Monbiot on the overlooked dangers of Biochar

Woodchips With Everything by George Monbiot

Biomass is suddenly the universal answer to our climate and energy problems. Its advocates claim that it will become the primary source of the world’s heating fuel, electricity, road transport fuel (cellulosic ethanol) and aviation fuel (bio-kerosene). Few people stop to wonder how the planet can accommodate these demands and still produce food and preserve wild places. Now an even crazier use of woodchips is being promoted everywhere (including in the Guardian(1)). The great green miracle works like this: we turn the planet’s surface into charcoal.

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2 Responses to Monbiot on the overlooked dangers of Biochar

  1. Luke says:

    Who is George Monbiot? and how did he get so smart?
    Here’s to the human experience/ condition/ eternal fool.
    I’m glad there are some voices of reason in the world- especially in the world of environmetalists- where we need clearheadedness the most.

    Lets hear more from George!

  2. irkone says:

    Everything in moderation, they say. Biochar + a few dozen other strategies (like moving beyond fossil fuels, permaculture, etc.) applied in appropriate contexts would be O.K.

    I have also heard that biochar in temperate regions does not make much sense due to the presence of humus-rich soils, whereas in the poor soils of the tropics, it makes more sense for charcoal nutrient catchment.

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