David Blume, aka Farmer Dave, is an environmental activist who has shown that alcohol is an inexpensive and eco-friendly energy alternative to gasoline.
David Blume’s amazing book, Alcohol Can Be A Gas!, explains how radically different the world would be if alcohol was used as fuel. “Alcohol reverses global warming, air pollution would cease to exist in cities, and wealth would be redistributed. In a nutshell, alcohol is liquid solar energy.”
Blume practices what he preaches.
“I’ve been driving on alcohol in my Ford Ranger for 130,000 miles. You can make alcohol fuel for about 30 cents a gallon. With tax credits, for every gallon of fuel you make, you get a total of 55 cents, so you actually make money. The oil companies want to make sure that we never hear about this.”
Blume asserts that not only is alcohol fuel inexpensive and easy to make (it’s pretty much like making beer), he adds that most cars today can actually run more efficiently with a 50-50 mix of alcohol and gasoline without modifications. The reason this practice isn’t being adopted on a broad scale is because most people don’t know it can be done and have no idea where they can purchase alcohol or how to make it themselves.
Another reason Blume advocates alcohol as fuel is that the chances of oil spills like the recent Gulf disaster could be drastically reduced. “I predicted a month ago that the spill would round the corner of Florida and eventually wash up on the shores of Washington D.C.,” Blume says. “Methane hydrate is a huge scary issue around the planet for ecologists. If the natural gas comes up and something lights it off, it explodes. That’s why the rig went down. Why are we doing this if we can just make alcohol? No one worries if you have a case of vodka sitting around the house.”
To put the oil scenario into perspective, Blume gives the following statistics: “Only 30 percent of our oil comes from the Middle East, and only 7 percent comes from deep water drilling. That’s a 37 percent drop in our oil consumption and we don’t have to do anything except create more alcohol.”
David Blume has been actively involved in the alternative energy and environmental movement since the mid-1960s when he and his father used organic farming methods to grow most of their family’s food on a San Francisco city lot.
Blume majored in Ecological Biology and Biosystematics at San Francisco State University and taught his first ecology class in 1970. After college, he worked on experimental projects for NASA and served on alternative building and energy teams for Mother Earth News Eco Village.
During the energy crisis of 1978–79, Blume started American Homegrown Fuel Co., an educational organization that taught 7000 people how to produce and use low-cost alcohol fuel at home and on the farm.
Blume wrote the original edition of his book, Alcohol Can Be A Gas!, to support his Alcohol As Fuel workshops that were planned as a 10-part series on KQED-TV. After the first show aired in 1983, the rest of the series was canceled due to pressure from oil company sponsors.
In 1984, Blume founded a social experiment and commercial venture called Planetary Movers that promoted productive activism, progressive employment, green marketing, and profit-sharing for peace and the environment.
In 1993, Blume founded The International Institute for Ecological Agriculture that is dedicated to healing the planet by teaching permaculture — an ethical system of ecological land design that incorporates the disciplines of agriculture, hydrology, energy, architecture, economics, social science, animal husbandry, and forestry. Serving as Executive Director for IIEA, Blume recently started a alcohol manufacturing company called Blume Distillation and is actively working with IIEA associates to set up a biofuels station in his home town of Santa Cruz, California.
In 1994, Blume started a community-supported agricultural venture called Our Farm that taught sustainable farming to over 200 interns and apprentices from all over the world. Our Farm grew as much as 100,000 pounds of food per acre on a terraced, 35-degree slope without the aid of a tractor.
“Farmer Dave,” as he is affectionately called, has consulted for a wide range of clients, including governments, farmers, and companies interested in turning waste into valuable and profitable products. Blume is a frequent guest on radio and television, and is an in-demand speaker at ecological, sustainability, Peak Oil, and agricultural conferences in the Americas. He can be frequently found at community dances when he isn’t flagrantly inciting democracy, citing Emma Goldman’s oft-quoted phrase, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution.”
Click here to log onto Blume’s website, Alcohol Can Be A Gas!