Two Years Ago In TreeHugger: No Man is an Island


The most popular post two years ago (and one of our most popular ever) was Collin's coverage of Reishee Sowa, who built his own island out of 250,000 pop bottles. Collin was impressed: "While we aren't sure we'll be able to solve the world's problems by building floating islands from recycled pop bottles, it's the spirit of his work that we like best. He's able to live self-sufficiently in his own version of paradise, and that sounds pretty good to us."

We thought we would return to Reishee's island and see what has happened, and find that he has turned into an industry, with a social networking site, a wikipedia entry and a new island project- the one shown in our post two years ago was destroyed in Hurricane Emily in July, 2005, five months before Collin even wrote about it.

The new island was launched this September and looks pretty forlorn; Reishee has some ways to go to look like his model below...


Also two years ago, Warren wrote about Richard Branson saying "We are looking for alternative fuel sources. We are going to start building cellulosic ethanol plants (to make) fuel that is derived from the waste product of the plant," he said. "It is 100 per cent environmentally friendly and I believe it's the future of fuel, and over the next 20 or 30 years I think it actually will replace the conventional fuel that you get out of the ground."


In September 2006 Branson announced that he would invest three billion dollars over ten years into Virgin Fuels and focus on biofuels. The New Scientist was sceptical, as quoted in the Guardian: ""We cannot grow our way out of the twin crises of climate change and energy security. There is a real danger of creating a biofuels bubble that will burst, leaving behind a pungent whiff of chip-fat oil, burning rainforests and rotting fields."


Today, at the Virgin website, Virgin Fuels is no more; Branson's investments cover a wide range of technologies, and "The team formerly known as Virgin Fuels now comprises Virgin Green Fund. The following investments,[four American ethanol plants] which were sourced, evaluated and managed by Virgin Fuels, will remain investments of the Virgin Group and have not been included as investments of the Virgin Green Fund."

We won't be flying in ethanol powered airplanes anytime soon.

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