The Brits have decided to Save the Planet by going back to burning wood instead of coal. The giant DRAX power plant in Yorkshire, which provides about 6% of Britain’s electricity – you know, heat, lights, telly – is being converted from burning coal to burning wood, 100 year-old hardwood, the kind prized for making furniture. American wood, from North Carolina.
No, I’m not making this up. No sane person could make this up. I know because I’ve read it in a British newspaper by a proper Brit reporter.
The Daily Mail is a rather skeptical Brit newspaper, meaning they don’t seem to uncritically accept what the Brit upper class tells them is good for them, like Charles, Prince of …let’s not go there.
I’m telling you this because the people who support the claims of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) are so world class stupid that explaining the science to them does no good. Perhaps pointing out the idiocy of their remedies for the non-existent “global warming crisis” will make an impression. The reductio ad absurdum works in math and logic; perhaps it will rouse our voters to get rid of these morons.
Secretary of State John Kerry confuses carbon dioxide, equally diffused through the atmosphere, with ozone, mostly in the stratosphere. Senator Nelson believes sea level will rise enough by 2100 to put 28 million Floridians under water. These are people who believe their highest priority – yes, that’s what Kerry said – is stopping – totally – the increase of “carbon pollution” in Earth’s atmosphere. We all exhale “carbon pollution” with every breath; it’s really carbon dioxide, invisible, odorless, and essential to all life on this planet. I really wish Kerry and Nelson would walk their talk – but, these are politicians – and stop exhaling their “carbon pollution.”
So, what did the Brit fishwrap say? A few quotes:
On a perfect spring day in the coastal forest of North Carolina I hike along a nature trail – a thread of dry gravel between the pools of the Roanoke river backwaters. A glistening otter dives for lunch just a few feet away.
Majestic trees soar straight and tall, their roots sunk deep in the swampland: maples, sweetgums and several kinds of oak. A pileated woodpecker – the world’s largest species, with a wingspan of almost 2ft – whistles as it flutters across the canopy. There the leaves are starting to bud, 100ft above the ground.
The trees seem to stretch to the horizon: a serene and timeless landscape.
Sounds pleasant. Not fast-growing trash trees, like pines for pulp. What else?
The UK is committed by law to a radical shift to renewable energy. By 2020, the proportion of Britain’s electricity generated from ‘renewable’ sources is supposed to almost triple to 30 per cent, with more than a third of that from what is called ‘biomass’.
The only large-scale way to do this is by burning wood, man’s oldest fuel – because EU rules have determined it is ‘carbon-neutral’.
So our biggest power station, the leviathan Drax plant near Selby in North Yorkshire, is switching from dirty, non-renewable coal. Biomass is far more expensive, but the consumer helps the process by paying subsidies via levies on energy bills.
So this “renewable biomass” (from America) will cost much more than coal. It also costs much more than natural gas – of which Britain still has a fair amount. They could have far more, of course, if they began fracking, but the EU disapproves of fracking. But, surely, this will save the planet by reducing carbon dioxide emission, right? No!
In fact, Burdett admits, Drax’s wood-fuelled furnaces actually produce three per cent more carbon dioxide (CO2) than coal – and well over twice as much as gas: 870g per megawatt hour (MW/hr) is belched out by wood, compared to just 400g for gas.
Then there’s the extra CO2 produced by manufacturing the pellets and transporting them 3,800 miles. According to Burdett, when all that is taken into account, using biomass for generating power produces 20 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than coal.
There are additional reasons to believe this is insanity run amok, but why belabor the obvious? These are rules from the European Union. Now you understand why Vladimir Putin can take over Crimea without objection from the EU. Angela Merkel and Germany get 40% of their energy from Russian gas. The BMW production line will not shut down for Crimea.
Surely, the British voters will rise up and sweep out of power the government that fosters such policies? No; there are three major parties in Britain (Labour, Liberal, and Conservatives), who all support this green stupidity. No hope there.
But, no doubt OUR Environmental Protection Agency will step in to protect the home of the pileated woodpecker? No; American wind farms have been given a license to kill bald eagles, golden eagles, other raptors, bats… EPA works for the Marxist thug in the White House, who’s been sitting on the Keystone XL decision for five years. Three more years of stupid.
The word “bonfire” comes from “bonfire”, in the years when the Black Death created dead bodies faster than they could be buried. Now the Green Death is sweeping across Europe – and America. Goodbye, pileated woodpecker.