Mary S. Booth is an eco-system scientist and the founder and director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity.

NYR DAILY

The Great Biomass Boondoggle

A handful of fuel from the then-new biomass facility at Drax Power Station near Selby, North Yorkshire, England, 2013

The urgency of the climate crisis is inspiring some extreme and unproven ideas. Arguably one of the most reckless ideas is already well underway: burning “forest biomass”—that is, trees—in power plants as a replacement for coal. The problem with this so-called green energy source is that instead of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, it increases the amount of CO2 coming out of the smokestack compared to fossil fuels, and the climate “benefit” is claimed by simply not counting the emissions.