• August27th
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    1 month ago

    Edit: thank you to people upvoting this comment, but I do regret it. The only good I now see in it is that it spurned further discussion and clarity. If you upvote this post, do read and upvote the parent comment and reply comment from anon6789, there are good insights there, at the very least.

    Then any carbon removed from the atmosphere gets released when the pellet fuel is burned. Add in the carbon from making the pellets and all the shipping and cutting down the trees and replanting, and we’re worse off than when we started. The net pollution they say is greater than coal or natural gas.

    This makes no sense.

    The net pollution they say is greater than coal or natural gas.

    If “they” are oil and gas corporations, I’d say that too, if I were them. Any move against our bottom line, or competition to our subsidies is fair game for attack.

    any carbon removed from the atmosphere gets released when the pellet fuel is burned

    How is that wood’s problem exactly? How did that carbon get into the atmosphere in the first place to be turned into wood? If there had been no coal, gas, or oil, that atmospheric carbon would have been from burning wood in the first place, making it a net cycle of wood. It grows in short order regardless of what we do with it; it’s renewable.

    There’s a competitor to fossil fuels, returning carbon to the atmosphere, it’s been burned literally forever, and oooh suddenly it’s the one to be concerned about, not the other carbon emitters that can only emit, never absorb? Come on.

    carbon from [harvest, manufacturing, packaging, shipping] … we’re worse off than when we started

    As if the extraction, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping for fossil fuels doesn’t emit vast amounts of carbon? If wood was harvested, manufactured, packaged and shipped with renewable energy, what’s the problem? Why couldn’t it be? If fossil fuels were harvested, manufactured, packaged and shipped with renewable energy, I’d say “cut out the middle man” and just use the renewables directly for energy. Is that your beef?

    In that case, let’s harvest that wood anyway, turn it into charcoal, and sink it to the bottom of the ocean to get carbon back out of our atmosphere permanently. If you think that’s a ridiculous undertaking, it’s even crazier to think about the absurd amounts of carbon we are digging up and plain dumping into the atmosphere every day, and that wasn’t complained about first, before complaining about wood of all things. We don’t just need to stop emitting new carbon, we need to get it back out of the atmosphere forever, and that’s not even on the radar? Hmm.

    What do you suggest we do? All I’m seeing is rhetoric is that trees are a grift, while suspiciously overlooking the fossil fuel subsidy grift.

    • anon6789@lemmy.world
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      1 month ago

      This makes no sense.

      That is because this is new information found by this new study, which is what has been the subject matter of this post’s interviewee, Justin Catanoso. From the abstract of the paper:

      Despite a significant increase in United States biomass energy sector activity, including domestic bioenergy deployment and wood pellet production for overseas exports, the associated criteria pollutant emissions are not well quantified in current regulatory emissions inventories. We present an updated U.S. emissions inventory, with emphasis on wood-based biomass pretreatment (e.g., drying, condensing, storage of wood pellet) and the use of biomass for energy generation. As a significant number of wood pellet production facilities are not included in current inventories, we find that this sector’s emissions could be potentially underestimated by a factor of two. Emissions from biomass-based facilities are on average up to 2.8 times higher than their non-biomass counterparts per unit energy. We estimate that 2.3 million people live within 2 km of a biomass facility and who could be subject to adverse health impacts from their emissions. Overall, we find that the bioenergy sector contributes to about 3–17% of total emissions from all energy, i.e., electric and non-electric generating facilities in the U.S.

      Biomass seems to be the source of about 3-4% of the US energy production, but if it making up up to 17% of the pollution, that is much dirtier than other forms of energy production. This paper seems to bring to light much information that was not accounted for in the past. That’s why this info may seem surprising.

      If “they” are oil and gas corporations, I’d say that too, if I were them. Any move against our bottom line, or competition to our subsidies is fair game for attack.

      Easy enough to see who funded the study.

      This work was supported by the National Wildlife Federation. Financial support was provided in part by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

      From InfluenceWatch:

      The National Wildlife Federation is one of the nation’s largest and highest-profile environmentalist organizations. In recent years, along with its associated NWF Action Fund advocacy organization, it has transitioned from being a conservation organization representing the interests of hunters and outdoor recreation enthusiasts into a left-leaning pressure group focused on global warming advocacy and promoting left-wing social causes.

      The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a foundation created by David Packard, cofounder of Hewlett-Packard, in 1964. It supports environmental causes, population control programs, and three programs created by David Packard: the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering.

      The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is a private foundation created by tobacco heiress Doris Duke. The Foundation funds causes associated with the arts, preservation of Duke family properties, healthcare in Africa, and environmentalist land-preservation efforts.

      Not so thrilled with the tobacco money part, but the rest seems solid.

      How is that wood’s problem exactly? How did that carbon get into the atmosphere in the first place to be turned into wood? If there had been no coal, gas, or oil, that atmospheric carbon would have been from burning wood in the first place, making it a net cycle of wood. It grows in short order regardless of what we do with it; it’s renewable.

      This is a bit long of a topic to get into, but needless to say, the Earth has changed a lot, mainly for the better for mammals, since the time before trees and plants existed. We could probably not have survived that world very well either.

      What I can say is not natural is how we treat trees as a society now. We don’t leave forests alone to do their natural thing. I don’t think anyone can argue that point in good faith, so I’m going to leave it at that.

      As if the extraction, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping for fossil fuels doesn’t emit vast amounts of carbon? If wood was harvested, manufactured, packaged and shipped with renewable energy, what’s the problem? Why couldn’t it be? If fossil fuels were harvested, manufactured, packaged and shipped with renewable energy, I’d say “cut out the middle man” and just use the renewables directly for energy. Is that your beef?

      The beef is not mine, and I debated for a while responding to you at all. Your account is pretty new and while not trollish, you do seem a bit fired up moreso than people I usually discuss things like this with. I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt in that you were in a rush and took my post as defending fossil fuel usage over biomass. You obviously have not looked at my post history or even my other comments in this thread if that was your takeaway from what I said originally.

      Others were making comments showing they had not looked into the content this post was made to explain to us, so I made a brief summary of what the subject of the podcast interview was working on researching and writing about. I threw in my 2 cents about not thinking biomass is not as renewable as those with financial interest in biomass may imply. I spend a lot of time promoting environmental protect, donate money, and source my own energy from renewables, so I want to be aware of what my money is going towards and to make sure I’m helping where I can, and that myself and others are educated on where their money goes as well.

      What do you suggest we do? All I’m seeing is rhetoric is that trees are a grift, while suspiciously overlooking the fossil fuel subsidy grift.

      I suggest we spend time learning current information to the best of our abilities and make educated decisions as I feel that’s more helpful than jumping down a stranger’s throat when they’re trying to save you some of the work.

      Just because I don’t specifically call out fossil fuels, nuclear waste, offshore windmill construction hurting marine life, industrial waste from renewable energy infrastructure, etc. does not automatically mean I support it. If you need me to spout off all my opinions on anything tangentially related to the topic, maybe my writing isn’t for you. I try to keep it concise so people will read it and be able to take away useful information to help form their own opinions.

      I do hope your initial comment was made with good intention and this has clarified things for you. If you ever want to discuss anything, I’m more than open to it, but I’m not here to be scolded by strangers that won’t make thoughtful replies. I did not imply anything negative in my original comments, and that is the same I expect to be met with in return from anyone worth spending my time on.

      • August27th
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        1 month ago

        I have not read your whole comment yet, but I apologize for my heated reaction. Your post came off as oil and gas promotion to me, but that’s clearly not the case. Thank you for your thoughtful response. I will read it more fully later.