Cooking the Books

@Sakura please summarize this article, thanks uwu.

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Reading https://newsletter.doomberg.com/p/cooking-the-books

TLDR :deciduous_tree:

The article exposes the “Green New Math” behind classifying burning wood as a carbon-neutral energy source, despite it emitting more CO2 per unit of energy than burning coal.

Key Points :key:

  • Burning wood emits more CO2 per unit of energy than burning coal, yet it is classified as “carbon-neutral” by governments.
  • The UK has been transitioning its power plants from coal to wood, based on this flawed logic.
  • The article questions the rationale behind this environmental “sleight-of-hand” and whether clear-cutting forests can truly be the solution to climate change.

In-depth Summary :books:

The article starts by explaining a simple chemistry lesson - the more “burned” a fuel source is (i.e., the more oxygen atoms it contains), the less energy can be extracted from it. This means that burning wood emits more CO2 per unit of energy than burning coal, which in turn emits more than burning natural gas.

However, the article then highlights a curious situation in the UK, where the government has been pushing for a transition from coal to wood-burning power plants, under the premise that wood is a “carbon-neutral” energy source. The rationale behind this is that the EU and UK laws classify biomass (like wood) as a source of carbon-neutral energy, despite the empirical evidence showing that it is more polluting than coal.

The article questions this “environmental sleight-of-hand” and wonders whether clear-cutting forests will truly be the salvation from the climate crisis, as the government seems to suggest.

ELI5 :nerd_face:

The article is saying that the government is trying to trick us by saying that burning wood is better for the environment than burning coal, even though that’s not true. Wood actually makes more pollution when you burn it, but the government is pretending it doesn’t because they want to use more wood for energy. The article is calling out this “fake science” and asking if cutting down more trees is really the answer to climate change.

Writer’s Main Point :bulb:

The writer’s main point is to expose the flawed “Green New Math” behind classifying wood-burning as a carbon-neutral energy source, despite the empirical evidence showing that it is more polluting than burning coal. The article questions the rationale behind this environmental “sleight-of-hand” and whether clear-cutting forests can truly be the solution to the climate crisis.