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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Is heating your home with trees carbon neutral?

The folks over at Burning Issues website have calculated that to heat a small home for a year of approximately 2 acres woodland are required for each year feeding.
Over the period of 30 years such a home would require in the neighborhood of 60 to 65 acres in order to sustain the growth that selective logging would require.
It's pretty obvious to me that that's just not happening here in North America and definitely not happening in the Third World.
It's been shown that the so-called high-efficiency wood stoves can actually create more greenhouse gases than a traditional fire. In addition,other gasses--carbon monoxide, methane, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, etc.--are produced in much greater quantities than previously thought.

Although many people associate tobacco smoke with certain health risks, research indicates that second hand wood smoke has potentially even greater ability to damage health. A comparison between tobacco smoke and wood smoke using electron spin resonance revealed quite startling results (Rozenberg 2001, Wood Smoke is More Damaging than Tobacco Smoke). Tobacco smoke causes damage in the body for approximately 30 seconds after it is inhaled. Wood smoke, however, continues to be chemically active and cause damage to cells in the body for up to 20 minutes, or 40 times longer.

EPA researchers suggest that the lifetime cancer risk from wood stove emissions may be 12 times greater than the lifetime cancer risk from exposure to an equal amount of cigarette smoke. (Rozenberg 2001, What's in Wood Smoke and Other Emissions).

Excerpt from New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services website:
Compounds released during the combustion process interfere with normal lung development and function. Indoor and outdoor air quality can be degraded significantly by the use of poorly designed, non-certified wood stoves. Poor burning processes, lack of maintenance, improper stove installation, and burning wet wood create excessive amounts of pollution. Fires left smoldering to keep a house warm during the night can also be particularly harmful. Smoldering wood burns slower and incompletely, thereby releasing more smoke and gas into the air.
Excerpted from Citizens for Environmental Health
Smoke produced from residential wood burning costs 24% of the total green house gases in Canada each year. In Quebec , where emissions have grown 20% in the last five years, this smoke causes 55% of particulate matter, a deadly molecular soot pollution that enters deep into the lungs. And, all that smoke, people know very little about. People deserve and have the right to know.
We think differently, we act more responsibly, when we know the facts.

From future projects 2010

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