The talk will begin by mixing a litre of used vegetable oil with an alcohol-based catalyst in a pop bottle, and the audience will then witness the reaction – separation of the biodiesel phase from the glycerin phase.
The talk will discuss the Island Biodiesel co-op’s mixed benefits: activity as a legitimate ‘business’, providing income for local co-op members, while serving as a form of environmental and community activism by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, keeping energy dollars in the local economy, and keeping those same dollars from going to the petroleum industry.
The talk will also describe the lessons learnt by the speaker, including: the future is dirty, not clean, and we better learn to start cleaning up our messes (from fuel waste, to agriculural waste, to our own excrement); the current hostility facing the renewable energy sector in BC, especially in regards to increasingly hidden subsidies to the petroleum industry, the questionable environmental benefits of new Hydro initiatives, the desire to overturn the ban on drilling and oil tanker traffic; and the ongoing relinquishment of commitments to renewables.
In particular, the current new carbon tax makes the fossil carbon in biodiesel taxed over 17 times higher than in petro-diesel. Finally, the talk will conclude with a desciption of the skills required for the new job opportunities which will unfold over the next century – not engineers or consultants, but composters, cleaners, recyclers, janitors and salvagers.
Kenji Fuse co-founded the Island Biodiesel Co-op in 2006, and have given talks similar to this one at UVIC, the Alix Goolden Hall at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, the Moss Street Market, and across Canada and the US. The Island Biodiesel Co-op has been featured in the Times-Colonist, Monday Magazine, the Saanich Newsgroup, Biodiesel Magazine, the A Channel, and on CBC and CFUV radio. He is also a musician in the Victoria Symphony, a composer, on the string faculty at the Victoria Conservatory, and a general tinkler who still doesn’t spend enough time cleaning up his messes!