The NDP government was elected by a population that wanted leadership on environmental issues. The decision to allow the harvesting of forest biomass to produce electricity does just the opposite. Burning wood for electricity offers an energy-efficiency of just 30 per cent; that's 70 per cent waste, folks.
And what about Climate Change? Trees are the world's carbon-sequestration factories; they capture carbon and convert it into oxygen. They also provide wildlife habitats, prevent flooding and soil erosion, clean and protect watersheds, fix nitrogen, put vapour into the atmosphere, remove particulate matter from polluted skies, create micro-climates, produce food, and much more.
So what do we do? Cut them down and burn them. In Jamie Simpson's book Restoring the Acadian Forest, he notes that we should be learning lessons from countries like Sweden, where some 800 species that depend on deadwood have been deemed threatened after decades of biomass harvesting. In the book Tree: A Life Story, David Suzuki points out that when a dead tree finally falls, its decaying body can continue to feed and support a succession of life-forms for centuries. Trees, both living and dead, are part of complex ecosystems that support vast diversities of life, and we need them. Instead of burning our precious forests, we should be putting our efforts into habitat protection, energy conservation, and the production of truly green technologies like solar and geothermal.
Let's be clear: biomass electricity is anything but green.
Annapolis Royal, NS