Burning wood harmful
I read with great interest the Aug. 18 news article “Useless wood, converted into cash” about the growing wood pellet industry in North Carolina.
However, I reject the wood pellet manufacturer Enviva’s claim that burning trees emits less carbon than traditional coal. There is a growing literature of peer-reviewed scientific papers proving that burning wood in power plants is more harmful to the climate than burning fossil fuels. In fact, a thorough life-cycle analysis of pellet manufacturing shows this industry will contribute more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere per unit of energy than coal!
Wood-pellet interests want to intensify large-scale industrial clear-cutting of our remaining unpaved native forests to support an unsustainable energy policy, when conservation – of forests and energy – could actually work. Real alternatives to fossil fuels – such as conservation, solar and wind – deserve the real green title.
Why these more serious “conservationist claims” were neglected is troubling. The data do not lie.
Andrew George, Chapel Hill