Politicians have the power to make something legal or illegal in a matter of seconds. However, we all hope that when a new legislation is brought forward, the improvements it introduces are based on solid facts, science and accurate statistics. Unfortunately, in reality, all of these play a role only if money and personal gains do not come as a player. If that happens, all the rest becomes of a lesser priority.
Here is the most recent example of this. An amendment to the Energy Modernization act of 2015, introduced by Susan Collins, an U.S. Senator, states that burning forest trees is carbon neutral. The explanation to this is that although the burning process releases carbon dioxide, newly planted trees can compensate for it. Apparently that makes it a form of renewable energy.
This is truly shocking, and border-line ridiculous. I first thought it is a joke, so I had to double check the calendar, but 1st of April is still quite far off, and unfortunately this means only one thing- these people are serious!
I was trying to find the reasons to why such amendment can happen, especially in this time of increased awareness and consciousness towards the global environmental problems. I wondered how can there still be people, who believe that the amount of carbon dioxide released during burning a 50 years old tree, can be compensated by a small tree, which will take decades to grow before it can photosynthesize this same amount. And this is not even considering the fact that this same young tree might not even make it to the appropriate age to take up the large amounts of the greenhouse gas that it is apparently supposed to.
And then it hit me. It has to be money. So digging further into the story, I found that indeed this is the case. The amendment is not based on any scientific facts, or statistics. As Dave Tenny, a CEO of NAFO says, the amendment is there to please forest owners, who are apparently very pleased and appreciative of Senator Susan Collins’ leadership.
It is now quite clear- wood burning is now apparently carbon neutral, therefore “environmentally friendly”, therefore forest wood can be sold at a higher price.
And this is how policies are made, ladies and gentlemen. Please do consider this piece of news when you wonder who to vote for at the next elections.
Image (C) David Cohen