An open-letter aplology to Mother Earth News

On another topic I’d made the statement (true) that most of us matured post WWII USA/Canada had lost the consept of making out own Farm-Fuels.

Of course some did re-discover this itching in the 60’s, 70’s, very early 1980’s.
The two years of the original Mother Earth News right before their woodgas development was about making alcohol motor fuels.
This is in my 74-89 magazines pile.
Their actually Chevy pick up driving with their very 1st woodgas system still had the signage; Powered By Alcohol.
They did it, actually. It worked for them. They still sell their two vacuum and systems distillation plans sets.

Why the change over re-focus to wood-for-power?

I can only speculate. They did not say in print so far as I can find.
Corn-maize local grown for the easiest make-alcohol input stock is really only grown-available in maybe 40% of the US. Even less in Canada.
Tree-woods/brush is virtually availble across 70% the US. Canada I recon twice as available as bags, or truck loads of dryed corn.

Plus as we are very aware of nowadays. Turning people and domesticate animal food into zoom-zooming around motor fuels is pretty damn stupid. Pretty damn selfish.
Wood/cellulose conversion to methanol still only works Big-scale Top-Down susidized.
E.g. the millions investments lost on the Columbia River Cellulanistic (methanol making) plant once US Federal $1.00 a gallon prop-up went away.

Now wood-for-power as the MENS folks proved well does scale down usable to the individual use level.
NOT subject to BATF oversight permissions, licensees and taxes. And theses; very subject to political wind shifts.
And until chepeeko’s drive us to it with self-CO poisonings, and burn up world vehicle carelessness, bound to stay that way.
Mums-the-word to stretch out this Woodgas Golden Era time as long as possible IMHO.

Steve Unruh


Yes Steve, if the people all over this nation would start doing Gasification in the good old USA, and it started to catch on. I am sure the Fed’s might try to put a stop to it by regulating it, and by taxing it so will not be worth it. The oil comps lords. Don’t like completion. So to keep it going here in The wonderful Washington State and it’s highly regulated gov. System we have to, keep a low stealth profile as we can. No matter what kind of money saving gasification you are doing. The only thing I think that is saving us right now, is all the sweat from our brows and labor we do to be able to do gasification, most people just will not bother with it. This is good for us that DOW and other types of wood or charcoal gasification.


Hey BobMac,
Good news.
No more mandatory vehicle $15. bi-annual Emissions Inspections in Washington State.
The reasons for this are being mis-reported.
The FOUR Urban Washington State core areas had been winter spiking on Carbon Monoxide back in the late 1970’s. So vehicle emissions compliance testing was Federal EPA mandated.
By ~2005 we were able then to get “good” winter CO numbers 3 years running. Had to consistency post up a 5 years solid running numbers to qualify OFF a mandatory system.
We were actually relaesed from Federal mandate over a decade ago. Then . . . just get our own State Dept of Ecology to back off.

Plus . . . the majority of the driving vehicles were then OBDII self-monitoring testing.

Ever come the “need” now for actual on vehicle testing: with the almost all post 2012 vehicle being outside prompted connective . . . .

The next phase will be highway overpass prompting of traveling vehicles with the vehicle reporting self-status; by vehicle VIN. The registered owner then getting a get-repaired compliance notification in the mail.
Timed action; with then certified repaired compliance required.

Ha! Ha! Keep your old’one’s running.

Steve unruh


Thanks Steve for the update report. I just love/hate the Washington State Laws, the law makers can’t place their own hands on their own ass in the dark. But they sure can pull monies out of our pockets. Yes keep the older vehicles on the road, worth every dollar.


Now they are planning to charge vehicles by the mileage driven!
And you can bet the gas tax will not be rolled back.

Cars will be required to have “good Togo” chips and then put monitors on all of the overhead signs and overpasses to automatically compute your mileage.
Creeping socialism!


If true, some organized resistance should be presented to the brainless politicians who came up with the idea. A bit too much for a free society, such as it is. Like all the facial recognition cameras in London. My wife’s phone just now asked her to rate the restaurant we just ate at. We did not use the phone to pay, just carried it with us.

1 Like

I read a mother earth news a while back. It was full of ads. trying to sale you stiff and nothing really of value to me. The old MEN. was DIY ideas. The must be getting old, I mess some of the days gone by. I’m sure my parents thought the same on some of the days too.


Looks like nice pellet gun targets… :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Thanks to electric cars. I wonder how they will implement that for the 10 million Amish in the USA.

Back on topic- (MEN): I think I saw the end of “the old days” when the mag went to all glossy pages. That was somewhere around issue 100 , wasn’t it?

Pete Stanaitis