Environmental concern disappears with economic instability

From University of Southern California  another lesson from the economic train wreck that is Greece; people stop worrying about the environment when you make cleaner fuels too expensive to use.

The price for heating oil has skyrocketed in Greece over the last two years (the government raised the taxes on heating oil 450% this fall alone), and now many residents are turning to wood burning for winter heat since they can’t afford the oil, which has affected the city’s air quality:

athens smog

Smog from wood burning and other sources obscures The Parthenon in this photo. Source: Mediterranean Palimpsest

Greek economic crisis leads to air pollution crisis

Levels of dangerous air particulates jump 30 percent as people turn to burning cheaper fuel sources

In the midst of a winter cold snap, a study from researchers in the United States and Greece reveals an overlooked side effect of economic crisis – dangerous air quality caused by burning cheaper fuel for warmth.

The researchers, led by Constantinos Sioutas of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, show that the concentration of fine air particles in one of Greece’s economically hardest hit areas has risen 30 percent since the financial crisis began, leading to potential long-term health effects.

These fine particles – measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter (approximately 1/30th the diameter of a human hair) – are especially dangerous because they can lodge deep into the tissue of lungs, according to the EPA.

“People need to stay warm, but face decreasing employment and rising fuel costs,” explained Sioutas, senior author of the study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology and Fred Champion Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the USC Viterbi School. “The problem is economic hardship has compelled residents to burn low quality fuel, such as wood and waste materials, that pollutes the air.”

Unemployment in Greece climbed above 27 percent in 2013. Meanwhile, heating oil prices have nearly tripled in Greece during the Greek financial crisis of the last few years – driven in part by a fuel tax hike. Cold Greeks, it would appear (according to the air quality), have turned to wood as a major fuel source.

In their study, the researchers collected air samples that supported anecdotal evidence of Greek residents burning of wood and trash for heating. Taken over two-month stretches in Winter 2012 and again in Winter 2013, the samples reveal a dramatic increase in airborne fine particles since the beginning of the economic crisis.

The concentration of these particles, which has been linked to increased risk for heart disease and respiratory problems, rose from 26 to 36 micrograms per square meter over the study period, the researchers found. The EPA standard in the United States is an average of 20 micrograms per square meter over a 24-hour period. Worse yet, the concentrations of carcinogenic organic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) increased five-fold during the study period, the researchers found.

The concentration of the particulates was highest in the evening, presumably when more people were burning fuel for warmth, the study found. An analysis of the air samples also showed a two-to-five-fold increase in the airborne concentrations of organic compounds such as levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan, which indicate the burning of biomass. The presence of these compounds has been strongly correlated in past research to oxidative stress in human cells, which is linked to inflammation, aging and the development of age-related diseases.

“Wood’s cheap, but it’s having a major negative impact on air quality,” Sioutas said. The authors recommend active involvement of public authorities and local agencies to implement effective air pollution control strategies. They suggest increasing natural gas distribution in residential areas as a practical long-term solution. Catalytic domestic wood burners and increasing the energy efficiency of existing buildings might be additional possible solutions, according to the report.


Sioutas collaborated with researchers from USC, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the study. Arian Saffari, a Provost PhD fellow at the USC Viterbi School, is lead author of the study. The research was funded by the USC Provost, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the City of Thessaloniki Mayor’s office.


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Stop taxing heating oil would be another solution, one that does not seem to have occurred to the authors…

Andrew Marvell

Well if the Greeks are burning wood for heat, that means the Greek trireme threat will recede.


Where Greece is now, most of Africa, S. America and Asia have been since forever.
If CAGW had not been invented by the politicians, many of these places could have had clean energy by now.

And they couldn’t see this coming?

I nominate another Tag: Energy Poverty


Shouldn’t the headline be:
Environmental concern disappears with economic INstability?

Alan Robertson

Athens is once again showing humanity the way of the future.


Welcome to the third world. Newspapers with non smearing ink, cardboard, polyelthylene bags, anything that burns,etc, will be recycled in ways unanticipated by the economic wizards and bureucrats. The response will be to outlaw burning, then the burning will happen at night. Then there will be heavy enforcement action. Then it will be too dangerous to enforce.


Nothing new in my neck of the woods (Northern Ontario). When the cost of heating oil goes up, my dad just cut more wood. When it went down, he cut less.
People who want to put “green taxes” on heating oil should understand this. I mean, they are all very smart. He has to fall back on his Grade 8 diploma…

Economic stability disappears with environmental concern

Another alternate title: Environmental concerns disappear when economic stability disappears.
I think everyone agrees that the title, as it stands, gives the opposite indication as to the point of the post.

You know, next they’ll be telling us that impoverished 3rd world countries have worse environmental records than the developed industrial countries do.

Apparently one of the reasons for increasng the taxes on heating oil was to equalize its price with diesel fuel so that people would stop selling heating oil as diesel fuel. Apparently “equalizing taxes” always means increasing the lesser taxed article. You know, they could have reduced the taxes on diesel fuel to achieve their goal. But NOOOOOO…….!!!


Not just the third world that depends on wood. I live in rural SE England and for me and my neighbours wood burning is the most cost effective way to heat our homes.
Heating oil has shot up to unacceptable levels and with no mains gas wood is the only sensible alternative. There is also the aesthetic factor – I don’t think you can beat sitting round a roaring log fire when the snow is lying thick on the ground.

Lance Wallace

Andrew Marvell says:
December 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm
Think how history would have changed if they had burned that Trojan horse to stay warm.


What is it with do-gooders that makes them incapable of seeing more than one move down the chess board?


Wood burning is a small worry compared to the mess they have in Greece. They and many other EU countries are all experiencing the failure of a socialist style government. Untenable entitlements abound and there is nobody left to tax or borrow from to pick up the tab.
Take a close look mighty USA, this is the exact same thing you are blindly heading towards via Obama.

more soylent green!

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs
If the basics for survival are uncertain, who has the time, energy or money for non-essentials or luxuries? By no means delude yourself — today’s environmental movement is not only a daydream but also a rich man’s avocation.


The whole environmental and climate catastrophe movement and it’s infestations of completely irrational do-gooers and “saving the earther’s” has created a vast morass of unintended consequences, nearly all of which finish up as being considerably worse in their effects than the supposed and unproven, hypothesized problems would have ever created themselves.
Along with all those lists of those innumerable faded and totally wrong predictions of catastrophes to come and destroy life as we know it if CO2 [ due to pure and total ignorance, falsely labelled as “carbon” ] was allowed to increase, perhaps it is time for somebody to start the onerous task of listing all the unintended and usually harmful consequences arising from the past implementation of the numerous “planet saving” actions [ sic] of the “do-gooding” and “saving the earth” eco nuts.
A list of the suffering and the destruction of wealth and treasure and the destruction of living standards and the immense levels of destruction and damage to the environment and quality of living [ think bio-fuel; wood burning in power generators compared to coal, wind turbines and bird and bat killing, choosing “eat or heat” and etc and etc ] brought about by the do-gooders and the eco-nuts and their “saving the earth” policies would be quite enlightening to most of the public.

Bruce Cobb

The law of unintended consequences always wins in the end. Will they never learn?


In my city of Christchurch NZ where we have an earthquake recovery of sorts going on,(Its mostly still theoretical), all building is to meet the strictest CO2 emissions and land is being cleared to protect wetlands (aka swamps) and river banks according to Agenda21. Of course open fires are prohibited and electricity has a habit of failing when you need it most, (cold stormy days & nights). But we are tough here. Just need to keep a great coat in the closet. Mind you part of our government’s rebuild plan is to cram the population from the suburbs into the CBD. When that part of the total rebuild is done, at least we will keep each other warm.


This may be of interest.
Not just poor countries. But the pollution from the people burning wood will be eclipsed I would think by the brown coal to be burned in their many new power stations

Supplying more wood might help. Wood burns a lot cleaner in a hot fire with good airflow, but if you are so poor you are trying to conserve wood, you reduce down the airflow, and create a much more smoky fire.


What a surprise – that any starving person would eat the last surviving Dodo! The question is this: how did Greece get to its Dodo moment?
It is quite correct that poverty drives people to impoverish their environment further, bearing in mind that the poor generally get the impoverished bits as their share of the environment anyway.
But It is quite erroneous to argue that the decline in Greece’s air quality suddenly started with some taxes on heating oil.
Greece has spent the past several millenia treating its environment as infinite source and infinite sump. The net result is exhausted minerals, exhausted, thin soils – including much bare rock, and a sea (shared with others) that is one gigantic over-fished sump. It has to be a sump because water no longer flows out of the Mediterranean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean. The reason for that is that too much water is extacted by too many countries that border the Mediterranean.
Faced with this decline in resources, Greece has for decades exported its best and brightest young people. The biggest single Greek population is not in Greece – it is in Melbourne Australia, where they have contributed mightily to the Australian economy.
For decades Greece treated foreign capital as an infinite, pain-free source of spending money and borrowed well beyond what they could pay. As for EEU ‘socialism’, the Greeks treated the ‘rules’ with utter and cynical contempt, systematically fiddling their national budgetary books. The Greek economic crisis was made worse by corrupt patronage politics, crony capitalism and featherbedded state institutions. As for Greek indigenous capital, it simply shifted its base ot other countries as soon as they could no longer screw anything out of the Greek economy.
Finally, there has been a well-documented and a marked unwillingness to pay taxes of any sort, let alone on heating oil.
The major direct competitor for tourism is Turkey. The ruins are generally in better nick, the sunshine is the same, the currency is competitive, the tourism infrastructure is competitive, and, by all accounts, the Turks treat tourists with respect.
What goes round comes round. Taxes on heating oil are the very least of Greece’s worries.
The take home messages are that we cannot treat the environment as infinite source and infinite sump and that the Greeks, and ourselves, have to live within our social, economic and enviornmental means.


rogerthesurf says:
‘In my city of Christchurch NZ where we have an earthquake recovery of sorts going on,(Its mostly still theoretical), all building is to meet the strictest CO2 emissions and land is being cleared to protect wetlands (aka swamps) and river banks according to Agenda21. ‘
I thought that the problem being addressed was liquefaction. Basically, the developers got it wrong and built suburbs on wetlands (swamps). With the big earthquake, the substrate liquefied, destroying or damaging the houses and urban infrastructure beyond economic repair. The New Zealand taxpayer is now paying for buying those houses and land and is subsidising the rebuilding of replacement accommodation elsewhere.
The developers, as they do, got away scot free with their profits.
But I suppose your theory, that it is a UN Agenda 21 plot might be more correct.


Gotta love the hysteria!
Crisis, lung and heart disease, premature ageing, plague and pestilece. Locusts.
People must be dying by the thousands daily. Soon the population will be reduced and pristine prosperity will ensue. Full employment for grave diggers.
Was this report pulled from a bodily orofice? Where are the objective observations?
I think some academics got an expense paid Greek vacation out of this.

Smog from wood burning and other sources obscures The Parthenon in this photo. Source: Mediterranean Palimpsest

You don’t say!
WHAT have I been complaining about for the last two or three years (‘smoke’ on days that would otherwise be classified as clear, cold and crisp) as I step out the door of my clean, all-electric house in winter in a ‘modern’ suburb north of Dallas, Texas!!!!!!!!!!!


This has been some time in the making. Other countries are also getting in on the act.

Der Spiegel – 17 January 2013
Woodland Heists: Rising Energy Costs Drive Up Forest Thievery
Germany’s forests have become an attractive target for thieves.
With energy costs escalating, more Germans are turning to wood burning stoves for heat. That, though, has also led to a rise in tree theft in the country’s forests. Woodsmen have become more watchful.
Greek Reporter – 24 January 2012
Greeks ‘Fell Trees for Warmth’ Amid Economic Chill
Rising oil prices and chilly economic times are prompting increasing numbers of Greeks to chop down trees for winter warmth,…
The Mercury – 13 May 2012
Thefts cut deep
UNLAWFUL and dangerous tree-felling in forestry areas is fuelling a growing illegal firewood trade, Forestry Tasmaniasays.

If Europeans in the EU feel the need to fell trees what about someone in Peru or the Central African Republic? Warmth and cooking needs take priority. Would you let your 2 year old child die because you didn’t want to chop of a tree branch? Naaaaah. Neither would anyone else.


Warmists are the biggest bunch of fools I have ever had the displeasure of meeting. They think they can force everyone to use windmills and solar. As long as trees are standing they will be chopped down especially in less democratic or lawless countries with large, pristine forests. There is little they can do about it considering it’s happening on their own doorsteps. FOOLS. Co2 release continues, accelerated by Warmist policies. I predicted this (but it’s buried somewhere on WUWT).


Bob Tisdale says:
December 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm
And they couldn’t see this coming?

I sometimes wonder. Did they? Are they that dumb? I don’t know but let me give you a scary scenario. You are living in Sumatra with your wife and 3 kids. There is plenty of food but no coal, gas, or oil to use for cooking your food. What do you do?????????

Berényi Péter

Why, biofuel is said to be good for the environment. What is more, they are saving the land from deleterious overforestation. Lung cancer, especially if it is restricted to Greek population and the like, is a small price to be payed for saving the globe.
/bitter sarc off

Gail Combs

Bruce Cobb says: @ December 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm
The law of unintended consequences always wins in the end. Will they never learn?
They learn very very well and they really do not give a rats behind what happens to the environment. The ‘concern’ is nothing more than a mask for the MSM and useful idiots. Think Al Gore and his very large carbon boot print.

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: Convergence, Interdependence, and Divergence
Finance & Development, September 2012, Vol. 49, No. 3
…New convergence and strengthened interdependence coincide with a third trend, relating to income distribution. In many countries the distribution of income has become more unequal, and the top earners’ share of income in particular has risen dramatically. In the United States the share of the top 1 percent has close to tripled over the past three decades, now accounting for about 20 percent of total U.S. income (Alvaredo and others, 2012). At the same time, while the new convergence mentioned above has reduced the distance between advanced and developing economies when they are taken as two aggregates, there are still millions of people in some of the poorest countries whose incomes have remained almost stagnant for more than a century (see “More or Less,” F&D, September 2011). These two facts have resulted in increased divergence between the richest people in the world and the very poorest, despite the broad convergence of average incomes.

The goal is to develop a two class system, that is to get rid of the middle class. Maurice Strong said as much when chair at Kyoto. He used these chilling words for the opening session in 1992:

“….Developed and benefited from the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption which have produced our present dilemma. It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class—involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing—are not sustainable. A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to
environmentally damaging consumption patterns.”

This should not come as much of a surprise. The middle class is a rather new development and one not liked by the ruling class since it challenges their power structure. The rise of the middle class was a result of the industrial revolution. It first appeared in the late middle ages with the revival of trade and expanded during the 18th and 19th centuries. Getting control of these mavericks and relieving them of their wealth has been the goal of the ruling classes ever since as shown by Sen. Daniel Webster’s speech.
This speech of Sen. Webster, during the debate over the reauthorization of the Second National Bank of the U.S. in 1832 shows one of the methods successfully used to reduce the middle class back to poverty as the 2008 financial crisis (and Greece) has illustrated.

“A disordered currency is one of the greatest of evils. It wars against industry, frugality, and economy. And it fosters the evil spirits of extravagance and speculation. Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effectual than that which deludes them with paper money. This is one of the most effectual of inventions to fertilize the rich man’s field by the sweat of the poor man’s brow. Ordinary tyranny, oppression, excessive taxation: These bear lightly the happiness of the mass of the community, compared with fraudulent currencies and robberies committed with depreciated paper.”

Meanwhile the Fed has had the printing press running full out printing up even more “fraudulent currency and depreciated paper” Money supply changes during my life:
in 1959 was 50.1 billion
1964 – $54.1 billion
1974 – $101 billion
1985 – $205 billion
1994 – $ 406 billion
2006 – $808 billion
2008 – $831 billion
2009 – $1663 billion
2013 – $3115 billion
The GDP has not grown to match the growth in the money supply since it has been ~ zero or negative since 1989: http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/gross-domestic-product-charts

Eric Worrall says December 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm
Supplying more wood might help. Wood burns a lot cleaner in a hot fire with good airflow, but if you are so poor you are trying to conserve wood, you reduce down the airflow, and create a much more smoky fire.

Hence ‘pelletized’ wood stoves which burn a metered amount of wood ..


Last winter, the Greeks cut down and burned 13,500 tons of trees.
The problem is the Euro. Greece gave up its sovereign currency, the drachma, for a foreign one, the Euro. Same problem with Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, et cetera. Only country that is benefitting from the Euro is Germany.
Greece cannot denominate its debt in its own currency, like Japan, Great Britain, Australia, or the US. It has to borrow from the bond vigilantes who are extracting huge interest payments and taking their natural resources as collateral. The rich, because of the EU, can move their money out of the country to banks in Germany, or even here. Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, et cetera, are like the 50 states: they can’t create their own currency. They gave up their own sovereignty for that stupid experiment called the Euro.
By way of comparison, look at Japan. A monetarily sovereign country. Central bank interest rate close to zero, Debt-to-GDP over 225%, hasn’t been able to inflate for 20 years, credit rating below Botswana, yet it’s the third strongest currency in the world, it’s education level is higher than ours, it has universal health care, and a booming export market. And the bond vigilantes can’t touch it because Japan can denominate its own debt in its own currency just like we can.
Now Italy is in trouble, yet curiously it has the same debt-to-GDP level it had before it joined the Euro and it was doing well. But it has put itself in hock to the bond vigilantes, and can’t pay its bills. Youth unemployment 50% just like Spain and Greece. Horrible situation for all of them. If Italy leaves the Euro, the experiment is over and everyone will be better off because the ECB refuses to help and has imposed austerity. And since there isn’t a government of Europe, there is no overriding elected body that can stem the bleeding.
That, at least, is the value of our government and central bank. Congress tells the Fed what to do with fiscal policy–it’s supposed to–although Congress has completely abdicated its responsibility since Obama came in and has impoverished Americans needlessly with austerity programs and sequesters.


Policycritic says:
December 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm
“Now Italy is in trouble, yet curiously it has the same debt-to-GDP level it had before it joined the Euro and it was doing well. ”
I cannot remember any time in history where Italians were happy with their politicians or the economy, and I know the place since the 70ies. I was in vacation in Italy during the Bologna terror attack in the 80ies. When they had the Lira they complained about inflation and about il tedeschi; and they had a new government every 3 months.
“But it has put itself in hock to the bond vigilantes, and can’t pay its bills.”
You mean before the Euro, kind old grannies owned the Italian state’s debt, and since the introduction of the Euro, the kind old grannies sold the bonds to evil unruly kids with sunglasses? Yeah I guess having a currency they can’t devalue has nothing to do with it.

Dave the Engineer

Not surprising. “Environmentalism” was always a luxury good.


13 Dec: Myanmar’s SEA Games host city baffles and delights
Reforms have swept Myanmar since 2011 with the release of hundreds of political prisoners — including 44 on Wednesday, ahead of the SEA Games opening — the promise of elections, and the opening up of the nation’s straightjacketed economy…
A 20-lane motorway — eerily devoid of traffic — arcs around the vast, gated parliament complex, while a handful of empty shopping malls and gem shops cater to a presumably wealthy, but strangely absent, elite.
***The surrounding countryside remains poor, in a low income nation of more than 50 million people where, according to the World Bank, a quarter of all children are malnourished and three quarters of the population has no access to electricity…
7 Dec: Renewable Dream
Can wind, sun and hot springs solve Myanmar’s electricity crisis?
Wind and solar “farms” offer more reliable and less costly alternatives, said London-based BMI.
Provisional agreements have been signed with Thai and Chinese firms to develop or assess potential to develop both wind and solar power projects in several areas of the country.
Green Earth Power of Thailand signed a deal with the Ministry of Electric Power to build a 50 megawatt (MW) project at Minbu 300 kilometres north of Yangon…
Meanwhile the US firm ACO Investment Group of New York signed a deal with the ministry for a 250 MW solar project also in central Myanmar, at Nabu-aing near Mingyan…
Earlier reports had said Green Earth was planning a much bigger project of 210 MW at a cost of US$275 million.
No reason for the reduction in size of the Green Power project was given by the newspaper. However, financial difficulties this year have prevented construction of several planned new power plants, the Minister of Electric Power Khin Maung Soe told The New Light of Myanmar in a separate report last week…
The minister admitted that Myanmar is currently suffering an electricity capacity shortfall of more than 5,000 MW, the worst gap in supply and demand since the country began opening up two years ago.
Electricity demand is 8,929 megawatts but capacity this year is only about 3,600 MW, the minister said…
“According to Khin Maung Win [deputy director general of Electric Power under the Ministry of Electric Power], Gunkul and CTG are planning to build wind power plants with a total capacity of 2,930MW and 1,102MW respectively,” said BMI in its assessment of Myanmar’s energy problems…

Gail Combs says December 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm
The goal is to develop a two class system, that is to get rid of the middle class.

I rather think it is because they are incompetent and inept. Very incompetent and very inept. No need for deep-rooted con spir acy theories existing on a global basis. When the ‘leaders’ have no knowledge of how things actually work, what do you think the result is? Stupid decision after stupid decision. The very core of competence.
in·ept – having or showing no skill; clumsy.
incompetent – Inadequate for or unsuited to a particular purpose or application, Devoid of those qualities requisite for effective conduct or action.

Come on, guys. Wood is a renewable resource. Burning wood is carbon neutral. All the best green minds say so. Fossil fuels are dirty. Fossil fuel combustion causes climate change. The Greeks have done the absolutely correct thing. They have arbitrarily made renewable energy competitive to dirty fossil fuels and the population has responded by seeing the wisdom of renewable energy and have jumped on the renewable energy bandwagons. And you folks are finding one minor negative aspect, probably cherry picked from all the positives. PM2.5 from renewables is not nearly as deadly as PM2.5 from dirty fossil fuels.
I’d put a [/sarc] on the above, but the greens and our wise leaders have been touting such carbon neutral policies. It get’s very quiet when you ask silly questions about health/environmental downsides of some of these wonderful policies. The best environmental policy is plentiful, cheap energy, no matter where it is from.


Bob Tisdale says:
[I sometimes wonder. Did they? Are they that dumb? I don’t know but let me give you a scary scenario. You are living in Sumatra with your wife and 3 kids. There is plenty of food but no coal, gas, or oil to use for cooking your food. What do you do?????????]
This is a dumb, scary hypothetical, but here goes:
If I were a Sumatran, I would be grateful that the Indonesian Government ignores Tea Party-like calls for getting rid of all taxes and all support for the poor.
I would be grateful that Sumatra is a major exporter of fossil fuel and that Sumatra’s agriculture is thriving due in particular to the final stages of the Green Revolution.
I would also be grateful that the Dutch colonialists have been kicked out because they sucked the lifeblood out of the colonized Indonesians, and that the times in which the area’s exported plantation commodities were exported while Indonesians were starving to death are long gone.
If I lived in a tsunami zone and survived the Great Tsunami and received good quality aid from Australia, I would be grateful for that. Further, if I lived in Aceh I would be glad that the latest Aceh insurgency is over and that the islamic fighters succeeded in getting reasonable concessions from the Javanesse Empire in terms of keeping more of the benefits of the province’s resources as well as a reasonable degree of autonomy.
I would also be grateful fuel for domestic cooking is heavily subsidised by the Indonesian Government.
OTOH, were I Sumatran fisher, I would be unhappy that the quality of my coral reefs and the associated fisheries are going backwards as a result of heat-related bleaching, over-fishing, dynamite, chemicals, over-fishing and agricultural run-off.
Perhaps I might even have a niggle at the back of my mind that my expectation that the environment is infinite source and infinite sump is false.

Willis Eschenbach

I couldn’t make sense of the headline either, so I changed it … hope Anthony doesn’t bust me, but it didn’t scan the other way.


I have no trouble at all with the concept of using wood as a renewable fuel source. Like all energy sources there are costs and benefits that need to be weighed for economic desperation destroys all real choices. Environmental air quality is certainly a factor in the balance, particularly in areas subject to temperature inversions. Lung cancer is, after all, not a pleasant way to go and the last year or so is extremely expensive in terms of the health costs.
Common sense would suggest that planting and harvesting regimes are balanced so that the wood-burners don’t destroy their energy source.
One of the ironies here is that Greece’s current forest extent and carbon storage extent have both expanded significantly over the past couple of decades as they have reforested degraded areas.
So it is just as well they tended to that bit of their environment and did not piss away all their financial and fossil fuel borrowings on sybaritic lifestyles on the fiscal never never.


D the E says
‘Not surprising. “Environmentalism” was always a luxury good.’
This may or may not be true.
What is absolutely indisputable is that the environment is not a luxury good.

climateace says December 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm

… ignores Tea Party-like calls for getting rid of all taxes

Insertion of a straw-man argument; detracts from your efforts.

climateace says December 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm

and all support for the poor.

And another; have you heard of, or do you know what a ‘charity’ (literally: a charity organization) is?


Jim says:
‘ climateace says December 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm

… ignores Tea Party-like calls for getting rid of all taxes
Insertion of a straw-man argument; detracts from your efforts.’
The issue I was addressing in Tisdale’s hypothetical was how a Sumatran felt in the context of cooking the food for his/her family. I gave the answer. In that context, fuel costs and the things that might impact them are not Straw Men. They are central.
There are very active calls in Indonesia now for domestic fuel subsidies to be stopped, and this issue – apart from impacting directly on a Sumatran’s ability to cook his/her food, may well be a determinant in next year’s presidential elections.
Straw man? Not if you depend on politics for your cooking fuel.

climateace says December 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm
I have no trouble at all with the concept of using wood as a renewable fuel source.

Works GREAT in a modern city too, where we HAD progressed in previous years the use of wood, several decades of using coal, then we saw ‘fuel oil’ as a heating source, then onto clean-burning natural gas and ****electric**** (IN THE MODERN AGE!)
Next, we bring back STEAM ENGINES b/c they run on “a renewable fuel source” TOO!!!
Yay! Climate idiocy all around!!!!!!
(t ‘comes in’ with the clothing worn outside too! An added benny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)


Polycritic says
‘Last winter, the Greeks cut down and burned 13,500 tons of trees.
The problem is the Euro. ‘
Not really.
Germany has the euro and the eruo is not a problem for them.
The real problem is that the Greeks borrowed euros and now they have to pay back in euros. So instead of deflating their currency and cheating their lenders, they have to pay back the same value as they borrowed.


‘And another; have you heard of, or do you know what a ‘charity’ (literally: a charity organization) is?’

re: climateace says December 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm
Moving goal posts, dis-avowing/distancing from the contents of a previous post, dodging and weaving to justify the insertion of a nonessential/unneeded element (i.e. the err, the argumentative ‘faux paus’ of a Straw man).
The question in mind now: A Troll or no?