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Green vision protects coal deposits, razes forests instead: Europe goes back to wood power

Burn trees, save coal, cartoon. JoNova

Green Utopia

We’re trying to control the weather by limiting a universal molecule intrinsic to life on Earth. What could possibly go wrong? Loopholes, for starters. Only this isn’t a loophole — it’s an obvious outcome of “carbon neutrality”. The only thing that could have stopped wood from replacing coal is if the tidal-windy-solar idea had been competitive, reliable and batteries were really cheap. Or, if we all went nuclear.

So carbon neutral means conserving black coal deposits underground and mowing down thousands of square kilometers of forests. Don’t think Greenpeace saw that coming.

Carbon Loophole: Why is wood burning counted as green energy?

Fred Pearce, Yale, e360

The forests of North Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi — as well as those in Europe — are being destroyed to sustain a European fantasy about renewable energy…

Wood burning is booming from Britain to Romania. Much of the timber is sourced locally…

But Drax’s giant wood-burning boilers are fueled almost entirely by 6.5 million tons of wood pellets shipped annually across the Atlantic.

Drax Power, UK emits 23 million tons of “good” neutral carbon which used to be trees:

About 23 million tons of carbon dioxide goes up its stacks each year. But because new trees will be planted in the cut forests, the company says the Drax plant is carbon-neutral.

The Drax plant IS carbon neutral. It just destroys forests too

Evidently being carbon neutral is not always enough.

Peter Sabo of Wolf, an NGO … estimates from Slovakian government data that 10 million cubic meters of wood is logged in the country each year, against a sustainable yield of 6 million cubic meters. The difference is almost entirely accounted for by the 3.5 million cubic metres burned for Slovakia’s energy and heating. Yet nowhere do the carbon emissions from this burning turn up in the carbon accounts of Slovakia or the EU.

Neodymium turbines are “renewable” but forests are not:

Theoretically, the clean green plan wasn’t meant to raze trees a meter across, it was only supposed to burn the woodchip offcuts. But, given enough incentive the free market found a way to define whole trees as a woodchip.

Some EU officials estimate that while forests are increasing in Europe overall (thanks partly to CO2) about a third of the new forest will be fed to power furnaces.

Too bad about the homeless squirrels and nestless birdies. Nevermind.

Dang unintended consequences.

We can’t have a free market in a ubiquitous molecule central to all life on Earth.

h/t GWPF

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