Alternative fuels fuel discussion on campus

Caleb Cupp, junior education major, talks with Chris Carson (right) of Thompson Choppers about Bootlegger, a corn whiskey-fueled motorcycle on April 5.

Caleb Cupp, junior education major, talks with Chris Carson (right) of Thompson Choppers about “Bootlegger,” a corn whiskey-fueled motorcycle on April 5.

Advocates of alternative fuels made their way onto the campus of Missouri Southern for the Second Annual Ecolonomics Conference on Sustainability April 5 and 6.

During the two-day event, a new-technologies demonstration of alternative fuel vehicles were on display on the oval. Conference topics included alternative energy, waste management, future development, recycling and green-building alternatives.

The focus the conference is to bring awareness to the dangers of non-renewable resources.

One of the organizations involved with the conference is Sustainable Ideas Incorporated, started by Robert Wood and Anna Wyman, senior nursing major.

Wyman said one of the main focuses for the cause is to convert and do things differently before the world runs out of our natural resources.

Peter LaVaute, environmental business consultant of Ecosense Solutions, LLC, said everyone needs to assess how things are done so the world doesn’t damage the ecosystem. LaVaute said he feels issues that can hurt the world the most are being ignored.

“One of the things we need to realize is that our government is being criminally negligent of what’s going on,” he said.

Calling out the burning of gasoline, coal and fossil fuel as extremely dangerous, LaVaute said he has researched studies which have found global climate change is a greater threat than terrorism.

“Soon there may be wars over things like water,” LaVaute said.

A study called the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Report, conducted by 1,300 experts from 95 countries, said 60 percent of the ecosystem services that we depend on are being degraded and could grow significantly worse within the next 50 years.

Russell Gehrke, Seymour, Mo., is a promoter of biodiesel fuel, a domestic renewable fuel derived from natural oils such as from soybeans, as opposed to gasoline because it is not only less expensive but also “environmentally friendly.”

“Natural resources made our nation great,” Gehrke said. “We are wealthy because of our resources.”

Gehrke did a special presentation about biodiesel fuel and vehicles for the History Channel titled, “Car Tech of The Future.” He has another show soon to be airing called, “Cool Fuel Road Trip.”

Anyone interested in more information about ecolonomics, biodiesel fuel or sustainable ideas should visit, or www.