Summer is the best time for thinking about firewood and firewood is something that takes time. The big advantage of wood as a fuel is that it is carbon neutral: burning it does produce CO2 but it is not fossil carbon and firewood is typically only a few decades old at most. How you burn it does matter: an open fireplace is very inefficient and you will need a lot more (and produce a lot more smoke) than in some kind of efficient wood burner. Using wood typically generates heat in other ways too: some of these are discussed below.
These days the ODT confronts us with a steady stream of stories about our warming planet. In just the last few weeks: “Dark snow hastens glacier melting” (July21-27 World Section); “Can we do without coal?” (July 14-20 World Section); “Permanent snow and ice just melting away” (July 30th); “Actions against sea level rise identified” (July 19th). I am someone who has been slow to appreciate what climate change is doing to the planet. I am a business school academic and have spent my professional career trying to understand more about how firms gain advantage over their competitors. A rising sea level just doesn’t come up much in my world.
I am flying home, back from Geneva where I have attended the 130th meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. I do not know whether this disqualifies me from accepting the invitation to contribute. Assuming it does not, I wish to pay a tribute to your Trust. It is people like you who will make the difference if we are to turn the climate thing around in time.