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Good grief.

Kudzu, the Southern vine that makes Chia Pets of trees and telephone poles, has another unpleasant aspect: It pollutes.

Researchers believe kudzu is releasing ground-level ozone, contributing to smog, breathing difficulties and global climate change.

14 comments

  1. Rick Day says:

    I thought you all didn’t believe in liberal concerns like “ozone” and “pollution”?

    Perhaps some guerrilla kudzu planting on the grounds of the Gold Dome?

    Interesting….

  2. jsm says:

    Wrong, Rick. We’re concerned about our planet, proper stewardship of its resources, and care of its overall health. We just don’t believe in liberal efforts to control people through overreaction to and fearmongering about environmental concerns.

  3. kendrial says:

    Yet, another reason to enjoy life in Coastal (lots of water), relaxing (little traffic), and still Kuduz free (cleaner air) Savannah, GA.

  4. Jace Walden says:

    I’d like someone to explain why global warming is a bad thing.

    If the polar ice caps melt, most climate projections show the ocean coming as far inland as a bunch of land my family owns in the northern part of the state.

    How could me having beach front property be a bad thing?

  5. The Comma Guy says:

    All we need to do to solve the kudzu problem is to make it illegal to smoke because it makes you high. Folks will come from far and wide to pick it from the roadside and try to roll their own smokes. Of course when they don’t get a buzz, they will think that they didn’t smoke enough of it and keep trying until it’s all gone.

  6. Rick Day says:

    I’d rather err on the side of ruining some industries, than err on the side of human extinction.

    I’m just sayin’…kudzu and all.

    31-17

  7. If seeds don’t have an adequate amount of cold time (exposure to freezing temperatures), they will not germinate. Therefore supporters of global warming are encouraging abortions on plant life and thus interfering with God’s natural cycles.

    And just to prove that Alabama is 14 months ahead of the average thinker on Peach Pundit:

    Kudzu as Biofuel
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publications.htm?SEQ_NO_115=202385

    Publication Date: October 24, 2006
    Alternative Energy Solutions from Alabama’s Natural Resources Conference. CDROM

    Technical Abstract: Recently, tremendous effort has been put forth to identify plants with potential to be used as biofuels.

    Kudzu (Pueraria lobata [Willd.] Ohwi), while native to the Orient, has proliferated as an invasive weed throughout the Southern U.S. It is currently at or near the top of invasive species lists for virtually every southern state. Kudzu, as a member of the Fabaceae family, is a natural nitrogen fixer and, thus, grows rapidly across the landscape with no inputs (e.g., fertilizers).

    Given its perennial growth habit, its rapid growth rate, and the fact that kudzu has a high starch content (particularly its root system), its potential as a biofuel could be tremendous. However, to date, this potential has gone unstudied. We propose to initiate an investigation into this potential by quantifying above- and belowground kudzu biomass production, and associated starch and nutrient content.

    This initial work will lead to more in-depth studies of potential kudzu production systems, harvesting techniques, and cost/benefit analyses.

  8. Doug Deal says:

    Vic,

    Bio-fuels from kudzu or just about any other non waste material is a mistake.

    Recycling used shortening, farm waste, and garbage into fuel is a good thing. However, raising crops for the purpose of growing fuel has a lot of things going against it that make it disastrous as a solution for any kind of energy problem.

    Harvested crops need to be on land that is easily accessible, compact, homogenous, and close to transportation in order to be economical. That means good farmland would have to be used. In order to create enough energy to make a difference in fossil fuel consumption, a huge portion of current farmland would have to be taken out of service. This means food prices would go through the roof, as well as natural fiber crops and animal derivatives.

    Also, farming usually means tapping water resources that are already tight in the state of Georgia. Using water to create fuel is not a good bargain.

    The energy balance to harvest plants are to refine the material into bio-fuels is in most cases negative or very close to break even, and mostly only works because of subsidy. That means in many cases you burn more energy in fossil fuels than you obtain in energy from bio fuels. In any event the total amount of green house gasses produced is greater in the end than it is with just fossil fuels.

    Any energy “solution” requires a clearly defined problem. If the problem is too much CO2, bio-fuels are not the answer (nuclear is a much better option). If the problem is foreign energy dependence, bio-fuels are also not the answer (nuclear and coal are).

  9. jsm says:

    Rick,

    The difference in my original statement and your flower child twist of it is that we have clear, unequivocal evidence of danger to the Homeland due to Islamic terrorism.

    The same does not exist for the global warming theory.

  10. Doug,

    Food prices are already going through the roof. Kudzu doesn’t need much water to grow and is already in abundance..

    Coal ain’t the answer either, just look North of Arkwright Road this or any clear morning.

    But at least we are talkin.

  11. Doug Deal says:

    Vic,

    Growing Kudzu just anywhere will not work, since if it is not near transportation, you can’t harvest it profitably, and it does not grow well in drought conditions. So, if you wanted to grow it for fuel, it would have to be watered to keep up with demand during droughts.

    I am not certain you know what I mean by coal. I do not mean coal burning trains and steam ships, I mean coal refineries to convert solid coal into liquid and gas fuels. This produces a product similar to petroleum fuels, with the fuel density required for cars and mobile engery needs.

    The US has about 10 times the energy in proven coal reserves as the middle east has in oil, and the largest supply is in Australia, a friendly country.

    Combined with nuclear energy, the US could be energy independent in short order.

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