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Profile: David N. Cleaver

David Neil Cleaver was born in Barnsley, UK, in 1965. He now lives full-time in Goa, India, where he has a Business Visa and Residential Permit.

David graduated with a BEng(hons) degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Nottingham in 1988. He has worked for various engineering companies in the UK including Longwall International (later Joy Mining Equipment), where he was a Design Engineer, responsible for multi-million pound contracts to supply powered roof supports to the coal mining industry:-

 

Longwall International Powered Roof Support

 

In 1990, David successfully passed the rigorous 3-day Admiral Interview Board selection procedure for direct entry as an Officer in the British Royal Navy. However, David did not quite meet the strict eyesight standards required and was unable to pursue this chosen career.

Whilst working for Joy Mining Equipment, David was fortunate enough to be fully trained in the use of the latest "Pro-Engineer" CAD system just prior to being made redundant when the company was closed down. This training enabled him to accept lucrative design contract work around the UK. One of David's last contracts was working in London for the Danish company NEG Micon, working on the design of the Active-Stall Blade Pitch Mechanism for their new 2MW Wind Turbine:-

 

NEG Micon Prototype 2MW Wind Turbine

 

In 1999, David finally "opted out of the Rat-Race". He sold his house in Nottingham after living there for 13 years and started to adopt an "alternative lifestyle" involving doing more or less what he wanted! David started to spend more and more time in Goa, but also spent considerable time working on two motorhome conversions, which have been chronicled on the website www.stealthcamper.com.

In recent years, David has realised the importance of some of the teachings of his university education. It was in fact 1985 when David was first made aware of the concept of "Peak Oil", during the first year of his degree course. He later became convinced that the "beginning of the end" of the Oil Era is upon us and that the consequences for the entire human race will be almost unimaginable. In an effort to get this important message out to the masses, in 2009 David created this website.

As a direct result of this website, David met some very useful contacts, almost immediately. One of them was Father Inacio Almeida, a Catholic priest from Valpoi, Goa. It was Fr. Almeida who first introduced David to the Paradise Tree ("Lakshmi Taru" in Hindi - The tree is named after Lakshmi, the Godess of Wealth and Prosperity). Until that point in time, David had been planning to cultivate Jatropha, which although native to Goa, does not thrive so well in Goa's humid climate compared with the rest of India. Consequently, David's plans for a 4 Hectare Jatropha plantation in Morjim, Goa, were changed overnight to a 4 Hectare Paradise Tree plantation instead.

Incidentally, it should be noted that the alternative fuel crop, Jatropha, is poisonous to humans, livestock and other wildlife. Furthermore, the bi-products of transesterification (conversion to Bio-Diesel) are also poisonous. In addition, Jatropha has only one basic use, as a fuel. It serves very little other useful purpose. For those reasons, Goa-Biofuels does not advocate the commercial cultivation of Jatropha under any circumstances. The better alternative is the Paradise Tree!

 

David getting some expert advice from Fr. Inacio Almeida

 

Just after this fortuitous meeting with Fr. Almedia, David also met up with Andrew Rodrigues, undoubtedly the leading expert on the Paradise Tree in Goa, who was working at that time for the Ronil Royale resort in Baga. Andrew helped David to source around 200 one-year-old Paradise Tree  saplings, which he himself had germinated and donated to plant nurseries around the state. David subsequently planted the saplings in and around the grounds of the Morjim Beach Resort, where he stayed at the time.

 

Andrew Rodrigues supervising plantation at the Morjim Beach Resort

 

In May, 2010, David was responsible for initiating the germination of a small batch of seeds for cultivation by Mr. Joe Pieris, in Sri Lanka.  As far as David is aware, this is the first commercial plantation of Paradise Tree (Simarouba Glauca) in that country and, as a result, some contacts of Mr. Peiris have already expressed an interest in farming the trees on a large commercial scale.

 

David inspecting saplings grown in Sri Lanka by Joe and Amitha Peiris

 

David has also been successful in germinating seeds in seed trays and hopes to use the resulting saplings to extend his own plantation. In June, 2011, David planted (with a little help!) a further 12,000 seeds in trays for that purpose.

Also in June, 2011, David exported seeds to Mr. Chana Thatakhun in Chiang Mai, Thailand and also to Mr. Agung Sucahyo in Bogor, Indonesia, as well as sending a further batch of seeds to Mr. Joe Peiris in Sri Lanka.

In June, 2012, David established a plant nursery at Gulduve, near Aronda, in Maharashtra State, where he hopes to raise up to 25,000 saplings per year, for plantation on 2500 Acres of land surrounding the Tillari Lake, also in Maharshtra.

David is also currently developing a 15kVA generator, specifically designed to run on vegetable oil. If the prototype is successful, he is hoping to market the generator unit in India in conjunction with his UK company, Yellow Star Solutions Ltd. (www.yellow-star.co.uk).