I'm a 20-something living in Atlanta. Cuddlefist is a collection of things that I find, photograph, or write.
One of the things I did at a previous job was to catalogue Europe’s biomass plants. Many time I could figure out where they sourced their biomass (read: wood for burning): the US. (Most of it ships out of Norfolk.) Ben Adler at Grist wrote an article about it:
In March 2007, the E.U. adopted climate and energy goals for 2010 to 2020. The 27 member countries set a goal of reducing carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020 and increasing renewables to 20 percent of their energy portfolio. Unfortunately, they underestimated the carbon intensity of burning wood (a.k.a. “biomass”) for electricity, and they categorized wood as a renewable fuel.
The result: E.U. countries with smaller renewable sectors turned to wood to replace coal. Governments provided incentives for energy utilities to make that switch. Now, with a bunch of new European wood-burning power plants having come online, Europeans need wood to feed the beast. But most European countries don’t have a lot of available forest left to cut down. So they’re importing our forests, especially from the South.
It’s a good theory, not a good practice. It turns out that planting a replacement tree in place of the older tree that’s been cut down and milled into biomass is not the same, even if younger trees do consume more CO2. Especially if you’re shipping the chips across the Atlantic or, worse, the Pacific.
Please watch the whole video. I know that the producers of many goods I enjoy daily often don’t sample their product, but this drove that home for me in a way that the statement of facts simply didn’t.
Cell phone photos after driving to Asheville.
Green burial: How to turn a human body into compost
A Swedish company developed a green procedure that involves freeze drying a body and returning it to the soil without chemicals.
This is my personal preference.