Environmental Disaster: Northern Europe Deforestation Up 49% Due To Effort To Meet “CO2 Targets”!

Reposted from the No Trick Zone

By P Gosselin on 6. September 2020Share this…

Wood pellets.

Swiss meteorologist Jörg Kachelmann calls it “the dumbest energy and environmental policy ever”. Now, finally, after years of being warned, Germany’s mainstream media are finally showing signs of waking up to it.

Idiots and energy policy: Burning of “CO2-friendly” wood pellets driving mass European deforestation. Illustrative photo by P. Gosselin

Germany’s flagship ARD public broadcasting recently presented a report earlier today about how “CO2 neutral” wood burning is leading to widespread deforestation across northern Europe – a rather embarrassing development for the Europeans, who  recently expressed their condemnation over Brazilian forest policy.

Deforestation up 49%

The ARD’s “Das Erste” reports how satellite images show deforestation has risen 49% since 2016 in Sweden, Finland and the Baltic countries. The reason: “Because of the CO2 targets. That sounds totally crazy but precisely because of the trend to renewable energies is in part responsible for deforestation in Estonia,” says the Das Erste moderator.

Having spent some time working for the EU, Liiana Steinberg explains in the report how she recently returned to her native Estonia and was shocked to see how much deforestation had taken place over the recent years (2:25). “I discovered how the forests no longer exists here left and right.”

For “CO2-neutral” wood pellets

Where once massive hardwoods once stood now grows tiny fir trees. The harvested trees, the report says, were used for wood pellets – a form of renewable green energy. The trees, the pellet industry says, will grow back.

Not only are the forests taking a hit, but so is the wildlife that once inhabited in them. According to Ms. Steinberg, bird life has fallen some 25%. “It’s wasted. Now we have to start all over again.”

Idiots “follow the science”

Climate activists, including the media like ARD, have long insisted that burning trees was good for the climate and environment because the emitted CO2 would simply be recycled back into nature – “follow the science” they insisted again and again.  But they failed to understand that trees, depending on their age, acted as sinks and that some 100 years of stored carbon would be unloaded into the atmosphere in just a matter of hours if burned for heat.

It’s sad that they are just waking up to this (maybe).

148 thoughts on “Environmental Disaster: Northern Europe Deforestation Up 49% Due To Effort To Meet “CO2 Targets”!

  1. Dumb, but not the dumbest energy policy. Not even close. The trees can grow back and no harm done. Wind and solar, on the other hand is much worse. Those monuments to human stupidity should be tipped over and destroyed instead of the statutes of great leaders. If the criminal mobs had any brains they would be. Otherwise, if any of them ever get a job, they will be stuck with paying the tariffs for the worth less than nothing junk. Oops that might be a little too strong, I retract everything I just said.

        • That’s true, but some loblolly pine growers economically harvest stands in as short as 12-15 years after planting. These would be used for their fiber.

          • I specified fir deliberately for the reason you state.

            If you harvest 5% per year, you don’t disrupt the wildlife too badly and you get better biodiversity because you essentially create forests of different developmental stages.

          • Harvesting 5% per year to supply paper pulp and roof timbers is sustainable. Unfortunately fir trees contain far less energy value than hardwoods so they chop down oak forests are replace with friggin fir trees in the pretence that this is “renewable” energy.

            Where once massive hardwoods once stood now grows tiny fir trees.

            Most of the wood pellets going into the UK’s largested power statation: Drax is oak from USA. This is a great success for the greens because Drax is sited on top of one of Britain’s earstwhile largest coal fields and as we all now realise it is far better to chop down a living oak tree, waste energy drying out the wood, burn bunker oil sending it across the Atlantic than to burn trees which have been dead for millions of years.

            When I was young it was all about “save the trees”, now environmentalism is all about “kill the trees”.

            We can probably thank Micheal Moore for shining a light on this aberration. If it was just the “fascist” Trump supporters decrying it ARD would probably not have done a feature on it.

            He has certainly done a great job in pointing out how widespread this insane practice is and the scale of the problem: it is now an industry in its own right.

          • Harvesting 5% per year to supply paper pulp and roof timbers is sustainable. Unfortunately fir trees contain far less energy value than hardwoods so they chop down oak forests are replace with friggin fir trees in the pretence that this is “renewable” energy.

            Where once massive hardwoods once stood now grows tiny fir trees.

            Most of the wood pellets going into the UK’s largested power statation: Drax is oak from USA. This is a great success for the greens because Drax is sited on top of one of Britain’s erstwhile largest coal fields and as we all now realise it is far better to chop down a living oak tree, waste energy drying out the wood, burn bunker oil sending it across the Atlantic than to burn trees which have been dead for millions of years.

            When I was young it was all about “save the trees”, now environmentalism is all about “ki11 the trees”.

            We can probably thank Micheal Moore for shining a light on this aberration. If it was just the “fascist” Trump supporters decrying it ARD would probably not have done a feature on it.

            He has certainly done a great job in pointing out how widespread this insane practice is and the scale of the problem: it is now an industry in its own right.

          • Greg

            “This is a great success for the greens because Drax is sited on top of one of Britain’s earstwhile largest coal fields and as we all now realise it is far better to chop down a living oak tree, waste energy drying out the wood, burn bunker oil sending it across the Atlantic than to burn trees which have been dead for millions of years. ”

            Yes, closing down the most productive coal mine in the UK directly next to Drax and importing pellets seems the height of craziness. But let us not forget the additional fuel expenditure to your scenario in chopping the trees down, transporting them to the vessel, unloading them all, then repeating that process once they get to the UK. Very silly.

            AS you also say as regards this story, fir wood pellets don’t have much energy value.

            I go a lot to Austria and practically every municipality has got a pellet burning community boiler to supply heat to homes through the district

          • “Harvesting 5% per year to supply paper pulp and roof timbers is sustainable.”

            No. Definitely not in northern Europe. That is far too much. 1-2% is sustainable given the time it takes to grow new forest.

            It might work in subtropical pine/eucalypt plantations.

      • Trees take a lot longer to grow? They break cutter teeth on the combine? Harder to run through the grain drier? Jam up the grain lift? Require much larger bags?

      • Simple solution:
        Burn coal, then plant the equivalent in trees (in terms of CO2 output).

        Much more economical than harvesting and transporting low energy density timber, so a better outcome in terms of reducing CO2 outputs.

    • It’s a matter of scale. If I burn 3-4 cords of wood to heat my house it takes cutting up 4-5 trees from my 20 acre woods. Usually I find plenty of dead trees or trees knocked over by storms. The annual growth of the remaining several hundred trees produces far more biomass than the wood I burn. Clearly out the dead wood and cleaning out underbrush in the process promotes growth of remaining trees. Definitely a net CO2 sink. On the other hand clearing all 20 acres to produce a day or two of electric power would require probably 30-50 years to get to CO2 neutral.

      • In 2018, California had 500M tonnes of standing and fallen dead wood. With efficient combustion, that mass would provide the state electricity needs for 2 years.

        Some of that contained energy is now being released uncontrollably.

        The current level of CO2 is providing forest productivity that is unknown in human history. The increasing productivity presents an opportunity. Selective collection of dead wood from forests for controlled release of energy would seem to offer an economic opportunity rather than trying to control uncontrollable wild fires.

        • A decent estimate is about 10 wooded acres to heat a typical residential dwelling in cold climate zones sustainably. Assuming a family of 4 that’s 2.5 acres per person. I would not advocate wood for electricity production or domestic water heating. Nuclear, coal or gas for electricity are economically better choices as is gas for domestic hot water. Also, while it’s possible to run a vehicle on wood using a gasifier to fuel an ICE, it is much better to use gasoline. Obviously, heating with wood in high density cities is not a practical option. But wood heating using modern EPA emissions certified appliances is quite a popular and cost effective option in rural areas throughout the US.

          • “modern EPA emissions certified appliances” No, I just use a wood burner, current one is around 65 years old and works just fine, requires 0 electricity and produces fine ash for use in garden and landscaping.

          • Local municipalities all to often prevent using modern wood stoves. They monitor air quality and anytime quality gets bad they ban use of wood stoves unless it is the sole source of heat for a residence. They used to enforce the ban by driving around looking for chimney smoke but with the new, more efficient stoves have moved to using IR cameras to spot scofflaws. Bans often include entire counties and not just cities even when most the county is rural.

        • Indeed. And dense young fir plantations are very nearly without any othe vegetation than fir trees. A green desert. About the only bird who thrives in it is the Firecrest which is spreading like wildfire in northern Euope.

          • And dense young fir plantations are very nearly without any other vegetation than fir trees.

            “True”, …. the primary reason being that the dead needles (leaves) that fall to the ground do not readily decompose, thus a thick “blanket” of needles cover the ground preventing the growth of other species.

    • Finding the “dumbest Green policy” would be an exhausting exercise. From pumped hydro to solar that outputs 17% of nameplate to wind generators that provide zero power when needed and catch fire many years too early. But destroying the environment and burning it to save the environment has to be right up there with the dumbest of the dumb.
      It is a testament to the power of Green hypocrisy that such an idiotic idea can skate through the political landscape because the right virtue signalers call it “Green”.

    • How dare you criticise the little Global Warming Genius, Greta Turdberg ..
      It’s all done for a “good cause” with good intentions ..
      & don’t make the little genius (IQ over 300) Greta cry again , you big bully..

  2. No, I did not read it yet, just a wild guess. They are cutting down trees for wind/solar sites? Now I will read it and see if I am right.

  3. Dumb energy policy but not the dumbest. Not even close. The trees can grow back and no harm done. Wind and solar, on the other hand are much worse. These monuments to human stupidity should be tipped over and destroyed instead of statutes of great leaders. If the criminal rioters had any brains they would be, otherwise they’re going to be stuck with paying the tariffs for the next 20 years. Oops, that’s a little too strong, I retract everything i just said. Destroying property isn’t the right thing to do, even if thousands of rioters are doing it without consequence.

  4. D’ooh! Thats what I get for checking on phone screen. Not embarrassed! Cutting down healthy trees for pellets is even stupider than cutting them down for solar/wind. And pelt/corn burners are crap, no electric, no heat. Oops. The galactic level stupid! It burns! Well,,,,it burns the stupid. You get my point.

  5. Ms. Steinberg is suddenly woke to the second and third order effects of cutting down forests for pellet fuel supplying electric generation boilers? Say it aint so! LMAO!!!!

  6. Not only northern Europe, where I am in Limousin more trees are being felled than 10 years ago. There are more lorries transporting them out of the department for use elsewhere. The majority of domestic heating is by wood here and the cost is rising.
    Not only that trees and hedges are going to make way for huge fields to grow green biofuels, it is madness

    • I’m in the Limousin, too, and the landscape around here has totally changed over the last couple of years. And the mess of branches and stumps that they leave behind…

  7. “But they failed to understand that trees, depending on their age, acted as sinks and that some 100 years of stored carbon would be unloaded into the atmosphere in just a matter of hours if burned for heat.”

    No kidding.

    The degree and amount of “stupid” surrounding “green energy” is stupendous. Is anyone out there considering the “unintended consequences” to these policies? Apparently not. Moreover, where are these environmental impact statements and environmental reviews for these projects?

    Good grief. California experienced black outs due to the fact green energy is not scalable and cannot be called upon to meet demand as needed. California last I read “imports” 35% of their energy demand from other states. No fair. Rely on green energy as they say. Fossil fuels are bad. Live with the consequences.

    This people and their advocates are utterly impossible and ridiculous.

    • There should be a federal law dictating that a state that bans the production of electricity by a specific fuel, cannot then import electricity from another state that was produced by using that fuel. Call it ‘environmental justice’.

      That could actually be considered by a Republican-controlled government. If the Dems win, however, it is more likely that, for “national safety and security”, they will mandate that neighboring states MUST supply California with enough energy to avoid blackouts, even if it causes blackouts in those states.

      California is too important to the Dems to allow problems like this to continue.

    • I guess you have to expect stupid solutions from those who embrace the stupidest politics and who are stupid enough to buy in to the stupidest collection of presumptions and projections they stupidly think is actual science.

        • You just can’t fix stupid.
          Just listen to the ads by Amazon for their electric vans. Where in the world do they think they get to energy to power those “zero emission” trucks? The tooth fairy?
          And remember, biomass energy production emits 40%-60% MORE CO2 than burning coal.
          These greenies are IDIOTS!

          • Amazon’s coal powered fleet. Just listening to top of the hour news round up and 3 different stories about rolling blackouts in Cali, PG&E opening “comfort stations” for people effected. Sounds like a bit more than a “rolling” blackout if they have to move thousands of people into shelters because they got no electric.

          • “You just can’t fix stupid.
            Just listen to the ads by Amazon for their electric vans.”

            I like that Amazon ad where right at the end of it they show a string of windmills turning and the last thing you hear is the whomp! Whomp! Whomp! of the windmill blades as they spin. We can thank Amazon for demonstrating how unpleasant it would be to live near one of these windmills.

            Who would want to listen to that kind of noise all day? Trump says if they put a windmill within sight of your house, your house’s value decreases by 50 percent.

  8. There is a bit of imbedded sort of long term good news here. Younger trees grow more rapidly. Of course it takes a few years for their biomass sequestration to catch up to then surpass what was harvested. So, yup, net green stupidity.

    Another thing. Wood produces less heat than coal per dry kg. So more kg burned for same energy. So converted Drax is a net short term (50 year) Carbon polluter two ways: less Forest sink, more Generator source.

    Greens are more than a bit short in the hard sciences departments like chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics.

    • It’s a timing difference. The cost, these costs are short term. If it’s replanted, the CO2 is paid back eventually. Compared to being lost in a forest fire or decaying into the atmosphere because of old age, it’s better. And we generally defend clear cutting. It causes a renewal. And I’d have to think they’re protecting their watersheds after however they cut it.

      • But they say we must act now or it’s too late, there will be catastrophe by the end of the century. If that’s true (yeah, right!) we can’t wait 100 years for the CO2 to be taken up by the new growth. There is no scenario whereby burning trees to cut CO2 emissions makes sense.

    • Younger trees grow more rapidly in terms of height, but I am pretty sure I read somewhere that they put on more weight per annum later in life. (Needs checking).

      • All in perspective Mike, when trees are young there are more stems to the hectare compared to old growth. Another words where one old growth tree is growing the equivalent with regrowth would be around 50 trees with an equivalent mass. The main difference being old growth is carbon neutral due to decay and regrowth carbon positive. So a working forest is more productive as a carbon bank, but try and tell the greens that.

      • Mike, I believe you are correct. It depends upon the area (climate and soil) and type of trees. This subject has been studied by foresters and economists for the carbon credits business.

        The Pacific Northwest forests are the most prolific carbon sinks in the USA and the young trees are the crop of choice. The older forests, 60+ year-old (check this number) fir and associated trees, do not collect as much carbon dioxide as the young, fast-growing conifers. Many dog and pony shows about this during past several years.

        The PNW conifers produce the best structural lumber in the world which is also a “carbon” sink if you do not allow your house to rot!

    • Not so.
      Have a look at what has been happening to mature forests in the US Southeast. You won’t be impressed. Turned in hardwood pellets for export to Europe – for environmentally friendly, sustainable “co-generation “.

        • Phiiin(no surprise)california, This Green stupidity has nothing to do with capitalism. It’s the rejection of capitalism in favor of central planning, market manipulation, tax and spend liberalism/socialism…..maybe you were joking? If so, disregard my rant.

          • It is actually Fascism. The state controlling private business by telling them what, when, and how much to produce or purchase. For the Good of the State!

    • Well yes, perhaps, some “waste” is used but “waste” became “resource” many years ago. Into the 1950s or ’60, sawdust was a waste or maybe used as insulation for ice storage buildings. Then sawdust became a fuel, and other parts became components of engineered/manufactured wood. See OSB. And on the concept went.
      This topic is worth an investigation and report. Likely done.
      If not, search it up.

    • This would make sense if they were using dead trees from California to reduce fuel load for wildfires. Not very likely.

  9. A green ideology and political movement built on a foundation of pure lies is inevitably going to have the opposite effect to that claimed.

  10. “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”

    ― Milton Friedman

  11. Probably won’t happen in my lifetime, but I hope for my grandchildren’s sakes that another Enlightenment will take root in developed nations.

    Such a development would surely see the rapid dismantling of green lunacy, in favor of rational environment stewardship.

    • This is depressing, logical, likely true, and the ultimate in being un-PC. If anyone is easily offended, stop reading here.

      Man has quite probably hit its highest levels of IQ, and is now headed down. Many with physical and mental issues would have died very young in previous generations. We now have the ability to prevent many such early deaths. They continue to live and reproduce, maintaining lines of genetic defects, and increasing the number born with those defects.

      I am not without compassion. I want every person born (and the ‘pre-born’) to live the fullest life possible, but I rather wish they would take it upon themselves not to reproduce. That’s the height of un-PCness, but I suspect the increase in the growth-rate of these defects is already measurable. I believe our progress is now causing our devolution.

      But I am by nature, skeptical. I remain open to the idea that my fears are groundless.

      • Unfortunately you are spot on. The biggest problem is the best and brightest are reproducing at very low rates, and those both physically and mentally challenged are producing at high rates…and all votes count the same…it can only end badly. A real smart guy once suggested that yes, everyon should get to vote, but for every $10,000 of federal income tax paid you get another vote. How’s THAT for un-PC. Might be a good idea but it’ll never happen.

        • How many leftist multi-billionaires are there? Can they control public policy more readily by personally getting extra votes or by buying politicians and supporting activists groups?

          Do they have time to personally enter all those extra votes or will they have to be allowed to hire proxies voters (or will their activists group members volunteer to act for them?).

          • Billionaire’s only pay the amount of federal income tax that they want to pay. They have a billion (well maybe only a hundred or so) ways to “minimize their tax burden”. This pay to multi- vote would provide an alternative to bribes,”non-profit’s contributions”, etc. blah, blah just conjecture regardless, never happen.

      • We have the Flynn Effect where IQ increased over the 20th century. Parts of the West seem to be reversing the trend but, as far as I can tell, the effect is still going on in the Far East. I’m guessing the intelligence of the world’s people will continue to increase for a very long time. Even if Northern Europe’s collective IQ goes down, that will be swamped by the increase in the much larger population of China.

      • The human genome has plenty of genes. You might think a Down syndrome child is all messed up, but it is one gene- chromosome 21 gets duplicated in whole or part and messes up the poor kids with varying degrees of handicap. Many other genes are associated with, but not guarantees of, any number of diseases, such as breast cancer. That is a 2 gene defect.

        I haven’t researched the statistics, but Down’s people don’t often marry and have children, when they do the kids have a better than 50% chance of being OK. Many Down’s pregnancies self-abort. The OK children don’t have the disease and don’t necessarily have Down’s babies.

        All the varying malfunctions have varying degrees of handicap. Some would even consider super intelligent, top 0.01% in IQ handicapped.

        All in all it is impossible to show that genetic defects are increasing markedly. Remember, an IQ of 83 is the lower limit for an educable, economic adult. 15% of the population is below 83 and more or less a burden on society. They have social problems similar to Down’s. They require help to be productive.
        On the other hand, getting smart people to get together and produce kids doesn’t automatically guarantee smart kids. They have almost the same chance as any baby to have a 100 IQ.

        IQ over130 or so, the measure is not particularly exact, besides being highly intelligent they also tend to have emotional and physical problems.

        High IQ also does not confer what the philosophers called “wisdom”. That is something entirely different- the ability to see productive or effective choices as opposed to destructive ones. The most obvious example currently is the difference between capitalism an communism/Marxism/totalitarian economies. Capitalism has been successful, as long as the really selfish people are controlled. Conversely, no CMT government has ever survived for a long time. It always ends in internal strife as the small class of haves tends to drive the large class of have-nots into rebellion.

      • I have long maintained that civilization is anti-evolutionary. As a species, we no longer select for strength, fitness, intelligence, hardiness, etc.. Rather, we coddle those that would not otherwise have survived. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally.

        Harsh, perhaps. But reality often is.

    • Ack, Agree. The recent German 1000 meter setback rules, although not a national regulation points out how desperate the wind fraud is for more space. Those “small fir trees” don’t stand a chance.

  12. Hoax continuation — wood burned for fuel is a paper/lumber waste product. The managed forests in Sweden and Norway are on their third or fourth cultivated generation. If left as compost or in landfill, the otherwise useless waste cellulose emits more CO2 as it rots, while creating a fire hazard. And if the world hadn’t lost its collective mind, unrecycle-able paper waste would also be burned for power.

      • Trunk heartwood is used for lumber and paper. Branch wood and leaves or needles are left in the forest — shredded there with other groundcover for more than adequate forest compost. Bark and sap wood are transported to processing plants, where it is stripped from the heartwood. Some heartwood is also unsuitable for lumber or paper, and rejected. Every step at the processing plant generates sawdust and other scrap waste. All the plant waste product must be disposed of. Some is used on a few sites for on-location power generation. A small amount can be upcycled into particle or oriented-strand like products, but most is waste. The waste can be transported to a landfill, or composted, but either of those options are cost sinks, requiring some capital expenditure for no fiscal return. If turned into a salable fuel product for a relatively small investment, overall costs are kept low.
        The lies in this story are that the forests were virgin areas cut down only for fuel — two statements that are obviously and easily shown to be false. Another half-truth is that burning wood emits more CO2 than burning coal, which is only true for the highest grades of coal, in really hot and efficient furnaces, and ignores the other products, chiefly oxides of sulfur and silicon, along with radioactives and other minerals, that make up the rest of the coal waste. Wood ash is much more easily scrubbed and produces almost none of the other substances. High-grade coal is best used for steel production and the chemical industry, and comes at a higher cost than waste wood products.
        This particular hoax resurfaces every few years. This iteration I think may have been kicked off by an op-ed from a Woods Hole Institute quack/theologian last fall, which left out most of the facts, but coincided nicely with climate religious demonstrations in Europe and North America. Your tax dollars at work!

        • Branch wood and leaves or needles shredded there with other groundcover smothers the ground and prevents natural regeneration rather that useful compost. Left whole they allow air and light through, but shredded they don’t

          Here in BC if the trees are hauled to a staging area before being delimbed, the waste is either ground up for pellets or burned onsite, much better for the recovery of the logged land.

        • the article was about deforestation … nice try to make it about CO2 …

          those trees did not get used for lumber …

          burning wood emits more CO2 than burning coal … as you admit …

          • …Up 49% Due To Effort To Meet “CO2 Targets”!
            I can’t accept the compliment, I merely read the article. It is just one part of a skill I learned a long time ago, sometimes called literacy.
            It is sometimes useful. For instance, it would take very little reading to determine that the cost of cutting, clearing, transporting, and processing into fuel pellets, in a forest of almost any size (and allegedly replanting it — surprise! it was in the article too), is far greater than could be gained by selling that product for use as fuel, even if generously supported by subsidies.
            Show me a wood pellet processing facility, and I’ll show you a lumber mill and/or paper plant. You really don’t do the first one without one or both of the others.

  13. We don’t live in a democracy anymore. We live in a mob ruled bureaucracy. No one cares what we think. Pitchforks are the only option.

    • America has always been a Representative Republic, which is what we are losing to the leftist demands for vote by mail, votes for illegal aliens, votes for incarcerated felons and ballot harvesting. Governmental bureaucracy, at all levels, has been thoroughly infiltrated by leftists. THAT is where the war to save America has to be fought, not against screeching, destructive toddlers in the streets.

  14. Coal, gas, oil are all “renewable” as out marvelous planet produces them on going. Stop this carbon neutral idiocy and focus on improving the human condition today, every day. 30 and 100 years hence will take care of themselves. We and all other living things adapt or perish, so it has always been. All the hysteria is nothing more than obfuscation by groups seeking power and control over others.

  15. George wrote above:
    “The degree and amount of “stupid” surrounding “green energy” is stupendous.”

    Other commenters have often commented on the brain-dead stupidity of various “environmental” policies, no need to pile on.

    I got an *idea*. We have all heard of the IQ tests. Those tests which are designed to quantify human intelligence within an independent framework. {We note for the record that IQ tests and IQ itself are controversial.}
    Here we have an opportunity to quantify *Stupidity* on a purely objective scale. The tests would consist exclusively of environmental policies/positions and Climate Change statements. The tests are scored by noting how many, and to what degree, the test subject agrees with the statement. *Stupid* points would be awarded accordingly. Politicians can be scored on the basis of their public pronouncements.
    While the IQ tests are mired in controversy, the *Stupid* test is above reproach due to its analytical rigor and mathematical precision.

    We could field test a prototype right here at WUWT. I have a few commenters in mind. {I will not tell you which ones.}
    let us know what you think.

  16. If that photo is from the “crime scene” Take a closer look. The logs are mature with a few smaller ones in the mix.

    Look at the ground in the cut. It is clean and free of combustible brush. Also the ground is not torn up or rutted. Nicely done!

    The face of the cut (treeline) is appropriate to prevent wind damage.

    I’d say it is a class act logging operation. I would challenge the photographer to take another picture at the same location once a year for 5 years. Then take another in 10.

    You’ll see the result of responsible logging and land/forest use.

    • “The face of the cut (treeline) is appropriate to prevent wind damage.”
      —————-
      Eh, I don’t know about that. Those trees were protected from wind by each other from the time they were seedlings. Their roots are only developed to support them from wind while protected by surrounding trees. Now those on the cut line are exposed to the full brunt of the wind. They’re very susceptible to blowdown.

      • No, they’re still sheltered on the side from which a damaging wind would come. If blown the other way, they’ll also be held up by the forest now behind them.

        • Not so. They need trees all around to be protected from wind. I spent my working years in the forest industry. I’ve seen the blowdown from strong winds that happens along cut lines like that.

  17. The really ironic part is that the forest cutting is only a small part. Follow the fossil fuel powered transport, processing, packaging and shipping of the pellets to get the real cost. Then, wasn’t it the same crowd I recall a few years ago saying how much pollution burning wood causes? I guess it doesn’t matter if it’s in the name of Marxist propaganda.

  18. Whats the energy value of a wood pellet compared to that of an equivalent amount of coal or even natural gas.? How much more wood needs to be harvested and burnt to generate the same amount of power? How much energy is consumed in harvesting and then shipping the pellets to the generators? How clean are the exhausted byproducts?

    So many questions

    Surely having the energy source to the converter, i.e. coal and coal fired plants is much more economical.

  19. ”Deforestation” is really a misnomer, its a word that refers to clearing the trees for agriculture etc. and not being replaced. I assume these areas are being regenerated. However it becomes unsustainable if the rate of growth is less than the area harvested. More information required.

    • Agree completely on the misnomer, but doesn’t deforestation sound so much better in a headline?

      They are practicing REFORESTATION by the sounds of it, many countries require it by law. Some countries also require even privately held forest to be a ‘working’ forest, with a set plan to eventually produce timber/fibre products, with exceptions to apply for status as conservation land.

      In broad terms I agree with your unsustainable statement, but note that there are cases where the area managed has an over-abundance of older forest relative to younger forest (i.e. age-class imbalance) and for a period of time you may actually “accelerate” harvest of the older, with the rate of harvest exceeding the rate of growth, particularly if a forest type that does not store well “on the stump”. Forcing a non-declining yield or similar strategies can be quite costly from a timber perspective.

    • Now this is a situation where cutting and using for energy or strandboard production is called for. Insect and disease outbreaks kill a lot of trees, getting them under control should be a priority.

  20. That hurts. So much of our wood is pine and it’s difficult to get hardwoods around here. They are burning wood that would draw a premium price around here. I just hope there isn’t any walnut in there as the price for that is off the scale.

  21. “releasing 100 years of CO2” is not relevant.
    Relevant is the deforestation itself.
    It changes the landscape, the albedo and finally the climate.
    Plus the burning trees release a lot of Russ.

  22. The policy of burning trees for energy generation, is completely stupid, how appropriate it’s advocated and advanced by, the energy of the completely stupid generation.
    Just remember, AOC is waiting in the wings, vote wisely America.

    • Where I live in central Canada there is a LOT of public forest that is ready to be harvested, scheduled for such as part of a sustainable forest management plan, but there is no viable market for it. It is too low value to pay for the cost of cutting it and/or trucking it to the processing facility, which can be 300 km (~200 miles) or more away.

      Although these areas are not economically viable on the whole, they often have a mix of products, including low percentages of high quality veneer logs, spruce sawlogs, etc. Government policy does not allow forest managers to go in an cherry pick just the good stuff, for good reason. These areas are often older “decadent” forests, in some cases the result of past high-grade harvests (i.e. 50-100 yrs ago), and will take a very long time to improve on their own if left uncut. Sending some of the low value trees to burn in a biomass facility, even if at a small loss (i.e. expensive to transport), would provide access to the other higher value products in the stand, which would result in not only a net profit, but more fiber and more secure jobs at traditional wood processing facilities.

      In this scenario, which is quite common, burning trees or parts of trees for energy can indeed make sense.

  23. These are commercial forestry plantations… they are harvested and replanted.

    Certainly in Scotland there are many forestry areas planted in the last 50 years… (some of which actually caused a fall in local birdlife). I suspect the case many be the same in Scandinavia.

    Most of Germany’s biomass isn’t from wood pellets anyway (the UK continues the shameful practice of importing wood pellets from USA, which all UK green organisations oppose)

    In short, another nonsense story.

    • Germany has 700 plants using what is claimed to be waste unrecyclable wood. Which begs the question what happened to it previously. The majority is from biogas which is growing crops for energy, which does raise questions about how sensible that is heat v food being just one question.

    • You have, as usual, no clue sbout what you are writing in concern of Germany.
      The number of wood heating is increasing by millions, so do the values for NO2 and pm 2.5.
      In a lot of regions, they stopped publishing hourly values using day means instead, because everybody knows, you have no rush hours during weekends, evenings and nights in living zones outside of the cities.

    • No, you are 100% wrong griff and I am not even going to explain this to you if you can’t understand the concept of scaling up. In the Netherlands we wanted to do the same and now there is also backfire by the population and the media. It is even calculated that more Co2 is released then from normal coal burning.

      If everybody is going to use forests as energy source, do you think there is going to be any left? And how much land area do you think it will use up?

    • Once again:
      Griff, as usual, you have no clue about what you are writing, talking about Germany at least.
      The number of wood stoves and heaters increases by millions, NO2 and PM 2.5 follows so strong, that the officials more and more stopped publishing hourly values, but only daily means, because everybody knows seeing these hourly numbers, you have no rush hour the late afternoons, the evenings, the nights and the weekends outside of the citycenters in living zones.
      And these heaters and stoves are funded with a lot of money,, because of “Climate”. Unfortunately you don’t reduce CO2 with wood heating, in cantrast, you produce more, because oil and gas produce less. Used are pellest and wood, much enoyed are more and more chimneys.

      So, what you are telling about German Biomass is nonsense, even if the number may be right, the air quality in Germany degenerates to that in the 60th of the last century.
      Pinheads on the rise in policy and the “Green” movement.

    • These are commercial forestry plantations… they are harvested and replanted

      Right. And they were almost certainly at the correct harvest-growth balance BEFORE the greenie wood-pellet fad. There’s such a thing as over-harvesting and/or vastly expanding land-use intensive wood plantations. Mining coal, uranium or drilling for gas/oil has alot LESS environmental effects/consequences than stripping/replanting vast land areas for wood.

      Jeesh, what a maroon.

    • Griff
      If your concern is adding additional CO2 to the current concentration then what exactly is the difference between using Carbon sequestered for millions of years vs Carbon sequestered for hundreds of years. At least the older Carbon doesn’t affect the forests ability to resink it after it’s released.

  24. For Finland, there is simply no deforestation going on. Period. Anyone claiming otherwise is providing incorrect information.

    Based on latest information the forest growth in Finland is significantly exceeding the cuts.

    • Good to know. Also the case here in the central Appalachian Mnts of USA. Mostly hardwood (some conifers) forests here are well-managed & have been for decades. Mountainous west Maryland county I live in is 85% forested w/both private & public-owned slopes carefully select-cut at proper time-intervals.

  25. Might I suggest “Multi-Use Management of the Medieval Anglo-Norman Forest”?

    Modern public perceptions of man’s interaction with the environment are heavily rooted
    in our post-industrial setting. The environment comes to the forefront each year,
    especially for school children, via Earth Day celebrations. The first Earth Day in 1970
    was organized as a ‘teach-in’ with both an educational and a protest flavour.1
    In tone, it was negative: a forum to express American concerns about degradation of the land,
    rivers, lakes, and air.2

    In this Earth Day setting, man is viewed as the destroyer, the
    polluter of the environment. This has a serious impact on the perception of man’s
    historical interaction with the environment: if man has done such a bad job of keeping our
    environment healthy in spite of all of our modern scientific knowledge, how much more
    damage must he have done in the past in his ignorance?

    Yet a critical look at legal documents of the first three Anglo-Norman kings, who reigned
    over England and Normandy from 1066 to 1135 AD, reveals that medieval landholders in this
    kingdom practiced conscious forestry management to balance all of the demands on
    woodland resources; and their practices were not that different from those implemented
    in the modern forestry systems of the United Kingdom and United States.

    https://dolly.jorgensenweb.net/files/Multiuse_Forest_JOUHS.pdf

  26. This article is wrong in many ways. In Finland we don’t cut woods for energy in industrial scale, only waste is burned. And then there is this from our highly respected forest authority:

    https://www.luke.fi/en/natural-resources/forest/forest-resources-and-forest-planning/

    “The annual growth of trees in Finland exceeds the volume of felling and natural loss by over 20 million cubic metres. The age of our forests is developing in a manner that makes the sustainable removals exceed 85 million cubic years of stem wood in the next few decades, when annual removals have been 60–65 million cubic metres in recent years”.

    I myself can verify our landscapes have become greener and forests thicker during my lifetime of 55 years.
    Of course the Greens would want to kill forestry all together.

  27. Living in Finland I don’t recognize the 49%. Here ca 1.5 % of the forrest is logged annually and the mean logged area is 1.5 hectares. There are strict laws requiring re planting.

    I think the main change in Finland is that roots and branches today are used for energy production and not left to rot in the woods. Wood is too valuable in a country with large scale wood industry to simply burn.

    Notice that I think that use of wood for energy production is stupid. At the end of the nineteenth century there were no large forrest areas close to large towns because wood was used for heating. New energy sources led to re growt of destroyed forrests. Today we see deforrestation due to the same reasons in for example Africa.

  28. In the USA electric utilities were once fairly independent. State Regulators were tasked to monitor the corps fro a safe and economical supply. Now they operate at the benignity of Federal and State environmental diktats. Reason is gone to the wind – mills. This is how far we have slipped into Facism.

  29. Burning biomass, whether it is trees or biofuel crops, suffers from the same problems as wind and solar. Energy density. Land can only produce so much energy per hectare, diminishing with latitude. Selective thinning or harvesting for forest management may be sensible, but setting out to provide a substantial amount of industrial scale electricity generation from biomass rather than using high density fossil fuels or nuclear is a fool’s errand. Large scale biomass-to-power generating stations are hungry beasts. Much penetration into the generating portfolio would of necessity require forest clearing at rates far beyond replacement rates. At least the wood can be stored and burned as needed, eliminating the intermittency problem of wind and solar.

    California has a small handful of wood to energy plants. I am very familiar with them because my former employer, Duke Energy, conducted due diligence into possibly purchasing a few for its required renewable energy credits in its portfolio of generating assets. I did the environmental part of the evaluation. Aside from difficulties with air pollution controls due to fuel variability, “feeding the beast” was the biggest problem. For only a relatively tiny power plant (about 60 MW), fuel buyers had to reach out beyond a 100 mile radius to obtain the >100,000 tons/year of wood and wood waste needed to fire the boilers due to California’s progressive restrictions on the once-thriving timber industry. In the end, the numbers just didn’t add up, and Duke abandoned the venture.

    Meanwhile, the greenies were busily banning Duke’s main assets in California, gas-fired power plants, which Duke had planned to modernize by replacing old, conventional plants with combined-cycle gas plants. Wasn’t going to happen, not in California. Duke, originally an East Coast electric utility with gas, coal and nuclear assets in North and South Carolina (HQ in Charlotte, NC) wasn’t ready to deal with the West Coast loonies. As of this date, Duke has had to sell off its CA plants and abandon the state, except for a new 150 MW solar plant in Kern County (Bakersfield), CA.

    Large power generating companies such as Duke, after deregulation, have focused their growth on generation rather than local distribution (fires, not wires). Looking at such companies’ websites, one might mistakenly believe that they take so-called renewable energy seriously as if it represents the future. They don’t. Were it not for state-mandated renewable portfolio standards and production tax credits, they would not own even one wind or solar installation. They do it because they must, by law. Just as regularly discussed here on the pages of WUWT, the power companies are no dummies regarding renewables. They understand energy density, base load, dispatchable generation, capacity factors, etc. and know that renewables other than hydro are parasitic and unsustainable past a certain point of penetration in the mix of generating assets.

    • Pflash, As you say, “The power companies aren’t dummies” but the voters are “willfully uninformed” (or stupid if you prefer). Liberal democrats advertise themselves as “The Force” protecting “everyday American families” from being exploited by mean-spirited corporations that “only care about profits”, especially big oil and big electric (Exxon and PG&E seem the most popular targets here in Cali), The reality is just the opposite, the lib representatives and their minion regulators over-regulate and over-tax the oil and electric corporations and lavish the wind and solar companies with subsidies and tax breaks. The end result is the highest priced gasoline and electricity in the lower 48. California, the land of fruits and nuts.

  30. “Environmental Disaster: Northern Europe Deforestation Up 49% Due To Effort To Meet “CO2 Targets”!”

    It’s not deforestation if the forest isn’t destroyed for another land use. They’ve been clear-cutting in Europe for 1,000 years. But, they don’t just clear-cut- they also thin the forests. Much of the wood for pellets in Europe comes from thinning.

    To call this forest management work deforestation is ignorant propaganda.

    As for pellets going to Drax from the American south- Greg said it’s all oak. That’s nonsense. I’d like to see him try to prove it.

    There certainly should be a mix of age classes and species. For the past few centuries Europeans have mostly used just a few species for planting forests but they now are trying more species along with “natural regeneration”. The remaining old growth forests in Europe should be protected.

    Funny, but almost all the people who hate forestry love their wood homes, wood furniture and paper products. It’s like the children who when asked where milk comes from say it comes from the supermarket. Anyone who doesn’t like forestry work is a *&^%$ hypocrite if they live in a wood home with wood furniture and paper products.

  31. The Brits took it one step farther in stupidity from shipping wood pellets from clear cut forests on other continents in order to burn it locally.

    • It may seem stupid to you but the economics of it works. Also, it’s not all from clearcut forests- some is from thinnings. Also, the forests in the US South wiill be clearcut regarldess- that’s the way they manage much of the forest there. I think it’s much stupider to cover your landscape with solar and wind “farms”.

  32. It took them all this time tutt tutting over deforestation in places like the Amazon and Africa and now they suddenly wake up to what they’re doing in their own backyard? Blind Freddy could see it. Did they think our ancestors were as stupid as them for jumping onboard coal for steam and then oil for the internal combustion engine and then nukes for electricity? Luddites pure and simple.

    • clearcutting is NOT deforestation unless that land is being converted to other uses- like urban development, a golf course, agriculture, and worse of all- a solar “farm”

      That acreage cleared for long term forest management will either be replanted or left to replant itself- and it will, though dummies don’t know that.

  33. Once again the domestic, special-interest angle to renewable energy policy rears its head. This goes along with domestic content solar cells (Ontario and India).

  34. From the article:
    “Where once massive hardwoods once stood now grows tiny fir trees.”

    uh, no- look at the photo- those logs are NOT hardwoods

    In Europe, they grow many species- pines, spruce, even fir- and some hardwoods.

    Sure, there were “massive hardwoods” many centuries ago- and they should grow more hardwoods and they probably will as there is a movement in Europe to grow more species.

  35. Too bad nobody has figured out how to split atoms.
    That might produce some energy.
    It might be tough to corral all the freed particles, but isn’t that why engineers are taught engineering ?
    It is only a matter of time.

  36. Reminds me of the whole plastic bag issue – “save the trees” campaign got rid of paper bags in favor of plastic, if you used plastic bags you were doing your part to save the earth. But now, I hear that plastic bags are evil and destroying the planet.

    Short term solutions, no foresight.

    • Except that Single Use Plastic bags are more healthy to use than Reusable bags WRT infectious diseases & bacteria and sturdier for potential wet loads from certain grocery items

  37. “…leading to widespread deforestation across northern Europe…”
    This not true for Finland. I don’t know how and why this misinformation is delivered. Deforestation here is practically zero. Normally there is clearcutting, but after that tree seedlings are planted in the opening.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clearcutting
    Maybe this clearcutting is source of error?

    Forest is growing in Finland:
    “The additional growth of the forest in the 21st century is estimated at 86.7 million cubic meters per year.” Google translation from https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suomen_mets%C3%A4t

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