Concerto for blunt instrument

An irregular heartbeat from d.o. to you. Not like a daily kos, more like a sometime sloth. Fast relief from the symptoms of blogarrhea and predicated on the understanding that the world is not a stage for our actions, rather it is a living organism upon which we depend for our existence.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Biomass my ass!

What have we done to this land? In the never-ending quest for riches and material gain , humanity seems set on destroying the natural world and replacing it with a life-sized diorama of stage props, visually sanitized, always regimented and totally lacking in soul. Of course, all these theme-park worlds need energy to keep them functioning and the monstrous appetite for that energy has resulted in countless miles of deserts and lifeless moonscapes where once there were mountains, streams and forests alive with nature.

Now, to add to our apocryphal vision of the future, along side of gutted hills, dammed and polluted rivers, and horizons shrouded in a chemical haze, we have the latest "answer" to our energy crisis raising the specter of horizons filled with vast clear-cuts. Industrial-scale biomass, in which either garbage, construction and demolition debris, or whole forests are incinerated to produce electricity, is the new panacea. It can also be described as the new "coal" or the new "nukes, in terms of both its associated problems and the growing resistance to them. Classified as "renewable energy" by pliant politicians serving corporate interests, large-scale biomass is about as renewable as my misspent youth. Given the amounts of CO2 these biomass facilities will pump into the atmosphere, it's ludicrous to classify them as "carbon-neutral", but that's exactly what developers and their hirelings in government are advertising.

With respect to clear-cut forests being tossed into the biomass furnace, perhaps less healthy and ecologically sound new growth will return in 50, 80 or 100 years, but during that prolonged period the critically needed carbon sequestration of the full-grown forest will not be available. Are we not PLANTING trees to deal with the climate crisis??

As for the incineration of trash and construction or demolition debris being "renewable", define your terms! We can always make new trash and trashy new structures, that's for sure, but if recent history is any guide, most all those things are made with dangerous toxins that will be passed on to your neighborhood in the incineration process. You have more than enough reason to be concerned.

So, industrial-scale biomass does address the energy crisis in the sense that the energy crisis represents the destruction of the planet upon which you live. Or, to put it more bluntly: biomass my ass!


Blogger Michaelann Bewsee said...

Biomass my ass-- sounds like a good sign (or would it turn off the prudes?

12:13 PM  

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