Thursday, October 22, 2015

Burning Wood In Europe Is Considered Carbon Neutral -- October 22, 2015


October 27, 2015: Business Insider reports on this also
Original Post
These were some earlier posts on this ridiculous subject. It almost makes me think the Europeans are going back to the Dark Ages, burning wood chips to keep warm:
I bring this up (again), because, apparently The New York Times has even figured this scam out. Don sent me this link with this headline: Flawed Carbon Accounting Drives Boom in Burning U.S. Forests in E.U. Power Plants. Here's the story:
Forestry, done in the right place the right way and for the right reasons, can be an important source of materials, jobs and wildlife habitat.
But are forests an appropriate fuel source for power plants? *
After five months of reporting, John Upton and others at Climate Central have put together a compelling and infuriating package on the growing flow of wood pellets from the Southeast, many from hardwood forests, to European power plants, where the result is touted as carbon-neutral energy and helps country’s meet emissions targets — at least on paper.
But the atmosphere isn’t noticing, according to the analysis. This passage in part three of Climate Central’s “Pulp Fiction” series describes the core issue with the European approach:
Through a loophole in its clean energy regulations, all wood energy is treated as if it releases no carbon dioxide. That accounting trick is allowing European national governments and their energy sectors to pump tens of millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the air every year — without accounting for it. That helps them keep that pollution off their books, but not out of the atmosphere.
Part one explains the loophole:
That loophole treats electricity generated by burning wood as a “carbon neutral” or “zero emissions” energy source — the same as solar panels or wind turbines. When power plants in major European countries burn wood, the only carbon dioxide pollution they report is from the burning of fossil fuels needed to manufacture and transport the woody fuel. European law assumes climate pollution released directly by burning fuel made from trees doesn’t matter, because it will be re-absorbed by trees that grow to replace them. [lol]
The assumption is convenient, but wrong. Climate science has been rejecting it for more than 20 years. It ignores the decades it can take for a replacement forest to grow to be as big as one that was chopped down for energy— or the possibility that it won’t regrow at all. The assumption also ignores the loss of a tree’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide after it gets cut down, pelletized and vaporized.
Much, much more at the link, with some cool graphs. By 2030, we should finally be reading some stories in the NYT about the entire global warming scam. 

One or two millenia ago, humans burned all the trees in Turkey and today -- Turkey is pretty much treeless. I know at one time the NYT was upset about loss of rain forests, but I guess not so much any more, at least in the southeastern US.

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