Wednesday 13 December 2023

My Pile of Captive Carbon

    Trees and wood are made up of carbon.  When they are burned, all of their carbon goes up into the atmosphere, and everyone now knows that it is the increasing amount of carbon in the air that is causing our planet’s climate to get increasingly inhospitable.  It is the fossil fuel industries that are causing most of the carbon in the atmosphere, and the only way to curtail the increasing problem is to drastically cut back on those fossil fuels.

    Of course, cutting back on fossil fuels means a lot of lost income for those big corporations and their shareholders, so in an attempt to prevent a decline of income, they are actually increasing their production but at the same time, they have started a public campaign of “Greenwashing” saying that ‘Carbon Capture‘ is the solution, so everyone should be unconcerned and just continue using their products, because they have solved the problem. 

    The mostly unsuccessful, insignificant, and very expensive attempts (often government subsidized) at carbon capture projects, strive to grab some of the carbon from the processing of the fossil fuels, and bury it deep underground. 

    Of course, carbon capture can only deal with a minuscule amount of the carbon, and leaves the vast majority and most of carbon, still in the gasoline and coal, to be burned by the consumer.  That carbon will all flood into the atmosphere and will continue to increase the impact of global warming on you and me, and the whole earth.

    Living in an area whose major industries is logging, means that there is a lot of burning of wood going on.  The logging industry burns huge piles of “scrap” wood, just to get rid of trees they cut down, but don’t want.  They pile up this “waste” wood and burn it, putting all of that carbon into the air.   Home owners around here are also constantly burning the dead branches and other wood debris on their property, also just to get rid of it.

    I own 5 acres of property around my house, over 35 years I have also had to deal with a lot of downed branches and debris from the trimming of trees.  And while I too, make piles of this stuff, I don’t burn it.

    If I would burn it, all of that carbon would immediately go into the atmosphere and add to global warming.  What I do is just pile it and let it slowly rot.  The carbon from all of the wood in my piles will, of course, eventually get into the air as it decays, but that will happen very slowly over many years, not all at once.  As the piles decay, some of the carbon will make its way into the soil, where it will be held, and not go into the atmosphere.

    I do heat my house by burning wood, but I always try to find wood from dead or dying trees, not healthy ones that are taking carbon out of the air, just by breathing.  When I burn my firewood, it done to do something useful; heating my house.  I am not just burning wood to get rid of it.

    Global warming is destroying the world as we knew it, and if it continues, the impacts for humanity and nature will be devastatingly dire.  We must all do what we can to keep as much carbon out of the atmosphere as possible.

    The photo above of my wood pile fails to really show you how big it is.  It is 21 feet long, 12 feet wide and 7 feet tall.  Below is a painting I did of one of the logging burn piles of “unwanted wood” spewing  carbon into the atmosphere.

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