I just had a great conversation with Grateful Dead Lyricyst, EFF Founder, and Algae Systems Vice President John Perry Barlow.
Algae Systems is really an amazing company with solutions for our bright blue ball, that can help save the environment, reclaim water, and reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Too good to be true? This is all proven, tested technology. The science is there, and it might be the miracle we’ve been waiting for…
And all of us on planet Earth need a miracle, everyday. Algae Systems needs a little help on the way…
I’ll put the full interview together for tomorrow, but meanwhile, here’s a few words from Barlow’s Facebook page…
Via John Perry Barlow on Facebook:
January 7 at 10:36pm · San Francisco ·
Become a Better Ancestor: Save Our Technologies So They Can Save Your Descendents…
For the last 6 years, my colleagues and I have pursued a dream to address the most dangerous environmental problems we believe our descendants will face: poisonous drinking water, insanely variable weather, the end of the green revolution as we run out of mineable phosphates, offshore “Dead Zones” as more and more nitrogen and phosphorous is lost to the sea. 20 million dollars later we have proved it can be done. And done in a way that is consistent with our vision of closing the loop to turn wastes into resources.
Furthermore, we developed a method of photosynthetic energy capture much more efficient than solar cells and able to stand on its own without federal subsidies and using no land currently used to grow food.
But we have reached a surprising impasse with our strategic investor, the oldest company in Japan. They believed, with good reason, that they were investing in a company that would produce a green fuel that extracted more CO2 from the atmosphere than it returned when burned. But crude oil is now so cheap that they lost faith in their investment.
Moreover, we discovered that we had developed technologies along the way that could revolutionize wastewater treatment. As I’ve said, we recognized that we had created a sewage purification process that produces more energy than it uses. In addition, our unique HTL (Hydrothermal Liquefaction) process could transform noxious sewage sludge, currently being hauled to landfills at 30 million tons a month, into fossil equivalent crute oil and a nutrient rich biochar that can restore the millions of acres of depleted topsoil our grandchildren will confront.
But our strategic investor got out of wastewater treatment a decade ago and was unwilling to get back in, no matter how game-changing the technology. Our interests no longer aligned and they decided to withdraw support.
They offered us an opportunity to buy our company, including our plant and IP, for pennies on the dollar.
We saw this coming and had three investors lined up to cover the buyout, as well as the amount necessary to jump-start our operations in Alabama and commence building HTL skids we believe we can sell to enough wastewater treatment operators to make us profitable by 2017.
But one of our prospective investors developed cold feet and withdrew. Upon which the other two did as well. So we suddenly found ourselves looking at a January 17 buyout deadline to come up with the money. We decided to go long. Yeah, it’s nuts to think that we can raise this kind of money in a week, but we’re fresh out of alternatives. It’s a real Hail Mary, but we’ve been successfully hurling Hail Mary passes into the foggy future through the history of our company.
I pray you will look at our tech and see, as we do, the genuine prospect of a planet with life-support systems sufficient to provide for 7 billion passengers as they hurtle through space. We’ve developed an integrated system that can handle that. I personally endured this Sisyphean quest because I wanted, as ever, to be a good ancestor. My devout hope is that many of you will as well.
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Now picture a bright blue ball just spinning spinning free…
Let’s pull together, and be the miracle.