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Hundreds of Scientists Write To Biden To Stop Dirty Biomass Industry

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | February 11, 2021

I have been covering the scandal of burning forests for power, only made possible by obscene subsidies and EU rules that class it as “zero carbon”.

I am pleased to see that several hundred scientists have now written to Biden, von der Leyen and others, objecting to the practice on scientific rather than environmental grounds.

Their basic argument is that the new biomass industry is not sustained by offcuttings, as claimed, but by wholly new harvesting. As I have been arguing, it could take decades for the carbon dioxide released from burning to be offset by regrowth. And that assumes that these forests will be replaced, an unlikely scenario.

In the meantime of course, more trees will be chopped down for burning, leaving a permanent “carbon debt”. As they point out, burning wood for power is far more carbon intensive than coal or gas, as it has a lower energy content.

Worse still, more than half of the wood is lost in harvesting and processing, long before it reaches the power station, adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere without even replacing fossil fuels. (They might also have mentioned the emissions resulting from processing and shipping).

And if that’s not bad enough, there are concerns that palm oil will be used in biomass plants. As we know, carbon dense tropical forests have been cleared already for palm oil plantations. Demand for more palm oil will be a catastrophic consequence of biomass policy.

Unfortunately biomass is now big business, not only in Europe but also in the US and Japan. Companies like Drax will fight tooth and nail to protect their generous subsidies.

Meanwhile governments will continue to turn a blind eye to this dirty industry, as without it they would find it impossible to achieve their climate targets.

February 11, 2021 - Posted by | Environmentalism, Science and Pseudo-Science | ,

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