Forest-based biomass is no panacea. Rather it is an ecological disaster disguised as 'sustainable' replacement to fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas) and nuclear energy by our governing puppets. Let me be clear about this: by buying wood pellets, Europeans are contributing to the catastrophic deforestation of Europe, Canada, Brazil and southeastern America, and the utter destruction of (mostly) untouched primeval natural habitats. Besides biofuels are also responsible for Indonesia's vast deforestation, in which case the lowland tropical forests are being eradicated to make way for palm oil monocultures (for bioethanol).
|'Struggle Between Heaven and Earth', Mount Rarau, Romania, by Robert U., via National Geographic|
Back to the West, not only are mature trees chainsawed en masse in order to produce virgin lumber pellets, but every wildlife component of the woodland is affected too: the undergrowth, flora and fauna, not to mention soil erosion, aquifer and marsh disruptions. Road infrastructures, lumber mills and processing plants effect the landscape further, totally transforming it beyond recognition. And from there onwards is an open-door policy for further looting of natural resources under all its guises and the transformation of natural woodlands into man-made wastelands and monocultures.
"... the benefits of biomass burning for carbon emissions may be bogus, while its consequences for forest ecology are becoming all too evident. The threat to the continent's forests is big and immediate." - Fred Pearce, Up in Flames
To put it simply, woody biomass is Europe's own legalised EU-funded Borneo jungle disaster right on our doorstep - or a few hundreds miles away, depending on where we live. The demand for biomass was engineered by Big Corporate in collusion with governments under the thinly-veiled green revolution nonsense purported by Agenda 21, Al Gore and consorts, in a way that has nothing to do with ecology. It accelerates further the destruction of our planet via lucrative bogus schemes. This is nothing but a big bucks ecological disaster!
|Saruman's oeuvre? Enviva facility in Ahoskie, North Carolina (US), supplies Drax power plant (UK)|
Prime ancient trees are being felled in places like France's Cévennes, Slovakia's Poloniny National Park, and the Carpathian old-growth forests of Romania all the way to Poland. Likewise across the Atlantic, North Carolina wetland and hardwood forests are reduced to those moulded, compacted sawdust pellets that are then shipped all the way to Europe to produce energy. According to Fred Pearce who conducted research on the wastefulness of biomass, 'Almost half of wood harvested in the EU is now used for energy, while 60 per cent of the renewable energy is generated by biomass burning for electricity and heating. It supplies about five per cent of EU energy needs.' The figures add up to an ecological disaster!
"... this sector [Southeastern US] has been driving the destructuion of wetland forests and conversion of hardwood forests into pine plantations in an area that has already lost most of its unique wetland hardwood forests." - EU Bioenergy
The logged trees are trucked to the plants to be processed: dewatered and pulverised to sawdust - yes to sawdust - then compacted to a paste - yes to a paste - and spewed out into pellets. The process is wasteful, CO2-intensive, and therefore an aggravating factor to climate change. Thus how governments justify biomass as sustainable is beyond me. Wood as renewable energy is another idiosyncrasy because clear-cut old-growth (i.e. the chopping down of secular trees) contradicts the very notion of renewability, itself skewered under a short-term fast-turnaround natural-resource-intensive model that the industry operates under.
This makes UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change and France's Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (to name just two) farcical by name and by nature since they are indeed, like other fellow EU member states - and in compliance with EU's bonkers legislation on renewable energy - to be held accountable (alongside the EU technocrats) for the destruction of European and Pan-American forests.
"Using forests to produce energy is like pouring gasoline to put out a fire." - Larry Edwards, Greenpeace
Meanwhile resilient yet vulnerable protected ecosystems that have survived to this day are already or soon-to-be getting loggers' attention, and this is bad news. The 8,000-year-old Białowieża Forest stretching down the border between Poland and Belarus is Europe's very last primeval European forest, and home to the European bison and a plethora of remarkable pedunculate oaks - some of which have even been individually named as if they were pets. Yet despite its UNESCO World Heritage protection, the forest is under threat:-
"The property protects a diverse and rich wildlife of which 59 mammal species, over 250 bird, 13 amphibian, 7 reptile and over 12,000 invertebrate species. The iconic symbol of the property is the European Bison: approximately 900 individuals in the whole property which make almost 25% of the total world’s population and over 30% of free-living animals. " - UNESCO
Don't fall prey to governmental garb, they're the ones promoting the destruction of our woodlands! Do yourself and the Earth a favour: ditch woody biomass and stay away from the catchment area of power plants fuelled by such! Spread the word around and share this article.
- Fuelling a BioMess: Why Burning Trees for Energy Will Harm People, the Climate and Forests , a comprehensive 40-page report by Greenpeace
- Up in Flames - How Biomass Burning Wrecks Europe's Forests, a 16-page case study report by author and journalist Fred Pearce
- Green Invasion by Fred Pearce, via EU Bioenergy
- [Case Study] Slovakia - Up in Flames ibid.
- [Case Study] Gardanne, France - How Biomass Burning Wrecks Europe's Forests, ibid.
- [Case Study] Romania - Up in Flames, ibid.
- [Case Study] DRAX, UK - Up in Flames, ibid.
- Bioenergy and Social Injustice in Southeastern US by Linde Zuidema, ibid.
- Uncovering the Truth: Investigating the Destruction of Precious Wetland Forests by Dogwood Alliance
- American Companies are Shipping Millions of Trees to Europe, and It's a Renewable Energy Nightmare by ThinkProgress
- Menaces sur la Forêt Française : Quand l'Industrie Biomasse Débarque en France et en Europe, a French documentary (teaser) by Benoît Grimont, via Réseau pour les Alternatives Forestières.