Forest bioenergy, or biomass, is a renewable source of energy, and one recognized by the EPA, EU, and UN as a carbon-neutral part of a clean energy future.
Carbon neutrality means that biomass captures as much (or more) carbon as it releases into the atmosphere. That basic scientific fact, rooted in the natural carbon cycle, is
affirmed by scientists and forestry experts across the country
But in the face of this clear scientific consensus, a number of activists and lobbying groups stubbornly oppose biomass.
These groups repeat the same misapprehensions and misunderstandings loudly and often in an attempt to mislead journalists, cajole policymakers, and deceive the public.
Perhaps no fallacy is repeated so often as the idea that it takes countless decades to regrow trees, and recapture carbon of biomass energy.
You can see this line of thinking, pop up nearly every time biomass issues are discussed in the press.
The only problem is that it is an obvious fallacy. The activist argument is like saying that once you drink a 30-year old scotch, you can’t buy another bottle for 30 years.
That’s absurd, as any aficionado could tell you.
American foresters are planting trees
, and American forests are filled with trees at every stage of development.
Smart, responsible forestry means planning carefully for the long-term health of our forests.
That means taking care that there are trees in every stage of development.
We were sustainable before sustainability was even a thing.
That’s why America’s forests are growing, not shrinking, and why we plant twice as much wood as we harvest each year.
So the next time you hear an activist or a reporter repeat the “hundred year” fallacy, ask yourself what else they might be getting wrong about renewable forest bioenergy.