Monday, May 16, 2011

Carbon Neutral

You're Lying
Despite what the coal industry would lead you to believe, and despite it being unbelievable, coal and the electricity is produces are not carbon neutral. Burning wood to heat your home is carbon neutral. The carbon in wood was stored as organic material via photosynthesis from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, carbon dioxide that was present in the atmosphere 30 years ago, not 300 million years ago. Wood stoves are inherently more efficient on a BTU/CO2 basis than using large diesel-driven equipment to tear the tops off mountains, diesel-driven locomotives to haul the coal, and an inefficient coal-fired power plant to make electricity, which is shipped with significant losses via power lines to your home. Not to mention which, but burning coal releases more radioactivity into the atmosphere than all nuclear plants combined.

Former Mountain
It certainly isn't hard to find a picture of the result of mountain-top removal, but the number of mountains in WVa is finite. We heat our WVa home with a Rais wood-stove (Rais USA) when we're there. We rarely run our electric furnace. We like our mountain and would prefer that it stay as it is.

Trees grow so fast on our land that we can't keep it cleared. We wear out our chain-saw clearing land. We can't burn the wood fast enough to keep up, and sometimes we just let it decompose where it falls, which seems a waste, but it feeds little animals. Trees grow back; the Allegheny Mountains do not. As Monty Python would say, the picture at the right is an ex-mountain; it has ceased to be. However, this is not funny.

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