Researchers: Wood Burning Unsustainable, Huge Footprint…”Will Accelerate Warming For Decades”

From the NoTricksZone

“Worse than fossil fuels”…wood burning “must stop…”

Source: Klimaschau 115

Governments and activists like claiming that burning wood and wood pellets from trees in power plants is an effective way to reduce global CO2 emissions. Yet researchers now say it is in fact having the opposite effect.

Hat-tip: Klimaschau 115

A team led by Laura Bloomer concluded here in a report that “burning trees and other forest biomass for energy is contrary to climate mitigation, biodiversity protection, and environmental justice goals” and that “governments must stop promoting climate-damaging forest bioenergy.” The researchers are calling for a stop to the folly of burning trees.

Takes decades to offset

According to the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD) press release, such bioenergy indeed “has a substantial greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint and will accelerate warming for decades” and “in fact, burning woody biomass releases more carbon dioxide (CO2) than fossil fuels per unit of energy” and that it takes many decades for tree regrowth to offset those emissions.

False bioenergy accounting

The researchers say governments have been using “ false accounting” when calculating forest bioenergy’s emissions and that it “must end”.

“Countries must move away from forest bioenergy which not only damages the forest sinks but also worsens the air pollution, biodiversity loss and environmental injustice,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the IGSD.

“Will accelerate warming”

Because of bioenergy’s emissions footprint and the associated forest destruction, it will accelerate warming in the coming decades. The authors argue that countries should end subsidies for and move away from forest bioenergy.

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Steve Case
June 18, 2022 2:21 am

“Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious” – George Orwell.

Brian Jackson
Reply to  Steve Case
June 18, 2022 2:34 am

This was obvious to all but the global warming idiots society. Anybody with an ounce of common sense would see that the immediate release of much additional CO2, loss of forest cover and bio diversity, loss of forestry jobs would by far outweigh any possible benefit many decades in the future. This makes the CO2 problem – if there is a problem, which I for one do not accept – far worse right now, which is when the supposed problem has to be solved before 2030.
Lunacy squared.

Steve Case
Reply to  Brian Jackson
June 18, 2022 3:26 am

Right in there with bloodletting, except that even bloodletting in rare instances is still used. Wikipedia

Reply to  Steve Case
June 18, 2022 5:33 am

Blood letting is highly effective in treating severe congestive heart failure, a common condition. In the modern era we now have drugs which can treat congestive heart failure.

Reply to  Joel
June 18, 2022 6:33 am

Blood letting is effective in unbinding oppression.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Scissor
June 18, 2022 9:11 am

It also feeds the Tree of Liberty.

Reply to  Joel
June 18, 2022 9:23 am

Still a standard treatment for hemochromatosis. (Excessive iron retention.)

Reply to  Joel
June 18, 2022 10:14 am

It’s also a very effective (if rather rarely used) way of dealing with politicians.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Joel
June 18, 2022 12:52 pm

The first drug for treating congestive heart failure was digitalis, a derivative of the flower common foxglove. Its medical use was first described in scientific literature by William Withering, in 1785.

Reply to  Steve Case
June 18, 2022 1:59 pm

Leaches are still used, as well. via @BCMedicalJrnl
This is an excellent article and, also, delves into how medicine still has some of the same problems today that led the medical community to continue using bloodletting for so many centuries despite it record of failure.

Bloodletting today
Today phlebotomy therapy is primarily used in Western medicine for a few conditions such as hemochromatosis, polycythemia vera, and porphyria cutanea tarda.[11]Hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder of iron metabolism leading to abnormal iron accumulation in liver, pancreas, heart, pituitary, joints, and skin. It is treated with periodic phlebotomy to maintain ferritin levels at a reasonable level so as to minimize further iron deposition.
Polycythemia vera is a stem cell bone marrow disorder leading to overproduction of red blood cells and variable overproduction of white blood cells and platelets. Its treatment includes phlebotomy to reduce the red blood cell mass and decrease the chance of dangerous clots.
Porphyria cutanea tarda is a group of disorders of heme metabolism with an associated abnormality in iron metabolism. Phlebotomy is also used to decrease iron levels and prevent accumulation in various organs.
In the last 25 years leech therapy has made a comeback in the area of microsurgery and reimplantation sur­gery. Hirudo medicinalis can secrete several biologically active substances including hyaluronidase, fibrinase, proteinase inhibitors, and hirudin, an anticoagulant.
The leech can help reduce venous congestion and prevent tissue necrosis. In this way it can be used in the postoperative care of skin grafts and reimplanted fingers, ears, and toes. Because of concern regarding second­ary infections a “mechanical leech” has been developed at the University of Wisconsin.[12]
You can get a visual here if you so desire.
WATCH: See How Leeches Can Be A Surgeon’s Sidekick

Wm. Donald Tabor Jr., DDS
Reply to  .KcTaz
June 18, 2022 6:56 pm

I just had a unit of blood drawn off Monday as treatment for polycythemia.

willem post
Reply to  Brian Jackson
June 18, 2022 3:28 pm



East Europe and the US Southeast still have significant areas with forests. Starting about 2005, major parts of these forests have been harvested by means of clear-cutting. In 2016, about 6.5 million metric ton of wood pellets will be shipped from the US Southeast to Europe for co-firing in coal-fired power plants. 

The EU has declared these coal plants in compliance with EU CO2/kWh standards, because biomass is renewable and the CO2 of wood burning is not to be counted., and “Burning wood is CO2-neutral”.

Manufacturing pellets requires input energy of about 115 units, and shipping pellets to European coal plants requires about 10 units, for a total of 125 units to have 100 units of pellet energy fed to a coal plant; the CO2 emissions of pellet burning is declared CO2-neutral, and the other 25% of CO2 emissions is not mentioned. 

Most US states have significant areas covered with forests. As part of renewable energy programs, these forests are seen as useful for producing thermal and electrical energy. By using the mantra “Burning wood is CO2-neutral”, the CO2 from wood burning, and associated activities, is ignored, and thus not included in a state’s overall CO2 emissions. 

Forests, other biomass and oceans, acting as CO2 sinks, absorb atmospheric CO2 from any source. Those sinks are working at full capacity. As a result, the CO2 they cannot deal with has been building up in the atmosphere for at least the past 100 years. 

It is irrational to make the claim “burning wood is CO2-neutral, because biomass growth is absorbing the wood-burning CO2”. Such a claim ignores the sinks are working at full capacity. There is no spare forest area reserved for absorbing any increase in wood-burning CO2.

Last edited 11 months ago by wilpost
Reply to  Brian Jackson
June 18, 2022 4:00 pm

They really want to ban burning wood for home heat.

Reply to  Steve Case
June 18, 2022 4:34 am

from the UK press:
Government’s plan to reach ‘net zero’ by 2050 by removing carbon from the atmosphere relies on BURNING the equivalent of 120 million trees a year just to ‘balance the books’, report claims
32,534,939 tonnes of wood pellets would need to be burned every year, according to a report by The Telegraph — the equivalent of 119,834,572 trees.
It means equivalent of burning the New Forest every five months.
What to do with all emitted CO2 during burning: no problem, capture the smoke from power plants, and pipe it under the North Sea.
Most of us know that the UK ministers are below average intelligence, but that they are absolutely crazy might come to some as a bit of surprise.

Last edited 11 months ago by vuk
E. Martin
Reply to  Vuk
June 18, 2022 7:19 am

The UK has at least one giant wood burning power plant that gets the enormous quantities of the wood needed from trees here in the US that are ground up and shipped to the UK.

Reply to  Vuk
June 18, 2022 2:13 pm

Pipe it under the North Sea? Do they mean into the water or into the sea bed? If it’s into the water, what good will that do? As the sea warms, like CAGWers say it will and is, the CO2 will just be outgassed into the atmosphere, no? If under the sea bad, how are the going to get a gas to stay there? Thanks for your thoughts.

Reply to  .KcTaz
June 18, 2022 11:09 pm

The water at the bottom of the deep sea is just above freezing all the time so it could handle absorbing lots of CO2 without worrying about outgassing.

I’m surprised that there isn’t a CCS firm trying it out, it would be much cheaper than trying to liquify it or bury it under pressure.

The plankton will appreciate any of the free plant food that manages to bubble up from the depths.

Reply to  Steve Case
June 18, 2022 7:06 am

Why did England switch to burning coal? They had largely deforested England in their search for fuel. Study the past so at least your mistakes are ‘new mistakes’.

Reply to  magpie
June 18, 2022 9:23 am

Or triple the wood export cost of extraction from North American forests for Drax and UK policymakers to wake up.

Reply to  magpie
June 18, 2022 11:45 am

The eastern US was largely deforested by the late 19th century when tree-cutting for agriculture was funded by the burning of wood for steam power.

Mark Twain documented the sale of wood-lots along navigable rivers to fuel the river boats of the era. It was the transition to coal and the vast midwestern farm acreage that allowed for a reforestation over the 20th century.

Which is rapidly being undone by huge “green” beasts like Drax, which alone burns something like 8 million US tons of wood pellets annually, largely harvested in the eastern US, pelletized, and shipped across the Atlantic to burn for UK grid power.

Reply to  Steve Case
June 18, 2022 9:20 am

When faced with determined bad public policy of Biden & Co. the restatement gets tiring.

Reply to  Steve Case
June 18, 2022 7:35 pm

If you are burning trees faster than they grow of course more C02 will be emitted than is absorbed by newly planted or existing trees in most countries .
We have extensive Radiata pine commercial forests in New Zealand that are harvested every 26 to 30 years with over 70% being exported as logs or sawn timber .
If you have claimed carbon credits as they grow you have to pay back 75% of the credits at harvest .
Our Labour Green government has proposed that a lot of our hill country farms should be planted in carbon forests .
Some ministers in the government know that this is a crazy idea as these farms will be planted in pines which will never be harvested .
The flawed theory is that our native bush will grow under these trees and become carbon sinks.
The flaw is that unpruned pines will become a fire hazard well before the native trees have grown very tall .
As one minister with forestry knowledge has stated ” Carbon farming will be a disaster “

Reply to  Graham
June 19, 2022 2:28 am

why the hell would you payback credits? the wood is STILL locking the co2 up when used for building etc
and no one burns radiata pine for home heat unless theyre desperate and likes cleaning the flue very often

Reply to  ozspeaksup
June 19, 2022 2:47 am

Those are the rules here .You have to surrender 75% of carbon credits allocated to each block after harvest .
I agree with you and have argued that timber in housing and fencing lasts for many forest rotations .
The boffins here seem to think only a quarter of what is harvested is used as timber but even if that was true after 4 rotations of pines say 112 years the timber that is still in buildings is indeed a carbon sink.
Some saw mills use the saw dust and shavings to in furnaces to dry out the timber before treatment .

June 18, 2022 2:54 am

This is all you need know

June 18, 2022 2:54 am

If you refuse to let people use coal, gas or electricity, then they are going to burn wood. I wonder how many BTUs are produced by burning environazis?

June 18, 2022 3:06 am

Absolutely… all green groups are against wood pellet use on the Drax scale. so good to see Watts and Greenpeace on the same side!

Reply to  griff
June 18, 2022 3:14 am

Let’s convert Drax to gas

John Law
Reply to  fretslider
June 18, 2022 5:10 am

Or gas! Plenty in them there parts

John Law
Reply to  John Law
June 18, 2022 5:12 am

Meant to say coal

Reply to  John Law
June 18, 2022 11:06 am

Gas will do. Peak District and Yorkshire Dales have rocks that are suitable for fracking for shale oil and gas or coal bed methane.

Reply to  fretslider
June 18, 2022 2:27 pm

The CAGWers and Greenies won’t let the UK frack for gas, Biden won’t let the US frack for gas and Russia is out of the game, for now, to a more or less great extent depending on what is true about the Europeans say they are doing and what they are, in reality, doing.

Reply to  fretslider
June 19, 2022 9:58 am

Or go back to coal… Oh, no, we’re not allowed to dig that any more – not even for steel production! All carbon dioxide emissions must be exported…

Old Man Winter
Reply to  griff
June 18, 2022 4:12 am

Unlike wind & solar, it does produce reliable energy even though it pollutes more than coal does
even before you add the FREE 33% BONUS CO2 EMISSIONS due to processing!

Gerry, England
Reply to  Old Man Winter
June 18, 2022 7:43 am

And allow for the lower calorific content compared to coal.

Reply to  Old Man Winter
June 18, 2022 2:30 pm

That’s why they are using wood pellets. It was “deemed” Carbon Neutral so European nations could meet or, pretend they’re making progress. It was not and is not anywhere remotely near Carbon Neutral.
The Obvious Biomass Emissions Error
Anthony Watts

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
June 18, 2022 5:25 am

“Absolutely… all green groups are against wood pellet use on the Drax scale.”

They ought to be burning coal or natural gas. Leave the forests alone.

Reply to  griff
June 18, 2022 5:49 am

Once again griff says something that may be mostly true.

all(?) green groups are against wood pellet use on the Drax scale.

So called renewable energy is an environmental disaster. People who actually care about the environment, apparently including Michael Moore, are rightly appalled.

I’m guessing Anthony’s rule of thumb is to agree with people when they’re right.

Poor griffie could tell us that the sun rises in the east and people would downvote him. I really can’t think why. 🙂

Old Man Winter
Reply to  commieBob
June 18, 2022 6:30 am

“Once again griff says something that may be mostly true.”

Your “mostly” sounds mostly like an exageration. Forty yrs ago, biomass was a possible
energy source until oil crashed in ’85. Drax didn’t start converting to bio until 2010. I don’t
think any average person would’ve even considered biomass as a viable option. That
leaves some Greenies licking their chops hoping to get some “Gubmint Green”. Why else
would this headline appear?

“With Ethanol And Biomass No Longer Viewed As ‘Green,’ Will Other Renewables Soon Follow?” (emphasis mine)

The analysis to consider trees as being green was that using them in power plants was just
speeding up the natural decay process which obviously misses all the additional energy
used to do that. It’s clearly way, way, way, way worse than coal & yet Greenies didn’t get
militant about it as they do with minor things!

Here are some who are also claiming it’s green:

Even though a normal person knows the facts prove it’s a bad choice, there seems to be
several opinions about it on the Green side (PSSST- as in “the science isn’t settled”).

Sounds to me like someone’s backtracking/flip-flopping as there were plenty of Greens
ignoring the obvious facts!

Last edited 11 months ago by Old Man Winter
Reply to  Old Man Winter
June 18, 2022 7:51 am

Yep. The people who live in, understand, commune with, and care about the environment are the minority. The rest just wear a green mantle to forward their ulterior purposes. Greenpeace would be exhibit one.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  commieBob
June 18, 2022 8:15 am

I care about the environment, too, & I’m not stupid enough to destroy the
world to save it by using all the useless Green poisons, I mean remedies!
Hiding behind “the science is settled” is the first sign of being anti-science.
Get a clue, dude!

Last edited 11 months ago by Old Man Winter
Reply to  Old Man Winter
June 18, 2022 8:31 am

I was taking a friendly poke at out old buddy griff and somehow you took umbrage. Sorry dude.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  commieBob
June 18, 2022 8:35 am

My bad! I wasn’t standing up & that went way over my head!

Last edited 11 months ago by Old Man Winter
Reply to  Old Man Winter
June 18, 2022 2:36 pm

I was wondering why the hostile reply since you’re both on the same side and agree with each other. Thanks for the clarification.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Old Man Winter
June 18, 2022 9:18 am

Weren’t there a few studies posted at WUWT showing the inability of biomass to produce significant amounts of energy needed by mankind?

Rich Davis
Reply to  commieBob
June 18, 2022 6:51 am

Truth to be told, commie bob, as soon as the griffter said it was bad, I realized that it must be ok, and maybe even good!!

Also…The sun doesn’t rise in the east, the earth rotates toward the east bringing the sun into view. 😛

Reply to  griff
June 18, 2022 9:25 am

I don’t recall seeing any protests outside the gates of Drax or at Drax ports or Drax rail lines or Drax tax incentives hearings.

Reply to  griff
June 18, 2022 9:44 am
June 18, 2022 3:12 am

Never mind Drax…

“Even now policymakers are too complacent and wedded to green fantasies. The Climate Change Committee forecasts declining demand for gas, but this is predicated on the mass adoption of heat pumps in place of gas boilers as part of the Net Zero agenda. That’s not going to happen. We’ll continue to need much more gas than the government imagines.

We need to push back against the green zealots and defend gas as an essential part of the UK’s electricity and heat mix.”

Instead of concentrating on gas

“Johnson has reportedly told ministers to divert more than £1bn from existing schemes to focus on insulating poorer households” – Grauniad

We’re all broke, wasn’t that the plan?

John Law
Reply to  fretslider
June 18, 2022 5:17 am

I think the plan is ‘broke and happy’

Reply to  fretslider
June 18, 2022 9:27 am

Widespread Grenfells are the plan. “The poor will always be with us.” Unless you kill them off, which the writers of Deuteronomy didn’t think of.

Reply to  writing observer
June 18, 2022 3:51 pm

Some of them are diligently working on the killing them off part of The Plan.

In Pushing Assisted Suicide On The Poor, Justin Trudeau Defines ‘Dignity’

Ed Zuiderwijk
June 18, 2022 3:15 am

There is no climate crisis.

Everything else follows from that simple truth.

Steve Case
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
June 18, 2022 3:30 am

There is no climate crisis.

CO2 is not a problem.

John Law
Reply to  Steve Case
June 18, 2022 5:23 am

It is if your beer goes flat!

Steve Case
Reply to  John Law
June 18, 2022 5:45 am

First chuckle of the day. (-:

Reply to  John Law
June 18, 2022 9:28 am

That’s lack of CO2. Also lack of a decent bartender.

Reply to  John Law
June 18, 2022 11:55 am

Mine doesn’t stay in the glass long enough to go flat, or get warm….

Reply to  John Law
June 18, 2022 3:51 pm

Now, John, THAT is a crisis!

John Law
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
June 18, 2022 5:21 am

So why are electric buses exploding in London?

Reply to  John Law
June 18, 2022 5:36 am

They can’t stand Sadiq Khan, either.

June 18, 2022 3:24 am

what is the ‘carbon footprint’ of burning wood for power vs that of foregoing all reasonable forest practices and just letting them burn year after year? CA probably has decades of yearly smoke filled summers ahead just to get its forests reasonably thinned.

Kit P
Reply to  AndyHce
June 18, 2022 1:17 pm

An example of using biomass for energy that is good for the envirment.

What is the three most important things to consider when using wood for energy?

Location, location, location!

Reply to  Kit P
June 18, 2022 3:58 pm

How is destroying forests good for the environment, esp., when burning it in plants like Drax emits more CO2 with biomass than if they burned coal and way more real pollutants than coal?
Long before CO2 and Climate Crisis became things, I recall the banning of fires in fireplaces in the Seattle area some days due smoke pollutimg the air from all that burning of wood and making it difficult for people to breathe.

Paul Stevens
June 18, 2022 3:48 am

If they want my ash bucket they will have to pry it from my cold dead fingers.

Kit P
Reply to  Paul Stevens
June 18, 2022 1:31 pm

Wood ash goes in the compsot pile.

An example of using biomass for energy that is good for the envirment.

What is the three most important things to consider when using wood for energy?

Location, location, location!

Got my first wood boiler shortly after my closest neighbor showed me his.

I was the new rich guy (I had a job that paid money) from the city. He really got my attention when he asked, ‘Did the realtor not tell you the oil truck can not get back here in winter?’

When I lived in cold climates with lots dead trees, I heated with wood. When I lived warmer places, I kept a two week supply

Joao Martins
June 18, 2022 3:52 am

Wood Burning Unsustainable
Go figure!…

June 18, 2022 3:55 am

The UK subsidises Drax biomass power station £2 million a day to burn wood pellets. Madness.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rusty
June 18, 2022 7:01 am

Of course Drax is a loony idea. Not because wood burning is a problem, but because burning wood pellets sourced from the other side of an ocean when you’re sitting on a century or more supply of coal, is about as economically daft as it gets.

Reply to  Rich Davis
June 18, 2022 11:19 am

In a full accounting for the policy fail there would be acknowledgement of the additional fossil fuel consumption in the UK economy in order to keep up the subsidy cost of Drax favors.

Reply to  Rich Davis
June 18, 2022 4:08 pm

The UK, also, has lots of clean nat. gas but can’t get it out of the ground because they’ve banned fracking. This is even Dafter than not burning coal!

John Shotsky
June 18, 2022 4:42 am

I wonder how much ‘fossil fuel’ it takes to cut the wood, haul it to a ‘pellet factory’, convert it to sawdust, compress it into pellets, and then fill ships with it and send them across oceans, then unload, pack into vehicles to get them to the intended distribution points. Literally all of these hairbrained ‘renewable’ energy schemes are held together with ‘fossil fuel’, but less efficiently than if the fuel was just used to make electricity directly. Even the photo showing pellets also has a diesel-powered truck dumping the pellets.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  John Shotsky
June 18, 2022 5:03 am

The hare-brained greens considered wood power plants as just speeding up the process of wood
rotting naturally. As usual, they omitted all the obvious “extras” you listed in their calculations!

Last edited 11 months ago by Old Man Winter
Reply to  Old Man Winter
June 18, 2022 7:18 am

Twenty-five years ago, Duke Energy, under pressure to add renewables to its generation portfolio, considered purchasing 8 existing waste to fuel power plants, from California to Maine to Florida. The one in Florida shredded and burned scrap tires (tyres). Phew!!

Duke bought none of them.

I personally did the environmental due diligence for the four units in California. Most memorable was a mere 60 MW plant in Redding, CA, sitting very close to N. California’s massive forests. To feed the beast required continuous fuel buying and shipping from >100 mile radius to supply the well over 100,000 tons per year of biomass to fire the steam boilers. The incoming fuel was chipped and stored in large stockpiles.

Unfortunately, since California environmentalists had practically shut down the timber industry to protect spotted owls or some such creatures, fuel buyers had to obtain almost anything that would burn — peach pits, pistachio shells, orchard wood, urban tree trimmings, etc. Variable fuel quality (moisture and BTU content) played havoc with air emissions controls. Ash disposal was also a continuing challenge. In the end, the economics just weren’t there, even when liberally allowing for inefficiencies just to get the “green” credits.

So even when situated near wood sources, aside from the politics, industrial scale biomass burning is a loser, especially so at a societal scale where there isn’t enough to supply even a small fraction of energy demand.

Kit P
Reply to  Pflashgordon
June 18, 2022 2:33 pm

So you are the idiot who can not do an envormental evaluation? How many have died because of your failure?

I worked for Duke 25 years ago. I would have adsvised Duke againsdt doing business in Califonia. Too many idoits.

Many of the biomass plants Washington, Oregon , and Califonia were built to clean up very serions air pollution problems from open burning.

An example of using biomass for energy that is good for the envirment.

What is the three most important things to consider when using wood for energy?

Location, location, location!

Forsest health is one of the unintended consequences of past envoromental practices. After giving a presentation to the Washington Department of Ecology, a person from US EPA approached us a said ‘if you think you can solve that problem, I have another.’

My solution was small projects on the order of 5 MW that would reduce the fire risk to small towns and provide small utltites a method of regualting voltage and pf.

The location was not Califonia and where local envormetanlist liked the ideas.  Start small and prove the solution is not worse than the probelm.

So went wrong?  Califonia!  The legal ramifications of the 2000/2001 California energy crisis put a damper on things and 9/11 changed priorities.
Reply to  John Shotsky
June 18, 2022 11:26 am

In the southcentral U.S., part of the electricity generation to run the pellet mills comes from coal-fired power plants. Considerable amounts of diesel fuel is consumed in the harvest machinery and truck transport that could go to more productive industry. And state and local tax incentives for the pellet plant investment and jobs take away from other uses of tax revenues such as education and social services. Congrats UK greens for your grand greenwashed distortion model of the economy.

Reply to  John Shotsky
June 18, 2022 12:02 pm

Isn’t wood a “pre-fossil” fuel? If you bury it for long enough doesn’t it become a fossil fuel?

Peter Wells
Reply to  Yooper
June 18, 2022 3:31 pm

The most recent coal deposits date to when the meteor which killed the dinosaurs hit the earth. The best coal is from longer ago. Coal as a fossil fuel becomes better with time.

John Shotsky
Reply to  Yooper
June 18, 2022 4:54 pm

As far as I know, all plants decompose rather than lasting for millions of years in their discarded state and then somehow becoming oil at 10,000 feet deep under high pressure and heat. Fossil fuel, my ass. Plants decompose, including trees. And insects see to it. My compost pile is ample proof that plant material becomes compost. Check out the ‘mother trees’ in the Olympic National Forest. I’ve been there. Logs rot.

Tom Abbott
June 18, 2022 5:34 am

From the article: “The researchers are calling for a stop to the folly of burning trees.”

The woodburning stove in my house has saved my bacon on more than one occasion over the years when the electricity was out for extended periods of time.

I don’t burn much wood normally, but it’s nice to be able to do so in an emergency.

I should probably do what Obama is doing.

Last edited 11 months ago by Tom Abbott
Steve Case
Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 18, 2022 5:53 am

The wood burning stove in my house …

A short Google search on “bans on wood burning stoves” turns up lots of pages that suggest that your wood burner is already or probably will be illegal. The green mob is coming after you and me and they aren’t playing bean bag.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 18, 2022 7:18 am

Depending on where you live I am willing to bet that most of the wood that you burn was from dead or fallen trees that had to be removed anyway. But even if the trees were cut just for firewood it is still much a more efficient use of the energy in the wood than shipping it all over the world and producing electricity with it.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MR166
June 18, 2022 6:37 pm

Yes, I have more fallen trees than I know what to do with. Mostly, I just let them decompose. 🙂

Harry Passfield
June 18, 2022 5:35 am

There are too many carpetbaggers making fortunes from the scam – not least Drax – to allow this to end – unless (I predict) some (un)natural catastrophe causes the process to end.
At least, when it came to burning coal the trees were already dead. Now, they are removing live trees and then making more money by replacing them.

Last edited 11 months ago by Harry Passfield
Dave Fair
Reply to  Harry Passfield
June 18, 2022 9:27 am

What can’t continue, won’t. We are now seeing that with Net Zippy of the feckless West. Screw with peoples’ security and economic wellbeing and there will be a reaction you won’t like.

Peta of Newark
June 18, 2022 6:12 am

For “decades”

Dream on you sad pathetic people.

  • The Aborigine started burning Aus 70,000 years ago and 3,000 decades after they finished it is still a desert
  • Somebody burned North Africa 600 decades ago – still = desert called ‘Sahara’
  • Minoans burned the Fertile Crescent – 400 decdes later still a desert and no signs of change
  • 200 decades ago Romans burned S. Europe and N. Africa – still deserts
  • 300 decades ago Phoenicians burned Syria and Lebanon – the only Cedrus Libani there now are pictures on the national flag
  • Industrious China people burned central China and now -= The Verdant Gobi. Oh. Wait.
  • Anasazi burned Utah, Colorado Arizona to effect that modern farmers think they’ve done well to get a grain yield (with fertiliser, pesticides and extra CO2) that is half what Neanderthal Man would have walked away from in embarrassment

need I continue…..

Dave Fair
Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 18, 2022 9:34 am

Peta, has the climate naturally changed in those locations over the past few thousands of years? Correlation (especially stretched ones) does not prove causation.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
June 18, 2022 9:52 am

Peta. ALL forests have burned at one time or another from lightning caused natural fires. The oldest trees are ~5,000 years old, most less than 1,000 years old. ALL forests have burned, yet the whole world is not a desert.

If the Aborigines started burning forests 70,000 years ago and that formed deserts that lasted 3,000 decades, then what were they burning less than 250 years ago?

I’ll repeat the advice I’ve given you many times before; pause before you hit the “post comment” button and think for a few seconds. Then spend a minute or two researching your claim with duckduckgo. It’ll help prevent you from beclowning yourself.

Reply to  Meab
June 18, 2022 6:03 pm

Peta, very, very little is known about the Anasazi. My home sits on land they once roamed. I sincely doubt we know that they ever burned forests. I’ve never heard of that, that’s for sure and I’ve heard a great deal about the little we know about them.
To your overall point,though, cheer up. Things are changing, thanks to rising CO2.
This should cheer you up unless, of course, you prefer doom and gloom.

…● The fact that CO2 emissions have major, proven benefits

, both for human agriculture and for natural ecosystems.
● The fact that, even though CO2 levels have been rising monotonically for over two-thirds of a century, the supposed major harms from CO2 emissions are all still merely hypothetical (and mostly implausible). None of the hypothesized major harms imagined as consequences of rising CO2 levels are actually happening.
● The fact that the Earth is “greening

,” deserts are retreating

, and Africans are returning to the land

in the arid Sahel, because a higher atmospheric CO2 level helps plants grow, and helps make them more water-efficient and drought-hardy.
● The fact that even National Geographic, which heavily promotes the climate scare, nevertheless admitted that anthropogenic climate change is greening deserts (though they didn’t mention that it’s the CO2 that’s responsible):
National Geographic: Sahara Desert Greening Due to Climate Change?

Here’s an excerpt:
Images taken between 1982 and 2002 revealed extensive regreening throughout the Sahel, according to a new study in the journal Biogeosciences.
The study suggests huge increases in vegetation in areas including central Chad and western Sudan. …
In the eastern Sahara area of southwestern Egypt and northern Sudan, new trees—such as acacias—are flourishing, according to Stefan Kröpelin, a climate scientist at the University of Cologne’s Africa Research Unit in Germany.
“Shrubs are coming up and growing into big shrubs. This is completely different from having a bit more tiny grass,” said Kröpelin, who has studied the region for two decades. …
“Before, there was not a single scorpion, not a single blade of grass,” he said.
“Now you have people grazing their camels in areas which may not have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years. You see birds, ostriches, gazelles coming back, even sorts of amphibians coming back,” he said.
“The trend has continued for more than 20 years. It is indisputable.”

Pat from kerbob
June 18, 2022 6:31 am

“researchers say governments have been using “ false accounting” when calculating” EVERYTHING


Dave Fair
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
June 18, 2022 9:41 am

All governments lie to the populace. That continues and worsens until sufficient contradictions build up such that the whole thing collapses. The zany pronouncements that men can become women is just one minor example of Leftist governmental lies.

June 18, 2022 6:36 am

I guess these guys were absent the day they went over The Carbon Cycle in the 4th grade….Let’s concede that “co2 sequestration” is achieved by growing plants, it’s ultimate fate is to undergo oxidation via slow, natural decomposition anyways– it’s just that that takes decades as opposed to rapid burning…but except for the initial surge in released co2 as we start the program, it will eventially fall back to its dyamic equilibrium….Only burning fosiil fuels actually adds any C to the cycle over decadal time scales.

20 y/a, I did an orders of magnitude estimate of how much wood it woud take to run the US automotive fleet on wood gas (like Paris taxis during WWII)– Using the available good lumber (because reaonable estimates of that are available, but don’t count slash/yard waste/shrubs etc), we could run for ~100yrs–without replacng any trees. (Anybody who thinks we don’t have enough trees available really oughta get out of the city once in awhile.) We can throw any organic material that burns into the mix– including plastic- for the Treehuggers who think that’s a problem

BTW- when the fossil fuel does become depleted, the industrial production of wood gas, like they did for coal gas in the 19th century, is the way to go. It would require no extra unreliable energy to produce it, is 100% recyclable, and doesn’t need any new technology that may not be forthcoming.

Gunga Din
Reply to  guidoLaMoto
June 18, 2022 1:22 pm

So … all that Carbon in fossil fuels was once a part of the natural Carbon cycle. But it was removed from it when it became buried before it completely decomposed.
Burning it just puts it in back into the natural Carbon cycle without prematurely burning trees and food and other plants that naturally will sequester it. (And produce more trees and food and plants.)
Nature will adjust.
Since so many of the Greens like labels, Fossil Fuels are “Natural”, “Organic” and “Recyclable”.

Reply to  guidoLaMoto
June 18, 2022 6:09 pm

guide “Only burning fosiil fuels actually adds any C to the cycle over decadal time scales.”

I think you should have a chat with these guys, guido, if you really believe that. Oh, yeah, and don’t forget CO2 out-gassing from the oceans.

Termites Emit More Greenhouse Gases than Coal Plants

Termite Farts

Termite Farts
Termites produce more CO2 each year than all living things combined

Termite farts = 12,600,000,000 metric tons of CO₂
Termites also emit 50,000,000,000 metric tons of CO₂
Zimmerman et al 1984
Human emissions are 24,000,000,000 metric tons
Termites are responsible for 260% more global warming than humans!
Best case scenario, termites emit 200% more than humans.
Worst case scenario, it’s almost 900% more

Reply to  .KcTaz
June 19, 2022 12:54 am

All part of the natural dynamic equilibrium of [co2]– Add in plate techtonics and even the sequestration of co2 via diatomaceous activity is part of the cyclic process on geologic time scales….and yes, the natural carbon budget is huge compared to the tiny contribution of fossil fuels.

My point was that when you mix your BromoSeltzer by pouring it back & forth in two tumblers after a night of partying, the rate at which you mix it doesn’t affect the amount of Bromo in the system….The natural fate of biomass is to be oxidized back to co2– The rate at which it is oxidized doesn’t affect the total C in the system.

Dr. Bob
June 18, 2022 6:45 am

“Those that give up freedom for safety deserve neither.” ~Benjamin Franklin~

Bruce Cobb
June 18, 2022 6:46 am

“We have to burn food to save the planet”. Oops.
“We have to burn trees to save the planet”. Oops.
“We have to get rid of coal, gas and oil to save the planet”. Oops.
Poor Greenie Weenies. Never right. Always delusional.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 18, 2022 6:11 pm

Greenies, never right but always certain.

June 18, 2022 7:08 am

Great article, but how long will it be before the grants to all of the authors of the paper mysteriously dry up and their offices are moved to windowless basements.

June 18, 2022 7:08 am

I just cannot believe the the 97% of all the worlds leading scientist could possibly have anything as simple as burning wood wrong in their global climate analysis. Let’s get real.

Reply to  Jim
June 18, 2022 6:20 pm

It’s not the scientists so much as it’s the politicians. Not one scientific statement made by the IPCC researchers goes out until it’s approved by numerous politicians from multiple nations.

“How can a young man without even a Masters degree become an IPCC lead author? Good question. . . Rather than recruiting real experts like Reiter the IPCC enlisted young, inexperienced, non-experts instead.”

A quote from an IPCC lead author: “There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient competence to do anything useful.”

A quote from a team member from a developing country: “The team members from the developing countires (including myself) were made to feel welcome and accepted as part of the team. In reality we were out of our intellectual depth as meaningful contributors to the process.”’

“   •   There is a growing list of scientists who have resigned from the IPCC* on the grounds that “scientific conclusions are re-written by politicians and presented to the public as valid science.”

1350+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarmism

* The IPCC claims to only use peer-reviewed papers from respected journals, but as Laframboise and a team of volunteers showed, thirty percent of the source material — more than 5,000 articles — for the IPCC reports is not peer-reviewed, and some of it is Greenpeace literature and press releases.

James F. Evans
June 18, 2022 8:49 am

The ol’ campfire, the flames, embers… the sparks rising to the darkened sky…

The smiles & laughter… or silent contemplation… wonderment.

The warmth of the fire… the radiance.

The ol’ campfire.

A good thing.

Kevin R.
Reply to  James F. Evans
June 18, 2022 1:20 pm

Not to mention the wonderful aroma of the campfire. Love that smell.

June 18, 2022 8:56 am

You can come for my guns and my pellet stoves at the same time. 😉 (sarcasm, people)

Dave Fair
Reply to  JoeG
June 18, 2022 9:49 am

I don’t think banning pellet stove will be the triggering event for active resistance to government insanities. But banning folk’s gas heating might just do it in the UK.

June 18, 2022 9:00 am

Researchers discover the warming properties of fire. Next stop: roasting chestnuts over an open fire… and we’ll have a gay old time while watching a parade of lions, lionesses, and their unPlanned cubs.

Last edited 11 months ago by n.n
June 18, 2022 9:16 am

Not to mention erosion, extra fuel consumption, extra wildlife disturbance, bottom up competition with lumber pricing, extra long distance shipping, and even some taxpayer incentives and subsidies for the creeps

June 18, 2022 10:15 am

The Large net CO2 release is good thing. CO2 is still at starvation levels. We need more of it, not less. But Forests should be managed for fire protection, for lumber, and for animal habitat, not for insignificant climate concerns. The only actual climate danger always has been and always will be global cooling.

Peter Wells
Reply to  Alec Rawls
June 18, 2022 3:39 pm

Exactly right! And, sad to say, we are now on the edge of the next big ice age.

June 18, 2022 10:31 am

I don’t get it. Sure it’s “unsustainable” if more vegetation is burned than is grown. It that what we are talking about? Or maybe burning diesel fuel to harvest, transport, grind up and pelletize wood? Or is it the extremely inefficient burning of stuff to generate electricity? Is that it?

June 18, 2022 10:55 am

Confirmation bias and prejudiced research.

“Harvesting woody biomass reduces the sequestration potential of forest carbon sinks, while the combustion of woody biomass releases large quantities of carbon into the air.¹ Forest regrowth may not offset these emissions for many decades² —well beyond the time the world has left to slow warming to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change.”

Waffle words and delusions are bolded by me for clarity.

Who are these researchers?

“The authors are with the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD). IGSD’s mission is to promote just and sustainable societies and to protect the environment by advancing the understanding, development, and implementation of effective and accountable systems of governance for sustainable development.”

Use of vague phrases and waffle words plus adherence to the “World will end in ten years” identify these researchers as confirmed alarmists. That is, a without logic or sanity.

The woody biomass harvested for making wood pellets tends to be yellow pines, a softwood hard enough that they make floors and sub floors with the wood.

Meanwhile, the comparison these folks rely upon:

“Thomas Walker et al., Carbon Accounting for Woody Biomass from Massachusetts (USA) Managed Forests: A Framework for Determining the Temporal Impacts of Wood Biomass Energy on Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Levels”

Forests, hardwood, pines and firs, in Massachusetts are diametrically different to rapid growing yellow pines further south.

Last edited 11 months ago by ATheoK
June 18, 2022 11:50 am

There can be no energy source but one before the one?, two, solar/wind god. 😏

Jose Leones
June 18, 2022 12:41 pm

Oh goody! City people explaining the world. It’s fun to see the idiots.
The trees have a lifespan, many dying at multiple ages as the forest ages. City folk don’t see this but there are many baby trees and very very few adults. Biomass harvesting of whole forests is straight-up idiocy, but if it is tops and culls it nots so stupid. I heat from culls, tops and windfalls from a 2 acre woodlot. I never cut a healthy tree with a bright future.

Kevin R.
June 18, 2022 1:15 pm

If it’s worse than oil how much did it contribute to warming pre-industrial age?

Peter Wells
Reply to  Kevin R.
June 18, 2022 3:42 pm


June 18, 2022 1:28 pm

This has been known for a very long time by WUWT readers and many others, as well. Numerous studies, not just this one has proved that Biomass buring is worse that burning coal for CO2, real pollutants and forests and air quality as well as causing deforestation.
The Obvious Biomass Emissions Error
Anthony Watts

Reply to  .KcTaz
June 18, 2022 2:07 pm

I checked the article. If you burn a tree that took 75 years to grow, it will take 75 years for a similar tree to recapture the carbon.

Peter Wells
Reply to  .KcTaz
June 18, 2022 3:47 pm

So what is so bad about adding CO2 to the atmosphere? Before we did so, a Harvard professor wrote a book claiming we would all be starving to death in another 20 years or so due to our inability to produce enough food. (“The Population Bomb”)

June 18, 2022 4:25 pm

Which reminds me.
Have they successfully banned pizza ovens in Italy or are the Italians sticking with their heritage?

Derek Colman
June 18, 2022 4:28 pm

I am that bloke in Wetherspoons who knows it all despite not having a degree or anything. I have been making this argument for at least 10 years in the comment sections of newspapers and getting many replies telling me how ignorant I am and trotting out BS about how they are saving the planet with their wood burner. I have taken every opportunity to criticise Drax. My point is, how come all those clever people with PhDs can be so wrong when an ordinary bloke like me with an interest in science got it right so long ago?

Captain climate
June 18, 2022 4:45 pm

Either we burn the trees or the wildfires will. This is just an effort to eliminate the average person’s ability to have cheap wood heating.

Kevin kilty
June 18, 2022 8:25 pm

Burning trees. Unsustainable? You bet. Big footprint? Indeed. Accelerate warming for decades? Only in their lurid models.

June 18, 2022 10:30 pm

Masters of the Obvious, Episode 11,319

June 19, 2022 2:22 am

well without the redgum I am burning now keeping my home just bearable with 5c outside, Id be in the at risk elderly re hypothermia. because a fan heater costs far more and simply can NOT heat a room efficiently or the objects in it to store and release that heat when the fire dies down. slow growing redgum? hmm seedlings appearing after the wet yr in 17 are now a miniforest and 8ft high, theyre as good a woodlot as i will need to see me out I reckon

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