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[greenyes] Re: [GAIA][greenyes] Fwd: [USCC] Biomass energy priorities ...

At 07:08 PM 9/11/2004 -0700, Gary Liss wrote:
Anybody want to set the record straight? We need to make sure the US
Composting Council members understand our perspective.


From: "M Reilly" <maureen.reilly@no.address>
To: "US Composting Council Compost Discussion List"
Subject: Re: [USCC] Biomass energy priorities ...
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 19:28:07 -0400

Due to the high levels of metals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pathogens, and
persistant pollutants that can be found in sewage sludges ('biosolids') it
makes far more sense to use them for energy generation than to compost them,
and thereby concentrate the persistant toxins for further distribution into
the foodchain.

Maureen Reilly

I wonder how Ms. Reilly comes to this conclusion? Incineration might help get rid of the "pathogens" and "pharmaceuticals" but will not help with the metals.....

There is a lot of promotion of incineration in Canada these days.

> On Thu, 9 Sep 2004, Jim McNelly wrote:
> ... see below ...
> Hello Jim and other readers,
> I read the study you posted below on biomass energy.
> My observations are:
> It seems foolish to use farmland for growing crops for conversion to
> fuels rather than food production, until we have exhausted all other
> means for providing alternative fuels to wean us from fossil fuels,
> which is not the case.

It certainly does.

> > >* Use of Biomass for the Production of Energy and Materials - On
> > >September 6, OECD issued a News Release, titled "Amid Volatile Oil
> > >OECD Report Calls for Policy Changes to Promote Biomass," which states
> > >part that " ... Plants and animal waste could become viable
> > >to fossil fuels in providing energy and materials if governments
> > >strategies ..." according to a new OECD report out today, which is the
> > >proceeding of an OECD Workshop on Biomass and Agriculture, held June 10
> > >through 13, 2003 in Vienna, Austria - The report is titled "Biomass and
> > >agriculture: sustainability, markets and policies" - According to the
> > >report " ... Instead of offering financial incentives or subsidies to
> > >stimulate the use of such organic material, known as 'biomass,'
> > >governments should encourage technical innovation as a way of narrowing
> > >the price gap with oil and gas products. This would stimulate demand
> > >boost the supply of bioproducts.

I haven't read the report, but I don't see how "encouraging technical innovation" is likely to overcome the fundamental problems in combustion and anerobic digestion of biomass.

AFAIK, most sustainable agricultural systems throughout human history have been based on return of poop and other biomass to the land to maintain soil productivity. Our agricultural production is unsustainable because it is based on very extensive inputs of petroleum for traction and chemical fertilizers. The answer, then, is to restore the sustainability of agriculture, not make the situation worse by trying to use biomass to substitute for petroleum in other sectors.....

Alan Muller

Alan Muller, Executive Director
Green Delaware
Box 69
Port Penn, DE 19731 USA
fax (302)836-3005

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