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I oppose biomass energy production. We need to sharply reduce energy waste instead. If we are going to seriously challenge all of our environmental problems, we're going to have to change the way we live. Most of the things that we perceive to be necessities are not. We have had the misfortune of living in the most ridiculously wasteful century in all of human history, and we consider this lifestyle to be normal, sane, and desirable. It is not.
The cities of Oregon are highly visible at night from satellites in outer space. I can almost walk from one end of Eugene to the other while reading a book at midnight. Car dealerships and shopping centers are ridiculously well lit, all night long, with wasted energy. They could hire a security guard, turn off the lights, and increase their profits.
I once read an article on Guernsey, an island in the English Channel. The author was impressed by the astonishing common sense of this land, which resulted in a prosperous life with an extremely light footprint. For example: "And at night much of Guernsey is a dark place indeed because many of the parishes have long since decided that street lighting is a waste of money. So there isn't any. Guernseymen argue that if you go out at night and want to see, you carry a flashlight. Which is of course a very practical and exceedingly cheap solution."
Clothes lines and drying racks can get clothes just as dry as electric clothes driers. Small screen TVs provide us with no less mindless garbage than large screen TVs. For thousands of years, people have enjoyed rich and satisfying lives without air conditioners. And so on.
We are already using biomass fuel to power vehicles — ethanol. Highly subsidized ethanol is reducing grain exports, and resulting in food riots in poor countries. The idea of wood-fueled vehicles gives me nightmares, and our society is insane enough to give them serious consideration. During World War II, most of Japan's oil imports were cut off. At this point the Japanese began converting their forests to "pine root" (turpentine) for use as a fuel in airplanes, trucks, and industry. Naturally, this resulted in substantial deforestation. In wartime Europe, hundreds of thousands of cars, trucks, and buses were powered by gasifying wood chips or charcoal.
Biomass energy corporations have two primary objectives: growth and profits, by any means that they can get away with. As long as it remains legal and profitable, they will not hesitate to turn Oregon into a treeless Easter Island. We know this. It's the American way. The future is irrelevant. Waste reduction that does not increase profits is treasonous, unpatriotic, and an offense against God. Let's do it anyway!
posted 2 years, 3 months ago
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