Monday, June 21, 2010

Beginning summer with a chore for winter

Wood is not a heat source for the indolent. This summer I actually got motivated to make drying stacks from the unruly pile dumped from my firewood supplier's truck. What you see in the picture took nearly four hours. I have more to do, but I got tired. The job gets old long before it gets done.

Wood pellets have become fashionable, but pellets are a manufactured product. Their price and availability fluctuates radically. Pellets and wood chips also contribute to forest loss. They seem at first like a great way to use more of the tree, but the removal of slash and treetops from logged areas contributes to soil loss as more organic material is carted off and turned into carbon dioxide and soot in heating and energy systems instead of being left to rot.

Firewood won't work for everyone. If too many people used it, North America would become a desert in a matter of months. There are simply too many people. For now, it works for some of us. Other energy sources came to dominate for good reason. But there's no fuel like and old fuel, when it's right for the job.

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