Feb 17, 2011

Growing Miscanthus Giganteus: MFA Oil Partnership to Create 900 Jobs for Mid-Missourians

Reported by ; Emily Spain Posted by ; Christi Warren

JEFFERSON CITY - MFA Oil Company of Columbia and Aloterra Energy announced a partnership Tuesday called MFA Oil Biomass LLC. MFA estimates it will create 900 jobs in central Missouri alone. Local farmers will grow the renewable energy crop that MFA Biomass plans to turn into biofuels like ethanol.

Approximately 100 of the jobs will be in a conversion plant while the rest will involve farmer support services and equipment manufacturers.

There are two other project areas besides mid-Missouri, one in southwest Missouri and the other in northeast Arkansas. All three projects could generate 2,700 jobs.

"This program is one of the answers to one of the problems we're in; it addresses pollution, it addresses renewable energy," said MFA Oil President Jerry Taylor.

The grass crop is called miscanthus giganteus. It is easy to grow, requires little fertilizer and is pest resistant. Nearly 1,700 farming families will grow the grass.

"We can produce something locally to help out the economy and the US as an energy resource," said farmer Beau Voss. "It is new to us."

Voss plans to plant the grass on 40 acres at his farm just outside Jefferson City. Poultry farmer Rusty Mulford from southwest Missouri hopes to grow around 100 acres of the renewable energy crop.

"I'm most excited about having the sustainable energy grown right on my farm," Mulford said.

The sustainable energy could lure even more businesses to central Missouri besides the new MFA biomass.

"It could be extremely helpful in attracting the type of tech companies that we like into the Columbia area because of a strong renewable energy producing effort," said Taylor.

The project relies on Federal money from the Biomass Crop Assistance Program or BCAP. The U.S. House of Representatives cut the programs budget, but it still has to go through the senate.

"We had over $400 million allotted in the program nationally and that was to be utilized over a number of years," Taylor said. "That [has] been cut by the house to a little over 112 million, but that's just the first go around...The whole program is still in Obama's budget."

MFA Oil Biomass needs some of that money to help farmers get the crop started because it takes three years for the crop to fully mature. MFA Oil said farmers will start to plant the crop this spring.

TimberWest January/February 2011- Biochar

biocharOne of tomorrow's solutions By Kathy Coatney Eric Twombly, president of Biochar Products based in Halfway, Ore., is excited about the future. His company is in the early stages of developing a biochar plant that produces two products -- biochar, used as a soil amendment, and bio-oil to be used in place of fuel oil. Most people are familiar with bio-oil, but biochar is formed when agricultural waste or biomass is converted into a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal. It's basically the type of charcoal that has been used for centuries, according to Twombly. "It is the same darn thing as charcoal that you get in your briquette, except that it doesn't have a bunch of glue in it to hold it together." Twombly spent 36 years as a range conservationist and a forester for the U.S. Forest Service and became interested in biochar. He and two associates created Biochar Products to take biochar research to the next stage. Portable Machines Currently, Twombly is testing a one-ton prototype fast pyrolysis (or gasification) biochar machine that produces both biochar and bio-oil. The biochar machine was built by Advanced Bio Refinery Incorporated (ABRI), a Canadian company. The pyrolysis of biomass can be done slowly or fast. Done slowly, the process only makes charcoal, while the fast method makes both bio-oil and charcoal. "Fast pyrolysis charcoal is more recalcitrant, which means it stays in the soil longer than slow pyrolysis charcoal, because the volatiles are removed better by the fast pyrolysis process," Twombly explains, adding he sees the real profits coming from producing both charcoal and bio-oil. And Biochar Products is currently working with ABRI to develop production 20-ton and 50-ton production machines. A 20-ton machine would sit on two 40-foot trailers with articulate rear wheels. "You could steer the rear wheels. You could turn them around on a landing. You'd sit them side-by-side," Twombly said, adding it would be easily portable. A 50-ton unit would sit on six trailers. "It probably would take two weeks to move," Twombly says, adding it would most likely be moved only a few times a year. The company anticipates the 50-ton plant would be situated in an area that has a large supply of material. "They'll move them around wherever there's a good supply, and I would say you're not going to move them from one landing to the next. Most likely, what you'll do is, you'll park one at a good centralized location, then you'll haul the biomass in short distances," Twombly said. The machines will be composed of three units -- the control unit, the reactor, and the dryer. The control unit will control the entire system and be equipped with a computer screen that displays all the temperatures in the various units. Each unit has pumps. "There's a pump that pumps the bio-oil through the system for cooling. There's a pump that the reactor biomass is moved through the system with hydraulic motors," Twombly says. There is also a pump that runs antifreeze through a radiator and through various units to cool down the char. Another unique feature is the built-in dryer. "Most biochar production systems have to depend on some usually fairly expensive external system to get the biomass dried down enough to run through it," Twombly says. "This biochar machine from ABRI can handle wet and dry material and get good results. Everybody else has a heck of a time getting their biomass in the proper form to run through the reactor, and this does it all by itself beautifully." The ABRI biochar machine also produces syngas. "If we can get our generator run by bio-oil, then we're 100 percent energy self-sufficient," Twombly says, except for the electric motors. Down the road, the company envisions the machines going out in the woods with loggers or near mills. The products could be used on site or sold. Twombly adds, "We expect that when these machines are in production, they'll run five days a week, 24 hours a day." Profitability Making biomass profitable is difficult. One of the key issues is hauling costs. "It's a very low value product," Twombly says. He estimates that while charcoal energy is only worth about $100 a ton, the charcoal in biochar form (when used as a soil amendment) will sell for around $300 a ton. And every ton of waste that runs through the biochar machine can produce 100 gallons of bio-oil -- worth about $1.25 a gallon. Biochar Products believes they may have the solution. Transporting the bio-oil is much simpler than transporting conventional oil. The bio-oil can be easily loaded onto any tank on a goose-neck trailer, and a crew in the woods could haul the bio-oil out every night. "There would be no haul costs except for just getting your crew in and out of the woods," Twombly says. The Future Twombly is hoping to have a machine fully operational within two years, and he initially sees the forest industry as one of the first to use them because of the volume of biomass they have. "I think it's probably going to be kind of a 50/50 thing. I think the farm waste community is going to be right on top of it," Twombly says, especially feedlots that need to remove manure waste. Brush removal from orchards would be another source. The future could very well be processing forest slash seven to eight months of the year and farm waste the rest of the year, Twombly says, adding the alternative would be to stockpile slash and run it in the winter. "In fact, it will only be profitable if you can run pretty much most of the year." Currently, Twombly is in negotiations with ABRI. "We've sent a whole series of engineering needs back to them… They're working on what it's going to take to put together the next generation. So by next spring, we might have the next generation machine that has a lot of the problems that we've got (now) resolved."

Feb 16, 2011

Musial: "Greatest day in my life"

As he left the White House after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Stan Musial was asked to describe the experience and what it meant to him.
"This is the greatest day I had in my life," Musial said.
That's quite a statement, considering that The Man, 90, has had an extraordinary, almost incomprehensible, number of great days in his life. More than any of us can comprehend, really. The happy days include winning three World Series, three MVP awards, seven batting titles, playing in 24 All-Star Games, getting his 3,000th hit and becoming a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Just to name a few.
But this one, Musial said, topped them all.
"I appreciate this very much," he said.
Around 90 minutes before, he had been given the medal by President Barack Obama, who gently patted Musial on the shoulder before placing the medal around The Man's neck. Other medal-winners removed their prizes immediately after the ceremony, but not Stan.
Musial was still proudly wearing the medal as he paused to speak for a few minutes on the sidewalk in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. He sat in a wheelchair, wearing leather gloves to ward off the chill, with two of his daughters rubbing his shoulders for additional warmth.
To Stan's immediate left was his beloved wife Lillian, also seated in a wheelchair. They were surrounded by their four children: son Dick and daughters Gerry, Janet and Jean.
It was a poignant moment, just seeing Stan and Lil and the entire family brimming with pride and joy.
The Musials have been sweethearts since age 16 back in Donora, Pa. They've been married since May 25, 1940 ... I believe that would be 70 years. Can you imagine that? Tremendous. And their love is very much alive and burning. It's also clear that they still have a lot of fun together.
"I married a pretty good wife," Musial said, in an intentional understatement devised to get a response from Lil.
Lil said, "I've always been proud of Stan from the very first day we met at 16 years old. I got him before he knew any better. It's been a long life and it's been really wonderful."
Musial was so fired up Tuesday he played the harmonica for members of the White House staff as he rolled into a reception area a couple of hours before the ceremony. That put smiles on the face of everyone in the room.
And near the end of post-ceremony party, an inspired and blissful Musial did it again, giving an encore performance that included the song, "Golden Slippers," the "Wabash Cannonball," and that chestnut of Musial chestnuts -- "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."
See what happens when you invite The Man to the White House?
At age 90, he performs two shows daily.
No cover. No minimum.
And to think friends and family were concerned about how Musial would hold up through Monday's journey to Washington D.C. and the bustling activity of a long Tuesday. But as usual, Musial came through in the clutch. A natural-born crowd-pleaser, Musial came to D.C. and gave as much happiness to others as they gave to him.
"Stan was really on his game today," said a delighted Bill DeWitt Jr., the Cardinals' chairman. "He was really up for this. It was something else, at the end of the reception, with everyone milling around, Stan took out his harmonica and played a few tunes. Everyone came up and stood around him. It was really terrific. He was just great."
Perhaps summing up the remarkable nature of this day, Lil Musial smiled and said, "Wonders never cease with my husband."
The celebration would continue on the flight back to St. Louis.
"We have champagne on the plane," said Brian Schwarze, Musial's devoted grandson.
Let's all raise a glass to The Man.

Feb 15, 2011

Stan Musial and Bill Russell Honored at White House - NYTimes.com

When he resided in the White House, George H. W. Bush kept his George McQuinn model first baseman glove in his desk drawer.

Once, when a gaggle of sports journalists dropped by to talk baseball, he took out the glove and displayed it. After that, it was always comforting to think that this very busy man had the option of pounding his left fist into the pocket, as an outlet.

The old Yale first baseman was back home Tuesday as one of 15 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“Those of us who know him know, this is a gentleman,” President Obama said during the ceremony in the East Room. Then, in a semiquizzical voice, the 44th president described how the 41st president, at 85, “decided to jump out of airplanes.”

And why did Bush jump out of airplanes? “It feels good,” Obama said, willing to take his word for it.

Bush does have something in common with two other recipients of the medal: Stan Musial and Bill Russell.

All three have played for championships. Musial won three of the four World Series he played in, and Russell won 11 championships in 13 seasons in the N.B.A. And George H. W. Bush played in two championship games in the College World Series, losing to California in 1947 and to Southern California in 1948.

How does it feel to be honored along with those two other athletes? “I don’t know if I’m in their league,” Bush said, modest as ever.

Asked where his glove is, he sounded unsure — maybe back in Texas, as part of his collection.

There was one baseball glove at the ceremony, which honored poets and artists, activists and philanthropists. The glove belonged to Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who displayed a childlike smile not often seen on public servants’ faces in these cranky times.

“I grew up in East St. Louis,” he said. “When I was 10 years old, I got a Rawlings special, a Stan Musial model.” He waved the small glove, still relatively supple, with the new silver trace from a felt pen — the beautiful signature of Stan Musial, just applied in person.

“It took me 57 years to get it,” Durbin said, his career and life now thoroughly fulfilled.

Sports are important enough to bring that smile of memory to family and friends and admirers. Sports count in a different way from the ultimate sacrifice paid by Dr. Thomas Emmett Little, who was honored posthumously, after being murdered while volunteering eye care to the people of Afghanistan in 2010. Sports do not exactly measure up against the bravery of Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, who was beaten during the civil rights era. But both big-time athletes honored Tuesday made their stands in their own ways.

Russell, now 77, spoke out against racism in the 1950s and ’60s when he was the heart of the Boston Celtics and then the first black coach in a major professional league in the United States.

“And he supported Muhammad Ali,” said Joe Morgan, the baseball Hall of Famer who was one of Russell’s guests, along with Jim Brown of football fame. Morgan said Russell had endorsed Cassius Clay’s right to adopt a Muslim name, an unpopular stand in its time. “It might not be Bill’s answer, but he supported Ali,” Morgan said.

Morgan played eight games as a rookie in 1963, when Musial was finishing the last of his 22 seasons and his 3,630 hits. He saw only traces of the fleet, ebullient slugger of the St. Louis Cardinals, who had charmed fans in Brooklyn, where he was named Stan the Man. But Morgan knew something else about Musial: in 1947, when some white players seemed recalcitrant about playing with or against Jackie Robinson, Musial noted that he had played with black teammates back in Donora, Pa. He never made a speech, but he put on his uniform.

For many years, the Musial family and admirers in St. Louis have felt he was not appreciated at the same level as Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and the great players who came afterward. But on Tuesday, Stan the Man, now 90 and tired, was back at the White House.

He first came here in 1962, the day after the All-Star Game, when he and his wife, Lil, and daughter Janet were invited by President John F. Kennedy — “my buddy,” Musial called him. A young senatorial aide, John H. Zentay, was Musial’s escort that day.

On Tuesday, Zentay, now a prominent lawyer in Washington, brought a photograph of Musial and Kennedy, taken that magical day. He showed the photo to Musial’s grandson Brian Schwarze, his constant aide in his old age. A woman standing nearby looked at the photograph and said, “That’s my brother.” It was Jean Kennedy Smith, herself a recipient of the medal.

Athletes have often been welcome in the White House. Bill Russell and Stan Musial now belong with other Presidential Medal of Freedom winners, at the core of American life.

Classic Construction with George Dalton Presented by Woodcraft

George Dalton is a woodworker in Marietta, Ohio. When I first met George at the Woodcraft store in Parkersburg, West Virginia, he said he was a toy builder. I have learned that he is much more than that. Dalton began his woodworking interest as a sophomore in high school by taking woodshop for 2 years and learning about timber from his grandfather and 2 uncles. It wasn’t until 1994 that he began purchasing his first woodshop tools. George has worked hard for John Deere, first as a service manager for 23 years, and then as a sales and product support engineer for 14 years. Working with all the products and parts of these machines, George now uses his lifetime memory bank of knowledge and history from that industry to create all the different construction vehicles without layout plans. When I say memory bank, I literally mean just that. In his 28′ x 24′ woodshop, he creates Model “T’s”, Dozers, Booms, Cranes, Draglines, and Excavators. The dozers are built from 373 individual pieces, and the TD25 International Tractor’s contain 443 pieces.

A Broadband Boom in the Boondocks - Technology Review

A massive injection of spectrum might be about to revolutionize the digital infrastructure of rural America. By Scott Woolley For a glimpse of the wireless future, take a look at the Yurok Indian reservation, an out-of-the-way spot just south of the California-Oregon border at the mouth of the Klamath River. There, among the giant redwoods, stand three new towers built to create a new type of wireless network, known as "super Wi-Fi." If the U.S. Federal Communications Commission gets its way, super Wi-Fi will become a key part of rural America's digital infrastructure. Most people living on the Yurok's 63,000-acre reservation lack phone service. Almost none have high-speed Internet. The new towers aim to fix both problems. Unlike regular Wi-Fi networks, which are generally limited to beaming high-speed Internet around a house, super Wi-Fi promises to blanket entire neighborhoods with high-speed access. A Yurok tribal spokesman says the new signals will reach even into the steep-walled valleys that play havoc with most wireless signals. The tribe plans to start testing the system this week. The FCC is so enthused with the idea of super Wi-Fi that it took the idea nationwide last month, issuing final rules that will free any town or county to do what the Yurok have done. On Monday, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski proposed a way to pay for much of that infrastructure that would be needed to support municipal Super Wi-Fi. He wants to convert the current system of rural phone subsidies, which now total $8 billion a year, into a more modern system that can pay for things like super Wi-Fi. Unlike most wireless advances, super Wi-Fi's much-improved range has little to do with better technology. Instead, the dramatic jump comes from the FCC's decision to free up airwaves that have long been reserved exclusively for local TV broadcasts. Those TV airwaves are lower in frequency than standard cellular and Wi-Fi airwaves and thus better able to penetrate buildings and other objects. Concerns about interference with remaining TV signals have led some analysts to question whether super Wi-Fi is feasible in urban areas. Super Wi-Fi devices need to determine their location, then consult a central database showing the available white spaces in that area in order to avoid causing interference. Since rural America has fewer local TV stations, it will have far more of these empty "white spaces" to fill with new wireless signals, points out Alex Besen, who runs an industry consultancy, the Besen Group. In many rural areas, super Wi-Fi will have access to well over 200 megahertz of spectrum, he estimates—more capacity than Verizon and AT&T combined. That huge injection of spectrum could revolutionize the digital infrastructure of rural America, Besen says. Many urban Americans, by contrast, will have to make do with far less spectrum, as cities' surviving TV channels limit the number of available white spaces. In addition, capacity in densely populated cities must be divided among more people. The main point of deploying super Wi-Fi is its increased range—up to 50 miles or perhaps even more. Whatever the ultimate limitations of the "white spaces" prove to be, access to the new airwaves will dramatically improve America's wireless infrastructure, says Besen. "It's great spectrum," he says. "We are very lucky compared to other countries to have this unlicensed spectrum available today."

Bernie: America gives back to Musial with medal

WASHINGTON • Stan Musial has been here before, walking with presidents. He's met every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower. Musial campaigned for John F. Kennedy and became friends with JFK. Musial talked baseball with Richard Nixon and served as Lyndon Johnson's director of the National Council on Physical Fitness.
According to one family estimate, The Man has visited the White House around a dozen times during his wonderful life. But today, the occasion of Musial's latest visit to the White House takes on greater significance and meaning when he receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom award from President Barack Obama.
Honors are nothing new for Musial, who may have set some sort of unofficial record for attending the most awards dinners. There are too many to mention or count. But among the big ones, there were the three National League MVP awards, and selections to 24 All-Star Games. Musial was awarded Poland's highest civilian honor, the Cavalier Cross Order of Merit. And the Polish government gave Musial the Merited Champions Medal, the nation's highest sports award.
Today's ceremony will probably top them all. This is a lifetime achievement award. The Man can take a bow. He's been heralded as a great baseball player. And now he's officially being recognized as a great American.
A true national icon, properly decorated.
Musial's thousands of good deeds have caromed back to him.
"He's never asked for anything," said Musial's grandson, Brian Schwarze. "Through his entire life, all he's done is give to others. He's never asked for anything in return."
Well, this is the day when Stan Musial gets something back for the kindness and grace he's extended to others during his 90 years of living out his dream.
Musial wasn't feeling up to doing interviews, which is understandable. But through Dick Zitzmann, his friend and business partner, Musial relayed a message, saying that he was grateful for the award and is excited that his family will be there to share it with him.
Musial is hanging tough, still taking his cuts. He goes to lunch and dinner several times a week. He regularly puts in hours at his memorabilia-business office, Stan the Man Inc. He refuses to slow down. It's just what you would expect from a .331 lifetime hitter who batted .330 at age 41 in 1962. Musial was never an easy out.
But the timing of this award is vitally important. Realistically, how many more times can we look forward to being blessed by seeing Musial on the stage, smiling? He appeared at Busch Stadium in 2010, and his late-season cameo for "Stand for Stan" day was a delightful surprise. But at this stage of his life, we're especially thankful for each sighting of The Man.
And how splendid this will be, taking in the vision of Musial at the White House, sharing this extraordinary tribute with 14 other Medal of Freedom recipients, including President George H.W. Bush, civil rights hero John Lewis, investor Warren Buffet, Boston Celtics great Bill Russell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein and German chancellor Angela Merkel.
It's a deep lineup. And Stan's right there.
Hopefully this will serve to elevate Musial's status. As we know, Musial hasn't always gotten his due. In an embarrassing display of ignorance, fans outside of St. Louis failed to vote Musial to baseball's All-Century team in 1999. (A panel led by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig added Musial to the team.) And Musial was snubbed when ESPN profiled the 50 greatest athletes of the 20th century. Several of Musial's baseball contemporaries were included instead.
"Stan, for all of his greatness, doesn't have something that fixes him in the public mind, outside of Cardinal fans or knowledgeable baseball historians," said Bob Costas, the esteemed broadcaster. "Not in the way that Willie Mays the 'Say Hey' kid does. The way Hank Aaron rounding the bases on (home run) No. 715 does. The way the combination of speed, power and squandered possibility of Mickey Mantle does. The way Ted Williams, the last man to hit .400 does. There were songs written about Joe DiMaggio. And DiMaggio had his 56-game hitting streak. And 'aura.'
"Stan has just a career of almost mind-boggling excellence and enduring personal decency. None of those things forge an image to the casual fan. But to those who followed baseball, and know The Man, they count for a whole lot."
And that point will be reinforced again today.
"It's appropriate and it would have been appropriate at any stage," Costas said. "If the Presidential Medal of Freedom is meant to represent Americans and others of distinction in various walks of life, who not only have had success or excellence but in some sense have embodied the virtues Americans admire most, then Stan Musial fills that bill.
"There's no perfect human being, but I have not come across anyone in sports who was closer to the image, in reality, than Stan Musial is. Who has ever emanated more decency than Stan Musial does? If you saw him play, you could always feel good about cheering him. And if you didn't see him play, you can still feel good about admiring him to this day."
Musial's Medal of Freedom is the result of an admirable networking effort — a team effort. Principal contributors included Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois and Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III. The Cardinals' "Stand for Stan" campaign raised visibility and enthusiasm. One way or another, the voices of Cardinals fans could be heard in the corridors of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
McCaskill lobbied hard. She pressed Obama about Musial during the president's visit to St. Louis for the 2009 All-Star Game. Attending a Cardinals-Cubs game at Wrigley Field last summer, McCaskill spotted Obama adviser David Axelrod "and talked up Stan the Man for about four innings," she said. At breakfast one day with Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, McCaskill took a copy of the Sports Illustrated cover story on Musial, handed it to Jarrett and said, "You've got to read this."
Joe Posnanski's SI piece questioned why Musial had been overlooked in baseball history and saluted The Man's extended excellence and generosity of spirit. The benevolence included Musial's gentle befriending of ostracized African-American players during baseball's tense period of integration.
The challenge, according to McCaskill, was "How do you make the case other than the fact that Stan was an amazing player? That was the foundation-setter. But we had to go beyond that and to his personal character."
Musial's off-field high points were emphasized. Such as his devotion to charitable causes, his wide-ranging contributions to society and his role as a peacemaker that cooled some of baseball's racial hostility when the color line was erased in 1947. Musial was also an unofficial U.S. diplomat to Poland and introduced baseball to the youth of Eastern Europe.
"He's been a role model in so many ways," McCaskill said.
It wasn't enough to simply work the D.C. insiders. The "Stand for Stan" effort gave the project a face, a rallying point and more material for McCaskill, Durbin and (since retired) Sen. Kit Bond. Obama's aides received a steady current of links to photos of fans and celebrities posing with the mini "Stand for Stan" silhouette in places around the globe. The momentum slowly gained traction.
"This was about an entire community, and Cardinal Nation, getting behind a worthy campaign for a great man," McCaskill said. "And isn't that what this comes down to? He's just a damn good guy who deserves this."
And after arriving in D.C. via private jet Monday, Musial is rested and ready to go for another special day. Whether it's Busch Stadium, or the White House, it really doesn't matter to Stan.
Just take him out to the ballgame.

Feb 14, 2011

Track Products' Origins with Sourcemap

It can be a dilemma. We want to buy local—but it’s not always easy to figure out where all the different parts that make up the products we buy come from. Sourcemap, a new resource that offers users a platform for researching, optimizing and sharing supply chains, can track products from their origins with a publicly populated mapping system. “We believe that people have the right to know where things come from and what they are made of,” Sourcemap declares. “Sourcemap lets users create, edit and browse maps detailing the supply chain and carbon footprint of a variety of products,” Greg Stefano reports in Tech. “Anyone can create a map for just about anything imaginable and, as a socially driven site, other users can edit and add to that map, connecting the dots of where materials come from and their carbon cost.” The open-source, interactive database can track the origins and impacts of anything from a Macbook to a menu, Stefano writes. Sourcemap pulls information from publicly available sources to determine items’ carbon footprints, or global warming potential, including methane and sulfur oxide. It doesn’t account for pollutants such as heavy metals and radiation, which can be dangerous but don’t affect climate change. “It can be almost impossible to know with certainty where something comes from—that is why we’re building Sourcemap,” the website states. “Until producers care about the sources of materials, consumers will be uninformed. … Few companies explicitly reveal their manufacturing locations or their suppliers’. Madeinnations.com, however, provides the assembly location for many consumer goods. The rest of the information that we’ve made available is based on extensive research.”