Planet Gore

Don’t We Still Dig Up the Stuff?

Yesterday, I noted EU parliamentarian Roger Helmer’s appearance in a bit of Euro-Socialist video propaganda. Here’s an interesting item from Helmer, whose blog you can find here:

Are they all mad?


Next week I shall be setting off to the Conference in Poznan, Poland, which is the precursor to next year’s Copenhagen Climate Conference, designed to create an international policy to succeed Kyoto (which seems to have failed, by the way).  I suspect that the whole project will end in failure, but I look forward to following the debate.


Meantime we are having earnest discussions in Brussels about the EU’s Climate and Energy package, and later today we will be voting in Committee on the report of the Temporary Committee on Climate Change (on which I sit).  There are hundreds of amendments — including several of my own (see an earlier blog).  Some of these amendments deal with “biochar”, which seems to be the modern trendy word for charcoal.


Now although I am relaxed about climate change, I am very worried indeed about energy security, so I am in favour of indigenous renewables provided they make economic and environmental sense.  These criteria rule out wind-power, but they favour biomass.  Naturally when I heard about biochar, I took it to be simply another approach to bio-mass as a fuel.  After all, charcoal has been used as a fuel since time immemorial.


But no. The idea is to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere by creating charcoal, and then burying it. Yes. You read that right. Burying it.


I am irresistibly reminded of the famous Bob Newhart Tobacco sketch, where Sir Walter Raleigh, having discovered tobacco in America, is explaining its uses to folks back home. ”You roll it in paper, you put it in your mouth, and then you set fire to it”.  “You do what, Walt?”  “You set fire to it”.


Now we create the charcoal, and we bury it.


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