Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Radical Greens -- Eco-Terrorism through the Media.

Two stories on biomass energy caught our attention this week where "misinformation of fear" continues to be presented in the media:

Huffington Post: Green Nightmare: Burning Biomass is Not Renewable Energy

New York Times Op/Ed: Clear-Cutting the Truth About Trees.

The purpose of these articles is to advance a "message of fear" -- that adopting policies of biomass energy will lead to the mass destruction of forests throughout the world as clear cutting will occur.

As scientists, engineers, and farmers, we can provide a real-world "message of hope" from our efforts in Florida that we strongly believe will be more representative to provide biomass for power generation and transportation fuels.

In our approach that we call a catalytic "Genesis Effect", we have taken environmentally damaged marginal lands to grow energy crops in a sustainable and environmentally pro-active way -- with a key emphasis of soil carbon building/sequestration.

The following two pictures are of the same land area at one of our energy crop farms, showing the "before" and "after" results of the Genesis Effect. Before energy crop planting, the site had been invaded by a mono culture plant (cogongrass, that according to the USDA is the 3rd most invasive weed in the world). Typically, environmentally damaged lands have very little Soil Organic Matter or Soil Organic Carbon (SOM/SOC).

After creating energy crop tree farms on these marginal lands (where the trees coppice or re-grow after cutting), we have seen (working in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Lab) a dramatic increase in SOM/SOC after just a few years.

An additional environmental benefit that is occurring on our energy crop tree farms is the re-establishment of native flora and habitats (where in 3 years, ~30 native species plants have emerged on the forest floor).

Our response to the radical "Greens" is that there is a message of hope (not fear) in developing biomass energy in a "responsible and right way"!

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