressing climate change and how my friend, Jake Stewart, continues to live his passion and compassion into action. Here is the latest word from Jake:
I have accepted a position with Austin Energy/City of Austin to run the newly proposed Climate Change Protection Program. Austin wishes to be the nation’s leader in Climate Change action while becoming an innovative hub for green technology; it has set the very progressive goal of being effectively carbon neutral by 2020. It will be my job, along with a great team, to make that happen using all the pieces on the proverbial ‘chess board’.

Like many, I believe there is no greater issue that defines our dedication to future generations than ensuring the stability and health of the climate and the planet we inhabit. I’m looking forward to focusing my energy and intention on having some small and positive impact on this critical front.

Though this means a slight course adjustment career-wise, I am very excited about the opportunity to work in this important and largely uncharted territory. I also realize I am accepting an enormous challenge in this program but I’m confident that it is the right move at the right time.

I will still maintain some involvement in the biofuels industry, particularly in policy and sustainability efforts but I thought it worth a quick note to let everyone know where I am heading.
Thank you, Jake, for being such a leader in both following your heart and mind's calling and dedicating such energy and passion to the things you are involved in... and for continuing to open new doors and pathways for increasing care and responsibility for and with our planet.

P.s. Here are some older posts related to Jake's work with Biodiesel (more).

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posted by ashley


Good news about Alternative Energy Efforts

Here's a recent press release from my friend Jake Stewart:

Biodiesel Industries, Michigan’s NextEnergy and Daimler Chrysler

Announce Innovative Research Agreement,
Biodiesel Production Facility to be Built in Detroit

Innovative project brings biodiesel research and development to the Motor City

Detroit, MI - On September 29th officials from Biodiesel Industries Inc. and NextEnergy announced a ground-breaking Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) which will target biodiesel development and technical innovation.

“This is a pioneering project. It brings together a diverse group of major industry players, such as Daimler Chrysler, for the common goal of biodiesel advancement and implementation. We’re delighted to be part of the core group involved in this innovative venture”, said Russell Teall, President and Founder of Biodiesel Industries, Inc.

Beyond cutting edge research, the joint work will focus on the development and refinement of industry standards for the swiftly-growing biodiesel industry. The NextEnergy project involves key industry partners, including auto makers, the Department of Defense and several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who have an interest in biofuels.

NextEnergy is a non-profit corporation founded to advance the Alternative Energy Technology (AET) industry in Michigan. Major technology thrusts include portable power generation, renewable fuels and hydrogen production for use within commercial and military applications.

“Biodiesel Industries has many years of advanced development and production experience in the otherwise young biodiesel industry. Given the tremendous national market demand for their product, we are delighted that Biodiesel Industries has chosen Detroit for their next biodiesel production facility” said James Croce, Chief Executive Officer of NextEnergy Center.

Research and development will also extend into the development of agricultural resources utilizing property owned by Daimler Chrysler. The use of new and innovative biodiesel feedstocks will be part of this research. “As biodiesel demand increases there will be a need for new resources that can be grown in America by American farmers,” according to Jake Stewart, Biodiesel Industries Corporate Development Manager. “Daimler Chrysler has led the way in the use of biodiesel in diesel vehicles by being the first automotive manufacturer to deliver their vehicles to their customers with a blend of biodiesel as the original fuel. Soon it will be possible to have that biodiesel made in Michigan from resources grown here.”

P.S. I am adding this spelling 'Bio Disel' to this post because I receive a lot of hits to this site from people that are searching this spelling of biodiesel.

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posted by ashley


bio-disel plant

EDIT: November 3, 2005

Biodiesel Industries, Michigan’s NextEnergy and Daimler Chrysler
Announce Innovative Research Agreement,
Biodiesel Production Facility to be Built in Detroit

Innovative project brings biodiesel research and development to the Motor City. . .
Read More

Jake Stewart is an extremely passionate man that makes change happen. that being noted, today is a day for celebrating a new path in the city of denton which could have far-reaching effects in the realm of alternative fuels. here's the word just in from his public relations organizer (his fabulous wife, Cynthia):

"The city council voted unanimously tonight to approve the bio-diesel plant, for the fueling of city fleet vehicles etc.!!!!!!! Woo-hoo! We don't know dates for sure yet but things should start trucking along as early as this summer. The city of Denton is about to be the very first city in the nation to use the process of harnessing the gas from the landfill to power a bio-diesel plant. The FIRST!!! "We" will be using renewable energy to make renewable fuel. How cool is that? And the plant will have the capabilities to produce 3 million gallons of bio-diesel every year. Translation/implication... for every one gallon of bio-diesel made here in the good 'ol US of A, that is one less gallon of fossil fuel we have to import from OPEC/the middle east."

congratulations to jake, but more importantly to mother earth for this exciting shift.


Very Cool!

Hopefully this project will help bring bio-diesel more into public view. Will they be using entirely post-consumer oil? I've heard arguments that bio-diesel is not economically viable if it were to catch on beyond the point that post-consumer recycled oil support. Without knowing any facts, I imagine if the demand was there, the infrastructure would develop to support the demand in a cost effective way.

When I first heard about Fedex running a trial of hybrid diesel trucks, I couldn't help but think how cool it would be if they ran bio-diesel, instead of petrol.
Dave | 03.24.04 - 1:19 pm | #


My mom's hybrid is a joy to drive, and if it ran bio-diesel instead of gasoline, all the better. I've committed to myself that my next car will either be hybrid or bio-diesel. That's a long ways off, though. Hopefully by then I can go hybrid, bio-diesel, fuel cell, or whatever new technology has emerged, without having to give up the joy of AWD my little Subaru provides.

And, if it is bio-diesel, hopefully there will be more places for consumers to buy fuel. Right now there are a few places around Seattle to buy bio-diesel, but for those of us who rarely go to the city proper, it'd be nice to see it closer to home.

The fellow who taught me to build my baidarka kayak cooks off his own bio-diesel. I wonder what the ecological consequences (ground seepage, whatever) of a bio-diesel cottage industry would be.
Dave | 03.24.04 - 1:26 pm | #


Hi Dave,
yes the plant will run with 100% yellow grease feedstock. The DFW area produces 15 million gallons of used oil annually....which explains the obese people walking around. Anyway, 20% of the area yellow grease supply would max the processor out, which is attainable. We are also exploring various virgin oil feedstocks to supplement the processor if need be. If you're lookin at Hybrids test drive the 2004 Prius...its pretty amazing. Next best would be to run a VW TDI on biodiesel (if its available in your area). Thanks for your comments and support. Peace, Jake

PS-re: your question.....not much ecological impact to making biodiesel. It is completely non-toxic and is as biodegradable as table salt. If you use Ethanol as the catalyst...its a 100% renewable process producing 100% renewable fuel.
Jake | Email | 03.26.04 - 5:35 pm | #

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posted by ashley


political passion

Here's Jake Stewart's letter to the editor in today's Dallas Morning News

Iraq: Enough is enough

Friday marks the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Having completed my four-year tour in the Army in November 2002, I feel compelled to take a moment and write for those soldiers whose voices you might not hear in the news clips.

Over 550 American service men and women have been killed in Iraq and over 3,200 have been seriously injured. We have the finest military in the world, and there is no doubt in my mind that these soldiers will press on and follow their orders. But as a civilian now, I can tell you that true patriotism is not blindly following a political drum to war but rather it is our inherent responsibility to hold politicians accountable for the young lives they send to harm's way.

This was a political war from square one. Though I'm certain this letter will invoke neoconservative responses that question my patriotism or worse, I would humbly ask that we take a moment and step aside from the talk-radio rhetoric to recognize that young soldiers die daily for a political war being deceptively pitched as part of the war on terror.

and here's another email that i received on a similar topic:

"Enough is enough, it's time to stand up for our soldiers and hold this commander in chief accountable.
The link is to the latest piece by William Rivers Pitt. His piece draws the very poignant and very necessary analogies between what has happened in Spain over the last week and what is going on in our country. In two days, the Spanish people staged a loud, strong, but peaceful revolt against a lying, irresponsible government who they, correctly, saw as being soaked in the blood of innocent people. Remember, the United States government is ultimately responsible for this. George Bush and his administration lied their way into a war that can't be won and should never have been fought. Not only is the world no safer because of their actions, it is actually more dangerous. The Spanish people made their revolt in two days. We have just over 8 months. I implore each of you to do anything and everything you can to fuel our own strong, loud and peaceful revolt against the lying, irresponsible dangerous people who have the reins of our country right now. Letters to the editor, e-mails (just like this one) to people, marches, communications with your representatives and senators; the stakes are simply too high, on every front. From the economy, to civil liberties, to equal rights, to the environment, to a continually growing mound of dead bodies, this administration has failed in every way imaginable... Our voices, together, are a deafening roar of freedom, peace and democracy...Please shout loudly and often so that the tragedy in Spain, the debacle in Iraq and the atrocities in our own country can be no more. George Bush needs you to be silent. The rest of the world needs you to scream."


posted by ashley


Face to Face

my friend, jake stewart, sent these words to me. i share them with you:

"I know soldier deaths have become 'back page news' in many papers across the country.... but seeing these 600 young faces serves as a stark reminder to the growing human cost of this politically driven campaign. Although the Whitehouse won't release the official wounded soldier numbers, it is estimated to total upwards of 10,000. Something to keep in mind as D.C. attempts to quietly re-label the motives for this conflict as 'Humanitarian'.

U.S. & Coalition/Casualties

Make sure to hit the 'NEXT' button when you get to the bottom of page one....


posted by ashley

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