Forests Aren’t Fuel

It is hard to understand why cutting down forests which have taken hundreds or thousands of years to establish to burn them as fuel could ever have been considered as a viable renewable energy source.

That we have to pay a surcharge on our electricity bills which enables ancient forests in the south of the USA to be cleared of threes, converted into woodchips and shipped to be burnt at Drax is irresponsible madness. Apart from the environmental damage in felling, wood is a dirtier fuel even than the coal it is replacing at Drax.

And there is the ‘double whammy’. As well as putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the destruction of the forests means the destruction of the only large scale method of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere. Without the photosynthesis that converts CO2 and water into carbohydrates, releasing oxygen in the process there would be no life on earth.

The science is clear – even to primary school children – but there are still companies promoting biomass, trying to expand their businesses and profit from contributing to global catastrophe. And some of them were holding the largest international biomass conference in the Landmark Hotel opposite Marlebone Station in London.

Environmental group Biofuelwatch came to the hotel in what they called a ‘Time to Twig’ Masked Ball Forest Flashmob, bringing posters showing some of the environmental degredation caused by forest felling for biofuel, banners, a bike-hauled sound system and some rather strange masks showing a cut section of a tree trunk. They had also brought a small bag of wood chips similar to those used at Drax.

There were also speeches giving more information about the destructive nature of biofuels and their impact on global warming, including from one activist who had attended the conference and talked with some of those taking part.

More pictures: ‘Time to Twig’ Masked Ball

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