Burning forests is a false solution for the climate emergency
False solutions fail to provide results. Deceptive solutions are known to be false and sold as proven solutions. The intentional deception to secure false gains is fraudulent behavior.
Enviva, the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, falsely says on their website, “We wanted to develop a cleaner energy alternative to fossil fuels. In particular, we wanted to offer electric utilities a fuel to replace coal, enabling them to generate power without interruption while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.” In fact, Enviva is targeting Southeastern states where forests are cheap and mills are subsidized.
Enviva’s deceptive marketing campaign claims “bioenergy” is the solution to climate change! Enviva’s Chairman & CEO, John Keppler, says, “The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a Special Report on Climate Change and Land concluding that sustainable forest management and bioenergy are critical climate change mitigation measures and can elicit environmental benefits. Bioenergy is, in fact, a necessary component in every pathway that the IPCC models to keep temperature changes within 1.5°C.” Nov. 21, 2019, press release on their website.
Keppler’s claim on climate and bioenergy is 100 percent false. The IPCC 2018 report says, “restoring and expanding forests is the best and most viable way to increase carbon uptake, as long as forests are fully functioning ecosystems, rather than monoculture plantations.” This is the opposite of Keppler’s claim.
Carbon uptake (carbon capture and sequestration) is nature’s way to preserve life. During photosynthesis sunlight energy transfers electrons from water (H2O) to carbon dioxide (CO2), to produce carbohydrates and oxygen. Undisturbed soil and its microbial life are the secrets of the forests.
Keppler talks about tree-tops and branches in the woods as feedstock, but Enviva actually uses whole pine trees and hardwoods. Burning hardwoods is a source of volatile organic compound emissions, a known health risk. Enviva ignores VOC hazards with emission levels higher than other mills. Keppler puts profits over life.
Forest owners are part of the game, they use genetically engineered fast-growing trees and transform natural forests into fragile pine plantations. Biodiversity makes forests resilient, not pine plantations.
Enviva must make full risk disclosures to local communities. For 2020 the U.K. is giving Drax $1.7 billion in subsidies to make wood pellets affordable. Drax subsidies can end any day and Enviva investors will dump their shares leaving idle mills.
Case in point: Enviva’s Lucedale wood mill. The Mississippi government is the most recent willing victim with the governor celebrating an early Christmas. The MS Environmental Quality Department ignored public comments and gave all necessary permits. MS taxpayers paid $4 million in “grant funds” plus $13 million in property tax breaks and other hidden costs, to create 90 jobs. MS gets stumps and pollution, paying more than $200,000 per job to lure pellet mills to destroy public health and roads. Logging trucks and clearcutting machines are weapons of mass destruction.
With glaciers melting and forests burning, we don’t have time to waste. Honesty and hunger for life are fundamental. Here are some issues to think about: Renewable energy is a deceiving name. Chiggers are renewable. The world is not running out of chiggers and that does not make chiggers desirable.
When you see hundreds of logging trucks making daily deliveries, think of 40-ton hearses with dead trees, $7 per ton including delivery, around $280 per hearse. Forests must be left alone doing what they do best.
According to Gov. Hutchinson, selling Arkansas around the world, the trees in the forests are crops sold as timber by tree farmers. Same as soybeans and cotton!
Life is cheap in the South. Stumps don’t lie.
Honest climate solutions
Communities can provide honest climate solutions by acquiring barren land for reforestation. Restoring and expanding forests is the best way to increase carbon uptake.
Federal, state, and county funds (our taxes), or Teacher Retirement Funds should not be used as subsidies for wood pellet mills. Why not invest instead in trades and local businesses, planting seeds for the future?
Dr. Luis Contreras