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Monday, May 16, 2005

Canada Chainsaw Massacre

Monkeygrinder's proposal to smell the coffee (with a name like monkeygrinder, I ponder the true ingredients) woke me up real good:
And so it goes for most of the alternative energy sources. I could fight to the death to prevent using trees as feedstock for liquid fuel, only to watch the Northeast of the United States simply burn trees for heat following natural gas depletion.
I have, perhaps foolishly, gotten involved with a thread on the PeakOil message board with someone called BIGG, who offers up the entire country of Canada as an alternative energy fuel source. BIGG's idea? Trees. All over the place. Canada crawls with trees. The solution consists of taking chainsaws to the whole of the country. To which I responded:
Me: The Canadian Shield consists of a vast region of exposed Precambrian bedrock that extends from the Arctic Islands in the north to Minnesota in the south and from Great Slave Lake in the west to the coast of Labrador in the east.

Remove the trees, what do you get? Rocks. What's under the rocks? Rocks.

All the way down.
I tried to make the point that much of Canada consists of a rather fragile ecosystem sitting on a rather infertile base (not even counting the tundra). To which BIGG responded:
BIGG: I’m pretty sure Canada has more than just rock! Nonetheless, wherever you have a rock issue collect the falling leaves & other waste every year and make yourself some ethanol out of those instead.!
It doesn't really pay to argue, but I went ahead anyways.
Me: The forests themselves contain most of the organic matter. Once your remove the canopy, nothing left. Nada.

Leaves? You know what a conifer is don't you?
My brush with the deluded. Either that or BIGG belongs to the New England Association of Furnace Manufacturers.


Professor Blogger Big Gav said...


I've given up these sorts of self-destructive activities now - I ignore global warming deniers, and I don't even give peak oil deniers a second thought - there aren't enough hours in the day...

As a side note, some people call me Big G, so I'm horrified by that fool's nickname. You should have quoted the "chopping down the last tree on easter island" story at him.

5:42 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Hmm, when I first glanced at the name BIGG, I thought of the famous Roman character BIGGus Dickus.

8:10 PM  
Professor Blogger Phila said...

I get sucked into this stuff, too.

My opinion is that these people lie for the sheer transgressive thrill of it. It's like dealing with an adult who feels comfortable picking his nose in front of you. There's no information or knowledge or principle behind it; it's just a veneer of attitude. An impregnable veneer, I might add.

3:47 PM  
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