Let\’s Ban Woodchip Imports! And Watch The Lights Go Out!

What a clever idea this is:

Ministers have been urged to consider banning the import of woodchip made from ash as part of measures to prevent the spread of ash dieback disease.

Given that the disease is now endemic not really going to achieve much. Except of course accelerating the day when the lights go out. For we\’re converting several coal fired stations (inc. Drax, the largest of them all) to burning woodchips.

Which will need to be imported as the nation just doesn\’t have enough wood to cover the needs. And if we ban woodchip imports (and no fair saying it\’s \”only ash\”. Here\’s a 300,000 tonne boat. Now sir, you promise and hope to die that there\’s no ash anywhere in your 300,000 tonnes?) then we can\’t generate the \’leccie any more.

But Barry Gardiner, a Labour MP and member of the environment select committee, told BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today there should be further action to stop woodchip used as “biomass” fuel being brought in.

He said: “It seems to me that the Government, in addition to banning seedlings, which are a clear factor of transmission of this disease, should also be considering banning not all biomass but the ash woodchip that contains twigs and leaves.”

And don\’t think that the little fucker doesn\’t know that.

23 thoughts on “Let\’s Ban Woodchip Imports! And Watch The Lights Go Out!”

  1. The risk, according to the expert quoted in the article, would only be for woodchip imported between June and September, which is the low season for power generation but at/near the peak for UK production of woodchip as waste from construction work so we should not need to import woodchip in that period, so he concludes the risk is negligible.
    And since when did woodchip include leaves?

  2. If it’s the process I’ve seen in France, when a tree’s broken down there’s the trunks which go to timber production, major branches which supply uses for industrial wood-chip & our fireplaces & the rest of the thinner stuff gets chipped down to feed energy production. Little waste. Clever isn’t it?

  3. He’s a politician on a select committee. Of course he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He will know fuck all about woodchip except that it includes the word wood and so must include wood such as that from Ash.

  4. Burning wood chip is less polluting and more efficient than burning coal?

    You learn something wrong every day.

  5. And we are paying our taxes so that morons like BazzaG are paid to hand down pearls of wisdom like this?

    The sooner the light go out the better.

  6. “And since when did woodchip include leaves?”

    Since leaves tend to be attached to trees, chipping brushwood will include a lot of leaves.

  7. OK I’m old
    Thirty-forty years ago woodchip was the by-product (aka waste) from sawmills, so comprised *wood*. Someone has redefined the word to mean tertiary grade junk from cutting down trees which used to go into compost.

  8. BIS (4)
    True enough, but only for beech and oak (maybe for hornbeam as well, but they don’t call it ironwood for nothing).
    The resinous stuff will make a nice flame but not heat your house. And it’ll clog up your chimney until it too catches fire.
    Thinnings from conifer goes to those horrible industrial factories which produce Ikea furniture and stuff. The resin means you can economise on glue.
    I’ve just laid a floating floor, parquet of wood gunk with a photograph on top. Looks nice, if I say so myself. Bit miffed about the difference of price between the raw material (nearly nothing) and the retail price (20€ / m2) but that’s intermediaries for you.

  9. I’m surprised that woodchip wallpaper has been missed out, I’m sure that the few hundred kilos of this imported from foreign, must be hazardous to something somewhere.

  10. Nessimersion – it is never wise to jest about these things…the Murph-meister will be upon you shortly and demand sap-duty

  11. Bloody heck BIF! 20€m2 for faux parquet? I buy real oak laminate (4mm on ply substrate) for similar money.* There are other suppliers than Bricomart.

    @#10 “Ner mind the depsoliation of an area of woodland the size of the UK every year while this continues to happen.” How do you rate managing forests as despoliation? The forests of Europe have been a resource for the best part of 2000 years. That’s why they exist rather than having been clearcut for farmland. Are actually increasing now. Why forests are also a leisure amenity & areas of biodiversity. Natural, unmanaged forest is almost impenetrable & rarely particularly diverse. There’s not enough light penetrating to the forest floor to permit much ground vegetation.

    *Certain amount of recalibration was necessary for a UK builder working in rural France. Oak as cheap construction timber & imported northern pine as an expensive flooring material.

  12. Given that it’s going to be BURNT and assuming reasonable containment of the stuff in transit (tarp over the top etc) – why is anyone worried about a biohazard with imported woodchip for energy use?

  13. Given that if wood is not burned for power or any other use it will (eventually) give off exactly the same global warming gasses, which it has spent its life absorbing then yes, it is neutral.

    Or have I gone wrong somewhere?

  14. #19 That’s exactly the reason given for encouragement to change to pelletised wood for home heating. Not too bad for France where much of the electricity runs the pelletising process is generated by nuclear. Not so clear if the electricity’s generated by fossil fuels in the first place. Also, the low density of the material implies a lot of transport movements in supplying the users.

  15. BIS – I was just trying to work out the thought processes of a greenie….we don’t like coal-burning; we don’t like chopping down precious forests; we like wood-burning..how many incompatible ideas can I believe in at the same time?

  16. “I was just trying to work out the thought processes of a greenie..”
    That’s a challenge. Came across dozens of the Brit flavour in South Western France. Walking 8 km to the village in stout shoes to avoid the carbon footprint of their cars but ignoring the footprint of the Easyjet that flies them into Rodez a dozen times a year. Returning to their drafty converted farmhouses where they burn tons of oak logs in great iron stoves to keep them from freezing. The French who sold them the properties sit in their modern, double glazed centrally heated houses down by the village, count their bank balances & laugh at them

  17. Actually, the best bit is watching them paying over the odds for locally grown organic tomatoes at the village market. In April, when the temperature drops near zero overnight. The weathered, sunwrinkled woman runs the stall gets them from the produce market in Montauban once a week. The boxes say ‘Produce of Spain’. They’re grown in polytunnels down by Almeria.

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