By John McClaughry
Three senior environmental scientists have sent a letter to Dartmouth College opposing the planned wood-burning heating plant for campus hot water heating. The signers, all Dartmouth alumni, are George Woodwell, founder of the Woods Hole Research Center, William Schlesinger, emeritus dean of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and John Sterman, professor at MIT and director of its Sustainability Initiative.
According to the Valley News, the three pointed out that “Burning wood chips could ‘substantially’ increase the college’s carbon emissions and worsen the effects of climate change. Forests are a major pool of carbon dioxide and globally store as much carbon as the Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon is released both when wood is burned and after a tree is cut through soil material and decaying plant material.”
They added: “Whereas forests are renewable, it could take 100 years after cutting before they’re able to again absorb the same levels of carbon. We don’t want to cut forests and burn them up, dumping carbon into the atmosphere because it makes a problem, that is now desperately serious, much worse.”
What’s amusing about this is that the climate change warriors have always excluded wood from their carbon tax schemes because, according to them, wood burning is carbon neutral — new wood growth eventually sucks back the carbon dioxide released from combustion. Now we learn that that takes a hundred years, and according to them, the planet will be ruined in 12 years.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.