But more importantly, how does it relate to Maine? Are we really doing the right thing by climbing onto this carbon bandwagon that seems to be rolling out of control towards that cliff at the edge of that canyon over there. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s called the ‘Crap, I’ve Been Had Again Chasm.’ That’s exactly what is going on here, folks. The mighty UN pulled a fast one, and now the world is starting to realize that maybe they should’ve stepped back and taken a closer look at this problem of Green House Gasses (GHG) and Carbon Emissions.
But as for it directly affecting Maine, here’s the catch. It’s called Bio-fuel, or, in our neck of the woods, wood pellets. Now don’t jump on me for being against the use of any bio-fuel, including wood pellets. So why am I against the use of bio-fuels? Actually, I’m not. I’m all for the use of alternative energies, especially if that alternative has a low level of impact on the environment.
Compared to some other forms of alternative energy, bio-fuels have a rather high impact on the environment, both natural and human. Bio-fuels can come from many different sources, and make up different types of fuel, but there are two main types on the market today that are being over marketed as the new solution the global warming farce. The main one is Ethanol, used primarily as an additive to gasoline and diesel fuels. Worldwide, major problems are starting to develop because the greed mongers want to cash in on the fad before it dies out.
The end result has been devastation of valuable forest land in some of the worlds rainforests so farmers could plant more crops to be used for the process of creating bio-fuel. But of greater impact is the fact that by diverting as much as twenty to thirty percent of the worlds food crops into this production, prices have skyrocketed, forcing people in already impoverished nations to go hungry. Riots, some resulting in killings and arrests, have been increasing over the last couple of months.
Check out this news release from AEN………….
Biofuels a factor as global food riots spread to Haiti
April 14, 2008
Apr 14 2008
African Energy News
The diversion of food crops to biofuel production was a significant factor contributing to global food prices rocketing by 83% in the last year, and causing violent conflicts in Haiti and other parts of the world. Haiti was rocked by violent protests this week, leaving 5 dead, hundreds injured and resulting in parliament passing a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis for failing to take enough action on high food prices. And food related civil unrest appears to be a growing, according to a study by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), which warned that food riots have also taken place in Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Mauritania, Madagascar and the Philippines in the past month.
So much for this bandwagon, huh? Jumping into the pool without checking to see if there is any water in it can be a pretty foolish thing to do. By rushing to embrace the UN’s flawed global warming theory, people are unduly suffering. And by rushing into the wood pellet fad, we could also cause irreparable harm to Maine’s vast forest reserves, threatening even the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. By rushing to produce enough product to meet European demand for a product difficult to obtain on the other side of the pond, Maine forestry companies may be tempted to overharvest standing timber to make easy profits.
Additionally, while wood pellets are cleaner than coal and oil to some degree, the emissions still pollute the atmosphere. Compared to oil and coal, water vapor makes up a much greater percentage of emissions, but there is still the issue of sulfurs, heavy metals like mercury and other contaminants to deal with. Higher usage of wood for fuel will increase the amount of ash to be disposed. How long will it be before some special interest cries about the pollution from the runoff of this waste? Where are we going to put it, and how will it be handled?
Wood pellets, at least as far as I can tell, are predominately manufactured from what is considered to be waste wood. Personally, I tend to like the idea of wood heat. It is dry, and has a pleasant feel to it as opposed to forced hot air and other types of heat. For me, it feels more comfortable. Someday I may even be in a position to install a pellet stove, and probably would. But to jump on wood pellets as an answer to this claim of global warming is dangerous.
Some people are under the false assumption that by reducing what has been called our “carbon footprint” we can become carbon neutral. Not gonna happen, because it is impossible to become carbon neutral. You would have to stop breathing, which means you will die of course. No matter what we do, we will emit CO2 into the atmosphere. But that’s really OK, because CO2 is actually one of the building blocks of life.
What I see happening here by grabbing onto the UNs skirt and pushing this errant doctrine of global warming is that twenty years down the road, people will look back at us and scoff, the same way we do today when we think of those drugged up hippies of the sixties and early seventies. Some of them were environmentalists, and a lot of the reason people do not understand the need for conservation today is because they equate environmentalists with those same hippies, and the movement that eventually, for the most part, died out and left the hippies living the same lives they once scorned.
Maine has an excellent opportunity to make advances in wind, hydraulic, and solar electrical generation. An interesting question to ask is this; New Brunswick generally has a colder climate than we do here in Maine, (to a degree), so how do they heat their homes in the winter? Answer; they heat their homes with electricity. Why is that? They have access to more forests than we do here in Maine, so how come they aren’t already the leader in wood pellet usage? An interesting question I intend to investigate further.
1 And there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against the Jewish bretheren.2 For there were those who said, “We, our sons, and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain, that we may eat and live.3 There were also some who said, “We have mortgaged our lands and nineyards and houses, that we might buy grain because of the famine.”4 There were also those who said, “We have borrowed money for the kings tax on our lands and vineyards.5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our bretheren, our children as their children,; and indeed we are forcing our sons and daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been brought into slavery. It is not in our power to redeem them, for other men have our land and vineyards.”