Gardner leads the environmental research program at the Worldwatch Institute. His book, Inspiring Progress: Religions' Contribution to Sustainable Development, is full of examples of faith communities that walk the talk on environmental sustainability.
Christopher Flavin, president of the Worldwatch Institute for environmental research, says the combination of a new Democrat-controlled Congress, a February report by global scientists saying global warming was “very likely” caused by man and a business community increasingly open to greenhouse gas reduction have helped make such a decision possible.
Worldwatch Institute biofuels project manager Suzanne Hunt is joining the expedition alongside Jean-Philippe Denruyter, bioenergy director for WWF in Brussels. The team, traveling under the name Grease Lightning, will drive a 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit truck with 240,000 miles under its belt, 20,000 of them on waste vegetable oil. “This was an irresistible chance to get out in the field and visit different types of projects and meet the people who are pioneering these sustainable energy initiatives,” Hunt says. The team will be updating a blog regularly while on the road.
Worldwatch warns that Beijing's plans to reduce oil consumption by producing tens of millions of tons of biofuel from plant-based ethanol "will almost certainly wreak havoc on the environment" in ecologically sensitive regions, where vast, single-crop feedstock plantations are planned.
American Energy, a report co-produced with Worldwatch Institute, proposes extending the currently intermittent Renewable Energy Tax Credits for wind and biofuel production in order to encourage new investment.
Plenty of sustainability advocates have voiced strong response to the booming biofuels industry this past year or so. Worldwatch Institute just released a new book entitled Biofuels for Transport, which offers "a unique global assessment of the potential opportunities and risks of the large-scale production of biofuels, [and] demystifies complex questions and concerns, such as the ‘food v. fuel’ debate" (the controversy over using food crops to run our vehicles).