Session Title

Monday Morning Plenary

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Thayer_Tomlinson_USBI_2013_October_final.pdf (929 kB)
Thayer Tomlinson presentation

The Roots of Biochar.pdf (4435 kB)
Kelpie Wilson presentation

Location

Campus Center Auditorium

Start Date

14-10-2013 8:00 AM

End Date

14-10-2013 9:45 AM

Session Description

State of the Biochar Industry: Thayer Tomlinson, IBI Communications Director

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSByIiudOZI

This presentation will provide an overview of the current state of the biochar industry, including current International Biochar Initiative (IBI) programs and how IBI sees the growth of the biochar field internationally—touching on specific trends in commercialization, project implementation, research, educational facilities, regional groups, etc. The presentation will focus specifically on IBI’s recent industry and project tracking and outreach around the world to highlight where most of the current biochar companies are operating, their products, and other specifics as well as specifics on current operating biochar projects (run mainly by non-profits and academic institutions).

Pyrolyzing Misconceptions: Converting BioMyths to Biochar Success: Gloria Flora, US Biochar Initiative Director

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrxr52hIZ7A

As the biochar movement grows, so do its detractors. From well-known critics on the fringes to centrist government agency objectors, biochar advocates and entrepreneurs can get publically lampooned or quietly torpedoed as we try to bring biochar into the mainstream. A well-placed barb can bring down months of effort, which is especially challenging when competing for funding, investments and community support.

This speech will objectively review the criticisms, examining the science (or lack thereof) behind them. The fears and belief systems of critics and what motivates their disapproval and attacks will be discussed.

The talk will then turn to how to effectively ‘pyrolyze’ these misconceptions without killing the messenger but rather by sifting out the fears from realities. Weaknesses in the biochar industry, including our claims and science will also be examined. Scrutinizing the words and phrases that ignite and inflame both sides will help us to better understand how to avoid interaction pitfalls. In closing, we’ll take a close look at how we in the biochar community can improve our messaging, communications and techniques to dissolve the resistance, disbelief and misstatements about biochar – turning biomyths into valuable products and services!

19th Century Roots of Modern Biochar: Kelpie Wilson, Wilson Biochar Associates

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7PBUetUlR8

Biochar enthusiasts are familiar with the amazing Amazonians, who used biochar to create an agricultural civilization in an inhospitable rainforest environment. But by and large, we are not aware of the history of biochar use in Europe and America. It all began with Justus Liebig, the "father of organic chemistry" who wrote in 1841 that charcoal "surpasses all other substances in the power which it possesses of condensing ammonia within its pores… it absorbs 90 times its volume of ammoniacal gas, which may be again separated by simply moistening it with water." This simple statement launched a wave of practical experimentation using charcoal in agriculture and for waste management that lasted for nearly a century. The evidence is found in hundreds of reports published in the 19th century in science and agriculture journals. Some of these early proponents of biochar developed visionary proposals for reforming agriculture and civilization. This presentation will tell the story of these early biochar enthusiasts.

Bio and Photo

Thayer Tomlinson is the Communications Director for the International Biochar Initiative and has been working for the last seven years on the topic to expand theknowledge about biochar and connect those working in biochar. She also manages the EPA ENERGY STAR program for Small Business and Congregations for a firm based in Washington DC. Thayer is an avid gardener and artist in her time away from the computer.

Gloria Flora, founder and Executive Director of Sustainable Obtainable Solutions (SOS) - since 2001. Last century she served 23 years in the U.S. Forest Service, working in a variety of positions throughout western states, including as the Forest Supervisor on the largest national forest in the continental U.S. An exemplary public servant and steward, her career highlights include banning oil and gas leasing on the Rocky Mountain Front to protect its unique biodiversity and cultural significance. She was a leader in establishing the human dimension as a component of USFS ecosystem management decision-making. Her current mission through SOS is ensuring the sustainability of public lands and of the plant, animal and humans who depend on them. SOS’s major projects focus on large landscape conservation strategies; national and international climate change action planning (mitigation, adaptation and ecological carbon sequestration); and, promoting the sustainable production and use of biochar as Director of the U.S. Biochar Initiative, a project of SOS. Flora’s won multiple awards for her leadership, courage and environmental stewardship, including having a new species of a Tanzanian toad named after her.

Kelpie Wilson is a writer and a mechanical engineer and the principal consultant at Wilson Biochar Associates. She has worked in the biochar field since 2007 as a project developer and writer for the International Biochar Initiative and as an independent consultant. She wrote a regular column as the environmental editor at Truthout.org from 2004-2008 and does freelance writing assignments for consumer and industry magazines and online publications. Kelpie has worked in the solar PV industry and for a startup doing R&D on Stirling cycle engines and has also been a tree hugger, an auto mechanic and a science fiction author. She has been living off-grid in the Oregon woods for 23 years, getting almost all of my power from solar PV and small hydro. Her favorite activity is making biochar at home and using it in the garden.

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Oct 14th, 8:00 AM Oct 14th, 9:45 AM

Monday Morning Plenary

Campus Center Auditorium

State of the Biochar Industry: Thayer Tomlinson, IBI Communications Director

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSByIiudOZI

This presentation will provide an overview of the current state of the biochar industry, including current International Biochar Initiative (IBI) programs and how IBI sees the growth of the biochar field internationally—touching on specific trends in commercialization, project implementation, research, educational facilities, regional groups, etc. The presentation will focus specifically on IBI’s recent industry and project tracking and outreach around the world to highlight where most of the current biochar companies are operating, their products, and other specifics as well as specifics on current operating biochar projects (run mainly by non-profits and academic institutions).

Pyrolyzing Misconceptions: Converting BioMyths to Biochar Success: Gloria Flora, US Biochar Initiative Director

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrxr52hIZ7A

As the biochar movement grows, so do its detractors. From well-known critics on the fringes to centrist government agency objectors, biochar advocates and entrepreneurs can get publically lampooned or quietly torpedoed as we try to bring biochar into the mainstream. A well-placed barb can bring down months of effort, which is especially challenging when competing for funding, investments and community support.

This speech will objectively review the criticisms, examining the science (or lack thereof) behind them. The fears and belief systems of critics and what motivates their disapproval and attacks will be discussed.

The talk will then turn to how to effectively ‘pyrolyze’ these misconceptions without killing the messenger but rather by sifting out the fears from realities. Weaknesses in the biochar industry, including our claims and science will also be examined. Scrutinizing the words and phrases that ignite and inflame both sides will help us to better understand how to avoid interaction pitfalls. In closing, we’ll take a close look at how we in the biochar community can improve our messaging, communications and techniques to dissolve the resistance, disbelief and misstatements about biochar – turning biomyths into valuable products and services!

19th Century Roots of Modern Biochar: Kelpie Wilson, Wilson Biochar Associates

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7PBUetUlR8

Biochar enthusiasts are familiar with the amazing Amazonians, who used biochar to create an agricultural civilization in an inhospitable rainforest environment. But by and large, we are not aware of the history of biochar use in Europe and America. It all began with Justus Liebig, the "father of organic chemistry" who wrote in 1841 that charcoal "surpasses all other substances in the power which it possesses of condensing ammonia within its pores… it absorbs 90 times its volume of ammoniacal gas, which may be again separated by simply moistening it with water." This simple statement launched a wave of practical experimentation using charcoal in agriculture and for waste management that lasted for nearly a century. The evidence is found in hundreds of reports published in the 19th century in science and agriculture journals. Some of these early proponents of biochar developed visionary proposals for reforming agriculture and civilization. This presentation will tell the story of these early biochar enthusiasts.