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« Now I've heard everything | Main | Hope and change »
Tuesday
May282013

Environmentalism brings you forest clear-cutting

Thanks to the efforts of environmentalists such as Friends of the Earth and WWF, forests in the southern USA are being clearcut in an effort to meet European demand for wood pellets - a demand that has been driven by biomass power generation.

Read the whole thing.

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Reader Comments (101)

May 28, 2013 at 2:58 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

This was on the BBC lunchtime news with Roger Harrabin. Environmentalists (un-named) are objecting to the destruction of the environment by environmentalists, in order to save the environment. You couldn't make it up. Not long ago on the BBC, Tom Heap was lauding the developments at Drax to burn Amertican wood pellets. You still couldn't make it up. Is there any environmentalist capable of understanding the law of unintended consequences?

May 28, 2013 at 2:59 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I have mentioned this before, this is not some guy with a chainsaw.

I have travelled around British Columbia and seen the effects.

This is total devastation. You know those cute greenie animated cartoons with the bunnies/dewy eyed does running before big angry machines destroying everything in their path? Well this is reality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clearcutting

May 28, 2013 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Lunacy.

May 28, 2013 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh.

EU Greens go NIMBY. Apparently self-righteousness does not extend across The Pond. Are we surprised?

May 28, 2013 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

'Green' initiatives inevitably fail, because their intent is not to solve any problem, but to perpetuate a perceived crisis.

May 28, 2013 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

To paraphrase/expand that famous Groucho Marx quote: Green Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

May 28, 2013 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

This lunacy will be the lasting legacy of Greenpeace and the WWF amongst many other environmental groups who supported the 20/20 catastrophe.

These BIG GREEN groups should be held responsible for the destruction of habitat and species. Surely it's time for anyone who has supported these groups to withdraw their support now to stop this destruction.

Nor is this the only consequence of their support for the ridiculous 20/20 movement. Deforestation is taking place on a massive scale in Indonesia and many other countries so that palm oil can be grown for the biofuel industry.

May 28, 2013 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnB

Save The Coal - Burn a Forest

http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/save-the-coal-burn-a-forest/

May 28, 2013 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

It is a popular meme is that we avoid damaging the environment. This should raise the question: “Is it possible to damage the environment?”

The answer has to be: “No. We cannot damage the environment, we can only change it.” In changing it, we might make it damage its viability (i.e. making it more hostile) for certain species, though it might become more attractive for other species. What “saving the environment” is really about is ensuring that there are no changes to any environment that renders it hostile to any of the species presently in that environment. All well and good, if it is only humans that affect the environment; however, other species do affect the environment – in fact, most species do, to some degree or other; a tree grow its boughs out, depriving the ground in its immediate vicinity of light, so making it “hostile” to other plants; termites build huge mounds to house many millions, as they industriously convert plant material into more termites, methane –and CO2; locusts lay waste to square miles of vegetation; birds build their nests; snails leave their trails. The list goes on; what is common is that ALL species are trying to change the environment, to make if fit for their own individual requirements. It is a constant battle between species; some will win, many will lose. It is one reason why 95% of all species this planet has known are extinct.

“Ah,” you may say, “but that is all natural…” For those who do use that logic, presumably humans are not natural. I suspect that many who use that argument are also quite avid supporters of Darwin; but, to imply that humans are not natural is in contradiction to the theory of evolution; humans came into prominence by natural selection, so anything that humans do is part of the natural process. How humans affect the environment is as natural as plants oozing their poison, termites building their mounds, elephants ripping down trees, or coral polyps creating their reefs – all have altered the environment to some degree or other, and many will have changed it to the detriment of other species. However, as humans are the dominant species on the planet, then it is obvious (surely) that we should make the biggest changes to the environment; it is in the interests of our species to make hostile environments more tenable for our species. Thus, we drain, and irrigate, and screen, and plant, and reap, and dig, knock down and build and generally make sure that the widest range of environments will support us; we are the only species that can live its entire life in the arctic or in the tropics; on an island or on mountain-tops. In changing these environments, other species will benefit (e.g. all domesticated species, plants and animals), while others will lose out; some will benefit, though we want them to lose out – generally, those we call “pests”. Only the most rabid of enviroloons would not consider it a good thing to create a more hostile environment for the head-louse, fleas or liver flukes; that is what washing is all about, and an important feature of cooking. Let’s face it, there are many species that exist to ensure that their environment is changed to our detriment – that is, it makes us ill, or even kills us.

However, humans have a rationality that is, as far as I know, unique: we are prepared to change or preserve environments to benefit other species, with no benefit to ourselves. Though even that may not be totally true; I have read of a report that suggests that humans benefit in some way from diversity of species. How this is measured or evaluated, I have no idea, but the basic premise is that the more species that exist, the better the collective psyche of humanity is. This could be why zoos continue to be popular.

May 28, 2013 at 4:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

All this nonsense as it's becoming increasingly obvious from late 20th century satellite records, and the past 16 years of static temperatures, that man made CO2's effect on global temperature is almost immeasurable, ie bugger all!

May 28, 2013 at 4:28 PM | Registered CommenterRKS

I have just listened to an item on Radio Wales featuring Jane Davidson, previously Environment and Rural Affairs minister in the Welsh government. The item was entitled incredulously "Shakespeare and sustainability", featuring academics and a presenter with the intellect of a brick. As Eng Lit graduate Jane prattled on about the environment I wondered how many of the listeners realised that this woman was responsible for many of the crazy environmental schemes which we now endure in Wales. Indirectly, Roger Harrabin had criticised this woolly thinking on the 1 o'clock news, but like all greens Davidson just cruised on quoting half truths and inanities. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

May 28, 2013 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterTrefjon

Time to start looking for a spotted owl in North Carolina so environmentalist can shut down the logging industry in the US southeast just as they did in the US northwest.

May 28, 2013 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterSean

Friends of the Earth new mission statement: We have to destroy the planet in order to save it.

May 28, 2013 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Slightly off-topic, but it always amuses me when people talk about protecting the ‘the environment’ with respect to the British countryside because I’m sure that most of them are referring to the classical vision of green fields and pastures with little streams and rivers flowing through them, just like Tolkien’s Shire.

I wonder how many realise that this image of ‘the environment’ is almost wholly man-made and that its true, natural, state should be mostly dense forest broken only by marshes and wide/shallow rivers, with things like wolves and bears roaming wild… not the sort of environment to let your kids roam free in.

May 28, 2013 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Roger Harrabin was pleased to propagate the Drax propaganda in his report of 11th Nov 2012 when he reported:-

".....will gobble up nearly seven million tonnes of plant material a year. Drax will have to import 90% of its biomass. The firm says its major source will be unwanted offcuts from the timber industry, mainly in the Americas." (My bold)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20303668

May 28, 2013 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

If it was for any other purpose, the Greens would be howling about it.

May 28, 2013 at 5:27 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

I don't mind them logging and clear felling forests if they are of low ecological or landscape value, America is a big country and they probably have plenty of areas under forestation, at least compared to Europe. But what does concern me is the lunacy of then shipping the woodchips across the Atlantic - the cost of this must be very significant. Irrc the Zeebrugge-Rosyth ferry was scrapped a few years ago because it cost the operator a small fortune in diesel for each crossing of the North Sea. Given that most wood has about 1/8th the energy density of kerosene it is utter insanity and a complete waste of time and money to transport these pellets across the Atlantic, just so we can burn them instead of coal.

May 28, 2013 at 5:48 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Trees are the ultimate renewable resource and to get the best production from a forest, you need to manage it and cut a lot of the trees down regularly as old growth forests really don't have much net growth. The thing is that wood can be used for a lot of things and most of these return almost all of the fixed CO2 to the atmosphere pretty quickly so from the narrow "CO2 is bad" point of view, they don't make much impact unless the total area of forest is increasing.

In North America, forest cover has been increasing for about the last 100 years and is not too far behind what it was before European colonization. [Remember that that is what North America was colonized for - wood because we had pretty much logged out Europe]. But this means that there is a lot of relatively new forests in the US and Canada and - in fact - a surplus of raw materials for paper and construction. There has been a serious trade issue over wood exports from Canada to the US in the past few years as prices for timber have dropped and the paper industry is oversupplied with recylced pulp.

By a very nifty piece of sleight of hand, we have now created a market for all of the lower quality bits which can't go into the paper and construction industry, thus making forestry more attractive again. That the wood chips are being shipped half way around the world (give or take - a lot of this is coming from the western coast) to replace a much more efficient source of energy is just a laughable side issue to the real thing - another hidden agricultural support subsidy like biofuels.

May 28, 2013 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Potter

I do not see ANY mention of the vast amounts of fossil fuels required to train the wood to the coast, tanker it across the Atlantic and finally train it to the power plant. Not to mention the fuel required to harvest, chip, dry and bulk it.
I wonder why...

May 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

Rob Potter: Head of nail encounters hammer, thank you. The cosy relationships between Big Agri and government need to be much more thoroughly explored. (I googled for that awkward phrase and found this. But I'm not anti-GM. I am against subsidies that kill the poor. This example is I assume mild compared to biofuels. But still very bad.)

May 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Houghton and the Met Office are the cause of this.

They got the CAGW delusion under way via the IPCC. It now has a life of its own.

May 28, 2013 at 6:19 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

If you want to keep the coal power stations running you will need to do some serious campaigning for investment in coal mines. Two years ago there were five deep mines in operation.

Daw Hill is now closed because of an underground fire and will be permanently shut down. Hatfield has become uneconomic after a spoil heap slumped and destroyed the track on the adjacent railway line.

You are now down to three mines, with no certainty that they can continue.

May 28, 2013 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic Man

Drax: spending £800m to convert a power station from burning cost effective coal to bronze age wood that has to be shipped thousands of miles.

We hear a lot about 'food miles' - what about 'wood miles'?

It really beggars belief!

May 28, 2013 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougS

I blogged on the conversion of Drax to wood chips a while ago. The conversion did not make logistical sense: the ratio of physical densities and energy of coal to wood indicated that, for Drax to run at full power, an impossible number of trainloads of wood chips would have to be delivered every day. Moreover, there wasn't the onsite capacity to store enough to ensure a power outage, railway problem or shipping problem wouldn't disrupt the running of Drax.

Beyond that, there would be a huge increase in port capacity for offloading, railway transportation and all the associated requirements of bringing in multiple times the volume of wood chips to substitute wood chips for coal. Logistically it is impossible at present to fuel Drax to anywhere near full capacity.

In my cynicism, I wondered about all the profits that would be coming to the port and the railways - as well, of course, those who supplied the wood chips. I correctly suspected that wood chips as debris would not be enough: clear cutting of pulp forests would be in the supply line, and whoever owned those tracts of "poor" trees would benefit.

The issue I also raised, though, has to do with non-green issues: is the conversion of Drax to wood chips proposed to improve the economics of the port, the railway lines or local employment? Such issues come into governmental decisions - as does a "quid pro quo" consideration of balance of payments with the United States. It is possible that this example of on-off foolishness is a quid pro quo for some export from Britain to the US that the US want to tax or stop; the wood chip business is just a favour of return.

When things don't make sense to reasonable people, it is not that reasonable people are stupid, but that there is a part of the story they are not hearing.

I'd be looking at this nonsense to find the part of the story we're not hearing.

May 28, 2013 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Proctor

Radical Rodent May 28, 2013 at 4:26 PM
Couldn't agree more, although you have to be careful who you explain that to.

May 28, 2013 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Martin A: With respect, the causes are deeper and go back further than the Met and Houghton. But there's shame enough to go round in so many stupid and destructive deeds done for such stupid reasons. And so often without complaint from such. One reason I was willing to tip the hat to Myles Allen yesterday - and do so again now as I read more about the debate about to start at Oxford.

May 28, 2013 at 6:53 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Houghton and the Met Office are the cause of this.

They got the CAGW delusion under way via the IPCC. It now has a life of its own.

Quite - Martin.

I'd go a bit further.

For a generation, the BBC and albeit latterly Saint David Attenborough have been the promulgators of "save the world from man made CO2" and all it foreseeable of course and invoking the law of unintended consequences;
Burn trees- it is not green! But also: kill wildlife habitat,
build windmills - chop up birds + trash our most beautiful UK picturesque areas,
install solar - waste rich arable and valuable farming land,
biofuels - the unconscionable idea of growing food crops to convert to ethanol = starve the world's poorest people

to boot and finally......and oh er - hammer the taxpayers of the western world.

All to 'deliver' the earth from man made warming.......all along it was a scam but made much, much worse than the original posited problem - it was exacerbated by 'green solutions' and 'green energy' alternatives...............................

But lo! At the Beeb there is no U turn necessary.

Now as the greenies turn inwards and do what they do best - cut each others throats - the BBC plays the innocent bystander subtext "it was nothing to do with us - all this fuss about burning wood pellets!"

Come on Roger - get off the bloody fence.

May 28, 2013 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Can anyone explain this from the Harrabin article linked by Paul Matthews?

From 2013, the UK Government mandates that biomass burning for power will need to emit no more than 70g CO2/kJ, including emissions from transport and cutting.

Drax says it averages 20-75g CO2/kJ.
That compares 280g for the average UK coal power station;
122g for North Sea gas;
and 193g for Russian piped gas.

I always thought that wood wasn't a particularly good source of energy (hence its use as a domestic heat source until the greenies interfered). Do they assume that most CO2 is converted back to wood within 12 months?

Thanks
Sandy

May 28, 2013 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

[Please lay off the namecalling]

May 28, 2013 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Wijnan: "I do not see ANY mention of the vast amounts of fossil fuels required to train the wood to the coast, tanker it across the Atlantic and finally train it to the power plant. "

They plan to bring back steam locomotives burning wood and steamships burning wood. Of course the ships hold might be empty by the time they get to the UK ...

(I know I'm kidding ... but do the greenies?)

May 28, 2013 at 7:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Does anyone remember when the Greens used to hug trees?

May 28, 2013 at 7:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

"If you want to keep the coal power stations running you will need to do some serious campaigning for investment in coal mines."

May 28, 2013 at 6:33 PM | Entropic Man

The UK coal industry is in even worse condition than I thought.

At the beginning of March there were five deep mines in operation.

Daw Hill in Warwickshire.
Kellingly in Yorkshire.
Thoresby in Nottinghamshire.
Maltby in South Yorkshire.
Hatfield in South Yorkshire.

Three are now closed or under threat.

Daw Hill is written off after an underground fire.

Owners Hargreaves Services have closed Maltby as "no longer viable on safety, geological and financial grounds". They are also concerned that Hatfield colliery is no longer viable after a 1.5 million ton spoil heap slumped and closed the Doncaster to Scunthorp main line railway.

To add to their troubles. Scottish Coal went into administration and six open cast mines in Scotland are now closed unless a buyer can be found.

The result is that UK coal production has dropped by almost 50% in two months.

May 28, 2013 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic Man

Paul Bunyan surveys Drax, the Heart of a Blue Lion.
==========

May 28, 2013 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Martin A: With respect, the causes are deeper and go back further than the Met and Houghton. (...)
May 28, 2013 at 6:53 PM Richard Drake

I suppose you could say that Houghton et al were just junior ranks following orders.

Plus, Houghton had been recognised as being on a mission and was therefore selected for the role as being certain to deliver and, in a sense, he had no choice in the matter - his mental pre-programming dictated the trajectory he had to follow.

Nonetheless, had Houghton and the Hadley centre started their work by producing a set of reports saying "Caution: our research shows that warming due to CO2 is no more than a hypothesis. Making unjustified assumptions would be unscientific and a grave mistake. Several other hypotheses also need investigating".

Maybe he'd have been just been replaced by someone willing to deliver the goods. But maybe sanity would have prevailed.

There is no way to know for sure what would have happened in my parallel universe but isn't that a plausible scenario?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Bottom line. The Met Office was in a position to put a stop to the madness at an early stage. But they were its principle vector.

May 28, 2013 at 9:53 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Doug Proctor - my reading is that they can only make money because of the carbon floor price - see appendix 7:

http://www.draxgroup.plc.uk/files/page/26/2012_FYR_FINAL.pdf

I think by switching to cofiring biomass they are able to avoid the LCPD closure rules.

My guess: The length of contracts they will have signed to get the necessary production and transit arrangements in place for all that biomass will not be cheap to get out of. The Gov will be really hoping that this stays out the public eye because it really is burning money. Other views welcome.

May 28, 2013 at 10:18 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Martin A - The Met Office explained everything in here:

http://www-solar.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/~eric/TALKS/ClimateChange.pdf

May 28, 2013 at 10:23 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

There's not much point in expressing scorn for the daft ideas of the greenies and then indulging in sentimentalism about British coal mining. It's a defunct industry. If you want coal import it from Queensland or wherever.

May 28, 2013 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

These forests are merely a few of the eggs that need to be broken in order to make the omelette. Comrades, rally to the cause. Let us destroy the world in order to make it anew.

Or, in my preferred perspective, let us add this to the trail of misery and destruction directly attributable to those unashamed of the label 'green'.

May 28, 2013 at 11:09 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Apart from the idiocy of deliberately becoming dependent on importing fuel...

The US trees cut for this purpose are mostly trees that would be cut anyway (tree farms plant a lot of trees to encourage straight and tall growth, but once established they must be thinned - and the trees cut at that point are basically unwanted scrap). Some new areas may open where only "junk" trees will grow, swamps etc. if (and it is a big IF considering the views of various US Federal agencies) permitted.

"Clearcut" is a loaded term about a practice that has not been used by the US wood industries since WWI, although private individuals/corporations may do it to clear building sites.

May 28, 2013 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn A

Of course the other great thing when using biomass instead of coal is that all the emission control can be thrown out. Sulphur, ash, particulates, mercury all unnecessary when you burn biomass. What magical stuff.

May 28, 2013 at 11:28 PM | Unregistered Commentertckev

May 28, 2013 at 6:56 PM | SandyS
//////////////////////////////////

Burning biomass produces far more CO2 than burning either coal or gas. This follows from the low calorific value of biomass.

I do not know how they get their figures but it must assume that the CO2 emitted on burning biomass is recaptured by the planting of fresh wood, alternatively that trees are in some way carbon neutral in that during the course of their lefetime they sequester CO2 and have therefore already played a part in keeping down CO2 levels, only to give back the CO2 when burnt.

Of course this is a falacious argument. The biomass is coming from virgin forest which if not cut down would remain in existence, with old trees dying and new tress growing in the course of the natural circle of life. Of course, if they wish to off-set the effects of burning any carbon based fuel (whether this be coal, gas or biomass) they can always plant some fresh forests. There is plenty of land that could be forested. In this way they could make burning coal carbon neutral.

May 28, 2013 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Just watched the BBC news service here in Canada, representatives from Renewable Energy Association and Friends of the Earth were interviewedon the Harrabin item. They were at loggerheads over the use of wood pellets, they are starting to argue amongst themselves. Diivided they fall.

Fallacy in the argument of bio based combustion, the CO2 is still circulating through the atmosphere irrespective of it's source. It's a total pigs ear of an idea.

May 28, 2013 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterOld Mike

May 28, 2013 at 10:23 PM not banned yet

Thanks for the Met Office pamphlet.

One section in it says:

Are computer models reliable?

Yes. Computer models are an essential
tool in understanding how the climate will
respond to changes in greenhouse gas
concentrations, and other external effects,
such as solar output and volcanoes.

Computer models are the only reliable
way to predict changes in climate. Their
reliability is tested by seeing if they are able
to reproduce the past climate, which gives
scientists confidence that they can also
predict the future.

But computer models cannot predict the
future exactly. They depend, for example, on
assumptions made about the levels of future
greenhouse gas emissions.

Any ordinary and uncritical reader would understand that to mean that, except for uncertainties about future greenhouse gas emissions, the Met Office models can predict future climate precisely.

"Their reliability is tested by seeing if they are able to reproduce the past climate, which gives scientists confidence that they can also predict the future."

For the Met Office's management to claim this is irresponsible. It is on the same level as claiming things are statistically significant when they are not.

I can make a spreadsheet that reproduces past climate but with zero ability to predict future climate. Being able to reproduce the past does not confirm that the physical reality has been correctly represented in the model and is able to predict the future. In any case, it is not to hard to devise systems that, even if correctly modelled, are unpredictable because of the runaway growth of errors. Quite possibly, the climate is such a system.

May 28, 2013 at 11:42 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Like others have said this is lunacy. How long do they think it takes to grow a tree ? In New Zealand during the depression our forbears planted one of the biggest manmade forests ( pine) in the world as a job creation scheme. NZ has great tree growing conditions but it still took 30 years for it to mature. Eventually these plantations ARE clear felled and replanted. You are farming trees.

To think you can keep Drax and other plants running on thinnings and prunings is dreaming. The difficulty and cost of getting the material out of the forest would become prohibitive.

This idea that trees are are somehow carbon neutral but oil and gas is not has me totally confused.

If the environmentalists support this activity they are hypocrites of the highest order.

May 28, 2013 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

May 28, 2013 at 11:42 PM | Martin A

Here's another for you. Phil Jones has a new paper out in GRL:

Abstract

Confidence in estimates of anthropogenic climate change is limited by known issues with air temperature observations from land stations. Station siting, instrument changes, changing observing practices, urban effects, land cover, land use variations, and statistical processing have all been hypothesized as affecting the trends presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others. Any artifacts in the observed decadal and centennial variations associated with these issues could have important consequences for scientific understanding and climate policy. We use a completely different approach to investigate global land warming over the 20th century. We have ignored all air temperature observations and instead inferred them from observations of barometric pressure, sea surface temperature, and sea-ice concentration using a physically-based data assimilation system called the 20th Century Reanalysis. This independent dataset reproduces both annual variations and centennial trends in the temperature datasets, demonstrating the robustness of previous conclusions regarding global warming.

(my bold)

I can't wait for this one to get unpicked.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50425/abstract

May 29, 2013 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

BL - a bit to my surprise the paper is downloadable:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50425/pdf


The abstract immediately got my hackles up by talking about anthropogenic climate change even though, so far as I can see at a quick glance, the paper has nothing to say about the causes of any observed changes.

A small point but one that speaks volumes for the objectivity of the researchers.

May 29, 2013 at 12:26 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Problem solved: Burn the bird carcasses that collect around the windmills. (This also disposes of evidence that might be harmful to the cause).

This is the problem with skeptics - they possess no ability to imagine reality as it ought to be. Hemmed in by honest physical measurements and validation, skeptics are doomed to live the lonely life of tongue scrubbers. Muahahaha...

May 29, 2013 at 1:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Unlike others here, I have no objection to cutting down forests, as long as they're replanted. That's what we grow them for. In the time I've been here in Wellington (since 1985) this land has been a sheep farm, then planted in forest, fully grown, harvested, and replanted. (and yes, that makes me feel old)

I don't even have a problem with shipping wood around the world, though I'd prefer that the transport for doing so was powered by the wood being transported. That way you'd know whether there was any left at the end. But trains and ships are extremely efficient, so I'm sure there would be, Studies have found that butter and cheese and meat from here in New Zealand have a lower "carbon content" (bleurgh) when sold in Europe than local European-grown produce.

May 29, 2013 at 2:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterBruce Hoult

Billy Liar and Martin A: is this the same Professor Phil Jones who cannot cope with Excell spreadsheets?
If it is, he must have a wonderful imagination!

May 29, 2013 at 4:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

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