Discussing Alcohol as Fuel leads to THANKSGIVING

Today, I am thankful for many things, including my friends, both at the village and my online friends.   Below is an excerpt from a discussion on our private website, “The Friends of Sewanee Creek”.

ALCOHOL AS AN ALTERNATIVE FUEL
Added By:     Jeanne On Fri, 11/21/2008 11:59:22 am
Category:     Sustainability, Sustainable Energy
Share Your Thoughts *      (See attachments)

Clayton – Mon, 11/24/2008 09:09:32 am
It is already used as an additive in some gasoline brands. Usually about 10%. Currently, it requires more gallons of alcohol to get the same mileage as gasoline

Clayton – Mon, 11/24/2008 09:20:16 am
“Top Fuel” dragsters have used methanol for many years!

Chuck – Mon, 11/24/2008 09:45:45 am
The IRL indy cars have used it for 35/40 years

Steven – Tue, 11/25/2008 10:09:43 am
I have been reading about using alcohol as a fuel a lot lately.I used to be into racing and was around some vehicles that used it. The fuel system had to be heavily modified and the best I remember there had to be considerably more fuel “dumped” into the engine as compared to gasoline.

Chuck – Tue, 11/25/2008 12:26:43 pm
You are so right

Clayton – Wed, 11/26/2008 09:51:03 am
Let’s face it, gasoline is still the most efficient fuel for cars and trucks. It provides the most energy per volume than any other fuels that are mass produced and widely available. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep looking for and exploring alternatives. It does mean that gas is the best we have for now.

Grant Miller – Wed, 11/26/2008 11:40:30 am
Yes, that’s true of pretty much all the conveniences we take for granted. After two years of focusing on becoming self-sufficient, I can attest that it sure is a lot easier to breeze through Publix for convenience foods than to raise it yourself. It’s easier to flip a switch to use electricity from the grid than to make your own (no matter how you do it). It’s easier and more efficient to depend on the water utility than to collect your own water. As simple a task as it is, keeping my gutters clean (so the water in my cistern is pure) requires continuous awareness and vigilance. That goes for virtually everything necessary to live independently.

Our life style, up to now, has been blessed with unprecedented ease and efficiency. Our world has been on a never ending quest for the holy grail of ultimate convenience. My entire career in food service and convenience retailing at 7-Eleven has been all about that quest. Everything we take for granted has been refined and automated to the nth degree. A fragile consumptive market founded on luxury and greed has assured that efficiency rules.

One can literally pass through life without any thought at all, dependent on the work, inventiveness and thought of others. Perhaps that is why children are so addicted to mind-numbing video games that require no work or thought, only quick digital reflexes, and people struggle to find meaning in life.

My wife and I have reached a deep appreciation for our pioneer ancestors who had to make everything they used. Yet we aren’t even close to what they had to do just to survive. We still enjoy many wonderful modern conveniences they lacked that make our lives incomparably easy. Living as we do now is still a choice.

After all that, I can echo your comment, Clay.  “It is worth it“.   I know how panicky I would be right now if it weren’t for the work we have done over the past couple of years and continue to do. The feeling of peace, knowing that come-what-may, you can cope comfortably is truly priceless. The pure joy of total freedom to wake up every day and do what I want to do because I am independent is heady stuff.

As I approach the thanksgiving holiday, I can’t remember a time in my life when I have felt a deeper sense of gratitude for my blessings than right now. Perhaps that’s because the self-sufficient lifestyle, like no other, requires a level of mindfulness and work that gifts one with a true understanding of the value of one’s blessings. Living close to nature assures that one also understands the true source. I am grateful to God for everything He has blessed us with. I stand on His shoulders for EVERYTHING that I have, starting with the very dirt I work in to raise my food. It is ALL a free gift from Him. My cup runneth over. I am blessed beyond measure.

May you all have a truly blessed thanksgiving.

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