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CAN — Update from carbon sequestration sub-network


Hello, everyone.

I’ve been preparing a reading list on biochar as a means of sequestering the carbon from the gigantic amount of slash and residual wood currently being burnt in the BVLD. The reading list is not quite ready for circulation, but I did want to mention that in deciding what to look for I have had a great deal of help from Thomas Wunderlin. Thomas is a Valley agricultural engineer and very familiar with the utilization of biomass. I have also enlisted Paul Davidson, a dairyman and rancher as well as president of the local branch of the Farmers Institute, as an advisor on how biochar might fit into BV agriculture.

Something else which may be of use to the CAN group is my efforts to get a fix on costs for sequestering carbon and ways of covering those costs. I’ve brought together some of that information in the “Carbon sequestration methods” document attached to this message. At the moment, it looks to me as if both on-site burial of slash and waste wood and conversion to biochar in the cutblocks could conceivably be economic if the B.C. Carbon Tax were applied to the burning of wood, forcing the logging industry to look hard for alternatives to burning. Burial would be simpler, but biochar conversion would have other advantages. In the absence of an extension of the Carbon Tax to forestry, the B.C. government could just pay an equivalent amount to the industry to bury or biochar its wastes. The outlays from the public purse would not be insupportable and the benefits in clean air and jobs would be well worth it.

Finally, I’m canvassing the serious scientific literature on such questions as how much time we have left before the planet burns, whether northern forestry is really carbon neutral in the time frames available, what is currently in the Canadian and British Columbian climate change strategies as they relate to forestry, and so on. I’ll soon send out references for what I have found; and I’ll have more to say on these points in a while.

Ray Chipeniuk

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