Sunday, March 13, 2005

Biomass is part of the problem

For those who believe that biomass has a major role to play in our energy future, I direct you to this story which explains that in the so-called brown cloud over South Asia, "[t]he burning of wood, agricultural waste and animal manure for cooking is the largest source of black carbon in the air in that region."

Yes, yes, I know that if we in the United States do it, we'll make sure we have the right pollution control devices. But will we really do that in an energy emergency? And what about all the carbon dioxide released into the air by biomass? Now, supposedly the carbon will be recycled into plants so that it ends up being a wash. But, we aren't replanting the forests in most parts of the world. Instead, we're engaging in huge deforestation. And, if you're concerned about global warming, you don't even have to probe this far to see the problem. According to the researchers, "[t]he effect of soot in the air over the Indian Ocean is some 10 times that of the so-called greenhouse gases."

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