"Carbon Sense" – common sense on carbon, energy and climate www.carbon-sense.com
Burning the Biosphere
The Dark Side of Green Policies
by Viv Forbes assisted by volunteer editors.
"Carbon Sense": 13 August 2012.
Keywords: Green Energy, biomass, wood power, biofuel, CCS (carbon capture & sequestration), climate taxes, electricity costs, carbon tax, renewable energy targets, Agenda 21, extreme weather.
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When I was a kid, Mum did the washing in a copper of boiling water over an open fire in the back yard. We collected the wood from the back paddock with a horse and dray. It was all very "green" (but we thought it was just hard yakka).
Greens want us to return to this primitive method for generating heat, and even electricity.
It is sensible for industrial plants such as sugar mills to burn readily available organic waste such as bagasse to generate power. But to deliberately build power stations to run on wood chips is a step back to the BC (before coal) era when forests were clear-felled to produce fuel and charcoal to feed boilers and furnaces.
Coal is an energy-dense fuel, and often has huge deposits in a concentrated area. Long-life power stations can be built close to the coal deposits, thus minimising transport costs and land disturbance.
Wood, however, has very low energy density and biomass energy is always spread over large areas of land. The fuel gathering operation must move every day, with enormous waste of transport energy and displacement of plants and animals.
Burning coal or burning biomass produces exactly the same harmless combustion gases, and a switch of fuels will have no measurable effect on climate.
Even more stupid than wood power are Green dreams to feed power stations with low grade fuels such as wheat stubble or fowl manure. The collection and transport costs for such inferior fuels will exceed the value of electricity produced. It also robs the bio-sphere of valuable mulch, fertiliser and humus.
Burning biomass to generate electricity is Green madness. Speculators should be free to fritter their own funds on such nonsense but public subsidies, carbon credits and market mandates should not be used to support them.
Here is a new slogan for true environmentalists: "Don't Burn the Bio-sphere".
Read how one foolish island nation plans to burn its food (coconuts) in diesel generators:
Why Bury the Essentials of Life
in Carbon Cemeteries?
We are told that carbon dioxide is such a dangerous gas that we must capture and "bury it deep down below". Governments have already wasted billions on "Carbon Capture and Storage" and other "clean coal" nonsense.
Carbon is the building block for every bit of organic matter on earth – bread, butter and bitumen; coal, cauliflowers and cows; men, microbes and mulberries.
When oxidised by combustion in fires and engines, or digested in stomachs, or decayed in soil or compost, most of the carbon is recycled into the harmless natural atmospheric gas, carbon dioxide. Plants use solar energy to extract this plant food from the atmosphere, reuse the carbon, and recycle the oxygen for use by all forms of animal life.
Every tonne of coal burnt produces about three tonnes of carbon dioxide containing over two tonnes of oxygen and under one tonne of carbon. This is a huge tonnage of gas to capture. And with every tonne of carbon buried, more than twice as much life-sustaining oxygen must also be sacrificed.
To achieve these mass burials, more coal has to be mined and burnt to produce the energy for gas collection, separation, compression, pumping, drilling disposal holes, and to manufacture the materials for storage tanks, pumps and pipes. To wilfully waste so much energy entombing the two most valuable life-supporting elements in the biosphere (carbon and oxygen) is financially and biologically irresponsible.
These costs are real, unavoidable and undeniable. There are ZERO proven benefits.
Why do it?
Power Prices Rising?
Abolish the Two Big Climate Taxes
The carbon tax is the Big New Tax pushing up Australian electricity prices. But there is also a Big Old Tax, the insidious Renewable Energy Target (RET) Tax, introduced by the Howard government.
The RET Tax forces electricity retailers to buy a rising proportion of their power from expensive "renewables" such as wind and solar. It has already caused massive increases in the price of electricity. Surely we can learn from Europe – wind and solar energy will escalate our power costs, destroy other industries, waste scarce capital, destabilise the power network, uglify the countryside with mirrors, towers and pylons and, when everything is counted, may not reduce the use of carbon fuels, and certainly will not improve the climate.
Tony Abbott is right to promise abolition of the ALP's carbon tax, and he must also abolish that other devious climate tax, the RET tax.
Both are unnecessary, unjustified, costly and pernicious.
It is not wicked power companies who have caused electricity prices to soar – it is wicked politicians with Two Big Climate Taxes.
Pickering has it about right - 50% blame for Howard's RET tax; 50% blame for Gillard's Carbon Tax.
Wind Obsession causing power costs to surge:
Recouping the costs of wind turbines may take more than a lifetime:
"The (UK) Government’s ideological obsession with wind power is inflicting ever greater damage on Britain, driving up our energy bills and ruining our countryside.
"Brutalist, expensive and inefficient, wind farms are nothing more than vast monuments to political vanity. They contribute little to our electricity supply, yet they cost us all a fortune.
"There is a curious paradox at work here. In the name of protecting the environment, the green politicians are inflicting terrible damage on our landscape. Anyone who loves our green and pleasant land should be fighting for the removal of these monstrosities."
Leo McKinstry, the Price of Green Folly,
The Real Agenda:
If you wondered why every productive enterprise was under attack, why farmers are finding their land sterilised, why explorers and miners are demonised, why foresters are locked out of the forests and fishermen banned from the sea, maybe this video provides a clue:
Meanwhile, here in Australia:
"Some Local governments have a particularly important role to play in preparing SoE (State of the Environment) reports and a number of NSW councils are at the forefront of SoE reporting in Australia. An increasing number are actively working on Local Agenda 21 strategies for their local areas.
"This is a trend the NSW Government strongly supports and I encourage all councils to do likewise."
Ernie Page, M.P.
Minister for Local Government, NSW 1998
Nothing New about Extreme Weather
"Global Warming" has lost its credibility; "Climate Change" does not sound very scary; so they are now relying on "Extreme Weather Events" to scare us into giving them power over every aspect of our lives.
Unfortunately for the Alarmists, there is nothing new about Extreme Weather Events. See:
The Last Word
Has the LNP forgotten the battlers?
It seems certain that the Greens-ALP Coalition is doomed. The main political question is "Can we rely on the LNP to clean all the rubbish from the Climate Stables?"
Unfortunately the answer seems to be "No". The Liberals have too many light greens in their ranks. Instead of an open well-identified carbon tax, we will still have the insidious RET Tax, hidden green energy subsidies, and a huge carbon-credit/carbon-farming bureaucracy. All of these will benefit the pockets or the consciences of the well-to-do at the expense of ordinary working families. Too many Liberals have forgotten the battlers and now stand for the beautiful people.
The carbon war continues. Please help us spread the word.
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“Carbon Sense” is a newsletter produced by the Carbon Sense Coalition, an Australian based organisation which opposes waste of resources, opposes pollution, and promotes the rational and sustainable use of carbon energy and carbon food.
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Literary, financial or other contributions to help our cause are welcomed.
Chairman Viv Forbes MS 23, Rosewood Qld 4340 Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
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