EU Will Be Razing Whole Forests to Save Them Or Something

The EU will be razing whole forests and burning them to produce lots of CO2 … all in the name of saving the planet from global warming.

Today’s European Parliament vote, like yesterday’s marine vote, delivers yet another dramatic death blow to our living planet. Razing whole forests to the ground to feed our energy use releases vastly increased carbon into our atmosphere; carbon which would otherwise be naturally stored in the forest. Converting land into biofuel plantations means wiping out nature and evicting local communities. This is a crime when well-located wind and solar power offer viable alternatives. Energy from biomass should be limited to waste and residues, not whole trees, forests and food. Such perverted outcomes do not help in the fight against climate change.”

I don’t believe the part about solar and wind offering viable alternatives.

And I don’t necessarily believe more CO2 is a bad thing.

But I do belive that burning whole forests is stupid and amazingly hypocitical when the AGW cult keeps telling  us CO2 is bad and fossil fuels are evil.

Coal is cheap. Natural gas is cheap and cleaner than coal. And produces less CO2 than coal and forests.

 

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Europeans Are Stupid

Europe’s energy policies are worse than stupid.

“At the end of last year, Sir John Beddington, a former chief scientific adviser to the British government, lifted the lid on the scandal at the heart of the EU’s renewable policies. According to Sir John, since the EU’s first renewables directive in 2008, the growth of bioenergy — much of it sourced from North American woods and forests — has provided around half the expansion of renewable energy. To supply even one third of the additional renewable energy needed to meet Europe’s new 2030 target will require an amount of wood roughly equivalent to the combined harvest in the U.S. and Canada. The fiction currently being peddled is that Europe is only burning wood residues — the bits of trees left over from other uses — but new EU rules agreed to last week by the European Parliament will expand the definition of bioenergy to include trees specifically harvested to be burnt in power stations.”

They love CO2 in Europe.

Biofuels = Centuries Long Increase in CO2

This paper is a pdf.

Biofules, biomass , wood pellets et al are a disaster if you believe more CO2 will cause Global Warming.

Does replacing coal with wood lower CO2 emissions?
Dynamic lifecycle analysis of wood bioenergy
John D. Sterman1
Lori Siegel2
Juliette N. Rooney-Varga3

 

In sum, although bioenergy from wood can lower long-run CO2 concentrations compared to
fossil fuels, its first impact is an increase in CO2, worsening global warming over the critical
period through 2100 even if the wood offsets coal, the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel.
Declaring that biofuels are carbon neutral as the EU and others have done, erroneously
assumes forest regrowth quickly and fully offsets the emissions from biofuel production and
combustion. The neutrality assumption is not valid because it ignores the transient, but
decades to centuries long, increase in CO2 caused by biofuels.

Burning Forests (to save coal)

A broken analog clock is right twice a day. So I’m quoting from the Guardian again.

A few quotes:

“In the middle of the 19th century, wood burning rose to such levels that western Europe was almost completely deforested. Ironically, the rise of coal burning saved the situation”

” carbon emissions will rise by 6% or possibly more if wood is allowed to continue to provide more and more of Europe’s energy output”

“Europe has increased its use of renewable energy sources to provide it with power, and about half of that rise has come from burning biomass. Unfortunately, says Beddington, if that increase continues Europe will soon need to burn an amount of wood greater than its total harvest and would have to seek sources from other continents. Either land for farming would be turned to biomass growing or precious natural habitats will be exploited, most probably the latter”

“In generating exactly the same amount of electricity, wood will release four times as much carbon into the atmosphere as gas would do, and one and half times as much as coal. In addition, energy is used in harvesting and transport while vast stretches of land are needed to create the forests to supply generating stations with the wood they need.”

Carbon Loophole: Why Is Wood Burning Counted as Green Energy?

The idea that cutting down forests and burning the wood in former coal power plants is green is insane.

Most of the wood pellets used by the Drax Power Station come from trees in U.S. forests, such as this one in Sampson County, North Carolina, which was logged in 2015.

Another article pointing that out. Here are a few highlights.

“Ecologists say that the claims of carbon neutrality, which are accepted by the European Union and the British government, do not stand up to scrutiny. 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. And with many power plants in Europe and elsewhere starting to replace coal with wood, the question of who is right is becoming ever more important.”

“Wood burning is booming from Britain to Romania. Much of the timber is sourced locally, which is raising serious concerns among European environmentalists about whether every tree cut down for burning is truly replaced by a new one. But Drax’s giant wood-burning boilers are fueled almost entirely by 6.5 million tons of wood pellets shipped annually across the Atlantic. “

“September, some 200 scientists wrote to the EU insisting that “bioenergy [from forest biomass] is not carbon-neutral” and calling for tighter rules to protect forests and their carbon. Yet just a month later, EU ministers rubber-stamped the existing carbon accounting rules, reaffirming that the burning of wood pellets is renewable energy.”

“Wood burning is turning into a major loophole in controlling carbon emissions. The U.S. could be the next country to take advantage. A federal spending bill that passed the House of Representatives earlier this year directed the Environmental Protection Agency to establish policies “that reflect the carbon neutrality of biomass” and to “encourage private investment throughout the forest biomass supply chain,” paving the way for a boom in American pellet burning. “

“Roughly half the cut wood in the EU is now being burned to generate electricity or for heating. And there is growing evidence that the logging is damaging forests and reducing their ability to store carbon.”

 

I could go on. Read it and weep.

The New Coal – Burning wood pellets creates more global warming pollution than coal, not less

The new coal. More CO2 than coal. Yet biomass is called green by the AGW cult and the Eu and the other cult leaders .

“A controversy with reverberations across the Atlantic Ocean is brewing in Hamlet, North Carolina – a literal hamlet 120 miles northwest of Wilmington – where a new wood-pellet facility is already in the initial stages of construction.

The mill would become the fourth in North Carolina and the seventh in the Southeast built and operated by Maryland-based Enviva, the largest producer of wood pellets in the world.

The dried and compressed bits of wood produced at the plant would be shipped from Wilmington to a power company in the United Kingdom, who plans to burn them instead of coal as part of the country’s effort to slash greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by the end of the decade.

The problem, according to many energy analysts, is that burning pellets creates more global warming pollution than coal, not less. One prominent research ecologist even calls wood biomass “the new coal.”

At the same time, environmental advocates say the new mill will further the destruction of deciduous forests in the Southeast – especially in wetlands – and disproportionately harm public health in Dobbins Heights, an overwhelmingly African-American town two miles northeast of the facility.”

“A 2015 analysis for the Southern Environmental Law Center examining the loss of forests found that Enviva wood pellets supplied to Drax would create two and a half times more greenhouse gas emissions than coal over 40 years.

A 2014 study by the U.K.’s environmental agency also factored in drying and transportation costs; it found climate pollution from southeastern U.S. wood pellets to be three times that of coal.”