Are you really afraid of grass?

Futurist/journalist/author/design professor Bruce Sterling shares a collection of articles and his ideas about moving to an economy based on switchgrass-biomass/ethanol rather than petroleum:

http://www.viridiandesign.org/notes/451-500/00470_clutching_at_straw.html

It comes down to this. Since it’s lethal to dig up and burn the planet’s reserves of fossil carbon, why not burn the living biomass that’s on the planet’s surface today? Because most of it is cellulose, that’s why. Cellulose is hard and dry and resists decay and fermentation. It is straw. It’s wood. It’s solid and recalcitrant. It burns badly! Still, if you could somehow turn that hard straw into a liquid fuel, in the way that yeasts brew starch and sugar into booze….

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