“I think the real future for biofuels is looking at waste streams, how to make sure that we’re not competing for food crops and land use. We’re looking at skimming all the oils that come through the sewer system, right, everything from the salad dressing that gets washed off the plates at a restaurant to oils that we excrete just in the course of our bodily functions.” -Nathaniel Doyno, Executive Director, Steel City Biofuels
“You mean poop?” - Paul Solman, Economics Reporter
“I do, yes, humanure. ” - Nathaniel Doyno
“I started to realize that these green jobs are actually blue jobs, that they may need welders, they need pipe-fitters, they need electricians. We need these things to do, whether we’re building giant windmills, we need the electricians, we need the welders to weld these things all together. ” - Mickey Bold, United Steelworkers
The once bustling town of Braddock PA, site of Carnegie’s very first Steel mill, eventually lost 86% of its population as manufacturing companies and jobs virtually disappeared. Now, an energetic, committed (and boldly tattooed) mayor is spearheading the revitalization of Braddock by fully embracing green technologies and practices, including the local production of clean energy and green buildings. Alternative energy providers and other environmental-oriented companies have been recruited, hoping to provide new jobs, health benefits, and sustainable economic growth.
In this enlightening video, NewsHour economics reporter Paul Solman reports on the innovators working to make the Pittsburgh region an eco-showcase for the benefits of going green, bringing jobs and new hope to this economically depressed Rust Belt region.
Here are some questions related to this video. What are locovores? Have you or your students ever met one? Why are locovores a good (or bad) idea? What are the differences between ethanol and biodiesel fuel? Which do you think is a better choice for your community? Research possible sources of different “bio” oils available for making biodiesel in your community. What are the possible problems with using humanure oil for biodiesel? Discuss the concept and purposes of “urban farming” - what could make it more effective in your community? Under what conditions could Braddock’s example of a community or city “going green” be replicated elsewhere?
Below are web links to material related to this story.
Report: Green Industry Hub Rises From Rust Belt Ruins
Report: Pittsburgh Renews Itself With ‘Green’ Technologies
Lesson Plan: Analyzing Your School’s Energy Consumption
Extra Story & Classroom Activities: Green Buildings Take Root in Cities, Schools
U.S. EPA: Green Building
Green Cross International: Global Green USA
U.S. Green Building Council