A Trifecta of Green Lunacy: The law of unintended consequences kicks in

Green Lunacy #1: £450 Million Lost Over Failed Green Power That Is Worse Than Coal
The Times, 23 February 2017
Ben Webster

Northeast of Drax, author Paul Glazzard, source Wikimedia

Northeast of Drax, author Paul Glazzard, source Wikimedia

Britain is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds subsidising power stations to burn American wood pellets that do more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, a study has found.

Green subsidies for wood pellets were championed by Chris Huhne when he was energy and climate change secretary. Mr Huhne, 62, was jailed in 2013 for perverting the course of justice/ LEON NEAL/ AFP/ GETTY IMAGES

Chopping down trees and transporting wood across the Atlantic Ocean to feed power stations produces more greenhouse gases than much cheaper coal, according to the report. It blames the rush to meet EU renewable energy targets, which resulted in ministers making the false assumption that burning trees was carbon-neutral.
Green subsidies for wood pellets and other biomass were championed by Chris Huhne when he was Liberal Democrat energy and climate change secretary in the coalition government. Mr Huhne, 62, who was jailed in 2013 for perverting the course of justice, is now European chairman of Zilkha Biomass, a US supplier of wood pellets.

The report was written by Duncan Brack, a former special adviser to Mr Huhne, for Chatham House, the respected international affairs think tank. Britain is by far the biggest importer of wood pellets for heat and power in the EU, shipping in 7.5 million tonnes last year, mostly from the US and Canada.

Drax, Britain’s biggest power station, received more than £450 million in subsidies in 2015 for burning biomass, which was mostly American wood pellets. The report says that the government’s assessment of the impact on the climate of switching from coal to wood pellets is flawed because it ignores emissions from burning pellets in power stations. The assessment counts only emissions from harvesting, processing and transporting wood pellets.

Wood pellets are claimed to be carbon-neutral partly because the forests from which they come are replanted. New trees would eventually absorb as much carbon as was emitted when mature trees were harvested and burnt. However, the report says that this process could take centuries — too late to contribute to preventing climate change over coming decades.
Mr Brack said: “It is ridiculous for the same kind of subsidies that go to genuine zero-carbon technologies, like solar and wind, to go to biomass use that might be increasing carbon emissions. It’s not a good use of money.
“For any biomass facility that is burning wood for energy, unless they are only burning stuff like saw-mill residues or post-consumer waste, their activities will be increasing carbon emissions in the atmosphere for decades or centuries. We shouldn’t be subsidising that.”
Full post

Green Lunacy 2: Household Solar Storage Increases Co2 Emissions, Study Concludes
Energy & Technology, 31 January 2017
Tereza Pultarova,
Contrary to popular belief, household storage for solar power doesn’t reduce cost or CO2 emissions, an American study suggests.

As charging and discharging a home battery itself consumes energy, feeding surplus solar power into the storage device instead of into the grid results in higher overall electricity consumption for the household, as well as higher emissions because the increased consumption needs to be covered by fossil fuel-based energy. This increase is quite substantial – up to 591KWh annually.
“I expected that storage would lead to an increase in energy consumption,” said Robert Fares from the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, “but I was surprised that the increase could be so significant – about an eight to 14 per cent increase on average over the year.”
Fares, together with Professor Michael Webber, analysed the impact of home energy storage using electricity data from almost 100 Texas households that are part of a smart grid test bed managed by Austin-based renewable energy and smart technology company Pecan Street Inc.
The results are relevant for Texas, where the majority of grid electricity comes from fossil fuels. As a result, the increased consumption due to storage technology leads to higher carbon, sulphur and nitrogen dioxide emissions.
The situation, however, is different for utility companies, which could reduce their peak grid demand by up to 32 per cent thanks to solar energy storage and cut down the magnitude of solar power injections to the grid by up to 42 per cent.
“These findings challenge the myth that storage is inherently clean, but that, in turn, offers useful insights for utility companies,” Webber said.
“If we use the storage as the means to foster the adoption of significantly more renewables that offset the dirtiest sources, then storage – done the right way and installed at large-scale – can have beneficial impacts on the grid’s emissions overall.”
The study was published in the journal Nature Energy.
Full post
3) Green Lunacy 3: Protected Forests In Europe Felled To Meet EU Renewable Targets
The Guardian 24 November 2016
Adam Neslen
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.

Full story


h/t to THE GWPF

Advertisements

263 thoughts on “A Trifecta of Green Lunacy: The law of unintended consequences kicks in

      • Maybe “the best laid plans of mice” are better than “the the best laid plans of men”?
        The problem with the best plan Man can devise is that there are people in it. 8-)

      • “Communism works in principle, it just hasn’t been implemented properly ;)”
        Ahem..your prayers are answered as I am clearly the obvious choice for Fearless Leader of The People’s Democratic Republic of Great Leaps Forward.

      • “Communism will work, all we need are perfect people to run it.”

        That’s actually not true.

        Communism doesn’t work in practice because it doesn’t work in theory. This was demonstrated in 1920 with the Ecenomic Calculation Problem.

        Without the free exchange of all goods, there are no market prices. Without market prices, rational allocation of resources is impossible. The best you can do is copy the prices of market economies to crudely calculate, but you will be less efficient than a market economy.

      • communism do work. People are indeed slaves, as implied by the “from everyone according to his capabilities” motto. And people are indeed damn poor, reeducated in special camp, or dead, as implied by the “to everyone according to his needs” motto.
        So this work just as intended

      • Communism could only be implemented in Heaven, where it isn’t needed, and in Hell where they already have it.

    • I think there’s a core in the Green movement who really just want to wreck the economy in the belief that anything they do to slow the economy or make it more inefficient is ‘saving the planet’. Of course, they daren’t admit as much – so they dreamt up sustainable and renewable energies. A core of nihilists, but most greens are just dupes.

      • mark4asp, CORRECT YOU ARE:

        the ULTIMATE objective of most of the globalist green whacko leadership is the MASSIVE DEPOPULATION of the planet — wrecking the economy, of course, will be included — and ALL the consequences, unintended or otherwise, be DAMNED.

        These green whackos — and their minions of useful idiots — are TOTALITARIANS [Communists], many of whom believe the earth can “support” no more than 500 million souls; where, actually and contrarily, such whackos would sooner consider them parasites.

        In their quest toward this population goal, they hold no empathy for those humans — and other organisms — who, at the blunt end of the club of their misguided policies, will realize unimaginable global poverty, pain, and agony … much of which will lead to their premature death.

        There must be NO MISTAKING regarding their sadistic self-serving goal, although, as you say correctly, they will never admit this publicly. I am confident that you appreciate this fact.

        [See: John Holdren, the recently excused chief environmental advisor to the insane obama administration … who is an exemplary of this globalist green whacko approach.]

      • Likely true that they think that, as they like to preach about the limits to the planet supporting people in ever higher standards of living. Counter to that, I like to point out that technology leads to wealth without cost. Take the example of the cell phone. Very little of the planet’s resources are used to make a cell phone, yet the utility far outstrips tons of 19th century possessions.

    • “You know how stupid the average person is right? Well, half of them are stupider than that!”
      – George Carlin

      … AND WE ELECT THE STUPIDER HALF TO GOVERNMENT OFFICE!

      Sincerely, these green energy debacles beggar the imagination!

      How stupid do you have to be to implement energy policies that are this imbecilic?

    • Tom H., PLEASE DO NOT BE DISTRACTED:

      the ULTIMATE objective of most of the globalist green whacko leadership is the MASSIVE DEPOPULATION of the planet … and ALL the consequences, unintended or otherwise, be DAMNED.

      These green whackos are TOTALITARIANS, many of whom believe the earth can “support” no more than 500 million souls; where, actually and contrarily, such whackos would sooner consider them parasites.

      In their quest toward this population goal, they hold no empathy for those humans — and other organisms — who, at the blunt end of the club of their misguided policies, will realize unimaginable global poverty, pain, and agony … much of which will lead to their premature death.

      PLEASE, make NO MISTAKE about their sadistic self-serving goal!

      [See John Holdren, the recently excused chief environmental advisor to the insane obama administration … who is an exemplary of this approach.]

      • I was using the term “green blob” as the mass of the movement, not the hard-core Ehrlich/Holdren faction. Most of the support for the greens are what Limbaugh called “low information voters”, who probably know much more about the Kardashians sex lives than the meaning of the acronym IPCC. Most of the green blob is casual support, just like many political parties.

      • Tom H., I like your “Kardashians sex lives” phrase … putting all such things into contemporary context; additionally, it’s a good “scale” which helps with perspective … while providing a much-needed chuckle.

        I suspect that you and I would be in agreement, for the most part, in this global environmental matter and, as I review my original response to your post I see that I should have been a bit more “tuned in”; not in any way as an apology; rather as a matter of clarity.

        My excuse — and I am sticking to it — is that I find myself angry whenever I think of what the “Ehrlich-Holdren [wacko] faction” is trying to do, in a global sense, with our respective economies, societies, cultures, etc. These people, IMO [and that of many], are possessed by a death cult mentality … by which they cannot see nor think straight … even in view of the fact that there is a better way, other than untold suffering and premature death to billions, to address any and all of our environmental challenges.

        This whacko cult is dominated by the notion of “centralizing the rule the world” — as totalitarians, dictators, tyrants, whatever — as had been done, for the most part, since the beginning of human existence. Within these self-absorbed and self-serving immoral cults, they continue to refuse to open their eyes and minds to a proven solution which is much more human-animal-earth-friendly. On top of this, of course, is the “green blob”, which you label appropriately, of brainwashed useful idiots by which the cult and its leadership would not be otherwise possible.

        I suspect that there will always be that small percentage of megalomaniacal totalitarians, dictators, tyrants, etc, who want to control the world; however, if the “good people” continue to do nothing — or, at least, less than is required, particularly with respect to providing truly classical liberal education [with a good moral compass] — there will always be too many green-blob useful idiots without whom, however, the megalomaniacs could not survive.

        Thank you for your review and comment.

  1. If I’m not mistaken, Canada has or once had a power plant importing chips from Scandinavia. This Eastward flowing madness has gotten all the headlines; at least there is that.
    ==============

    • In the newspeak of progressive socialism, ” I.Q.” now stands for Indoctrination Quotient and media exposure pumps this “I.Q.” up nicely.

    • The problem/issue is not IQ but rather the strength/confidence to question bull and the ability/confidence to change ones mind when facts/observations (say 18 years without warming for example during the period with the largest increase in CO2, 40% of the warming occurred before there was a significant increase in CO2, the tropical tropospheric no hot spot paradox, the latidinal warming paradox, and so on; there are more than a dozen independent anomalies/paradoxes) do not support what you have been told from the cult of CAGW.

  2. Someone should do a study on how long it takes for the truth to come out after the green lies have been disseminated.

    • David Ball February 23, 2017 at 9:47 am

      Now THAT really is a good idea. Pitch a uni’ awash with green grant cash and you’ll be wallowing in funding.

      • Green blob lies disseminated…
        …WUWT truth comes out 10 minutes after report is published.
        …Lamestream media, Truth comes out after hell freezes over. (not Hell Michigan either)
        …Society in general, Truth comes out after Republicans take office

    • Fear is a powerful motivator for the ignorant and fear mongering is the bread and butter of promoting lies and half truths, especially among politicians. We can clearly see how fear overrides reason when it comes to nuclear energy, GMO’s, vaccines, crime, immigration, economics, education, race relations, the Trump administration, climate science and just about any other politically divisive issue.

      You would think that exposing the lies should correct the problem, but as we saw with climategate, the truth is either denied by omission, obfuscated or denigrated by a left leaning MSM which only further serves to promote the lies at the expense of the truth.

      I’s afraid that it may require the inevitable km thick glacier bearing down on Manhattan before the truth about CO2 emissions will be accepted, which by then, it will be too late. In this case, it will take millennia for the truth to overcome the lies.

      • What, that glacier? It’s always been there. In fact it was bigger 100 years ago, according to the latest “studies”.

        When I look at today’s kool-aid drinkers, I don’t doubt that the goalposts could be moved that far or the memory hole dug that deep. Stupidity operates on much faster time scales than geology.

      • Rob,
        Consider how long it took for the idea of an Earth Centric Universe to go away. I see man caused climate change as being driven by the same arrogance that considers mankind to be the center of everything. The science that falsifies significant man cause climate change has been known for decades (or at least known to me). The science that falsified an Earth Centric Universe was known for centuries before it was widely accepted. The kool-aid drinkers have simply replaced faith in a religious authority with faith in a political authority and faith based beliefs are hard to overcome with facts because they are not based on facts to begin with.

      • For the vast majority of people at the time, earth centric or not, was not something that made any difference in their lives.
        For them earth centric made sense, when you were on something that moved, you could feel it. All their experience told them so since you couldn’t feel the earth moving, it wasn’t.

      • co2isnotevil,

        “The kool-aid drinkers have simply replaced faith in a religious authority with faith in a political authority … ”

        That’s something you believe by faith, in your imagination, isn’t it? I mean, you didn’t actually observe that happen in anyone, but rather just thought it happened, right?

        One day perhaps it will dawn on you that your mind is not really a magic crystal ball affair, that allows you to see into the hearts and minds of multitudes simultaneously . . I hope.

      • John,

        “That’s something you believe by faith, in your imagination, isn’t it? ”

        No, this is real and demonstrable in many ways.

        I’ve observed it with those who despite indisputable facts to the contrary, stubbornly hold on to the idea that Co2 emissions will cause catastrophic warming that must be addressed. They do so only because they have blind faith in the contrived consensus surrounding IPCC reports which tells them what to think while the fear mongering is designed to make them feel guilty if they think otherwise (another concept drawn from religion).

        Politics is also largely faith based and we see many with blind faith that their political party will make the right decisions, again based on belief, not fact. Politics, especially the left, draws from religion by redefining good and evil as party affiliation, where your side is good and the other side is evil. This blinds many to the malfeasance at the IPCC which distorts science to support the evil agenda of a massive redistribution of wealth (theft) under the guise of climate reparations. More evidence that faith and guilt rules, rather than facts, is both of Obama’s terms.

        We have also seen the decline in organized religion as religious faith gets supplanted by other faith based belief systems. Since faith often contradicts facts and/or logic, hence the need for faith in the first place, few can wrap their brains around more than one faith based belief system at a time.

      • Faith means confidence/belief, by means other than direct observation. I have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow morning, for example, but when I see the sun tomorrow morning, faith is no longer required to believe it will rise tomorrow morning . .

        Now, I realize (through observation) that some (giant headed ; ) authority figure types, have spread around the notion that faith is something else entirely, but I suggest you not have blind faith in them and there inferences. I suggest you consider that you believe virtually everything you do regarding scientific matters, by faith, and not direct observation. Which is not to say I think you err in this, but just that you err in believing something else is going on . .

      • John,
        I understand scientific matters based on the consequences of the scientific method. Faith is not required to believe that the Sun will rise in the morning, all one needs is an understanding of physical laws.

        Faith is to believe what you are told by some authority, based on the presumption that it’s too complicated for those not indoctrinated to comprehend. The beauty of the scientific method is that it can transform faith in something about science into either a fact or a fiction. The moral here is that faith must have no part in science and is why neither religion nor politics must ever interfere in scientific matters.

        Religion interfered with celestial mechanics while politics has interfered with climate science and both scientific disciplines suffered. The same fundamental human frailty is in play in both cases. That is, the reliance on faith alone.

      • “I understand scientific matters based on the consequences of the scientific method.”

        By faith, for the most part, not by direct observation, right? You’ve been indoctrinated, I’m proposing, to think that’s not what you’re using (faith), if what you are believing involves direct observation, by others . . but it’s not true. Either it’s something you yourself directly observe, or you believe it by faith (no matter how justified that faith might be).

        You been conned, I say, into believing that your faith is . . special snowflake “knowing” of some sort ; ) but it’s faith, if you didn’t see it with your own eyes, so to speak. That’s what the word means, and that’s “how” you came to believe the Earth goes around the Sun, for instance. It does not appear to be happening, but by faith you believe in what you cannot perceive directly.

      • John,
        You’re conflating faith with fact and the two couldn’t be any different. It seems to me that you’re trying to make a case for religious faith which is often cast as fact. Casting faith as fact in religion often leads to war between religions and this same influence is exactly why climate science is so broken and so hard to fix.

      • Religion did not interfere with celestial mechanics.
        Galileo got in trouble for two reasons. He presented the helio-centric view as if it was proven, and at the time, it hadn’t been. That wouldn’t happen till a few decades later.
        His major sin was publicly insulting the Pope.

      • co2isnotevil,

        “You’re conflating faith with fact and the two couldn’t be any different”

        I’m talking about how one comes to believe something is fact. If I walk into a wall, there is no faith required to believe the existence of the wall is a fact . . the belief just happens as a result of “empirical evidence”. If you tell me a wall exists, and I have no direct “empirical evidence” of it’s existence occurring in my intelligence systems, I can still come to believe the existence of that wall is a fact, but I must utilize faith of some sort to come to that state of belief.

        “It seems to me that you’re trying to make a case for religious faith which is often cast as fact.”

        Nope, I’m talking about how one comes to believe something (anything) is true. Religious, scientific, political, philosophic, social, historical, etc, etc, are just arbitrary classifications to me, in terms how how one comes to believe something is true. What I’m trying to do is get you to stop reflexively thinking that faith plays no role in how people (including you) come to believe things are facts/true in science related realms of understanding.

        “Casting faith as fact in religion often leads to war between religions…”

        Perhaps . . I have no way of knowing that is a “fact”, as you put it. I can’t do time traveling – mass mind reading/analyzing, to determine if that particular “casting” is what set a given war in motion . . people and their societies are extremely complex thingies . . But, I do know through direct observation that some of those giant headed authority figures I spoke of earlier, acted as though they somehow knew things like you postulated there . . Time traveling mass mind-reading/analyzing came very easy to them, to hear them tell it ; )

      • My point is just that faith and fact are mutually exclusive. You need faith only when you don’t have supporting facts and if you have the supporting facts, there is no need for faith. While this is fine for religion, faith has no place in science and consensus climate science is about as faith based as you can get.

      • @co2isnotevil This is exactly contrary to what the word “faith” means. “Faith” does not mean “belief without proof,” no matter what many people would like to claim. I have “faith” that George Washington was the 1st President of the US under the current Constitution, but it is not a “belief without supporting facts.” Nevertheless, it is “faith” because I was not there to see it; none of us were. We have to trust — or in other words, “have faith” — that the histories we’ve been taught are accurate based on a preponderance of evidence. Though a change in evidence may necessitate a change in belief, nevertheless “faith” remains in the absence of direct observation.

        Even the “faith” of the Bible is described in this way in the book of Hebrews; believers are to trust in God precisely because of certain supporting ‘facts’, not in spite of them. (Whether one accepts those ‘facts’ as such is, of course, up to the individual.)

      • co2isnotevil,

        “You need faith only when you don’t have supporting facts and if you have the supporting facts, there is no need for faith.”

        That’s the con, so to speak, that I am quite sure was advanced relatively recently, to facilitate exactly the sort of “authority worship” you seem to be so wary of (quite rightly, I say). The “goal” of the con was to convince people that what they themselves observe is not particularly relevant to “scientific thinking”, it’s just the “facts” revealed to/by scientists, that they ought to consider trustworthy if they are to be scientific thinkers ; )

        I say, as the song says;

        If you believe in things, that you don’t understand; that’s superstition ; )

      • PS~

        To grasp what I’m proposing has happened in regard to ‘faith’, perhaps considering what has happened to something like ‘racism’ will help . . I don’t know how old you are, but when I was young, indeed even when I was middle-aged, racism was not spoken of as something that only people of some “races” could commit/engage in, but now youngin’s are being taught that it is. When I first heard someone speak so, I thought they were a kook, an ignoramus, a fool, whatever . .

        It meant treating people of different “races” as inherently more or less worthy of respect, rights, opportunity, objective appraisal as individual human beings, and so on. The idea that someone had to be of a similar skin tone or ancestry as those who had the most power or wealth or whatever, in a society, WAS a form of racism to me, and in general I’m quite sure. The “new racism” is a con, perpetrated for “divide and conquer” reasons, it seems very obvious to me.

        In a similar sense, ‘faith’ was not something that pertained to only certain forms of belief (itself a down-twisted term now; lesser people “believe” things, experts “know” things ; ) but was used of confidence in general, when some degree of trust was involved. Agreements were said to be “made in good faith” (or not ; ) and spouses were “faithful” (or not ; ) and so on. The term was used to speak of a particular religious affiliation, sort of like one might speak of a political Party affiliation, but it didn’t imply “religion” had any sort of exclusivity on faith itself, and no one would have batted an eye if someone said; “I have faith in the scientific method”, or the like. One could have faith in their car not breaking down (or not ; ) . . It just mean a sense of confidence in something other than directly observable stuff.

  3. “Europe’s bioenergy plants are burning trees felled from protected conservation areas rather than using forest waste, new report shows”
    In nature there is no such thing as ‘forest waste’.
    Everything is recycled forever.

    • Very, very correct. Great example is Calaveras Big Trees State Park in California. It’s a preserve of giant sequoia trees. It is in the middle elevations of the Sierra Nevada. For a long time the State Forest personnel would “clear” a fallen tree without thinking how nature works, specifically the micro environment/habitat of the forrest floor. Fairly recently (last 15 years?) they have finally realized the important part a fallen tree plays in the overall system of the forest. Without getting into the obviousness of their failure to see the natural cycle of things or the details of what happens within that system or how they came to this observation, in simple terms it finally dawned on them that death and decay is an integral part of life and a healthy, forrest. “So smart we become, so late”

      • Dear MBob,

        Human beings have been managing the Calaveras Big Trees for 12,000+ years, including burning of undergrowth, seedlings, saplings, and fallen trees. Hundreds of generations of humans have been continuously (and sustainably) “clearing” the grove with anthropogenic fire.

        That’s why the old giants have lasted so long. Without human tending, fuels would have built up to catastrophic levels and engendered total-mortality forest fires, killing all the trees including the big ones.

        Let’s get into the obviousness of the common failure to see historical human impacts on the environment. It’s roots are in Victorian pseudo-science (that 19th Century Euro racial supremacy thing) that denies little brown people agency (or even existence). “Natural cycle of things” my backside. That’s a Green N-word crock.

      • Mike,
        The giant redwoods require fire to propagate and are relatively impervious to the kinds of smaller fires that would naturally occur from lightning strikes. Aggressive fire suppression often results in a build up of fuel so that when a fire eventually occurs, it’s far bigger than it would have been otherwise.

    • “In nature there is no such thing as ‘forest waste’.”

      So there is no difference between removing healthy trees from protected areas and removing diseased, unhealthy, or dead trees that can also pose a fire hazard? Really?

      • @Louis – When you remove those diseased, unhealthy, or dead trees, you are interfering with the life cycle of a forest. Forest are supposed to burn down as part of their life cycle. So if you are protecting a forest you essentially want to leave all the parts of a tree’s life cycle alone. For instance, the pine cones of some species won’t open until the forest floor is hot enough to roast any mammal in the vicinity. They will wait for years until that heat comes along.

      • Without the dead trees, the living trees suffer. And without fire, lodgepole and jack pine cannot reproduce; fire is what releases the seeds from the pine cones.

      • Dear MBob,

        Human beings have been managing the Calaveras Big Trees for 12,000+ years, including burning of undergrowth, seedlings, saplings, and fallen trees. Hundreds of generations of humans have been continuously (and sustainably) “clearing” the grove.

        That’s why the old giants have lasted so long. Without human tending, fuels would have built up to catastrophic levels and engendered total-mortality forest fires.

        Let’s do get into the obviousness of your failure to see historical human impacts on the environment. It’s roots are in Victorian pseudo-science (that 19th Century Euro racial supremacy thing) that denies little brown people agency (or even existence). “Natural cycle of things” my backside. That’s a Green N-word crock.

      • Dear Ernie and Hobby,

        Giant Sequoia do not need fire to “open” their cones. Yet frequent fires have visited the grove 10,000 times during the Holocene. If your theories about nature are correct, then why haven’t lodgepole pines taken over the Sequoia grove?

        Please do not destroy rare 1,500 year-old trees to grow junk lodgepoles. That would be insane as well as hugely destructive. Quack Victorian eco-babble theories lead to horrendous mismanagement policies that are not desirable, now or ever.

      • Dear CO2…,

        Wrong on all counts. Sequoia propagate like mad on bare mineral soil without any fire. Lightning strike fires were less than one percent of the actual fires during the Holocene (the other 99% were human-set). “Aggressive fire protection” is not responsible for fuel build-up; photosynthesis is. Fires “bigger than otherwise” presumes a mythical forest without human residents, which we know to be a false premise.

        The article you cite fails to explain why fires at 5-15 year intervals did not lead to an uneven-aged thicket instead of an open savanna of ancient trees. If fires bring reprod, and fires were frequent, where is the reprod?

        The gov’t “scientist” who wrote the article failed to consider that the fires were anthropogenic, which further confounds his analysis.

        Do you dudes ever ask yourself why your fancy theories depend on an inaccurate and arguably racist view of the actual environmental history? Because it is a very important question. Why deny the environmental influences of the long-time residents? Are you reciting science or Victorian dysanthropic ridiculae? How are we to repair and restore real science if so many cling to pseudo-scientific racist dogma?

        PS — like sequoia, lodgepole pines can and do regenerate without fire. They have been around for 200 million years or so. Very adaptable. Not fragile species on the verge of extinction because humans have upset the eco-applecart. More fake science alarmism…

      • “Mike Dubrasich February 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm
        Dear Ernie and Hobby,

        Giant Sequoia do not need fire to “open” their cones. Yet frequent fires have visited the grove 10,000 times during the Holocene. If your theories about nature are correct, then why haven’t lodgepole pines taken over the Sequoia grove?”

        Fire is requisite for sequoia cones to release the seeds.

        When you visit the sequoia groves, you can find trees that were severely damaged in fire several hundred+ years ago; and are still slowly growing over the burn scars.

        The rangers admit that they were puzzled for years regarding the lack of tree sprouts and seedlings. Smoky the Bear and aggressive fire control put out most fires.
        Someone noticed that in recent burn areas, sequoia seedlings were abundantly growing. A Doh! moment.

      • Kirtland’s warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii), also known as the jack pine warbler, is a small songbird of the New World warbler family (Parulidae), named after Jared P. Kirtland, an Ohio doctor and amateur naturalist. Nearly extinct just 50 years ago, it is well on its way to recovery. It requires large areas (> 160 acres) of dense young jack pine for its breeding habitat. This habitat was historically created by wildfire, but today is primarily created through the harvest of mature jack pine, and planting of jack pine seedlings. Kirtland’s warbler
        Sometimes you just have to leave things alone because they work better that way.

    • Germans Horrified That Forests, “Strictly Protected” Species, Being Cleared Away For Wind Parks – See more at: http://notrickszone.com/#sthash.x2AkdQZN.dpuf

      In Germany forests are almost considered sacred, and are powerfully anchored into the German cultural psyche. Disturbing them is absolutely frowned upon, to put it mildly. This is all the more reason why Germans nationwide have been horrified by the mass deforestation taking place to make way for industrial wind parks.

      The latest (shocking) example comes from south Germany, just north of Heidelberg, where the deforestation of the Wald Michelbach (along with the destruction of the homes of strictly protected species and biotope) is taking place.

      German SWF public televisions recently reported on a protest mounted by concerned and shocked citizens who could not believe that the untouched forest was being chopped down.

  4. When it comes to issues such as energy, the left calls in politicians and environmentalists to find “solutions”, and when it comes to issues such as education, the left cries “only ones that we deem experts can have opinions.”

  5. Of course, this “unintended consequence” is only bad news if you believe that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is a bad thing. If you believe, as I do, that we need to increase CO2, then burning imported wood pellets has a beneficial effect! But there are, obviously, more economic ways to do it – such as burning coal!

  6. Stupidity implemented by politicians, but “in politics, stupidity is not a handicap”
    beware of the green/environmental loonies: “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

  7. £450 million is just the cost for one year.

    Next year it will rise to about £800 million as they have brought a 3rd unit on line. These subsidies will run for 15 yrs, so could tot up to £12 billion all told (all to be paid for on our electricity bills!)

    • For many households including my own the extra bit on the electricity bill will not be something to be overly concerned about. However there are 4-5 million UK’s households, mainly old pensioners, single mothers and generally poor people who are certainly concerned about every penny of the extra cost.
      As expected the stupidity of the green/ CO2 policies have disproportionate effect on those who have the least.

  8. Pellets are cheap, on-site, but the energy to transport, in a bulk carrier is crazy.

    An average bulk carrier will burn about 1200 tons of bunker oil to get from Canada to Great Britain. That’s something in the ballpark of 30 billion BTU’s. If 10,000 BTU’s can produce 1 kWh of electricity … you do the math, my lunch is waiting

    • If you add in the energy needed to cut down the trees and haul them to the factory. Then dry the wood and process it into chips. Haul the chips to the port, on this side of the pond, then from the port to the power plant on the other. You could easily double the amount of energy spent.

    • How 16 ships create as much pollution as all the cars in the world
      By Fred Pearce Updated: 22:13, 21 November 2009
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1229857/How-16-ships-create-pollution-cars-world.html

      As ships get bigger, the pollution is getting worse. The most staggering statistic of all is that just 16 of the world’s largest ships can produce as much lung-clogging sulphur pollution as all the world’s cars.

      Because of their colossal engines, each as heavy as a small ship, these super-vessels use as much fuel as small power stations.

      But, unlike power stations or cars, they can burn the cheapest, filthiest, high-sulphur fuel: the thick residues left behind in refineries after the lighter liquids have been taken. The stuff nobody on land is allowed to use.

      • It’s not just the size, the fuel they use is very, very dirty, It’s what’s left over after distilling out the gasoline and diesel, it’s just about the same as burning coal, except that none of the big container ships have stack scrubbers.

      • That story hits all the green buzz words. “Probably” kills thousands, “Looks filthy”, “Potentially lethal”. All without backing it up with a single fact. The closest he gets is with the deaths from “Funnel fumes”. 55.3 million(55,300,000) people die every year in the world, yet they calculate that 64,000 or 0.115% for certain were kill by breathing funnel fumes. All without seeing a single body.

        Even though I constantly think that poor reporting won’t surprise me any more, There seems to be an endless supply of it. I saw a quote attributed to Albert Einstein recently, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity.” The Dailymail.co.uk article really pushes the boundaries of the latter.

      • “That story hits all the green buzz words.”
        Quite!
        It can’t be said that these blithering idiots didn’t go into this insanity with their eyes wide open. From acid rain to food cost in miles, buy local and CO2 etc. These issues are their banners.
        It is insane to cut down forests, ship them across the Atlantic (with all the added pollution, costs and billions in subsidies) and burn them in power stations that are sitting on hundreds and hundreds of feet of good clean anthracite coal that used to come up a conveyor and right into the furnace.
        I want clean air and water and to switch from coal to wood which produces more pollution is just insanity to the nth degree!

      • That article is very much out of date. The maximum permitted level of sulphur in HFO is currently 3.5% not 4.5% and will reduce to 0.5% on 1 January 2020. In addition, ships in the North American waters and in the Baltic and North Seas in Europe have a more stringent limit of 0.1%.
        That does not detract from the stupidity of transporting wood pellets to burn in power stations instead of coal or other fossil fuels.

      • MarkW, @ 2.29 pm, Did you count in the costs of keeping the harbors usable because of their size? Let alone the cost of building those ships and the harbors in the first place.

        Bigger isn’t always better, smaller ships can go to many more harbors, get closer to the markets, so they don’t need higher transportation costs to get the product to those markets. And so, in my view, are much more efficient than bigger ones. They all carry the same size containers so getting them closer to their end destination would give considerable cost savings. There are other things to consider as well. FI a smaller ship can carry a designated cargo to where it needs to go .
        These mammoth size ships ( I have seen them in the Dutch harbor outside Rotterdam They are unbelievably HUGE. are a remarkable complex highly computerized vessel, they need specialized loading and unloading facilities. They need special attention when approaching harbors, shipping channels etc. I am sure the investors saw a need and a profit. But, frankly, I am not convinced they are the answer, Just last year one of the largest container shipping businesses were telling news outlets that container shipping was actually declining ( not sure if that’s true, I believe the Co’s name was Maersk?)

      • World’s largest single shipment of biomass discharged at Port of Immingham
        http://www.abports.co.uk/newsarticle/216/

        ABP’s continuous ship unloaders discharge around 60,000 tonnes of biomass from the POPI S at the Port of Immingham
        The world’s largest ever single shipment of biomass has been discharged on the quayside at Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Humber International Terminal (HIT) at the Port of Immingham ready for onward transit to Drax power station.
        Almost 60,000 tonnes of wood pellets were unloaded from the POPI S – the first time such cargo has been carried by a Panamax-class vessel. The ship was loaded at the Westview Terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia on 2 June, before making the 34-day journey to Immingham.

        At 60,000 tonnes it took 125 trips to ship the 7.5 million tonnes used last year. (more if smaller ships were used)
        This ship is about 1/4 the size of the 16 largest ships. Even with planned reductions that is still a lot of sulfur.

      • “But I thought Sulphur is good”
        Doesn’t it cause acid rain and ocean neutralisation, which is bad apparently?

      • Eric Ha,
        The article linked is from 2009. Not state of the art?

        As Brian R notes, it does hit green buzz-words – ‘probably’, ‘potentially’, and so on.

        As Malcolm Latarche notes, the permitted level has fallen – and will soon [2020] be 0.5% sulphur.
        I note, appreciate and echo his comment –
        “That does not detract from the stupidity of transporting wood pellets to burn in power stations instead of coal or other fossil fuels.”

        An increasing number of ships are being built – or converting – to run on LNG.
        Many LNG Carriers do so; the ‘boil off’, typically 0.1 to 02% of the cargo, each day, is used for fuel.
        Because the cost of bunkers (mostly fuel oil to propel the ship, and provide electric power, and if you are running ten cargo pumps, a lot of power is needed!) is one of the most significant costs of operating a ship, after the capital/interest costs, and usually ahead of the crewing costs! – shipping companies routinely seek to minimise fuel use [so minimise bunker costs!].
        Besides designing in efficiency, partly through hull form, many other measures are taken.
        Regular hull cleaning and propeller polishing; weather routeing to make use of currents, or avoid head currents, and minimise bad weather delays; propeller ducts and propeller boss fins as in-life improvements; advising ships to alter course smoothly with minimal rudder use; reducing lighting use in unvisited spaces – notably unmanned engine rooms; always using Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) spares for main engines, together with preventive & condition-based maintenance; better paint systems for hulls’ underwater areas at dry docking – to reduce hull fouling; practising ‘Just-In-Time’ arrival, so sailing at a lower and more economic speed, but not needing to anchor outside the arrived-at port; slow steaming – we did that in the 1970s: an Oil Gulf to Europe passage, via the Cape of Good Hope, taking typically 6 weeks, at about ten knots and sixty tonnes of fuel a day, rather than four weeks at fifteen knots, but 150 tonnes a day; and so on.

        PS – Brian R’s Einstein quote:
        “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity.”
        I thought the full quote was –
        “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I’m not sure about the universe.”

        Auto – glad not to be at sea these days!

      • “The closest he gets is with the deaths from “Funnel fumes”. 55.3 million(55,300,000) people die every year in the world, yet they calculate that 64,000 or 0.115% for certain were kill by breathing funnel fumes. All without seeing a single body.”

        That is not the claim. Of the 53m people who died, many didn’t make it to the age of 86, the current ‘expected age’. The difference between the age at which they died and 86 is ‘explained’ to account for their ‘premature death’ by assigning to the entire population, all 53m, a set of causes. It includes literally everything: suicide, car accidents, murder, pneumonia, malaria, heart attack and so on. Each is given a weighting. Let’s say the whole group is thought to have died one week earlier than they would have, if there had been no funnel smoke. That can be repackaged to say that funnel smoke was the cause of 0.115% of the premature deaths.

        It doesn’t mean that funnel smoke killed anyone at all. It is that funnel smoke has been ‘attributed’ as a cause of the shortening of lives. Attributable does not mean avoidable.

        Thus premature deaths are statistical constructs that can only be applied to a cohort, not an individual. The switcheroo comes when the media (or other) report that 0.115% of deaths ‘were caused by’ funnel smoke. This error shows the meaning of premature death is not understood. A second level of error is to say that ‘166 people are killed per day’ by funnel smoke. That is the attribution by the committee to the whole population that died, divided by 365. It is compounded nonsense.

        The usefulness of these stats is in guiding public expenditure on the most immediate problems. It is used by professionals and misused by everyone else.

      • Hang on guys. Yes this story is a bit old but it is just one of many articles around at the time, it was the Climate Change Act 2008/2009 that set all of this insanity in motion. It was against this backdrop that the m0r0n Ed Miliband (yes he chose that nose himself)

        pushed through the mind-boggling 80 per cent reduction in CO2 by 2050.

        The pottiest and costliest mistake of our times: Forget his tax and spend plans. Red Ed’s climate change law in the Brown years will cost £50,000 per home, says CHRISTOPHER BOOKER

        What our ministers and officials fondly imagine — as we can see from their speeches and policy papers — is that we can somehow meet Mr Miliband’s target by closing down all those old ‘CO2 polluting’ coal and gas-fired power stations, to replace them with tens of thousands of wind turbines and a fleet of ‘zero carbon’ new nuclear reactors (though it looks increasingly unlikely we will get even one of those in the next decade).

        The fossil fuel plants we still rely on for more than two-thirds of the electricity we need will be allowed to survive only if they are fitted with ‘carbon capture and storage’, to pipe away their ‘carbon emissions’ to be buried in holes under the sea — a hugely expensive technology which is pure wishful thinking, since it has never yet been made to work commercially, and would treble the cost of electricity even if it was viable.

        Lesson

        The drive to ‘decarbonise’ our economy by piling on ‘green taxes’ and building ever more hugely subsidised windfarms has already added hundreds of pounds a year to individual electricity bills, helping to drive millions more households into fuel poverty. But even now we are scarcely scratching the surface of meeting our legal commitments.

        The one lesson above all we might have learned from Ed Miliband’s brief spell in charge of our ‘energy and climate change’ policy is that he is quite astonishingly out of touch with any practical reality.

        So lost was he in his green fantasy world that his only concern was the ‘climate change’ part of his job title. He showed no interest in the other half of the job he was paid for, the ‘energy’ bit, i.e. how to keep our lights on.

        Informed observers at the time noted how the only people Secretary Miliband seemed to want to talk to were green lobby groups, such as Friends Of The Earth, Greenpeace and the canny chancers making millions out of windfarms and the ‘renewables’ subsidy bonanza.

  9. So, the Artificial Green Blight is not entirely immune from the double-edged scalpel of environmentalists’ propaganda. There may yet be an opportunity to develop an energy solution mix based on merit, not the special and peculiar interests of a particular party.

  10. U.S. power plants next door to the pellet plants are not allowed to burn the material because it does meet air standards. But it’s perfectly fine to export the clear cut forest product all you want if you have the right political connections and rigged authority to do so for the rigged market.

  11. i have shares in drax since they were a coal and waste burner.
    they were told coal was out and wood was in and were promised subsidies to make it profitable
    They invested a huge amount in wood burning transport and technology
    They never got the extra subsidy.

    dont blame drax.Blame Huhne and the other ****s at DECC

  12. Bulk wood pellets are a hazard in shipping since they consume oxygen in holds and release carbon monoxide. Yes, there have been fatalities.

    • I imagine that ,like coal, you also have to worry about spontaneous combustion if it get wet during shipment. I know that at least back in the early to mid twentieth century sawdust piles left by logging in the North Carolina mountains use to occasionally catch fire, and have personally run across several that were smoldering.

      • I imagine that ,like coal, you also have to worry about spontaneous combustion if it get wet during shipment.

        Yep. Sawdust is a pretty good insulator. Might not even have to soak it to get the pile burning if there’s some damp wood in the middle. Another problem is fermentation which can produce some nasty organic compounds.

        One of the better studied wood burning power plants is the 50MW McNeil power station at Burlington, VT. Overall, the operators consider it a qualified success, It burns a mixture of lumber industry waste, sawdust, chipped lumber industry scrap wood , domestic waste wood (yard scraps, pallets, christmas trees, etc) — supplemented in Summer by natural gas because there’s not much home heating demand for the gas in the 6 warmish months. Most of the problems with noise, dust and noxious fermentation fumes have been beaten down. The electricity costs are reasonable. The plant has paid itself off. Took 30 years.

        One interesting insight is that the operators said that if they had it to do over again, they probably would have built the generating facility where the wood was — 60km North of Burlington — and run a power line to the city instead of bringing the wood to Burlington by train.

        So, kind of like fueling a few diesel engines with used cooking oil, biomass can be a viable power source of sorts in the appropriate conditions — a bunch of wood waste. Not too many people. Why not burn the stuff for fuel? However Burlington’s relatively sane operation has little in common with the bizarre undertakings in England.

    • The CO emission danger was investigated by a team at Clarkson Univ in Potsdam, the cause identified, and a remedy discovered. This was announced at the NYSERDA meeting in Albany in November. It was a very important piece of work as the risk was real, and the future of this energy carrier is large.

  13. Yes, it is nonsense importing wood from the US to burn in the UK.

    which is why UK green groups are against it and campaign vigorously against new wood pellet plants at docks.
    https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/felled-fuel-46611.pdf

    And in Germany biomass is from sustainable forests, except where people break the law. That old report from last November has come about as part of a programme of stamping down on that lawbreaking.

    The Texas report is just nonsense… a solar powered house with storage is drawing less from the grid

    • It did not say the solar homes draw more from the grid, it said that because of storage inefficiencies the solar house uses more overall energy than non-solar.

      The storage loss/cost is one of the solar inefficiencies that is ignored by the pro green stats. (If not ignored, then just ignorance & misunderstanding, as is apparent by your comment)

      • In addition, as solar is producing during the day when demand is highest, it does reduce the maximum load for produciton which top part is often produced by fast, but less effective gas turbines, rather dan high efficient combined turbine/steam plants… Thus indeed storing energy by households may be good for their own economics, but is less effective in CO2 reduction…
        If that is necessary at all…

    • I’ve been to the Smart Home neighborhood that Pecan Street runs in conjunction with UT. It’s a pretty sophisticated and high tech effort. They’ve been doing this for almost ten years and I’ll only say if they can’t make the numbers work it ain’t gonna work. And actually the neighborhood is really nice but it has a Stepford Wives feel with all the smart grid monitors and meters that are about.

  14. I call BS. On the first one at least, I didn’t bother to read the last two. But take a look at two key statements in the article:

    New trees would eventually absorb as much carbon as was emitted when mature trees were harvested and burnt. However, the report says that this process could take centuries

    I call BS. The only way it takes centuries is if the trees you are planting to replace them take centuries to regrow. A few decades would be more believable for trees that are used to make pellets.. But the real purpose behind this article is in the following statement:

    It is ridiculous for the same kind of subsidies that go to genuine zero-carbon technologies, like solar and wind, to go to biomass use

    So… this is actually more likely a solar/wind funded puff piece. The greens have figured out that subsidies are not infinite after all, and now they are maneuvering to try and steel someone else’s piece of the pie since they can’t grow their own.

    When they turn on each other, you know we’re at the beginning of the end.

  15. Not many trees that take centuries to replace are being harvested for wood. The demand for wood is great enough for the choice of most replacement trees to be ones that can be harvested in only a few decades.

    • For those that think using wood for heating is not carbon neutral, they should read up on sustainable forest management. A well managed wood lot requires removal of a small portion of the total biomass through harvest of mature trees and thinning of replanted trees as they grow. In the course of year a managed wood lot will easily add total biomass equal to that removed whether for heating fuel or lumber. Oh, and with deciduous trees, the leaves that fall every year do a great job of maintaining a rich and fertile soil.

      • Those dead tries return vital nutrients to the soil when they rot.
        If you don’t let any of the trees rot, you will have to start supplementing the soil pretty soon.

  16. From the article: “Green subsidies for wood pellets and other biomass were championed by Chris Huhne when he was Liberal Democrat energy and climate change secretary in the coalition government. Mr Huhne, 62, who was jailed in 2013 for perverting the course of justice, is now European chairman of Zilkha Biomass, a US supplier of wood pellets.”

    Is there really such a thing as “energy and climate change secretary”? Is that the official title?

    Mr. Huhne, as a government official, promoted the government use of biomass, and now he’s selling biomass. No conflict there.

    • The UK had a Department of Energy and Climate Change. One half of the job it couldn’t affect and in the other half of the job it was ineffective. In 2016 it was renamed in shame but it’s purpose is still the same.

      Stupider still, the UK has a Environmental Audit Committee. It’s in the mould of the Economic Audit Committee. Ever piece of legislation has had to go before the Economic Audit Committee so as Parliament can see if it is affordable in terms of money. That’s well established and makes sense.

      Now the Environmental Audit Committee has been created so as Parliament can see if it is affordable in terms of CO2 emissions. What is the cost of CO2 emissions? No-one knows so everything is bad.
      It’s an anti-investment institution.

      • Yes, but the new UK government was savvy enough to spin off the responsibilty for real, reliable energy in the form of a separate legal entity called the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA)

  17. here is the problem I have with so called conservatives opining on climate. You are right on this one issue, the fallacy of anthropogenic global warming. In all other respects, you are just as fanatical as the other side that you decry.

    For instance: in item2, the article actually says that storage makes sense for utilities. There is nothing lunatic about it. Neither do I really understand the argument about homes, if you feed your own solar energy into your own storage. Where is the waste exactly? As long as you are not truly independent from the grid, this may be true, but not if you store energy that you yourself generated.

    More broadly, the problem with fossil fuels is not the carbon dioxide, but insufficient quantity to bring 7.5 billion people, going on 10 billion, to anything resembling western living standards. Current price of oil, not particularly low anyway, is still an artifact of stalled economies, stalled because of the debt crisis. It peaked at 155US$/barrel in 2008 and would go north of a 100 in a hurry if that debt crisis got resolved. Anything north of 100 aborts economic growth all over again.

    You should say thank you to subsidies for the electric or a hybrid car being a market reality, rather than something we talk about, no doubt in disparaging terms. Leave it to the markets and, empirically speaking, markets impoverish enough people to balance supply and demand. Otherwise known as economic inequality. If we do not mind 80%+ of world population in perpetual poverty, we can rely on fossil fuels forever, or at least for a long time to come. Trouble is, that 80% might just get an idea to stage themselves a revolution. The rest becomes history.

    • Mirek, you talk of ‘insufficient quantity to bring 7.5 billion people, going on 10 billion, to anything resembling western living standards.’

      Sorry, flat out wrong. There’s greater accessible reserves of coal, gas and oil than at any previous point in human history, but there’s also insufficient world bank funding to develop coal energy plants in Africa and insufficient will from influential global politicians to ditch their ‘renewables’ obsession. That’s the only problem.

      • The sad thing is that it was fossil fuels that lifted well over half the world’s population out of poverty.
        The idea that 90% of the world’s population is mired in poverty is something so incredibly stupid that only a socialist could believe it without imploding.

    • “if you feed your own solar energy into your own storage. Where is the waste exactly? ”
      With any form of storage, and with any conversion, you simply don’t get out as much as you put in.

    • The inefficiency is the fact that batteries and chargers are only 90 to 95% efficient when charging, and a similar amount discharging.
      As the article stated, 8 to 15% of your energy is lost.
      There’s nothing mysterious or nefarious about it. It’s just a factor that many choose to overlook.

      • It is also the case that batteries do not last forever. The money spent periodically replacing those batteries could be used to buy a lot electricity. The value of the time spent managing and performing the maintenance of the batteries should also be considered. And in a free market economy, where money can earn interest, which we haven’t enjoyed for eight years, the opportunity cost of the battery system, basically the interest foregone, could also be used to buy a lot of electricity.

        That said, “inefficiencies” may not be as costly as we think. It’s 31F outside right now, and my forced air heater is cycling on and off every hour or two. If I was using a 1980s style PC to access the web, it would be consuming 150- to 250 W. All of those watts would supplement the home heating system, so the power wouldn’t be wasted. In fact, it would be produced in just the right place … where I am. This probably wouldn’t be true for the power conversions required to match a 12- or 24v DC system to 120v AC, since those converters are often in an unheated area, but this needn’t be true in principle. The heating benefit of “inefficient” electrical appliances wouldn’t be realized in Texas in the summer, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered in Montana in the winter. Which most sentient beings would do. However, when planning the operation of an entire country’s economy, our socialist pals know the they need to aim low, so such nuanced considerations are never in play. Socialism is designed for idiots, and its beneficiaries never disappoint. Just dabbling in socialism, we end up replacing incandescent light bulbs, that have no intrinsic toxic dangers, with compact fluorescent bulbs that bring a minute amount of mercury into our living spaces, where it will remain should we accidentally break the darn thing.

      • What about the embedded grid energy in the batteries and panels? The only way the panels and batteries are the price they are is because they are manufactured with coal-fired grid electricity, the renewable sources being too expensive.

        A ‘solar powered’ home has a huge amount of grid electricity invested in it. It doesn’t surprise me at all that the total energy ‘requirement’ is larger. Passive solar heating is another story. That pays back big time.

    • So taking money from hard working people in order to fund something that not only can’t, but will never work, is something we should be glad of?
      You are wrong by an order of magnitude in your belief that there isn’t enough fossil fuel to provide power for the whole world. Beyond that, if fossil isn’t enough, there’s nuclear and other options. All more viable than the forever failing “renewables”.

    • You do, at some level, realize Exxon-Mobil or BP could divert some of their drilling and exploration costs into huge fields of solar panels if they wanted to right?

  18. Poverty is caused by governments. Supplying everything needed to sustain life assures a society of some that just exist.

    If natural selection was not inhibited by forced reallocation, the poor would either work or die.

    I reject the idea petroleum is under priced or it has been stolen from the poor. For most of the world, excluding North America, petroleum is a state owned monopoly. Mexico included.

  19. Surely Trump can somehow put a stop to the destruction of American forests to supply Drax.?

    I hope someone close to him brings it up for discussion.

      • Not really. There is no tree farm that can make an acceptable ROI on this very marginal edge of the market. They are clear cutting from marginal timber lands that are privately owned but not professionally or corporately managed.

      • Saving trees is like saving corn. It’s a crop. And it makes about as much sense to burn trees for power as it does to turn corn into ethanol and burn that for power.

    • Yes. I wonder if Huhne knew/planned to be a Director of a wood chip company when he became CC Minister, or after he came out of prison. Whatever, it sucks. I wish we had a law that prevented ex-politicians taking up high-paid posts with companies they were close to in their Ministry. Oh yes. We do, don’t we?

  20. The fact that Chris Huhne is chairman of a biopellet outfit is the clearest possible evidence that the whole thing is a scam.

  21. O/T
    Antarctic sea ice minimum looks like its about to happen over the next few days.
    In the satellite recorded era, it appears to be the lowest area yet.
    There has been a noticable change in wind this season being the main driver.

    • Beware the graphs. There were some changes in estimation algorithms around a year ago. They happened right around the time so many of the graphs on the sea ice page went haywire and the patterns changed on both the arctic and Antarctic sea ice graphs shortly after.

  22. The solution for Great Britain is to grow forests offshore, on giant barges located in the Forth of Firth and the Thames estuary. This will be a nice complement to offshore wind farms. My analysis shows a thermal plant burning trees harvested from offshore farms will deliver electricity at a net £32 per megawatt, if we include the economic benefit derived from bargeyards and hundreds of workers turned into offshore lumberjacks.

    • The solution for Great Britain is going to come on line sooner than Greenies expect, i.e., natural gas. Old plants can be converted from coal and probably wood pellets. Fracking is about to begin. It will make Britain energy independent with the stupid ones there fighting tooth and nail.

    • What a great concept! You could tow the barges down to the tropics to take advantage of the higher temperatures and better sunlight, at least in the winter. Or better yet, have a huge fleet of barges constantly cycling from the Thames to the Caribbean and back, riding the Gulf Stream, driven by large sails, with the harvest occurring as the barge nears Merry England. Giant reverse osmosis water plants would be needed to convert sea water into fresh. Crews could be impressed from low-income neighborhoods throughout the Kingdom. Properly accounted for, my analysis shows this would reduce the cost to £29 per megawatt. And as Nancy Pelosi reminded us only too often, every dollar spent by the government on welfare benefits returns two dollars in economic growth. This just gets better and better!

  23. #2 is not necessarily correct. Today, I have produced 29 KWH from my solar system to the infrastructure. That infrastructure includes the loads on that part of my house this is grid tied. No grid power has been purchased for charging my battery bank since the system has been turned on. Because of this, I do not necessarily see how my solar system has increased the output of CO2. Personally, I am of the solar effects school of climate, so I do not think it matters, but still. I am sure you can screw anything up, especially if you are the government, Drax is a vivid example.

  24. All this wasted time, money and brainpower. For a fraction we could have retrofitted all the coal plants with scrubbers that didn’t have and done a pile of research into burning coal cleanly in an oxyfuel type plant.

    There is a lot of coal in a lot of countries so count on it getting used. No amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth by the enviro/political groups are going to stop it so let’s do it as clean as possible.

  25. Ran into a guy selling biomass boilers to schools in Vermont. Pleasent chat until I kept asking more details about emmisions and cost savings. From my experience he was only prepared to sell to believers and his cost savings only worked with generous tax subsidies.

    • many of the estates owned by the great and the good in the uk are having biomass plants installed at the taxpayers expense as we speak. i assume the owners are well informed of how long the subsidies last considering their connections.

  26. Meanwhile China keeps building coal plants to generate electricity to refine aluminum to dump on the world market.

    Because the English speaking world must pay for the British East India Company and the opium problem it caused…then two opium wars..stunting China for over two centuries and making it easy pickings for fascist Japan.

  27. It is interesting to note that Rentech, a supplier of wood pelets to Drax Energy, is taking a big hit in the market. There are also investigations into the company. “Goldberg Law PC Announces an Investigation of Rentech, Inc. and Advises Investors with Losses to Contact the Firm”. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/shareholder-alert-goldberg-law-pc-162600160.html
    Rentech started as a Coal-to-Liquids firm developing Fischer-Tropsch technology. When the NGO’s came out strongly against coal, even with CCS, Rentech morphed into Biomass-to-Liquids. They were given a million hectares of land in Ontario, Canada if only they would harvest it. Free feedstock for the taking. But they couldn’t make that project work. But they hired a wood pellet advocate who became president of the company. They built wood pellet plants but had to recently shut them down for a number of reasons. So much for another Green Energy company. http://www.rentechinc.com/

  28. Easy to spend other peoples money.
    I’m trying really hard to not get my dander up.
    After all it is only Thursday.

  29. Griff writes,

    “The Texas report is just nonsense… a solar powered house with storage is drawing less from the grid”

    I am not anti-solar, I anti-stupid.

    Say I am required by a mandate to make electricity with solar PV. I am an engineer so it is not my job to question the political motivation but I establish some criteria for doing the work just like I would in nuclear power.

    Safety comes first. I especially do not want to hurt children. PV have caused house fires. Batteries produce hydrogen and explode. Then I must think of the workers. Going up on ladders is one of the most frequent cause of occupational deaths.

    Of course my goal is to make electricity. So I look at industry experience. A utility scale PV in Tucson has a capacity factor (CF) of 19% compared to the theoretical 20%. The range of capacity factor for less idea locations is 0 % to 14%.

    So how about storage. That will reduce the amount of power produced by 20%. As I have discussed, there are safety issues. There are also environmental issues. Unless I can find a compelling reason for storage, no need to consider the environmental cost.

    I have batteries in our motorhome and sailbareoat. Currently we are off grid at Lake Mead running out computers off the inverter since being grid would mean being in a crowded RV park.

    What other criteria should I consider? Griff did mention places that people can not live. There are a few more utility scale PV sites that jsut a few years ago. No one can live there. For safety reasons, you can not like in a house with PV on the roof.

    So if you listen to all the stupid people like Eric W and Griff, nothing gets done. However, tell me what you want done, I will get it done by minimizing risk and cost.

    Just to make Griff happy, I will photo shop some PV panels in front of the 1600 MWe nuke plant. He will never know the difference.

    • This is the thing I have a problem with: “As charging and discharging a home battery itself consumes energy, feeding surplus solar power into the storage device instead of into the grid results in higher overall electricity consumption for the household, as well as higher emissions because the increased consumption needs to be covered by fossil fuel-based energy. This increase is quite substantial – up to 591KWh annually.”

      If I am feeding power into the batteries from the solar panels, that is indeed less power that I have that could otherwise be sold into the grid or used within my house. Never the less, I am still providing power to my house or feeding power into the grid or both with my solar panels. The consumption of power to condition my large bank of batteries does not have to be covered by fossil fuel based energy. As far as the grid is concerned, I could just be one of the folks with a batch of panels, a grid tie inverter and NO batteries. Where the 591 KWH annual wag comes in is anybody’s guess. In my case I guess up to includes zero, but I do not regard zero as substantial.

      Yes, a lead acid battery room has to be treated with respect and properly ventilated. Stuff capable of producing lots of current when you drop a wrench on the terminals has to be respected too. Still, if you do NEMA it is probably as safe as anything else in your house such as the ng line.

      • “Still, if you do NEMA it is probably as safe as anything else in your house such as the ng line.”

        I agree unless you are and idiot. If you put solar PV on your roof for a tax credit, you qualify as an idiot.

      • ShrNfr: Assume your house uses 10,000 KWHr per year. Next assume you have solar PV that generates 5,000 KWHr per year. That means you buy 5,000 KWHr from the grid. Now, add batteries that run on some kind of duty cycle for some reason. Charging and discharging the batteries and running the inverter add about 10% because they are not perfect. If you use the batteries for half of your consumption, the added energy in your battery system uses .5 * 10% or 5% of your 10,000 KWHr per year, or another 500 KWHr per year to your total consumption. Since the solar PV still generates 5,000 KWHr per year, that means you will purchase that added 500 KWHr from the grid.

        The only reason for a homeowner to buy battery storage is to use the energy if the grid goes down. You can run your fridge day and night on your solar PV. The reason why utilities are buying them is to level out the intermittent wind farms.

      • The article just isn’t making sense, When I see an article with a summary about a scientific paper, and there is no link to the original paper, ore even a link to an abstract of the original paper; my Hookey meter tends to peg over pretty hard. Seems to me that resistive and inductive losses in the grid would cancel out a larger portion of the charging/discharging inefficiencies.

      • The grid losses still exist whether or not you are using batteries.
        So battery/charger losses are on top of the grid losses.
        Think of it this way. Assume a battery pack w/o any solar cells. (Battery instead of backup generator?)
        The battery/charger losses mean you need more grid power.
        Now put the solar cells back in. Battery/charger losses mean that there is less usable power coming from the solar cells, so you need more grid power to make up for that fact.
        Put your bogosity meter back on ice.

  30. Here in Australia, the government started by privatising the electricity.

    Then, a while later, they offered massive subsidies for people to place solar panels on their roofs. A cashback on the panels themselves, and fantastic prices for the electricity that was generated and sold back to the grid.

    The effect was marked. Electricity consumption plummeted.
    It has been declining every year since 2007, which is around the same time as all this started.

    What was the effect of this though? Well, unsurprisingly, electricity generators and retailers still want to make profits for their shareholders even though demand is falling off a cliff. Electricity is an essential resource. There are only a handful of generators and retailers in Australia…

    So they jack up the price accordingly, to force profits. Conventional supply and demand theory doesn’t work in an oligopoly, for an essential resource. Oops!

    So as a result, profits for electricity generators and retailers soared. Electricity was, and still remains, one of the most profitable untertakings in Australia.

    Only now, 10 years later, there are whispers that the market is broken and the privatised companies manipulate it regularly to gouge consumers to maximise prices and profits.

    And why wouldn’t they?

    • Lets see. The government offers people tons of other peoples money to put a product that doesn’t work on their homes.
      Because of this private operators become less efficient as they sell less power, plus the demand for their product becomes more unpredictable which forces them to operate their plants less efficiently.
      In order to go out of business they are forced to increase their prices.

      And from this you conclude that private power production is the villain?

    • Freddy said
      “Here in Australia, the government started by privatising the electricity.”

      Fancy that; The government gets out because they know what is going to happen. In the process they destroy other peoples money and have a scape goat for what they have created. More proof to me that the whole purpose was to ruin western economies while shifting the blame. Freddy it worked for you. You bought the magic trick. Keep your eye on the pea.

  31. “…Mr Brack said: “It is ridiculous for the same kind of subsidies that go to genuine zero-carbon technologies, like solar and wind, to go to biomass use that might be increasing carbon emissions. It’s not a good use of money….”

    All other subsidies are waste of money. Kettle calling pot brack.

  32. As several folk have suggested, the second story about solar is slightly one-sided. It is certainly true that storing electric power before consuming it will involve losses. Duh. But at it’s best this kind of storage is either about moving towards energy independence at the household level, or about smart electronics using it for grid smoothing (calling on a zillion household batteries for five minutes after the start of half time when a million people are making a cup of tea).

    Short term issues remain volume and cost. There are not enough lithium ion batteries made worldwide to keep a small US State or UK County going for a couple of days, let alone a month of snowfall.

    And yes woodburning at Drax is an absolute blithering nonsense. In Britain we ran out of wood as an energy source in the 16th century and started using coal. Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it

    • Lithium batteries will soon be run off the market by super capacitors. Don’t invest a penny in lithium.

  33. As an aside, that is a seriously impressive power station. I remember the first time I saw it, from a distance, cutting over on the M62 in order to eventually work my way down along A roads and B roads to King’s Lynn and then onto Cambridge.

  34. I’ve said it before, when this was first proposed:

    The obvious solution is to establish pineapple farms in Greenland. After they have been collected using electric vehicles, recharged by solar panels, and dried in the Sun, they can be transported to the UK by sailing ship and burnt as biomass.

    I’m astonished that nobody has thought of this economic, practical and ecologically sound solution to the UK’s energy gap.

    (I hope not – many a true word is said in jest!)

  35. They are also logging forests in Virginia and North Carolina. Shipping them to pellet plants then sending the pellets by boat to the UK.

    Truly Insane!

    • What energy source do the ships use and the loaders and haulers and the private vehicles of the workers and the port equipment? Also, where are the mountains of ash going afterwards and what energy source moves it?

      • The ash should be shipped back to the areas that grow the trees so that it can be used as fertilizer.
        (only partly snarky)

  36. Devout followers of the faith will happily burn the village to save the village every time.

    They know what’s best

  37. What happened to a good idea:

    ” Summary
    The use of wood for electricity generation and heat in modern (non-traditional) technologies has grown rapidly in recent years, and has the potential to continue to do so.
    The EU has been, and remains, the main global source of demand, as a result of its targets for renewable energy. This demand is largely met by its own forest resources and supplemented by imports from the US, Canada and Russia.
    Countries outside the EU, including the US, China, Japan and South Korea, have the potential to increase the use of biomass (including agricultural residues as well as wood), but so far this has not taken place at scale, partly because of the falling costs of competing renewables such as solar PV and wind. However, the role of biomass as a system balancer, and its supposed ability, in combination with carbon capture and storage technology, to generate negative emissions, seem likely to keep it in contention in the future.”
    __________________________________________

    A colleague came to work every Friday with his father’s tractor. On the the trailer the tank with manure collected from the farm.

    After work he drove some 100 km to the biogas plant to deliver the cargo – and to cash the money.
    __________________________________________

    Great idea – till someone of the green counterstrike got gready and made big business out of REALLY nothing to no more saving the planet.

  38. Hmmmm….cut live trees to burn for energy or burn very old dead trees for energy.
    Both release that mystery molecule, CO2, when burned.
    The live trees “breath” CO2 and make more trees.
    The very old dead trees don’t breath anything.
    Which should be burned if the goal is to reduce CO2?
    Decisions, decisions….

  39. “do more harm to the climate”

    I despair. There are probably millions of people who think this has some meaning in reality. Maybe tens of millions of people. Maybe hundreds. It’s well beyond sad.

  40. In Ontario Canada the provincial government converted a coal plant to wood chips made in the area at a cost of three or four hundred million dollars. After they converted it, they found out it wouldn’t burn wood chips from the local area, and had to import them from somewhere in Europe. It then produced electricity at 25 times more the cost of coal.

  41. OMG you have to read twice

    “Wood pellets are claimed to be carbon-neutral partly because the forests from which they come are replanted. New trees would eventually absorb as much carbon as was emitted when mature trees were harvested and burnt. However, the report says that this process could take centuries — too late to contribute to preventing climate change over coming decades.”

    to understand the centuries are not needed to ‘stop climate change’ but to stop climate change with the means of production and burning wood pellets.

    • So to stop climate change, all we need to do is get our energy sources from the carbon sink and make CO2 with it instead. How long will it take for the world to look like Haiti

  42. Someone upthread mention importing chips to Canada from Scandinavia.

    * Lifetime Achievement Teddy: Government of Ontario for its mishandling of the energy file.

    The Government of Ontario has a long track record of mismanaging the province’s energy policy, resulting in an expensive disaster for Ontario consumers. In her 2015 Annual Report, Ontario’s Auditor General found that Ontario consumers paid an extra $37 billion above the market price for energy between 2006 and 2014, and estimated that current energy policies would cost Ontarians another $133 billion by 2032.

    Such eye-watering numbers are not the result of any single policy mistake, but rather a series of ill-advised policy decisions, including long-term fixed-price energy contracts at above-market rates; the Green Energy Act (GEA), which has transferred billions from Ontario taxpayers to money-losing renewable energy providers; the promise to cancel planned gas plants in the middle of an election; a smart meter program that ran $1 billion over budget; and boneheaded decisions such as overruling the Ontario Power Authority to convert a Thunder Bay coal plant into a biomass facility that can only run on imported wood chips from Norway, generating electricity at 25 times the normal cost.

    “The Ontario government has a proud tradition of ignoring their policy failures and lurching blindly on to the next one – as their decision to impose a new cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions, which the Auditor General says will increase electricity prices by around 25% – clearly shows.” said Wudrick

    https://www.voiceonline.com/19th-annual-teddy-government-waste-award-winners/

  43. The Chris Hulne angle on this is interesting. How many key players in the climate change/green energy scam have we seen busted for basic dishonesty. John Beale at the EPA comes right to mind but there are others. Surely a good sign that a scam is running would be the court records. Wonder how Nobel winner Pachuri is doing these days.

  44. With regard to lunacy #1, the burning of wood as biomass. There is a second problem. The alkali metals and alkaline-earth sulfates in wood ash deactivate the SCR catalyst – at a unpredictable and frequently rapid rate. This results in an increased cost to replace the catalysts and MAY increase NOx emissions because of poor catalyst activity.

    Normally catalyst activity is monitored and the impacted catalyst is replaced when deactivation is observed in the 1st stage of a two stage SCR. However, with wood chips, rapid deactivation can occur in the 2nd stage shortly after deactivation is detection in the 1st stage and before the next scheduled outage.

    In the United States, the cost of paying for extra NOx emission allowances is typically lower than the cost of bringing the unit down for unscheduled maintence. So an SCR may be operated at a less than optimum efficiency until the unit reaches a scheduled outage. No violation of law occurs, because the utility has to have the necessary NOx emission allowances to continue operations. However more emission allowances are used than is absolutely necessary.

    If your entire generating fleet was based on wood chips, this would be a significant problem, because a utility is only issued so many emission allowances. If the utility runs out emission allowances it has to shut-down all of its generating units. Bottom line… you end up producing far less electricity for the same amount of emissions.

    Coal degrades the SCR catalyst more predictably and at a much lower rate, so it much easier to anticipate catalyst degradation and you generally get higher NOx reduction.

  45. “One massive wood plant in Vyborg, north-west Russia produces 800,000 tonnes of wood pellets each year from felled trees in forests around Leningrad and Pakov oblasts. Its wood products are sold to companies including RWE, Vattenfall, Fortum and Dong Energy to meet demand in Denmark, Italy, Finland and Sweden.”
    _________________________________________

    For Vyborg, we did the upgrade engineering for the pulp paper machine / factory.
    Because of the name Vyborg we thought the company located in Norway.

    If memory serves me well it was an old Westinghouse.

    Times ago and worlds apart.

  46. Wonder where the money for NOx allowances goes. Discussed our local utilities net metering program with an officer of the utility once. He stated that the sweetheart solar prices were not coming from local rate payers as TVA reimbursed the money. I pointed out that all TVA funds came from power sales thus local ratepayers. He flushed a little and replied “well yes” I guess doing even a little homework throws these folks off message.

    • The vast majority of TVA’s SO2 and NOx emission allowances were obtained, at no cost, via direct issuance from States where TVA has, or had, fossil generating units (I.e. Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky). Some of TVA’s CAIR NOx allowances were obtained by trading surplus SO2 allowances for annual and ozone season NOx allowances.

      Because TVA was an early adopter of both FGD SO2 removal and SCR & SNCR NOx removal technologies, TVA a had a surplus of both NOx and SO2 allowances in it’s “allowance bank” under the EPA’s CAIR regulations. When Obam’s EPA switched from the CAIR regulations to the CSAPR regulations it eliminated all of the surplus CAIR allowances… this deprived TVA residences of the advantages of having saved emission allowances over the previous years.

      I can’t say precisely how renewables are paid for in the TVA system at present. However, my understanding was that the extra cost are paid via TVA’s “Green Power Switch” program. This program allows TVA customer to purchase renewable energy – only if they want it and are willing to pay the additional costs associated with it.

  47. The wood pellet idea for draX was soundly thrashed BY commenters here at WUWT as soon as it was reported.

    I recall in a listing of world Universities a few years ago Oxfords stood at the top. This may have been true some generations ago, but as with Harvard, today these institutions are are being judged by designer brain products of post normal educations. In this neomarxbrothers’ world, bright kids must hide their lights under a bushel. Every pupil gets a trophy in a lowest common denominator dumbdown. After Steve McIntyre deconstructed nonsense statistical analyses by the leading climateers that led to papers having to be retracted, he remarked that from their work, climate scientists on the team would have been lucky to have had jobs as high school science teachers in earlier generations. Certainly a high school student a few generations ago might have concluded the wood chip idea was a stupid one.

  48. The only reasonable way to feed renewable energy power stations seems to be biomass generated from bulls*it, i.e.animal manure, and is not necessarily BS. But the species producing most BS on earth obviously excludes itself from that circulus.

  49. I am not sure how it is with carbon saving, if the woodlands are managed in a sustainable way.

    Here in Bavaria they say you could take out twice as much and still being sustainable. In a natural woodlot, some of the old trees die and moulder – which needs a long time compared to burning. So there is a time lag between burning and mouldering, having more CO2 released at first.

    Also old trees are hindering new trees to grow quickly, thus hindering to take up CO2 in large amout.

    The best solution woudl be: Cutting selectively the mature tree for making quality timber with portable saw mills, leaving the small waste there, and using low quality wood for heating purposes.
    This would also avoid large transport machines, which are destroying the ground.

    Using quality timber for houses and long-live furniture would capture CO2 for a long time.

    (If there is any need to capture it…) But the rest of that action would make sense economically and ecologically.

  50. Hey folks – the BBC reported this scandal on their website today! Perhaps they are turning the corner but way to go yet!

  51. Looking at how the CO2 levels over millions of years are falling, mother nature is sequestrating CO2 for free. Using a low quality energy source like wood for generating electricity is stupid. For homes, log fires I get it, for energy it is dumb. As all the wood does not rot a percentage of the wood will eventually become coal. Sequestration for free, we burn coal which produces more CO2, tress grow faster more CO2 will therefore be sequestrated. Burning wood actually stops mother natures natural sequestration process. These people really are stupid.

  52. Maybe I’m asking an obvious question, because trees, obviously, are nothing but big stalks of carbon. But I do have to ask: are these people completely insane?

    The other question is also obvious: since Russia has the largest shale oil reserves in the world and a wealth of methane sequestered in the tundra of Siberia, why is this not being marketed? Putin last week (2/14/17) sold 50% percent of the drilling right for his Rosneft platform to Qatar and Swiss-based Glencore.

    What am I missing in all of this?

  53. After they have burned down the biosphere, blaming human kind for ravaging the planet, the depopulation agenda of these sociopaths is on track again.

    We have to stop this madness at any price.

    The UK, just like Norway, has vast coal resources that together could power the entire world for at least 5000 years.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10518072/UKs-next-offshore-energy-fortune-lies-in-coal.html

    We will never be out of hydrocarbons and coal. Burning our forrests is a crime and it will completely destroy the environMENTAL movement.

  54. Quote from the article,

    “Wood pellets are claimed to be carbon-neutral partly because the forests from which they come are replanted. New trees would eventually absorb as much carbon as was emitted when mature trees were harvested and burnt. However, the report says that this process could take centuries — too late to contribute to preventing climate change over coming decades.”

    This is simply wrong. Within the US it takes less than 40 years for a forest to recover. And maybe less than 30 years since to make wood pellets we are probably talking small trees, not large, because small trees are easier to work with.

    If the tiny, temporary increased emissions of CO2 from wood pellets are enough to change the climate then obviously we are all doomed anyway.

    In the longer run wood pellets are carbon neutral if we ignore emissions due to harvesting and transport. But that last has been taken into account and compared to other current plausible energy sources it still means a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.

    Basically the article is just wrong.

    If I were to write an essay criticizing wood pellet burning, I would focus on costs. If wood pellets are more expensive than other energy sources, and for electricity generation it probably is, then this is increasing the cost of electricity and probably moving economic activity that depends on the cost of electricity to other countries that are less concerned about CO2 emissions.

    On the other hand wood pellets make a lot of sense for heating as here they are both cheap compared to the alternatives and close to CO2 neutral. In fact I suspect that if an individual were trying to lower their carbon footprint then converting to wood pellet heating would be probably the single act that would have the biggest impact.

  55. Sometimes the Greenies eat their own children.
    Soylent Green is people!
    Hug a wood pellet today!

    “Hunger and mifery was prophefied unto them, that they fhoud eat and not be fatisfied; that men and women fhould eat their own children; and every man eat the flefh of his friend: fathers fhould eat their fons, and fons their fathers, when all things fhould lack […]”
    ~Henry Ainsworth (1571–1622), Two Treatises

  56. It has occurred to me from the comments that we don’t put two and two together until we’ve been 60 years on the Earth and realize that we were duped because of our youth. Meanwhile capitalism steams full throttle ahead, amassing a higher and every higher GDP solely because we are adding more bureaucracy each billing their own charge.
    I read that now that the economy is improving the divorce rate is increasing. How strange, since the agencies involved in divorce, family court, social workers, police, the jails all get paid one way or another and that actually increases GDP. So its actually the other way around.
    Have you heard the one about the biggest way to increase the GDP is from an elderly rich man dying of cancer in the hospital being divorced by his third wife? And the pool of sharks that are going to be employed by the inheritors?
    In America the GDP is not from actual production which is why we now build factories in other countries where everything associated is cheaper, but continue to build a mountain of costs under which one finds a single individual.

    • katesisco, okay, it seems that you have “found” a whole bunch of problems … for which I am confident we can all sit down — or, remain standing, for that matter — and find a whole bunch more.

      I am just curious: do you care to provide some solutions to these problems? [Note: for me, even some general arm-wavy solutions are as good as any a starting point.]

Comments are closed.