Surprise! Greedy Green Energy Corporatists are Clear Felling Protected Forests for Biomass

Ready to clear the next protected forest

Ready to clear the next protected forest

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Wayne Delbeke – the Guardian has just noticed that a rise in demand for wood chips, for “green” biomass power schemes, has led an increase in logging, including legally dubious clearances of large swathes of protected forests.

Protected forests in Europe felled to meet EU renewable targets – report

Europe’s bioenergy plants are burning trees felled from protected conservation areas rather than using forest waste, new report shows.

Protected forests are being indiscriminately felled across Europe to meet the EU’s renewable energy targets, according to an investigation by the conservation group Birdlife.

Up to 65% of Europe’s renewable output currently comes from bioenergy, involving fuels such as wood pellets and chips, rather than wind and solar power.

Bioenergy fuel is supposed to be harvested from residue such as forest waste but, under current legislation, European bioenergy plants do not have to produce evidence that their wood products have been sustainably sourced.

Birdlife found logging taking place in conservation zones such as Poloniny national park in eastern Slovakia and in Italian riverside forests around Emilia-Romagna, where it said it had been falsely presented as flood-risk mitigation.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/24/protected-forests-in-europe-felled-to-meet-eu-renewable-targets-report

The referenced report, which details forest destruction around the world, not just in Europe, is available here.

I’m shocked – who would have thought that providing billions of dollars of government subsidies for greedy corporatists to generate impractical amounts of electricity from “renewable” biomass, no questions asked, would lead to corruption, kickbacks, and large scale destruction of the world’s protected woodlands?

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175 thoughts on “Surprise! Greedy Green Energy Corporatists are Clear Felling Protected Forests for Biomass

  1. I practice Carbon Capture and Storage unilaterally, rather than waiting for Action.

    I’ve printed thousands of copies of my climate-ethics manifesto that nobody is ever going to read.

    So I’m walking the walk. Words, not deeds.

      • Who’s the guy who modified one(?) word in an IPCC document thereby inverting the meaning? Was it Santer?

      • I support freedom for all molecules! I free carbon by collecting and burning climate-ethics manifestos.

        No capture and storage for carbon, ever. You can’t jail carbon for political purposes. What has it ever done to you?

      • PiperPaul,

        “Who’s the guy who modified one(?) word in an IPCC document thereby inverting the meaning?”

        Come on dude. A single word can NOT change the fundamental meaning of a statement.

        This is the linguistic equivalent of voodoo science.

        Only a powerful santerista could pull off the kind of magic trick you’re accusing one of LLNL’s most integritous researchers of perpetrating.

      • “Deeds, not words!”

        Come on. You know perfectly well that’s what I was getting at.

        Didn’t your momma raise you to “Listen to what I say, not what I mean?”

        Does my accidental transposition of two words undermine 200 years of radiative physics or overthrow the work of thousands of disinterested researchers who’ve all converged on the same conclusion?

      • Brad Keyes, November 26, 2016 at 5:39 am

        Now pay attention, Brad, you are being MOCKED for what you actually wrote.

      • “Deeds, not words!”
        Come on. You know perfectly well that’s what I was getting at.

        Or as Thatcher said, “Don’t just do something, stand there!” Meaning doing nothing is better than doing the wrong thing.

    • I practice carbon capture AND release. I capture more carbon on my woodlot by thinning overmature and poor quality trees, thereby packing more carbon on the residual crop trees. Then, by heating my home with wood, I release carbon back to the atmosphere.

    • Actually, Brad, what you’ve succeeded in doing by printing “Thousands of Copies” of your climate-ethics manifesto that no one will ever read is waste resources, a big no-no in Big Greene’s eyes, and cause further damage to the carbon sink. Similar to the damage being done in Europe by harvesting the carbon sinking forests to produce energy through Burning Biomass which still releases the vilified CO2

      • Tis OK Brad by no means a slam on you just a statement of fact regarding Biomass for energy and the ungreen green hypocrisy

    • chaamjamal —

      Just amazing — didn’t know they had anything like that. Everybody click on the above link! Your eyes will fall out of your head.

      Eugene WR Gallun

      • It’s nothing unusual, machines are used in almost every form of manufacturing, almost everything. Now I do know that machines were used to make magnetic core memory cores, but what was needed before the machine was invented to do the job, was seamstresses to “thread” the control wire through the cores as a machine could not do the job at that time.

        But then this reminds me of the word sabotage, which is derived from the word sabot, a wooden shoe, used to destroy looms driven by wooden cards, like early iBM punch cards, destroying jobs.

      • Patrick, could you elaborate on “Seen that tree lopper before, its not a robot!”

        Is it a semantic distinction, e.g. the lopper doesn’t have the right servo/feedback/slavo/mastero/roboto relationship to fit the definition?

        Gde robotaesh? (In what field do you work?)

        I’m a lumberjack, and I’m SOL.
        I sleep all night and I sleep all day….

      • “Brad Keyes November 26, 2016 at 3:33 am

        Patrick, could you elaborate on “Seen that tree lopper before, its not a robot!”

        It’s driven by a human operator.

      • Automation and job displacement is a much bigger (and accelerating) emergency than #CashInOnClimateChange™, but how much media attention does it get?

      • Eugeene,

        Check out this “feller buncher” in operation. It can grab 7 or eight 12″ trunks at a time. Big 6′ dia spinning disc w/ cutting teeth and just grabs the tree and drives through it and carries it to the next one and repeats. Industrial innovation and efficiency at it’s best.

      • The machine isn’t being used for biomass. The plywood companies in Norway, Sweden, around the Baltic Sea use similar machinery. I first saw a video of that type of saw about 20 years ago, operating in Norway to harvest pine. It was semiautomated, with an operator to position it due to the hilly terrain and arrange the stacks of wood for pickup.

        Almost all the forests in the area are managed for continuous production- harvest, cleanup, fertilizing, planting, thinning, weed control, etc. There’s hardly any “virgin” forest left in Europe. Almost everything has been cut at least once over the centuries.

        It’s kind of funny in a way. Older trees build mass much faster than young trees. The cambium(growing) layer is always about the same thickness so the amount of it varies as the square of the radius.

      • That kind of machinery has been in use for quite some time. Definitely a labor saver and lowers the cost of logging. Eco-frauds should be happy with those machines, as they decrease the carbon footprint of the loggers by displacing numerous tree fellers totting numerous chainsaws previously employed to accomplish the same production.

    • Used to be that logging was the highest risk job in the US. Think of the lives saved and injuries avoided by use of this machine.

    • chaam They are called “Feller bunchers” have been around for quite some time but amazing to watch and operate. They are attached to the arm of an excavator on tracks, still operated by humans but assisted with computers to size/ lengths and sorting They are putting a lot of old time loggers out of work.

  2. Rely on biomass for fuel and one ends up with Haiti or much of the Middle East or Africa. I wonder what the actual property rights the forests in question had. A “public” property, or private?

  3. The law of unintended consequences strikes again! Too funny, green madness! I wonder how DRAX is doing now, should be full-on wood chip burning by now.

    • It’d be interesting if lawyers, lawbooks and The Law recognized such a thing as ‘the law’ of unintended consequences. As a consequence, the unforeseen sequelae of all acts would invariably be deemed foreseeable, and to that extent intentional (if not desired), consequences thereof. Among other consequences, manslaughter indictments would skyrocket.

      I wonder if the people who proposed this ‘law of unintended consequences’ thought through the ramifications first.

      • Patrick,

        I suspect you’re right. Expecting that kind of foresight is like thinking Shakespeare ran his “kill the lawyers first” line past Legal.

      • The unintended consequences referred to must be the offshoots of increasing the cost of labor by imposing higher wages. Makes all kinds of automation economically feasible.

      • Human ingenuity always works around political and bureaucratic fiat. Sometimes at huge cost, but elections do have consequences.

      • One doesn’t need to consider such details a ‘unintended consequences’ if you consider that all things have already been considered and the people who propose such things (biomass burning) can never be wrong! Just ask them! Their preordained conclusions about the need/results cannot be challenged because they are never wrong or questioned.

  4. I am somewhat curious about the amount of energy it takes to dispose of the waste from bio matter burning compared to coal.
    Since there is a major difference in the energy density , would that not mean disposing of the waste takes far more energy and resources, thus diminishing any gains in using bio matter in the first place ?

    • Well, some of the waste from coal burning, fly ash, actually goes in to concrete, a great use of waste IMO. Not sure about wood ash.

      • Wood ash, used in measured quantities and with care, adds needed elements to the soil; I use it in compost, bit by bit. As a mass, it may or may not be beneficial.

      • Bottom ash is used also in concrete and as the grit in nonslip floor paint, and as sand blasting grit, and is the grit used on black roofing shingles, which BTW is a the most common color used on both standard three tab and dimensional shingles. The list goes on and on.

      • Without “fly ash” some concrete mixes cannot be made, I guess that is my point. And used in special applications, so a benefit to modern life.

      • Wood ash contains potash which is a fertiliser so can be dug into the soil or mixed in with composting matter that will provide an alternative to peat.

      • For those that don’t know the difference in the context of a coal fired boiler as used in electrical generation. “Fly ash” is the ash light enough to be carried up by the heat. Bottom ash falls to the bottom as “clinkers” that a layman would call cinders though in large boilers the largest can actually weigh several hundred pounds. The fly ash is separated from the hot air so that air can be reused for preheating the ground up coal that fuels the boiler and for other applications within the plant. Bottom ash is ground up and transported away in either a slurry or pneumatic system. Over the last 30 years slurry systems for transport of bottom ash in the US having been being replaced by pneumatic transport systems because of the legitimate concern of heavy metals and arsenic leaching from the ash and contaminating ground water. Typically both bottom and fly ash go through further processing before they are recycled for other applications.

  5. I am truly shocked how could this happen how could they do it?
    We must pay some well chosen and highly paid bureaucrats to spend years looking into this taking years and much research funding to find that there is no problem as the trees have all gone by the time the report comes out.
    (do I need a sarc here?)

    James Bull

  6. Burning timber produces about the same CO2 per MJ as burning coal, and the tragedy is that a mature forest fixes more CO2 into timber than a field of saplings. If these forest-burning idiots cared about minimising the net production of CO2, they’d burn coal and leave the forest standing, and even plant more forest. The fact that they don’t shows their true motives.

    • It’s about a third less with a corresponding drop in energy output. So like E10 petrol, you have to burn more to do the same amount of work.

      • I think that is what he just said – same CO2 produced per megajoule. But, hmmm – biomass contains quite a bit more hydrogen than coal. So you are actually producing MORE “greenhouse gases” when burning biomass…

  7. There is this other little thing about wood from these trees. It is full of moisture. Moisture inside the cells, moisture between the cells and moisture bound to the cell walls… moisture that will have to be evaporated before the wood will catch fire. Now if you aren’t CONDENSING this evaporated moisture, it is just headed out the exhaust along with its heat of evaporation, only to condense somewhere not likely to be useful.
    How much water? Well… in the wood composite business you quote that number as a percent weight of wet wood fibre to dry wood fibre. So…100.*(Wet wood wt-dry wood wt)/(dried wood weight) is known as the moisture content.. It depends on the wood source and species but it isn’t uncommon at all to find 150% and more moisture content in raw wood fibre. ie, most of it is water.
    So you have to spend energy to get rid of most of that water which means a dryer to condition your wood pellets or sawdust or whatever. Usually these are gas fired or steam heated. Nuclear heating would would work here. (wink).

    • Not only that. Wood (dry or not) is made of cellulose. Cellulose is carbohydrate. The ‘hydrate’ part is water that also needs to be evaporated. That process uses up some of the energy released by burning the ‘carbo’ bit. Hence, that part of the energy released is unavailable for conversion to electricity.

      • Actually, the hydrate part is hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms that have been separated (from water) and attached to the carbon backbone of the carbohydrate molecule. The energy to do this came from the sun in the photosynthesis process. When carbohydrate burns, the hydrogen and oxygen recombine into H2O, releasing (stored solar) energy, not absorbing energy.
        Likewise, the carbo part was separated from atmospheric CO2 during photosynthesis using solar energy. This oxygen was released into the atmosphere for our breathing pleasure.

        SR

    • And isn’t water vapor ten times (?) worse than CO2 when it comes to global warming? Why produce more of it by releasing it from a bound state?

  8. This is exactly what is needed: Bird Life.
    Finally, we have a nature/conservation group to fight the greens.
    Nobody else is capable of explaining the completely stupid substitution of coal for wood pellets.
    Everything is wrong about this change and it will take a nature/conservation group to present the data to the politicians.
    Look at DRAX here:
    http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3588534
    Importing pellets from Louisiana! Transport by boat, transfer by rail to power plant, store in huge protective and ventilated containers (no, you cannot store outside like coal!) etc. etc. to produce more CO2 than with using coal! No engineer can convince the politicians that this is stupid. Bird Life is our best hope.

    • And that Drax was built above a coal seam so it didn’t have far to travel. Perhaps it should be moved to Louisiana now and a long cable back to Yorkshire fitted?

      • Yes, one more reason, among many, many, others for the stupidity of Drax.
        This was all very well studied and estimated by engineers, there is no question about this.
        However, the politicians decided to ignore them and believe the climatologists.
        The consequences are starting to be felt in the UK and unfortunately it will get more severe on both the environment and cost of energy fronts.
        Groups like Bird Life are taking care to avoid the climate, windmills and solar power issues. They now have so many issues against bio-fuels and issues about energy supply and cost and how this affects food production and cost. Their reports, showing real pictures of real destruction, not equations, are easy to understand by the general population who is already receiving their monthly heating/air conditioning bills.
        There is hope.

  9. “Bird Life is our best hope.”

    Well on that basis you would have thought the RSPB would be useful, given the damage done to bird life by gigantic windmills.

    But no, it turns out they are bought and paid for (with our money).

    When invoking charities to your cause, make sure they are real charities. If their funding is >20% from the state, chances are they’re not real charities at all.

    “A charity funded by the government is no more a charity than a prostitute is your girlfriend”

    • Unfortunately the problem with killing birds is not big enough, is too simple and a single problem of the windmills. Engineering problems with windmills do not count to fight the greens.
      With wood pellets and other biomass they can point to an infinite number of problems created in mother nature, not engineering problems. Much more power to them. Newspapers love this stuff. The Guardian will print this.
      These issues have been raised during the past two years by other groups and Drax has tried rebuttals, printed in The Independent, but very hard for Drax to be convincing. Also to rebut the multitude of issues is very difficult.

      • Drax did what it had to do faced with punitive measures against coal, and subsidies on offer for wood. It spent a huge amount developing wood burning.

        Then the government reneged on its commitment to subsidy, and Drax lost half its value nearly on the stock market.

        Perhaps a Brexit givernment will let it burn coal instead.

        Although it is on top of one of the few remainng mines in the UK, the coal is not very competitive: Coal still is imported.

  10. The lunatics remain in charge of the asylum. Agenda21 (or is it now Agenda30?) rules. No amount of logic can change the minds of the lunatics. Perhaps they can be trumped.

    • Read Agenda 30, Phillip. It’s a hoot!

      At least the old Soviet 5-year economic (actually political) plans didn’t have the SJW psychobabble.

  11. Burning wood produces Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (causes cancer), Volatile Organic Compounds like benzene (causes cancer) and Dioxins (causes cancer) together with many other chemicals.

    I expect that in a power station the burn temperature is high enough so that most of these chemicals are broken down. But, I wonder are they doing any tests on the emissions to ensure that these chemicals are not being released?

    • WOW! A Blast From The Past!
      Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
      Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
      Dioxins (from the Vietnam war)
      The environmental scare from the 1970s, just before Acid Rain was discovered.
      Back in the day, if you were doing research in chemistry, you were tempted to mention one of these three groups in a research proposal, because that was what was getting funded. Add to the list PCBs.
      (Full disclosure: I did PAHs for a bit.)
      Others I knew did PCBs.
      They were all Chemicals, and all bogeymen. Get you in the night, while you are sleeping.
      And all from burning stuff. This is Soooo 1970s.
      Let’s set the mood, 1970s on fire!

    • It is sustainable if you accept the level of burning you can re grow.

      This is ‘not a lot’ and is a way less effeicient way to turn sunlight into leccy than PV. BUT it is stored energy, and that is worth a lot more.

  12. AND burning biomass produces more CO2 than coal or gas.

    Burning of Biomass rather than reducing CO2 increases CO2 especially since if these forests were not cut down, they would continue to act as CO2 sinks.

    • Exactly, burning wood puts more CO2 into the atmosphere as well as destroying a major CO2 sink – trees. I don’t think I have ever heard of anything so stupid as this method to reduce carbon emissions.

  13. In 1957, I got a student job as a chokerman hooking up giant trees felled on the mountain slopes of Jarvis Inlet just north of Vancouver, British Columbia and thereby contributed, apparently, to a clear cut visible from, IIRC, the moon. I felt bad about that in the 1970s when environmental issues were beginning to twig the conscience of folks in North America.

    Today, and in Europe no less, this is a horror show. This is a manifestation of the ugliness and amorality of an ideology that wants to govern the world. It is far worse than the USSR was. Despite their horrors and the propaganda, they at least gave their children a superior education outside of the political sphere and they lead the world into the space age and became a formidable power rising up from ignorant peasants.

    The scariest chapter in human history is being written in Europe. They went the opposite way to the USSR. They went from the pinnacle of human development, freedom, economic excellence and education to turning this around into the brutality of another Dark Ages. Where are the protesters? Having been pedagogically lobotomized they only turn out for state sanctioned rallies to further deepen the misery and idiocy of it all.

    It will be history’s humor that the world was saved by Farage and Trump. When I witnessed the fear of the citizens of the unparallelled historical colossus that was Britain over leaving this creation of the living dead, I was fully awakened to the magnitude of what had been laid out before us. Thank God, the UK and the USA (at least half of each – the other half is brain dead). Another year or two perhaps and this option would have been foreclosed on.

    • Gary, as far as the last paragraph is concerned I sincerely hope you are right. ( as far as being a chokerman in 1957, man, now if there ever was a dangerous job that was one of the most dangerous ever.. Glad to see you survived.).

      • Thanks asybot. I look at the scars I still have from it whenever I want a nostalgic flashback. We dumb, but strong prairie folk were much in demand for this kind of thing.

  14. Biomass power plants — I remembered in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India cleared around 38 biomass power plants. They are not permitted to cut forest trees or fruit trees. They are supposed to use the material given under consent for establishment by pollution control boards. I was a member of task force committee of pollution control board. The committee came to know some of these are using fruit tree wood against the consent order. All the biomass plants were called for legal hearing at task force committee. The committee clearly given the guide lines with clear cut undertaking from the industry. They were warned if they violate, the plant will be first fined and second time it will be closed.

    The basic material used in these plants is paddy husk, paddy stubble — in Punjab & Haryana states they burn it on farm and this is causing pollution in Delhi — and wood waste after prooining the fruit trees before the fruit season. As this is having low calorific value, they illegally try to use wood.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • They only think things through far enough to bamboozle “journalists” (which is pretty easy to do) since the goal is to “prove” their case in the Court of Emotional Popular Opinion via sophistry and thus gain SocialLicence™ to implement their government-funded, tax dollar-sucking schemes.

  15. Birdlife found logging taking place in conservation zones such as Poloniny national park in eastern Slovakia and in Italian riverside forests around Emilia-Romagna, where it said it had been falsely presented as flood-risk mitigation.

    Cutting trees almost always increases the chances of floods. It sounds like someone really has chutzpah.

    Logging is not a problem as long as the trees are replanted. Properly done, forestry is the same as agriculture.

    • Cutting trees almost always increases the chances of floods.

      @ commieBob’s mimicry:

      The above claim is just another “green lie” that was being touted by the lefty-liberal “tree-hugging” greenies when they first began their violent protesting of Mountain Top Removal coal mining operations.

      All natural flooding is caused by too much rainfall or snowmelt ….. in too small of an area and/or in too short of a time period.

      A total of twelve (12) inches of rainfall in a specific locale during the five (5) summer months will not cause any flooding.

      A total of twelve (12) inches of rainfall in a specific locale during a twenty-four (24) or forty-eight (48) hour period will more likely than not, cause highly destructive flash-flooding.

      The ONLY time that cutting trees will cause flooding is if those cut trees or parts thereof are left in the river channel to wash downstream and “block” or “dam-up” the outflow of the river channel.

      • Clear cutting used to cut to the streams leaving them choked with debris, which helped in taking out bridges during a flood. Witness the 1964 floods in N. California. All routes in and out were cut by destroyed bridges and landslides. It was a month before any relief supplies arrived by land. And these convoys created a ridge route rather than trying to follow pre-existing roads.

      • The above claim is just another “green lie” that was being touted by the lefty-liberal “tree-hugging” greenies when they first began their violent protesting of Mountain Top Removal coal mining operations.

        Actually, protests against deforestation go back to ancient times. Plato

      • John p,

        When trees are cut the stumps and root system remain. That is all there was in the ground to start with and will take years to decay. Add the resulting laps to the surface and that will increase resistance to run-off and should last for a couple of years. Add the resulting biodiversity of low cover plant life that fills every available niche and there will be a net loss of run-off. In the short term (~ 10 years or so) there will be more roots in/on the ground than ever before. In the long run the natural tree regrowth will crowd out the lower level diversity and you will have trees just like you had before. Perhaps you should try to walk through a 5 year old hardwood cut-over. Make sure you wear your safety glasses and lots of protective clothing and gloves. Oh yeah, and good boots as there will not be many places your feet will not be crunching that wonderful diversity of a young and regenerating forest.

      • Actually, protests against deforestation go back to ancient times. Plato

        Oh, my, my, that musta been those ancient “treehugging” liberals that were staging massive rowdy protests against King Solomon for clearcutting far, far too much of the Lebanese cedar and cypress timber.

    • “All natural flooding is caused by too much rainfall or snowmelt ….. in too small of an area and/or in too short of a time period.” True, but .. forests have a water retaining capacity. A rain on plain in Spain is more likely to cause flooding than the same rain over a forest.

      • True, but .. forests have a water retaining capacity.

        Right you are, Curious George, …….. but it’s a very, very small rainwater retaining capacity that trees in a forest have.

        Because this is what a forest will look like iffen the trees therein RETAIN very much of that rainwater, to wit:

        And the above picture is not that of the “heaviest” form of rainwater.

  16. The destructive capabilities of modern government and it supporting bureaucracies almost makes you want to weep. Leading the pack I regret to say are the British, my own countrymen, who excel in this stupidity by a long way.

  17. There was of course, oldies may recall, a thing called Live Aid. And it was fairly successful in its aim of getting food to Ethiopia – seemingly suffering drought and famine at the time.
    Also at that time, Ethiopia was 40% covered with trees.
    Of course being exclusively carbohydrate mush that was sent, it needed cooking and the locals cut wood to cook it. Also they took full advantage of the spare time they then had to make babies, they tripled their population.
    Babies grow up, need houses to live in and hence need ever more wood to build said houses.

    All the trees in Ethiopia are now gone, save for a few in the gardens of government buildings, and Ethiopia is in a permanent state of famine and drought – even though annual rainfall is exactly as it always was.

    As if there weren’t enough precedents in history over the last 3,000 or so years, when a civilisation, any civilisation cuts down its last tree – that civilisation ends.

    But we all know, Climate Change was/is always the cause.
    So some of us may wonder, did the trees cause the climate or did the climate cause the trees?
    Its another of those pesky feedback systems that human brains struggle to grasp – especially when stupefied by a carbohydrate based diet – as almost all of us are on and have little choice about it.

    • It’s those pesky “fact-of-life” that the brainwashed lefty liberals prefer to avert their eyes and mind too. Outta sight, outta mind, ya know.

    • Easter Island. All those big heads there were probably tributes to the large minded masters of the environment and who ordered the last tree there felled for the good of all.

    • “Peta in Cumbria November 26, 2016 at 4:53 am

      All the trees in Ethiopia are now gone,”

      I take it you have never actually been to Ethiopia? Plenty of trees there, albeit, an imported species, Eucalyptus and grows like a weed.

    • “Peta in Cumbria November 26, 2016 at 4:53 am

      …and Ethiopia is in a permanent state of famine…”

      Don’t know where you read that, but it is pure bunkum.You would be surprised at how much food is grown in Ethiopia and even more surprised at how much is wasted.

      BTW, Live Aid money is still working and my former wife grew up then too.

  18. Still like the story of the British power plant that was converted from coal to ‘wood pellets’ even though it sits on top of one of the richest coal veins in Britain. They now import their wood pellets from the US. Said pellets have to be shipped via container vessels and hauled via diesel powered trucks that may put more ‘pollutants’ into the atmosphere than the coal plant ever did or would. But, the British are ‘reducing’ their CO2 contribution.

  19. I for one can’t believe that green energy corporatists clear felling protected forests for biomass would actually think that they could sucker us into thinking green energy corporatists clear felling protected forests for biomass actually exist. The cheek of them.

  20. who would have thought that providing billions of dollars of government subsidies for greedy corporatists to generate impractical amounts of electricity from “renewable” biomass, no questions asked, would lead to corruption, kickbacks, and large scale destruction of the world’s protected woodlands?

    Anyone who saw the destruction wreaked on the landscape and wildlife by wind turbine installers?

    • So what? Clearcutting is a widely accepted practice of forest regeneration. As well, in most of the developed world and especially the US, we practice excellent forest management. In 2 years time, I defy you to walk across a clearcut without ripping your clothes and scratching yourself up on side and down the other. These areas will be solid with new seedling growth.

    • @Shawn

      I think you are also a big fat liar. We will be going back to Virginia in few weeks to visit friends and family and I will look for those ‘large areas’.

      Most of Virginia (90%) is forested. I lived in a place called Forest. Trees in Virginia is like corn in Indiana or Iowa.

      • Well I live 45 minutes from Forest, which is a suburb of Lynchburg, and travel along Hardy Road near Smith Mountain Lake and see for yourself. As for the other idiot poster, The clear cutting muddies the lake with massive runoff. They plant back pines and after two years one may easily walk over the grounds with all the little trees. As a result of your erroneous assumption, I would point out that I made no criticism of harvesting trees. Runoff should be controlled IMHO. I have read elsewhere that NC trees are also being harvested for European wood pellets. Forgive me if I think German energy policy is mucho stupido.

      • @Shawn Marshall

        “Forgive me if I think German energy policy is mucho stupido”
        I don’t disagree with that sentiment [1] but it is not really relevant. German renewable energy mostly comes from wind & solar. Drax is the biggest consumer of US wood pellet exports, taking something like 50% of that trade.

        1. Germany & Denmark have the highest %age of electricity from renewable sources in Europe and the highest electricity prices in Europe.

        Germany has abandoned nuclear power and so is building a load (12? 20?) of coal fired power stations. German coal is mostly lignite (brown coal, rich in sulphur), so they have to burn more to produce the same amount of electricity and then use a decent chunk of that power in extract the sulphur from the flue gases.

        Germany has abandoned nuclear power and so has increased the amount of power it buys from France, where 90% of the power comes from nuclear.

  21. The other side of the story is that we desperately need DRAX’s contribution from biomass power here in UK at the moment .
    It is freezing , there is only 0.6GW from metered windpower to contribute to the 40GW demand , but biomass is contributing 2GW . It is a bright day so , until sunset even solar is giving more than wind .
    All those years building wind farms , all that money taken from consumers and taxpayers and what do we get : 0.6GW .
    At least if you burn “stuff” , what ever “stuff” it is, you get power.
    BTW, central London had a taste last night of the blackouts to come. Only a cable failure but a chance for Londoners to practice their survival skills .

  22. Ah, for the good old days, when concern about the environment meant concen about the environment, not concern about the Earth’s life-sustaining chemical and a future climate that remains feared by some but unknown by all.

    • Clearcutting does not “destroy the environment.” There, fixed it for you. So tired of this leftist canard.

  23. Re: Told you so, 14 years ago…

    In the UK and the Commonwealth, sue the government leaders and their minions for Negligence and Misfeasance in a Public Office.

    In the USA, sue them under Civil RICO statutes and Malfeasance in Office.

    Sue them before the two-year Statue of Limitations runs out.

    Just do it, before these slime-green scoundrels and imbeciles do any more damage to the environment..

    Best, Allan

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/11/12/renewable-energy-would-be-great-if-it-worked/comment-page-1/#comment-2340651

    “Told you so, 14 years ago…” ;-)

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/01/26/britain-faces-energy-crisis-engineers-warn-green-isnt-working/comment-page-1/#comment-2130269

    Sent to a few friends in the UK this morning:

    Re: “Energy bills will soar as green policies shut coal-fired power stations and cause an “electricity supply crisis”, experts say. Prices will be forced up as the UK has to import more power, according to a report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers today. –Craig Woodhouse, The Sun, 26 January 2016”.

    Congratulations to the IME for their conclusion – the IME is correct, but rather late in the game.

    As stated previously, we predicted this severe energy shortfall in our 2002 written debate with the warmist Pembina Institute. We wrote in 2002:
    (until recently posted on the APEGA website, now at) http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/KyotoAPEGA2002REV1.pdf

    8. “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

    I wrote the UK Stern Commission in 2005 that the UK’s approach to alleged manmade global warming and green energy was ill-founded and would greatly increase energy costs, with no benefit to the environment.

    In 2013 I wrote an open letter to Baroness Verma, then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. making similar points.

    I suggest we are now proven correct.

    Governments that adopted “green energy” schemes such as wind and solar power are finding these schemes are not green and produce little useful energy. Their energy costs are soaring and these governments are in retreat, dropping their green energy subsidies as fast as they politically can.

    I suggest there is a two-year time limit to launch a lawsuit for Negligence and Misfeasance in a Public Office* against the parties who foisted this costly green-energy fraud on society.

    Regards to all, Allan

    * Addendum:
    In the USA, lawsuits under Civil RICO have finally been initiated, as I suggested on wattsup in 2014:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/09/27/the-first-climate-change-rico-lawsuit-is-filed-by-defyccc-com-editor/#comment-2307586

    Post Script:
    “The test of science is its ability to predict.’
    – Richard Feynman

  24. The word Corporatists is a slur! Corporations are the engines of democracy. They bring us real, useful affordable things from Auto to Xerox machines in great perfusion. The term you should be using is Green Quack Cronies!

  25. If you really wanted to reduce CO2 (but why would you, plants are starving for it) you’d promote landfills. This is the way nature does it, by burying carbon compounds.

  26. The idea that you could produce power from wood waste on a sustainable, long-term basis is laughable on its face. Demand is always going to exceed the local supply, meaning you need to truck it from further and further afield, raising costs considerably, and ironically, raising “carbon emissions”. So of course you’re going to cheat, getting the wood as locally as possible, in whatever way possible, meaning you clear-cut, meaning you are no longer using just “wood waste”. But even then, you’re going to be using up the local resource, and have to keep going further away. Generating electricity from “biofuel” is dumb beyond belief.

    • And the same people that promote burning biomass that is shipped thousands of miles from the US to Drax will oppose building an electricity plant fuelled by waste [1] in large part because the waste is not local but has to be shipped in from councils tens of miles away.

      1. Under EU rules, councils are fined for every tonne of waste that goes into landfill and the rate has been increasing. The idea is that everything s/b recycled. Of course that is nonsense, many items, especially those made of a a mixture of materials, cannot be economically recycled. Most of those items, especially if they contain plastics, can economically be burnt to generate electricity.

    • Bruce what do you do for a living? I can tell you are stupid beyond belief for commenting on thing you are ignorant about.

      There is enough biomass waste in a 25 mile radius to supply a 25 MWe power plant any place that is not a desert. Supply of biomass greatly exceeds demand.

      Do you have a problem with those who want to make a living shipping biomass other places? I will be happy to explian to creeps like you why you should be denied a living.

      • @ retired: Bruce mentioned “wood waste” not biomass. I wonder if there is enough wood waste in a 25 mile radius of London on a continuous basis to run a 25 MWe plant. Can you find out without calling me “stupid beyond belief”? Thanks.

      • @Retired Kit P

        Civility helps a discussion enlighten both parties. Abuse enlightens neither.

        As well as @asybot’s point about cities, there is also the fact that you are not really talking about a real power plant that makes a noticeable contribution to the grid. Real power plants are measured in hundreds of MW, often with multiple units on each site.

        Drax has six 660 MW units, three of which are fired by biomass. According to Wikipedia those three units consume 7.5 million tonnes of biomass per year, all of which comes from the US as the demand exceeds what can be supplied in Europe.

        Drax is a huge power station (second largest in Europe IIRC) but even so it only supplies c. 7% of the UK’s electricity, so each 660MW supplies c. 1% of the UK’s needs. based on 25MW units the UK would need at least 2,263 plants. In practise it would be more as large plants benefit from economies of scale.

  27. Green Dominican Republic vs Bare Haiti
    Biomass vs fossil fuel energy policies have caused dramatic deforestation/forest protection.

    “the Dominican Republic long ago banned the production of charcoal to protect its forests and began subsidizing propane to wean its population from fuel wood. But that has not stopped desperate Haitians from risking their lives for more charcoal, which provides more than 60 percent of their nation’s energy.”

    The Charcoal War
    Haiti is trying to reforest. About 1/3rd of Haiti is now covered in trees, still down from > 80%.
    Haiti is covered with trees
    Europe is now experiencing the consequences of foolishly mandating “green” biomass energy that is “browning” its forests!

  28. CO2 is CO2 whether it comes from biomass or fossil fuel. In harvesting the biomass they should not make use of fossil fuels or of any equipment whose creation involved the use of fossil fuels. People should endeavor to exhale less. The biggest form of so called greenhouse gas polution is not CO2 but rather DHMO which is also a product of combustion of most fuels. Molecule per molecule, DHMO is a stronger IR absorber than the CO2 molecule. One of the biggest sources of DHMO polution are places that have been poluted with liquid DHMO. All such sources of liquid DHMO polution, at the least, need to be covered with plastic In the city where I live, at times, DHMO becomes so concentrated in the atmosphere that it condenses out as a liquid. The city knows about this problem and has installed an underground network of pipes to collect the liquid. Rather than dispose of the DHMO in an environmently friendly manner the city just dumps the liquid DHMO in a large pool that extends beyond the city limits. The pool is now so enormous that it can be seen from space. The FDA needs to act and force the city to despose of all the DHMO in the pool they have created in an environmentally friendly manner so that the liquid DHMO is not allowed to reinter the atmosphere.

    Then there is the issue of getting rid of the poluting gas in the atmosphere that traps the most heat energy. This particular poluting gas absorbs heat energy via conduction and convection but because it is such a poor LWIR radiator does not readily radiate it to space the way the so called greenhouse gases do. Some claim a climate sensivity of CO2 of from 1 to 4 degrees C. Well this particular gas has a climate sensivity of more than 20 degrees C. In terms of global warming. this gas is the elephant in the room that no one is talking about and to combat global warming it must be gotten rid of. As far as atmophereic gases go, this gas is the one that is primarily responsible for warming at the Earth’s surface. Getting completely rid of this gas in the atmosphere will definitely reverse global warming. Chemically the gas I am talking about is N2.

    • There is currently an outcry about sequestering used DHMO deep underground. There would probably be a similar outcry about pumping N2 underground!

      • Unfortunated there is already huge amounts of DHMO underground. In the county where I live, underground is considered to be a storage area for DHMO where it is both injected underground and extraced from underground storage. DHMO can be converted into fuel cell fuel by electrolisis but that takes a lot of energy. N2 can be used to make nitrate fertilizer and ohter coupounds that involve Nitrogen. In my home I make use of a gas mixture containing about 80% N2 as a convective heat transport mechanism. The outside air where I live is hightly contaminated with the heat trapping gas, N2, and the EPA is currently doing nothing about it. Then there are other heat trapping gases such as O2 and Argon that no one is talking about interms of how much heat eneregy they hold onto in our atmosphere. They are polutants too and their presence affects climate. The EPA should take action to remove all gasses from our atmosphere that affect climate.

  29. Where’s Green Griff to assure us that chopping down tens – hundreds? – of thousands of square kilometres of the Earth’s forests – with the concomitant destruction of habitat and extinction of rare species – is quite acceptable – necessary even – in the cause of “Saving the World™”?

      • “Cat is there something wrong with harvesting wood?”

        Not if it is done responsibly.

        Which at the moment, it most certainly isn’t.

      • Cat – show me where in North America, except perhaps on the occasional NIPF who is trying to make a quick buck, forests are being harvested irresponsibly. I’m a retired forester, so I’d like to know.

    • Catweazle666….
      Imagine my house, it sits on a hillside covered with fir, pine, hemlock, etc etc..
      I get a kick out of pretending to side with your sentiments about ‘concomitant destruction of habitat’ by biding my time, appearing to moo, then throwing out a bit of bait by asking a question. I gaze lovingly at the mountains surrounding Vancouver bc and ask.. Which of those mountains are old growth forests? We must protect them.

      Of course, the answer is NONE for two reasons. The first is that they are all what today we call second growth for the most part. The big and older trees were cut ( by hand saw ) by the inhabitants from 1800s onward. Today most of it is watershed reserve but second growth nonetheless. Today it looks from a distance like what it is… a pristine and very vigorous temperate rainforest filled with all kinds species including wild semi-urban bears, cougars, racoons, coyotes, owls, etc. etc.
      That is… it all grew back.

      The second reason is that ALL of the trees, animals, plants, snails, …you name it, (and ALL of what the enviro-scary priests say are PRIMEVAL) are pretty much INVASIVE SPECIES. How can this be? Well in recent geologic history, say until about 6000 years ago, my house and the surrounding hillsides were deep beneath a mile and a half of ICE. The habitat that existed under all this ice was clearly not supporting anything at all and if it ever did it was destroyed by the ice with the ‘concomitant destruction of ….rare species’.

      Yet the ‘pristine forest’ thrives today.

      Nature will do what nature will do and it’s pretty resilient.

  30. The green blight. That said, the environmentalists’ propaganda was a double-edge scalpel. Now that their choice has been exposed to public scrutiny, their selectivity no longer offers them sanctuary in the privacy of their chambers.

  31. Here in Thunder Bay in NW Ontario, Canada the socially progressive Provincial Liberal morons shut down our electrical generating plant fueled by cheap coal from Saskatchewan. Rather than upgrade the plant to modern coal burning standards the only two choices presented were to shut down the plant or convert it to bio-mass.

    plans for big new mine developments in this area, the so-called “Ring of Fire” raised concerns about adequate electrical capacity. No problem, said the Liberals, we will build a new high voltage connector line from Southern Ontario. This would use some of the “over-generation” afforded by the disappearance of Ontario’s industry to other countries over the last few decades. What could go wrong with a tower based power line around the Great Lakes (hint, look up Great Ice Storm of 1998).

    Local concerns won out but the plant was converted to bio-mass. Keep reading, it gets weird: NW Ontario, with more wood falling over in the boreal forests than we can haul away, is importing specially treated bio-mass wood pellets from Holland! I am not making this up, I just watched them unload a ship load at the terminal here on Lake Superior.

    Why the specially treated pellets? So they can be stored outside in our weather, which some would say is not benign year round. I guess it would have been seen as an even sillier choice if they had to spend the money and build the very visually obvious storage sheds at the power plant, right in town. This way, no one notices one more ship unloading at the terminal and the pellets are very dark in colour, almost, one could say, coal-like, in appearance and function.

    I would love to know the numbers for the conversion and ongoing operation, pellets versus coal upgrade. Another example of expensive green virtue signalling.

  32. “I’m shocked – … greedy corporatists …would lead to corruption, kickbacks, and large scale destruction of the world’s protected woodlands?”

    Not very civil discourse. What are the chances that journalists can get anything right? Zero!

    Based on 40 years in the power industry, Eric is a big fat liar. I have worked for no greedy corporations, I have experienced corruption, I have seen no destruction of forest to make power.

  33. The obvious solution is to burn energy dense, easily transportable coal and oil, and THEN plant the equivalent amount of trees. (In terms of CO2 emissions).

    Cutting, chipping, transporting and replanting trees is terribly energy inefficient, with great environmental disturbance, and with long lag times waiting for forests to grow.

    • The boreal forest (taiga) in Russia is almost 50% greater in area that all the forests of Brazil. Canada’s boreal forest is the third largest forest area in the world, after Russia and Brazil. Next largest in area are the forests of the USA, China, Indonesia, Zaire, and the Nordic countries.

      Fully 1/3 of the total area of our planet is still covered by forests, despite some really bad practices in recent years, especially those caused by idiot greens who encouraged the clear-cutting of tropical forests to grow sugar cane and palm oil for biofuels.

      Below is some more information on the boreal forest. You can fly all day over Russia or Canada and see nothing but forest – it’s not like we are running short. Nevertheless the slime-greens act like very single tree is so precious that we are not allowed to cut trees near towns. The result is that we have had disastrous fires in Slave Lake and Fort McMurray where the towns had to be evacuated and many structures were destroyed as the fires spread through the municipalities. These disasters were entirely avoidable.

      It is easy to find examples where the slime-greens have been responsible for huge loss of life and enormous property damage. What is difficult in recent decades is finding any examples of the greens doing good.

      Regards, Allan

      http://www.borealforest.org/index.php?category=world_boreal_forest&page=overview

      In the uppermost Northern Hemisphere, North America, Europe, and Asia have significant expanses of land. The boreal forests ring the regions immediately south of the Arctic Circle in a vast expanse that easily rivals the rainforest regions of the world. The northern boreal ecoregion accounts for about one third of this planet’s total forest area. This broad circumpolar band runs through most of Canada, Russia and Scandinavia.

      The circumpolar range of the boreal forest. About two-thirds of the area is in Eurasia. The sector in Eastern Canada lies farthest from the North Pole. Map source, Hare and Ritchie (1972).

      In North America, the boreal eco-region extends from Alaska to Newfoundland, bordering the tundra to the north and touching the Great Lakes to the south.

      Known in Russia as the taiga, the boreal forest constitutes one of the largest biome in the world, covering some 12 million square kilometres. Overlying formerly glaciated areas and areas of patchy permafrost on both continents, the forest is mosaic of successional and subclimax plant communities sensitive to varying environmental conditions. It has relatively few species, being composed mainly of spruces, firs, and conifers, with a smattering of deciduous trees, mostly along waterways. The boreal forest seems associated with the location of the summertime arctic airmass – it begins generally where it reaches its southern limit, and it extends to the southern most extension during the winter. Thus, it lies between the summer and winter positions of the arctic front.

      The boreal forest corresponds with regions of subarctic and cold continental climate. Long, severe winters (up to six months with mean temperatures below freezing) and short summers (50 to 100 frost-free days) are characteristic, as is a wide range of temperatures between the lows of winter and highs of summer. For example, Verkhoyansk, Russia, has recorded extremes of minus 90 F and plus 90 F. Mean annual precipitation is 15 to 20 inches, but low evaporation rates make this a humid climate.

      Also characteristic of the boreal forest are innumerable water bodies: bogs, fens, marshes, shallow lakes, rivers and wetlands, mixed in among the forest and holding a vast amount of water. The winters are long and severe while summers are short though often warm.

      Forests cover approximately 19.2 million square miles (49.8 million square kilometres) – (33%) of the world’s land surface area. They are broken down as follows:
      Total Area mil. sq. km.
      Boreal Forests 16.6
      Other Forests 33.2

      • “greens who encouraged the clear-cutting of tropical forests to grow sugar cane and palm oil for biofuels”

        “It is easy to find examples where the slime-greens have been responsible for huge loss of life and enormous property damage”

        Hilarious, Alan you has us all going there.

      • Tony, who do you think insisted that biofuels and biofuel mandates and huge subsidies were necessary to “fight global warming”?

        One hint: It sure was not the oil companies or the “climate deniers”.

      • Dear Allan,
        The proponents of biofuel subsidies and mandates are surely those who would benefit from them: midwest farmers. Most probably supported Trump at the recent election. Eric’s pin everything on the “greens” shtick is ludicrous but it gets ya’ clickin’ don’t it?

  34. It’s time for a surcharge tax in the U.S. on trees exported as wood pellets to the UK and EU. They are subsidizing the consumption and something has got to be done to stop the clear cutting by policy decree.

    • Quite an idea, Resourceguy. We could similarly put a surcharge tax on exported grain to stop clear cutting in wheat fields.

  35. I think we need a new reference page for the tonnage measure of wood pellets exported for green policy directives. The graph would look like a hockey stick.

  36. The Green Industrial Complex farms millions of acres of corn for biofuel that is forced on the consumer and millions more acres of clear cut forests for exported wood pellets.

  37. Higher CO2 increases plant and tree growth so thank you fossil fuels. Now if they could just increase the temperatures a bit more we would all be better off .
    On a positive environmental front at least the” Swamp” is about to be drained in the USA . . How about redirecting a tenth of what that scam global warming bilks tax payers by. Put it into clean water and electricity for the billions of people and animals left out because of the biggest scam in history .
    Out green the greenies instead of feeding more green wash corporate fraud and globalist ambitions of
    the UN and Club Of Rome .
    Stop the subsidization of green washers and corporations that wouldn’t exist without never to be repaid tax payer loans and loan guarantees .
    Stop fuel poverty deaths that are a direct result of completely ignorant government policies .

    The only ” WHO KNEW ” investigation needed is to haul crooked scientists,, government
    bureaucrats/politicians and global warming conmen into court to account for 100,000 ‘s of thousands of fuel poverty deaths . The UN / IPCC ring leaders mislead by omission the truth and the people crafting the wording knew full well they were misleading the public to facilitate their agenda . An agenda that was a death sentence for mainly the poor .

  38. Consider that about 90% of New England’s woodlands are privately owned. That’s an awful lot of natural habitat that could go up in smoke, quite literally. Deforestation has happened in New England before, in favor of Merino sheep farming in the early 1800s, for example, in which case, forests were simply felled and burned to no purpose other than clearing the land. When the bottom fell out of the sheep market in mid-century, most New England farms were abandoned and their former owners took the new Erie canal to Ohio, leaving their erstwhile sheep pens to become New England’s storied stone walls. Then the white pines took over, and by the end of the century, they were all felled for the timber industry. I remember as a kid growing up in Vermont in the 1940s, there was hardly a stick standing, and what there was was mostly blown down by the 1938 hurricane. There were no fishers, foxes, coyotes, warblers, or cardinals then, but they all came trooping back with the new hardwood forests that grew up under the shade of the felled pines.

    It’s sobering to think of what could become of these New England forest habitats if suddenly a carbon tax were to make oil and gas more expensive than fuelwood, and infuriating to think that it’s all for naught because carbon dioxide might not cause warming anyway (Google “Interesting Climate Sensitivity Analysis” for a discussion of this).

  39. @Shawn

    “The clear cutting muddies the lake with massive runoff. ”

    First of thanks for actually making the effort to state your reasons. That way you will not have to tell others they made poor assumptions.

    The reason Smith Mountain Lake is ‘muddy’ is the decay of organic matter (aka oak leaves) and the poor red clay soil. We lost an oak tree during a week of heavy rain. Water saturated clay turns to ooze.

    The silver lining of stupid energy polices in Germany or California is rural jobs. Instead of growing tobacco, Virginians are harvesting trees.

  40. “Civility helps a discussion enlighten both parties. Abuse enlightens neither.”

    James I agree. However, I suspect you overlook the lack of it in people who share your clueless agenda. I am blatantly uncivil to those who deserve it.

    “you are not really talking about a real power plant that makes a noticeable contribution to the grid. ”

    You would be wrong. Smaller local plants play an important role in maintaining ‘power quality’ on the local grid.

    “Real power plants are measured in hundreds of MW ….”

    Not true! I have produced electricity on small and very large power plants. They are all real and rating is more complicated than bulk power rating.

    James you have a very stupid big city mentality. It is true that big cities need big power plants. It is truly stupid to think that there are places that are not big cities and practical solutions for those places.

  41. “25 mile radius of London”

    Have not been there but I have been to the concrete cesspool called NYC and many other large cities. Large cities are a huge source of wood waste and they pay to ship it away and bury it in a landfill.

    “Can you find out without calling me “stupid beyond belief”? Thanks.”

    Sure, if you are a delicate flower and need me to tell you how insightful your comment is, you have it. Your self esteem is important to me.

  42. “In that case, you aren’t paying attention!”

    I do not pay attention to many newspapers.

    I was taking a course in dealing with the press. I person from a different industry asked about a story about the 5 worst polluters in the county that included her company. His reply was he was directed to do a story on the 10 worst. Since the newspaper was number six, the assignment was changed.

    Journalist are not a good source of information.

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