Should we be burning wood for energy? While that question might not be at the top of your mind, answering it has deep implications for future climate change and global biodiversity.
Though it was touted as a green, renewable energy source, burning wood for electricity emits more greenhouse gases per unit of energy delivered to homes than even the dirtiest of conventional fossil fuels like coal. Proponents claim that these emissions should be ignored because new forests will grow up in the clear cuts, but this blithely ignores the many decades or centuries it takes for the forests to lock up as much carbon as they would have held if they had been left alone.
The threat of wood-based bioenergy is far greater than it seems. The US, the EU, and Japan have all declared that burning wood is carbon-neutral, setting the example for the rest of the world. If we were to derive just 3% of the world’s primary energy supply from forests, we would need to double commercial harvests of timber globally. For species dependent on forests–the vast majority of life on Earth–that would spell catastrophe.
This site is dedicated to getting you informed and keeping you up to date on the issue of wood-based bioenergy.