Alternative Fuel / African Shamans

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Date Host George Noory
Guests David Blume, Lionel Friedberg

In the first half, expert in alternative fuels and sustainable agriculture, David Blume spoke about the benefits of alcohol/ethanol fuel. He also addressed how the gas pipeline disruption, as well as the pandemic, have demonstrated the importance of local government and supply chains. Legislation and policy, he argued, should be tailored to meet the needs of communities rather than protecting powerful corporations. Alcohol is the only fuel that can be made by individuals themselves in their local environments, he pointed out. The argument that growing corn to make into alcohol instead of to stave off world hunger is a fallacy, Blume suggested, adding that most of the corn acreage in the US ends up feeding cattle that aren't even able to fully digest the fibrous parts of it.

Blume was critical of the electric car industry, commenting that the batteries are inefficient for powering vehicles, and further, the electricity is often derived from polluting sources. However, "alcohol can make electricity too," he noted, and is an ideal source for "micro-grids" that power a square mile or less but could include such facilities as hospitals or sewage treatment plants. He also talked about his project to grow food without adverse effects on the environment (as they do at his Whiskey Hill Farms in California), and his safe organic hand sanitizer, made without isopropyl alcohol. 

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Producer and author Lionel Friedberg has spent 50 years making films and TV documentaries. In the latter half, he discussed his experiences with African shamans and how their healing and mysterious ways have much to teach us. Growing up in South Africa, he was exposed to the world of the shaman or "sangoma" at an early age. By "throwing the bones" (from hyenas, crocodiles, or other animals), shamans can contact the "ancestors," he explained. And from the pattern in which the bones land, shamans are said to deduce illnesses or even predict a person's future. Such was the case when Friedberg visited an older female shaman in Zambia when he was a young man in 1964.

In her tiny house, on a grass mat, the shaman, using antelope bones, told Friedberg many things about his future, laying out events that would transpire over the next sixty years. At the time, he didn't understand all of what she was saying, but her proclamations turned out to be incredibly accurate, he marveled. For instance, she declared, "the day will come when your work will take you to a very strange world. There is no color there. Everything is white. Only white. And there is no up, and no down," and indeed, eventually he worked on a project in Antarctica. She also said he would meet someone who was close to "the most evil man who ever lived" (Friedberg ended up interviewing Hitler's personal pilot), and that he would return home when faced with a fatal illness (he traveled back from the US and believes he was cured in a wild exorcism conducted by a shaman in Swaziland).

News segment guests: Lauren Weinstein, Steve Kates

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