The 400 Richest Americans Are Now Richer Than the Bottom 50 Percent Combined

Latest studies show that the top 400 richest US citizens are wealthier than the entire bottom half of over 150 million people.

Also known as “the Forbes 400”, you can view the list here and see for yourself where they got their money from. Good points out that of the top 25 only three are woman and none are of color.

The question is: is it ok for a society to have wealth distribution as lopsided as this? Compare this to Sweden where a doctor makes little more than a grocery bagger.

Image: jameszol at Visual Economics

Full Article: Good Magazine

A carbon-neutral energy that supports farmers and doesn’t divert a food resource

Hudson Valley Grass Energy has developed a full-scale mobile grass pelleting mill, truly a first of its kind.

The mill took several years to research and develop but is now producing at one ton per hour. The company plans to ramp it up to two tons by the end of the year. The machine accepts raw agricultural materials- leftover hay and residues, to refine them into high-quality, transportable pellet heating fuel. These “grass pellets” can be burned in a variety of wood pellet and multi-fuel stoves and furnaces. Although they contain comparable BTUs they do have considerably higher ash (2-5%) than premium wood pellets (<1%).

Grass pellets are considered carbon-neutral because the carbon released during combustion is equal to that absorbed during growing season. Certain grasses that have deep roots are actually capable of sequestering additional carbon. Grasses used for biomass pellets can be leached thereby returning nutrients to the soil. Finally, ash can be spread back on farmlands in a managed way making grass pellets of little negative impact.

One of my favorite benefits of grass pellets is the opportunity for farmer’s to keep land open and productive, making their operations more economically viable. This in turn will help provide access to local food in the future. Let’s hope this technology catches on. Eat local, heat local.

Movie by Christopher Smith

Finally, a grid-tied turbine in the US?

ORPC brings turbine to Portland | Mainebiz.

Ocean Renewable Power Co. may be poised to have the first grid-tied tidal power turbine in the US. The projected site is Portland Ocean Terminal and will have a rated capacity of 150 kilowatts, which is equal to the energy demand of approximately 50 or more homes. Their Turbine Generator Unit (TGU) will measure at around 100 feet and comprise four of their ADCF (Advanced Design Cross Flow) turbines. The ADCF is a further evolved version of the horizontal-axis Gorlov Helical Turbine.

Welcome to Carbonocracy

Carbonocracy, formerly known as TidalPowerUS, first went live in the Spring of 2009. Since then it has received over 12,000 hits from over 115 countries! Now it’s 2011 and time to expand our focus to several top issues facing our society at this pivotal point in history. Starting now, c-cracy will cover all topics of sustainable energy and efficiency through constantly updated content. The blog will be curated by creator Libby Murphy but will contain writings by many experts in the field of law, politics, economics and technology. Thanks and stay tuned!