JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Green groups save the coal underground but destroy the forest above

Raze trees to save the coal deposits

Building the future one log at a time.

Thanks to climate activists, coal deposits underground are safe but Europe’s old forests are being converted to industrial plantations and wood pellets

 Pierre Gosselin of NoTricksZone thinks the media, which raged over Brazil’s Amazonian forest fires may be finally noticing their own man-made disaster.

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.

Who needs massive hardwoods anyway?

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.”

 The problem is particularly severe in Estonia where one sixth of the forest has been razed since just 2001 to feed the worlds second largest pellet company.

 Estonia is beginning to see the cost of wood pellets. Is North Carolina next?

Elizabeth Ouzts, Energy News Network

“The main driver of the pellet industry in Estonia is the renewable energy subsidies by the European Union,” said Asko Lõhmus, lead research fellow of conservation biology at the University of Tartu. “They are making the richest people in Estonia out of European taxpayers’ money.”

Carbon accounting tricks kill forests:

 Under an international accounting framework, wood pellet emissions are tracked in the land use sector (where trees and plants soak up and store carbon) rather than in the energy sector (where burning fossil fuels emit carbon.) Countries that burn wood pellets for electricity count their emissions as zero and heavily subsidize the fuel.

Estonia lost 15% of its forest cover since 2001, with only a fraction getting replaced with new tree canopy. Data from the Ministry of Environment show more and more land is clear cut or cut to leave only middle-aged trees that can produce seeds.

That trend has cut against Estonian’s official appeal to tourists…

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (62 votes cast)
Green groups save the coal underground but destroy the forest above, 9.5 out of 10 based on 62 ratings

35 comments to Green groups save the coal underground but destroy the forest above

  • #
    Just Thinkin'

    “You reap what you sow.”

    70

    • #
      PeterS

      That’s correct but PM Morrison still isn’t getting the message. We must follow Trump’s lead and get out of the Paris Agreement ASAP, and stop pretending that reducing emissions has any value other than to assist in destroying our economy.

      200

  • #
    MrGrimNasty

    A while back I calculated that from standard pine forestry maturation times and yield in the UK, the ‘DRAX’ biomass plant we currently have would require an area of land slightly less than Wales to be given over to pine plantation on rotation. To meet the whole of the UK’s electricity needs from wood pellets would require an area slightly greater than the size of the UK! That’s how much chopped up forest we are shipping in from around the world, mostly N.America.

    210

    • #
      ColA

      So stupid it burns!

      As if these idiots could not predict that would destroy the forests! Timber has lower energy density and generates more CO2 when burnt, there really is no substitute for eco terrorism!

      Mean while back in Australia we are exporting millions of tonnes of our own hard and softwoods a year over seas – so we are just as much DUMBARSES

      60

    • #

      THat’s interesting. Do you still have your calculations?

      04

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        I once calculated, admittedly an estimate, of all the bricks, mortar, roofing iron, rotating plant, support base etc for a coal fired power plant located 30 km from my home.

        Total mass in tonnes.

        Then taking the known output of that plant I calculated how many wind turbines would be needed to produce the same amount of power, kWh.

        Using the given mass of concrete for base and the “erection” with the spinner on top it was an easy extension to multiply that by the number of windmills.

        The mass ratio per kWh is appalling and is a good start to showing how “un-ecological” wind mills really are, and that doesn’t go into the unethical/polluting background of the rare Earths needed.

        Do it and understand the meaning of misdirection.

        KK

        100

      • #
        MrGrimNasty

        Assumptions:-

        Clear cut pine plantation in UK yields about 100T/Acre after 35yrs.
        2019 Drax supplied 8% of UK electricity using 14.1 millionT of fresh wood
        (Double the weight of pellets used – conversion/drying/losses is 2:1)
        100% of UK electricity would therefore require 176.25 millionT of fresh wood
        To supply continuously (*35/100) would therefore require nearly 61.7 million acres.

        Area of Wales = just over 5 million acres (~8.6% of UK).
        Area of UK = nearly 60 million acres.

        50

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    A very interesting post: I had no idea that this pelletising lunacy existed outside Britain who weirdly import their pellets from the U.S.

    The world has completely lost control of the rorters and manipulators.

    170

  • #
    tom0mason

    Of course the other aspects that hardwood forests have on the land is that they help maintain and conserve soil, and assist in reducing flood and landslides.

    120

  • #
    Mike Jonas

    “particularly severe in Estonia where one sixth of the forest has been razed since just 2001″. It’s important to see both (all) sides of an argument. One sixth in 19 years suggests a full forestry cycle of over 100 years. IOW it could indicate a fully sustainable forestry operation.

    10

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Mike?

      “IOW it could indicate a fully sustainable forestry operation”.

      The only reason that “pelletising” works is that it has been sanctioned by the elites and funded heavily from government funds.

      The only thing that is sustainable is the flow of cash from the industry to places hidden from the sight of taxpayers.

      Meanwhile, back in Australiastan, the paradox is that we burn huge quantities of pelletiseable trees and undergrowth every year in bushfires merely to provide justification of the IPCCCCCs Climate Pandemic.

      KK

      90

    • #
      MrGrimNasty

      No serious researcher/scientist is pretending that burning wood pellets reduces CO2 emissions or that you can grow the trees fast enough to burn, anymore. It really is just political idiocy.

      We’ve seen it before, the EU (and Brazilian and other) vehicle bio-fuel mandates turned out to actually increase CO2 emissions, so what did the politicians do, cancel the policy – no, continue to increase the mandatory fraction of bio-fuel!

      90

    • #
      RickWill

      CO2 is causing a fundamental change in forest productivity. Trees are growing faster and require less water to grow.

      The Australian bushfires of 2019/20 liberated enough energy to power the entire Australian economy if that wood had been combusted efficiently in a controlled way – not just electricity but all energy requirements. Enough wood for 6 years of electricity production.

      Likewise, California had 500Mt of standing and dead wood in 2018. That is enough wood to power California’s electricity grid for more than two years. Some of that dead wood is now fuelling uncontrollable wild fires.

      It is almost impossible to undertake controlled burns to reduce forest fuel loads. The process is hamstrung by all sorts of environmental limitations.

      A dead tree holds an incredible amount of fuel. It can store energy with very slow deterioration over many years. Surely the dead wood and litter in forests can be turned into an opportunity rather than being a serious problem accumulating to eventually cause devastation.

      Managed forests should not equate to cutting down all the old trees to clear ground and planting fast growing species. They should be managed in a way that allows easy removal of dead wood and litter with minimal disruption to the forest life.

      Victoria no longer requires permits to collect wood from State forests for domestic heating – one small step.

      61

      • #
        Serp

        How much of Victoria’s population would be within the five kilometre tether distance of these forests I wonder? At least Dan hasn’t nailed our feet to the floor just yet…

        00

  • #
    exsteelworker

    And when heavy rain happens, mud slides will swallow up whole towns and poeple down stream.But of course its all our fault cause we burn COAL.

    30

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    From tree huggers to tree loppers in a single generation.

    100

  • #
    Serge Wright

    The great irony is that almost all environmental destruction over the past 25 years has come from green policy, which is either creating vast fields of bird chopping turbines, or creating vast dead zones of earth shadowed below solar farms. The even greater irony is that because these RE sources cannot provide the energy required to run society, they insist that our trees must be chopped into pellets and used as a coal replacement to create the illusion we are moving away from coal.

    Meanwhile, over in Asia they are burning more coal and getting on with development ….

    130

  • #
    Annie

    Burning wood pellets to feed power stations counts as zero emissions? Righto. The UK wants people to get rid of their ‘polluting’ wood stoves? OK.
    The world is crackers.

    90

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Annie, it’s O.K.to use pellets in the stoves because all the nasty resins are probably left in the USA during “pelletising”.

      That part of the scheme is crackers, for voter consumption.

      The best part is out of sight: the redirection of the skim of cash to the beneficiaries.

      40

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        KK:
        Russia exports 500,000 Kg of wood pellets in small bags to Europe (including the UK) every year. They aren’t going into power stations.

        30

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          But hang on, doesn’t Europe have cheap green electricity so they don’t need “wood” stoves?

          Or are the pellets cheaper.

          30

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            KK:

            You get subsidies for burning wood pellets in power stations (as well as avoiding penalties). Drax (Yorkshire) conerted 4 out of 6 units to burn (imported) wood pellets and went from facing bankruptcy to profitable. Overall, their CO2 emissions went UP about 22%. Conversion of the last 2 units to run on gas would reduce emissions but is being opposed by the Greens.

            Use of wood pellets to warm (large) houses and barns in Nth. Ireland attracts about £1,500 million a year in subsidies. The more you burn the more you earn. Note that it is the owners of big houses and/or barns who benefit.
            Who knows whether burning wood pellets to heat houses in, say, London attracts any subsidies, but it is cheaper than gas (and much cheaper than electricity) with the slight drawback of increased particulate emissions. Older readers, or those knowing history, will recall the pea soup fogs in London until the mid 1950′s from burning coal to warm houses, and the difficuties and thousands of deaths that resulted.

            20

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              Thanks for the detail.
              Takes me back to simpler times when starting the fire for the cook top was the most stressful part of the day.
              Served as oven/hotplate and room heater all run on coal.
              We also had a gas ring for quick stuff and wall mounted gas lights with mantles.

              00

  • #
    Peter

    The Netherlands is beginning to see the light as well. Many NGO’s and environmentalists (including the Urgenda Foundation, which sued the Dutch government for not doing enough for the “climate”) want a ban on importing wood and burning it in power stations instead of coal. This wood is not only coming from Northern Europe; the Dutch also import it from Canada and the US.
    It is only the politicians who frantically cling on to wood pellets because it is one of the major pillars of the Dutch ‘climate policy’. No mountains means hardly any hydropower; a densely populated country means hardly any space for solar and wind. So burning wood has to be part of the ‘solution’.

    50

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      In practice they buy “green certificates” from the Norway hydro scheme to ‘offset’ the CO2 emissions from their power stations. To their claim of “only 16%” add 50.

      40

  • #
    John Watt

    So burning wood does not emit CO2. The obsession with being seen to be anti-coal seems to be inducing some form of derangement. “Planet of the Humans” exposed the wood-fired fallacy…not enough trees in USA to do the job. Meanwhile WWF is diligently identifying the endangered bird species in Sweden/Estonia?

    60

  • #
    RickWill

    A key recommendation of the latest NSW Bushfire Inquiry was to establish a body that monitors the implementation of Bushfire Inquiry recommendations. The recommendation was accepted as most other recommendations from past bushfire enquiries. One finding was that recommendations for fuel reduction are accepted but inevitably shelved because they are impossible to implement. The new body will ar least allow a one stop point to assess the failure to implement the recommendations rather than looking through the sad tales in departmental annual reports.

    One of the submissions to the NSW Inquiry made the point that severe wild fires change the weather. The assessed climate change in forested locations is the result of weather changes DUE to bushfires. Figure 4 in the submission provides

    compelling insight:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vm319mv7xoyndof/%C2%A0NSW%20Bushfire%20Inquiry%20Submission.pdf?dl=0

    Christine Finlay has identified that bushfire control in Australia is as corrupted as the BoM and the electrical supply industry:
    https://sites.google.com/site/stopbushfires/

    The bushfire crisis worsens despite:
    – Bulging dossiers that show bushfire service operations worsen fires.
    – Parliamentary and coronial inquiries’ scathing criticism of bushfire operations.
    – Politicians’ pre-election commitments.
    – Two Royal Commissions finding the causes are catastrophic fuel loads and bushfire operations imposed by bushfire service bosses.
    – Court case after court case.
    – Firestorms belching over 1/3 of our carbon emissions without filters to extract pollution. Firestorm clouds reach up to 15km into the stratosphere, pumping ozone destroying aerosols.
    – Firestorms cause record heatwaves. Then their carbon and aerosol loaded clouds make it cooler and more prone to dangerous weather. Green tape makes it almost impossible to burnoff adequately, so firestorms are a Green self-fulfilling prophecy because they are Australia’s only evidenced source of preventable climate change.

    Bushfire prone locations need to get much smarter in managing fuel loads in forests.

    30

  • #
    el gordo

    Donald’s intuitive intellect changed the course of history.

    ‘Do you remember when citizen Trump once tweeted that climate change was a hoax for the benefit of China? It sounded crazy to most of the world. Then we learned that the centerpiece of politics around climate change—the Paris climate accord—was hugely expensive for the United States and almost entirely useless for lowering temperatures. (Experts agree on both points now.)

    ‘The accord was a good deal for China, in the sense that it would impede its biggest business rival, the United States, while costing China nothing for years. You could say Trump was wrong to call climate change a hoax. But in the context ofT rump’s normal hyperbole, it wasn’t as wrong as the public’s mass delusion believed it to be at the time.’

    Scot Adams (wuwt)

    60

  • #
    observa

    It’s OK as we can all rely upon Equity Generation in future.

    00

  • #
    Anders Svensson

    Those germans are not to be trusted … they just want power “to rule us all” … and the result is as always “death and misery” … has been like that for a millennia …

    10