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Wood Is A Very Special Fuel Because....
the perfect form of heating in your home. When you choose to use
wood for heating you create a natural warmth within a space.
There is something primeval and instinctively soothing about staring into the flames of an open fire....this is something out ancestors have done for millions of years.....
Man only decided to ruin it for himself in the past 200 years by moving to fossil fuel use, a precious resource that will expire and during that process is likely to cause unrest and wars....
Heating with Wood
There are various reasons which may make you consider using wood as your main source of heating fuel. Briefly these are:
Environmental And Ethical Considerations:
This is probably the main reason that people are turning to wood as a primary source of heating fuel and there are two major reasons that wood comes out on top. Firstly, burning wood, on the whole, is carbon neutral. That basically means that when the tree was growing it absorbed Carbon Dioxide – that’s why environmentalists like forests and it is why they get so upset about major deforestation such as the illegal logging going on in the Amazon etc… These huge forests perform a major eco balancing act. As wood burns, it puts Carbon back into the atmosphere, but only the same amount that it swallowed up when it was growing – this eco-balancing act is called being "Carbon Neutral".
Sustainability: Wood is currently (and should continue to be, with thoughtful management) sustainable. What this means simply is that, in the UK especially, we can grow trees at the same rate as we burn them down. In Scandinavia and in the UK we are planting amore trees than we are burning. The UK now has more forest now than it has had since the beginning of the 20th Century. This is in part (or mainly) due to DEFRA’s policy of rewarding land owners financially for planting new woodland.
The burning of fossil fuels is NOT sustainable. We have all heard that the earth’s supplies of coal and oil are running out. And when it has gone – there is no more…..it will take many millions of years to replenish what man has pulled out of the earth in the past 200 years.
Sending men down into the bowels of the earth to dig for coal. Coal mining historically was a very dangerous occupation and even though safety standards are nowadays, much improved, miners have a shorter life expectancy and there is also the permanent risk of collapse of the mine such as in 2006 Sago mining disaster where 13 miners were trapped following an explosion. Only one miner survived. This was the worst disaster in the US since 2001…only five years earlier…..I think you get it that coal mining is a dangerous business…..
The website http://www.welshcoalmines.co.uk talks candidly of the mixed blessing that Wales was so rich in coal, thus paving the way for children and young men to work in poor, cramped conditions.
You may be conscientious enough to feel bad about using a fuel that is so difficult to get out of the ground.
Logging is also highly dangerous, but wood fuels made from waste wood is not. Heat Logs are generally made from joinery waste Currently, very little wood is grown specifically for people to burn, but that may happen in the future….
The price of oil and gas just keeps going up and up doesn’t it? Sometimes more than once in a year. In fact, the energy market has been described as “volatile”. According to www.moneysavingexpert.com all of the big six energy providers have now increased prices up to 9% (March 2011), We have all lost count of how often this has happened in the past 5 years. The companies blame it on the rising cost of a barrel of oil, although, I am not sure that these big six are out of pocket yet!
As the use of wood as a fuel is still pretty alternative, there is no “wood market” as yet. Therefore, we can only conclude that wood prices are currently much much more stable. If the wood fuel industry is managed correctly, it may never become the “Beast” that the Oil industry has become….man is capable of learning a lesson!
The politics of the oil industry are enough to make many of us get on our soap boxes (if you want a C19th metaphor) or at least take to the streets, loud hailer in hand inciting the fall of globalisation. The destabilisation of a huge energy industry which has done everything to increase profits and very little to actually increase the comfort and/or fiscal security of its customers.
The oil industry is BIG, so big in fact that it is accused of having the government in its pockets. If there is a problem, throw money at it – billions in fact. We have all heard of the many Texas Oil billionaires and the Saudi oil barons. However much this is exaggerated, the oil industry has made many many many people very rich, without passing on any savings to the end user.
The Psychology Of Burning Wood:
Man has stared into the flames of his campfire/hearth for millions of years. The burning fire has been given mystical significance. We have gods of fire (Hephaestus for one). It is trancey, soporific and soothing.
Man has cooked and heated his home with fire for millennia before oil barged in as the primary fuel. Fire provides light, heat, cooked food, we burn our rubbish, we manage our farmland, burn our dead and light our cigarettes (enough said!),
And when we are done, we can use the ash as fertilizer
The Fuel Of The Future, Today...
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