2006 was another year of record profits for Big Oil — although they expect 2007 to be a somewhat weaker year for profits (plausibly because the federal government is no longer handing them so many of our tax dollars.) Now that the weather is getting colder (my desktop forecast widget is telling me all next week is highs in the mid-20s, lows in the single digits), they can justify raising their prices again. If peace workers are “helping the terrorists” by asking that we stop feeding our boys and girls into the Iraqi meat-grinder, then these Oil Barons must be some kind of miscreants for profiting from an Arctic Cold Front , our fear, and Middle Eastern turmoil.

Fortunately, there is yet another option on the horizon:

The magic wand to convert the world’s most daunting environmental problem of plastic waste into its most precious commodity, fossil fuels including diesel and petrol, is being wielded by a low profile woman scientist in India’s western state of Maharashtra.

Alka Zadgaonkar, who lives and works as an applied chemistry professor in the central Indian town of Nagpur, began to work her magic almost two years ago.

A zero-pollution industrial process to convert non-biodegradable – and mostly non-recyclable – plastic waste into liquid hydrocarbons . . .

Zadgaonkar’s process — which has been certified by India’s Department of Science of Technology and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and her patent published by WIPO — produces mostly fuel of the diesel and LPG (i.e., similar to the propane you use to run a backyard grill) varieties. She presented her paper at the 2004 Global Plastic Environmental Conference in Detroit; why haven’t any of us ever heard of this?

Dave-o is a frequent contributor to the Hugs video-cast. He unabashedly supports Poor Mojo’s Newswire, a blog of merit since 1905 — now available electronically!

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