Sunday, February 24, 2008

Get your Enviro-Nuts: no waiting


There are a plenty of nuts in North America and Europe; Sir Richard Branson didn't need to go all the way to the Amazon to get some. This is especially funny coming from a dude who runs a major polluting airline and is planning to blast people off into space for a few minutes at a time, all for the cost of a small fortune.

If he really wants to impress me, he should fill the entire jet with coconut oil and see if it will fly. Guess what? Nut oils alone are not going to fly the current crop of jetliners without some sort of fossil fuel mixed in! If we could fly using cooking oils, we would already be doing it.

Here's an example of a wealthy businessman getting some free, positive publicity for his company from a gullible, propagating press.

Feed Article | Business |:

Nuts picked from Amazon rainforests helped fuel the world's first commercial airline flight powered by renewable energy on Sunday.

A Virgin Atlantic jumbo jet flew from London to Amsterdam with one of its fuel tanks filled with a bio-jet blend including babassu oil and coconut oil.

"Today marks a vital breakthrough for the whole airline industry," Virgin founder Richard Branson told reporters in a hangar at Heathrow airport prior to the flight's departure.

British billionaire Branson said, however, it was unlikely the nut of the wild growing babassu palm would play a key role as airlines turn to renewable fuel sources to cut the industry's greenhouse gas emissions.

"We did not want to use biofuels such as corn oil which were competing with staple food sources," he said, adding he believed algae produced in places like sewage treatment farms were the most likely future source of renewable fuel for the airline industry.

Biofuels, which are currently mainly produced from crops such as grain, vegetable oils and sugar, are seen by advocates as a way to cut emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

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