GLOSTER, Miss. — Carmella Wren-Causey knew something was wrong as soon as she returned to her hometown last year, a place where she’d slept on her grandmother’s screened porch to smell the sweet, crisp fragrance of longleaf pines on summer evenings. Wren-Causey was 60 years old and had not smoked a cigarette in many years. However, her breathing became more difficult each day.

After moving to a tiny, prefabricated house on the property that her great-grandparents bought almost a century ago, she was already feeling dizzy from just caring for her garden. To drag the trash the short distance up the road, she had to take at least three breath breaks. It was a tedious process to hoist herself in her Nissan pickup. Her sleep was so bad that she could not fall asleep at night. She recently began using an oxygen tank as a bedside lamp.

Before, she suffered from breathing difficulties. Her doctor advised her to take more medication. The inhaler became her best friend. When her two beloved spunky pugs Rayray and Tiny – her “babies” she took everywhere – died suddenly, just three weeks apart, it became a little too true. They had struggled with breathing and were wheezing in pain shortly before their deaths.

“The truth is, you got people around here that stay sick. You got people around here that has to use asthma pumps that didn’t have respiratory problems before,” Wren-Causey said, weeping.

“I go to bed, my lungs hurt,” she said. “I wake up, my lungs hurt. It’s horrible.”

Wren-Causey is less than one mile away from Drax, a British utility company that transforms tree trunks into wooden pellets. These wood pellets are shipped to Britain to be used in power plants. Eight years ago, the small town of Gloster with its declining population of 800 people, was part of the $52 million global supply chain of wood-fired electric power. It is growing rapidly. grow 6%Or more in this decade.

To some lifelong residents of Gloster, the Drax plant was a godsend, the first sign of life since 2002, when the lumber mill that was once the town’s economic heart closed and left a once-thriving main street a ghost town.

For others, it was a curse. It meant that local forests, once full of squirrels and deer, were now home to a handful of sluggish saplings. This mostly Black community has a median income of just $10,000 per annum. Many residents claim it polluted the atmosphere with dangerous gases known as volatile organic compounds. However, they haven’t promised any new jobs.

Carmella Wren–Causey, one of the many Gloster residents, Mississippi says they are sickened by pollution at their local Drax Biomass facility.
Timothy Ivy has a HuffPost article

Contrary to what you might think, building the Drax mill to feed the Southern forests and feeding it with Drax is a result of global warming policies.

British regulators and the European Union decided that emission from wood-fired plants was not as important as polluting fossil fuel generators. Companies like Drax are now eligible for millions in subsidy for green energy. The company received nearly $1.1 billionOnly last year, clean power subsidies were worth $2.5 billion

Scientists and activists became aware of how fast the industry was growing on government subsidies meant to lower emissions. It was too late. A multi-billion dollar industry had established roots and gained powerful political allies.

In the U.S., federal incentives to build wood-burning power plants are much smaller, and their share of the country’s electricity generation has declined over the past seven years. States, in particular the South, offer tax benefits to companies that process and harvest wood for export across the ocean. The industry is supported by the Biden administration. such as Agriculture Secretary Tom VilsackIt also boasts a catchy, but false, new sales pitch that it can pull more carbon out of the atmosphere than what it currently emits.

“When the industry claims it’s carbon neutral, it’s saying we recognize there’s CO2 coming out of the smokestacks, but it was instantaneously offset by CO2 uptake somewhere else, and therefore it’s not in the atmosphere,” said Mary Booth, an ecologist and founder of the Partnership for Policy Integrity, an environmental research and advocacy nonprofit. “But that’s not what’s happening. When a tree is burned, it releases carbon immediately. And if you grow a tree, it takes up carbon over a long time.”

Drax Biomass, a multinational woodchip production company, operates a facility in Gloster that produces woodchips for the British heating market. Local residents are at odds with each other over the plant, which some say is making them sick, while others support the economic stability provided to local loggers who sell to the plant.
Drax Biomass is a multi-national woodchip producer company that has a plant in Gloster. This facility produces woodchips to be used for British heating. Some local residents disagree with one another over the plant. Others support the economic stability offered by the local loggers that sell the woodchips to the plant.
Timothy Ivy for HuffPost

Is Wood a Climate Solution Possible?

As you can see, the practice of burning plant matter to generate energy is older than Homo sapiens. studiesThe fossils of earlier hominid species used them for heat. The modern biomass industry uses plants and plant-based synthetic fuels as fuels. It was not established until 1970s when the oil crisis prompted interest in alternative fuels.

Wood-fired power started to flourish in the second decade. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had, for decades, advised countries to attribute carbon from chopping down trees to the land-use sector, not energy, to avoid double counting. That meant countries didn’t have to report the emissions from wood-burning power plants as part of their overall carbon footprint.

There are many good reasons for this. have shifted wildlyThese changes have occurred over time. Although it was perhaps more simple than others, one explanation that I found interesting was: The carbon emitted by dead or decaying trees and scrap wood would be released anyway. Therefore, turning the biomass into fuel which could replace fossil fuels would help to balance the problem of atmospheric pollution.

This convention was actually a catalyst to create an accounting standard that would permit the richest countries that have contributed the greatest to global warming to improve their forests and increase their green assets.

It reflected Europe’s long-held belief that wood could be used as a renewable resource. Stoves and wood-burning stoves are common in Europe. So when the European Union adopted its 2009 Renewable Energy Directive — a plan to reach 20% renewable energy by 2020 to help the bloc adhere to the world’s first climate treaty, the Kyoto Protocol — it followed a long tradition of giving wood-fired power plants the same emissions-free status as wind and solar. As a consequence, countries that depend on coal like Britain or Germany heavily supported wood burning.

“If you burn a tree, it emits carbon right away. And if you grow a tree, it takes up carbon over a long time.”

Mary Booth (ecologist, founder of Partnership for Policy Integrity)

Even though freshly-cut wood chips are less dense than fossil fuels and emit 40% to 60% more carbon per megawatt of electricity, this was in spite of the fact that they can produce between 40% and $60 million more carbon than coal. Wood pellets like those the Drax plant produces are dried and therefore more efficient, and generate fewer emissions when they’re burned despite spewing more gases where they’re produced.

“Sustainable biomass is renewable because of the closed carbon cycle created when trees grow and take CO2 from the atmosphere. Whether the wood is used for bioenergy or these trees naturally decompose, the same amount of CO2 is released into the atmosphere,” said Ali Lewis, a Drax spokesperson, in a lengthy email. “The cycle remains in balance because the working forests which supply the low-grade wood used for biomass are replanted and these growing trees absorb more carbon.”

The problem, the industry’s critics say, is that cycle’s timeframe. It takes at least 82 years for a biomass plant’s regrown forests to lower that facility’s carbon footprint to that of a coal plant. And that’s the best-case scenario outlined by a peer-reviewed emissions calculatorNatural Resources Canada (a government agency) created the tool. The calculator data shows that even after 100 years wood-fired electric could not reduce the emission gap with natural gas plants.

However, by that time, this was clear enough for some sort of political momentum. Biomass had become an industrial giant and had even split the EU’s green voting bloc. This attracted the support of the climate-conscious Scandinavians with large timber industries.

Europe could also credit its wood-burning facilities as renewable energy using the reporting metrics, effectively making it appear that Europe is more environmentally balanced than it really was.

Biomass was a unique industry buzzword that gained prominence in recent years. Unlike wind and solar, which can operate sporadically, wood-fired plants can run as long as there’s something to burn, providing the reliable baseload electricity we expect from fossil fuels.

The EU embraced wood at the same time the U.S. leaned into the Northeast’s hydraulic fracturing boom and replaced its coal plants with cheap and abundant natural gas. States in the South were able to revive their timber industries by taking advantage of this opportunity. then on the decline, by welcoming companies that would feed Europe’s growing appetite for pellets.

Gloster’s Drax plant became one of the largest pellet mills in the U.S. when it opened eight years ago.

Blackmon Hole, a neighborhood of trailers, sits next to the Drax Biomass production facility.
Blackmon Hole, an area of trailers is located next to Drax Biomass manufacturing facility.
Timothy Ivy for HuffPost

Air You Can Taste

Drax cut down the trees and oaks which once covered Blackmon Hole in 2013, when the U.S. wood pellet exports doubled to 3.2 Million Tons. This small Black-owned trailer park is just five minutes away from Gloster.

“I used to go hunting up there,” said Pete, a Blackmon Hole resident who declined to give his last name as he sipped a Bud Lite and tinkered with a new transmission in an old gray Ford Crown Victoria. “Now ain’t nothing coming around with all that noise.”

The maze of metal chutes, which make up the mill, was humming and clanking on a Wednesday in December. Sometimes, it was joined by the sound of semi-trucks hauling pine logs flatbeds. The smokestack was surrounded by a greyish-white cloud.

There are many sources of air pollution caused by wood pellet plants. There’s the exhaust from a steady convoy of trucks. Worst of all is the kiln which dry chips trees in order to make wood pellets. This spewed loads of volatile organic chemicals, known as VOCs. These VOCs contribute to smog, ozone pollution, aggravate asthma, cause cancer, and itchy eyes. Between the two, additional VOCs can be released to the atmosphere as the hammermills slash trees and pellets are processed.

According to the aforementioned report, regulators and wood pellet industries almost never take into account that there is any pollution when permitting. landmark 2018 studyEnvironmental Integrity Project (a watchdog group).

Left: Wood chips from the Drax Biomass production facility litter the roadside in Gloster, Mississippi. Right: Drax Biomass, a multinational woodchip production company operates a facility in Gloster that produces woodchips for the British heating market.
Left: Drax Biomass’ wood chips litter Gloster, Mississippi. Right: Gloster is home to Drax Biomass, an international woodchip producer company that makes woodchips for British heating.
Timothy Ivy for HuffPost

In the middle of the gravel driveway that cuts through Blackmon Hole is a yellow sign that reads: “Slow: Children Playing.” Once school let out, at least half a dozen kids chased each other around the lawn between the trailers.

The air becomes sharp and peppery as you climb the hill towards the Drax facility. Before the scent even registered, it stung my nose. After it sting my nostrils, I started to sneeze and watery eyes. A few days later, the smell made me feel heavier than if I had smoked a cigarette.

Jasmine Jenkins resides at the park’s edge with her three daughters (aged 8 and 3 respectively) and her son (age 5).

“They’ve had allergies ever since they were born,” Jenkins, 28, said while standing on the steps of her home one night after returning from work. “One of my kids breaks out in hives every two to three months.”

Shirley Bland stood a good distance away. After living here for over 30 years Shirley said that she noticed a little residue in her car every morning after the plant was opened.

“It must be what they put up in the air,” said the 57-year-old grandmother. “I keep feeling out of breath.”

The Environmental Integrity Project report found that Drax’s plant was emitting more than three times as many VOCs were allowed by law to be released by the company.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality assessed Drax with a $2.5 Million fine and ordered the installation of new catalyzing technology. This will help reduce the amount of pollution that enters the atmosphere. The spokesperson of the agency sent a link to the fine but did not respond to HuffPost’s questions about whether Drax had fully fulfilled the regulators’ demands.

Drax refused to allow me to see the plant, but stated that it had installed catalytic oxygenizers in Gloster as well as two Louisiana plants this summer.

According to Dogwood Alliance (a North Carolina nonprofit advocating against the expansion of the biomass industry), it was the most severe fine that any U.S. wood-pellet plants have ever received. It is difficult to verify that such penalties are widely known, especially by states supporting the industry. Dogwood Alliance was one of the watchdog associations that tracks the industry and put out a press statement about the fine after it took many months.

The organizers of the Dogwood Alliance arrived in Gloster in June for a meeting with residents. More than 80 people turned out, most complaining about their skin and breathing.

Officials reacted strongly to the event. Mayor Jerry Norwood posted a Facebook post warning that Drax could be driven out of the town by rabble-rousing. This would threaten its purchasing power which has helped to offset the costs of electricity, water and gas in Gloster.

“If by some chance a big lawsuit should happen and Drax decides to close [its] gates please be prepared for your utility rates to triple,” Norwood wrote.

Erniko Brown, regional partnership engagement manager of the Dogwood Alliance in Asheville, North Carolina, is working with residents of Gloster against Drax.
Erniko, the Dogwood Alliance’s regional partnership engagement manager in Asheville (North Carolina), is currently working with Gloster residents against Drax.
Timothy Ivy, Huffpost

This warning appears to have been heard. The Rev. Michael Malcolm, the Rev., returned to inform their audience months later. Four people attended their session and expressed concern about rising bills.

“It’s bullying,” said Malcolm, an environmental justice advocate and pastor in Birmingham, Alabama. “I HATEA bully. And that’s what this is.”

The turnout to the activists’ Dec. 3 town hall meeting was higher, with about a little over a dozen attendees. But at least six of them, including the mayor, came to express concerns that the campaign against Drax threatened Gloster’s economic future.

“I’ve been a Gloster resident all my life. This is where my family grew up. And I don’t want my town to go to dirt,” said Cissy Fenn, 68, a former school teacher.

Brandy Hamilton, one of the Dogwood Alliance’s lead organizers, said her group had no intention of shutting down Drax and told Fenn to lower her voice, asking her to be “mindful that everyone has high emotions.”

“You’ve been in Gloster all your life,” she told Fenn, who is white. “I’ve been Black all my life.”

Fenn was shocked at the suggestion that racism could have anything to do the Drax plant. Her husband, Reggie Fenn, 67, spoke up: “Look, we all bleed red.”

“We all have things that make us sensitive to things,” Hamilton said.

“It’s not a Black and white issue at all for me,” Cissy Fenn said. “It’s survival for us.”

“It’s survival for everybody,” Hamilton replied.

Doug Iverson was once the owner of a mill that made grain feed pellets. Hamilton asked him where she came from. She answered him Charlotte, North Carolina. He wondered how the atmosphere could be any worse in this city than it is elsewhere.

“You know, I grew up in this little town, and there was always dust around,” he said. “Once a week I had to dust every piece of furniture you could wipe your hand on.”

“I know you’re not dusting the houses over in Blackmon Hole,” Hamilton said.

The argument rapidly descended into shouting after Norwood joined the fray as the mayor. Reggie Fenn, Iverson and then Norwood walked off. Brown asked Hamilton, her coworker, to take a break and let him cool down.

Jerry White, 75, the president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said he doesn’t think “race was the main issue,” but hoped Drax would take additional steps to reduce pollution and help those living in Blackmon Hole.

“We can still find common ground,” he said, visibly drained after the meeting. “I’m trying to look forward to the future. I think about the children, especially in Blackmon Hole.”

Jerry White, president of the local NAACP in Gloster, is helping to organize residents who say they were harmed by Drax's pollution.
Jerry White, the President of Gloster’s NAACP, helps to coordinate residents who feel they are being harmed due to Drax’s contamination.
Timothy Ivy, Huffpost

On another evening this month in Blackmon Hole, Brown stopped Bland’s grandson — the only person that anyone in or near the trailer park seemed to know who had gotten a job with Drax, working as a janitor — as he drove his car away from his grandmother’s trailer. Brown confronted Bland about air pollution.

“To me, it could be pollen,” said Bland’s grandson, who declined to give his name.

“This ain’t pollen season,” Brown said, gesturing to the silhouette of the plant in front of a pink dusk sky. “We know where it comes from.”

Health Vs. Wealth vs. Health

Other members of the community applied for employment at the facility, but were rejected repeatedly.

“They said people could get jobs there, but I keep putting in applications and I don’t get no job,” said Debra Blackmon-Butler, 61, who is related to the families living in Blackmon Hole but lives about a mile away. For work she instead drove to Baton Rouge from her home, which is more than an half hour away.

Following the heated town hall debate, Mayor Norwood claimed that the people complaining about the plant are probably not qualified and charged them with trying to exort Drax.

“This is a very uneducated town,” he said outside the meeting. “They were talking about the number of people from Gloster that work at Drax. They were talking about how many people can pass drug tests. You have to be drug-tested to get a job there.”

Drax claimed that Gloster houses one fifth of the 63 workers at the facility.

Drax, said he, had helped the tiny community stay afloat. The company paid “almost half a million dollars” to the school district this year, and paid nearly $83,000 for gas, providing the town a surplus that prevented it from raising utility rates when the price of natural gas spiked this fall, the mayor said. Drax could not be reached for comment on how much the company pays in utilities, but it stated it has about $1 million of local taxes and listed schools and charities that it gives to.

“Where do we get this environmental racism from, and why is that always the narrative? Why isn’t it that these companies picked this poor town and tried to help?” said Norwood, who is Black. “That’s all I’ve seen them do.”

He stated that he had spoken to another timber-related business about starting another plant. This was the mill that closed its doors 19 years ago, when Georgia-Pacific moved out of town. (The manufacturing giant briefly opened the lumber plant in 2005 in order to handle wood debris after Hurricane Katrina. However, it was eventually shut down for good in 2008.

If Gloster’s reputation is as a place with “Black-white racial issues,” Norwood said, “they’re gonna say there’s no way we’re coming down with this foolishness going on.”

Gloster, located just over 50 miles north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is, like many towns in Mississippi: economically depressed.
Gloster, Louisiana is just 50 miles north from Baton Rouge. It’s economically depressed.
Timothy Ivy for HuffPost

Norwood acknowledged that attracting companies to Gloster (a small town located in one of only two Mississippi counties lacking the four-lane highways necessary to transport products to market) comes with a cost. Drax was granted a 10 year tax exemption from the town as well as county. These incentives are common for cities trying to attract corporations. yielded unfavorable outcomesAfter the credits have ended and the corporation has been dissolved, relocates.

Drax declined to comment on whether the company would be considering leaving the town once the tax agreement expires. However, it noted that it intends to significantly increase its production over the next few years.

Norwood said that, even if Drax leaves after another few years, “they still would have helped the town.”

The company might also lead to an exodus. After years of taking her now-teenage daughter to a clinic for allergy shots every Thursday, Chiquita Cain, 33, moved last month to Baton Rouge, where she’s closer to work and further from the environment she said has sickened her kids and left her with constantly irritated skin.

“It’s just itchy all day, every day,” Cain said. She said she wasn’t alone: “My cousin has asthma real bad. My mother has bronchitis. My sister gets bad, bad headaches, so bad she needed to see a neurologist.”

Robert Weatherspoon, 64 broke down as he spoke of how it took him over an hour to get rid of the mucus in his chest.

“You’re coughing, you’re coughing, you’re coughing, like something hanging up there,” he said. “I thought I’d get used to the pain. But every morning, honest to God, I don’t think I’m going to make it.”

Drax was recently fined $2.5 million by the state of Mississippi for releasing more pollution than allowed by law.
Mississippi recently issued a $2.5 million fine to Drax for creating more pollution than permitted by law.
Timothy Ivy for HuffPost

Bullish Or Bullshit On ‘Negative Emissions’

U.S. wood pellet exports nearly doubled between 2014 and 2015, but the Americans have been producing less wood-based electricity steadily. since peakingThis year. Today biomass accounts for just over 1 percent of U.S. power.

Gainesville in Florida was home to the biggest wood-burning power station in the United States. It opened its doors in 2013 and caused an immediate scandal due to high costs. The deal to buy power from the 103-megawatt Deerhaven Renewable Generating Station proved so controversial — at roughly $70 million per year over three decades, electricity bills quickly rose – that the city spent $750 million to buy out the remainder of the contract.

In the U.K., by contrast, the 4,000-megawatt Drax Power Station — a massive coal- and wood-burning complex in northeastern England — supplies about 7% of the U.K.’s electricity with millions of tons of wood, much of which comes from forests in the American South.

Drax this week unveiledTo start the construction of new carbon capture equipment, which will be used to store and capture 8 million tons per year of CO2, plans to invest over $53million. Already, the company calls its plant the “largest decarbonization project in Europe” because it had swapped much of its coal-fired production for wood.

Just a few months following Drax, the investment news was announced. announcedA deal was made with Bechtel, an American engineering company. The projects would enable carbon capture technology to be used in wood-burning power stations across North America.

Will Gardiner, Drax’s chief executive, said the deals demonstrate “Drax’s commitment to deliver a vital technology which is urgently needed to address the climate crisis.”

“It’s no longer enough to reduce emissions,” he said in a statement. “The world has got to start removing carbon from the atmosphere if we are to avert this climate crisis.”

Aerial view of Drax Power Station, the third-most <a href="" target="_blank" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="polluting power station in Europe" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="61bcb6cae4b0a3722477d16a" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="14">polluting power station in Europe</a>, located close to Selby, North Yorkshire, England.
An aerial view of Drax Power Station. It is the third most populous power station in Drax. polluting power station in EuropeNear Selby in North Yorkshire, England is the.
Edward Crawford/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Drax says that trees absorb huge quantities of carbon from their environment. This is why Drax and other industry professionals believe that biomass power could be an alternative source for negative emissions by equipping them with the technology necessary to trap carbon dioxide in smokestacks. As governments set net-zero targets — points at which the amount of carbon their countries absorb equals or exceeds the CO2 they emit — demand for quantifiable ways to pull carbon from the atmosphere is growing.

But the U.N.’s IPCC itself acknowledged in its most recent report that the concept of bioenergy with carbon capture “rests on the premise that bioenergy production is carbon neutral.”

That, Booth said, renders Drax’s claims “bogus.”

“Burning trees and using CCS can no more deliver negative emissions than burning trees without CCS can deliver carbon-neutral emissions,” she said. “It’s the same problem. Trees don’t grow back that quickly.”

Drax’s negative-emissions effort may instead be a play for more subsidies. A recent blog post, the Forest Defenders lliance, a European environmental group, noted that Drax’s existing subsidies — totaling nearly $2.7 million per day — are set to phase out in five years. So the company, the post stated, is looking for a new “expensive scam” to get “more money out of the public.”

A reportDrax was published by Drax in March. It proposes that both carbon capture and power generation be supported by the U.K government after 2027.

A chart from a recent Natural Resources Defense Council report shows the various ways biomass power emits carbon, even with technology to catch pollution at generating stations
The following chart is from the Natural Resources Defense Council Report. It shows how biomass power can emit carbon.

Relying on wood energy in large quantities has other problems. Timothy Searchinger of Princeton University is a senior researcher. To supply an additional 2% of the world’s electricity needs with wood it will require double the annual wood harvest. Providing 3.5% of America’s energy demand would require doubling the number of trees cut down.

You can also use other methods to reduce negative emissions such as direct air capture technologyOr soil management techniques, wouldn’t require felling forests that are actively sucking carbon as it is. Searchinger likened the proposal to exercising.

“If you eat lots of sugar but work out, you could be reasonably healthy,” he said. “But if you don’t eat lots of sugar and work out, you’ll be healthier.”

If the cost of capturing carbon with technology comes down, he said, you’d be better off burning coal or gas at a power plant than wood, since then you’d get a lot more energy per unit anyway.

Investors seem to be doubting Drax’s claims, too. In October, the S&P dropped the company from its Global Clean Energy Index. This month, Citi downgraded its stock from “buy” to “hold.”

Holly Jean Buck at Buffalo University, who studies the effects of decarbonization on negative emissions, stated that there may be some places where limited bioenergy could prove useful.

“The best case for biomass is waste biomass,” Buck said. “We should think more about using waste biomass streams and less about for-purpose crops that could be used for other things, whether those be lumber to build houses or land that could be dedicated to other things.”

Searchinger said the biomass industry’s tree plantations could only contribute to a negative emissions target if the world was actively reducing the amount of land used for agriculture. Instead, in most countries, old-growth woodlands such as the Amazon or Borneo’s rainforests are being felled to make way for cattle ranches and palm oil plantations.

“The only way biomass becomes a potentially [carbon] negative contribution is in a world where we are actively reducing agricultural land and you have a choice as to whether you reforest that land or plant fast-growing woody plantations,” he said. “It’s entirely speculative, but depending on the assumptions you make, you could arguably get more benefit from the fast-growing biomass plantations.”

He added: “There are these theoretical scenarios in which maybe this could be useful, but they’re sufficiently far in the future that they’re irrelevant right now.”

"You got people around here that stay sick. You got people around here that has to use asthma pumps that didn’t have respiratory problems before," Carmella Wren-Causey told HuffPost.
You have people who are sick. You got people around here that has to use asthma pumps that didn’t have respiratory problems before,” Carmella Wren-Causey told HuffPost.
Timothy Ivy for HuffPost

The second half of the decade will see East Asia’s fastest-growing biomass industry. This is A report publishedIt was found that South Korea heavily subsidized biomass plants last year. This was causing wind and sun to be pushed out of the market. Japan plans to continue burning residues of palm oil for electricity and is making threats to more deforestation.

A February 2021 letter addressed to Biden, European, British, Japanese and Korean leaders, more than 500 scientists urged them “not to undermine both climate goals and the world’s biodiversity by shifting from burning fossil fuels to burning trees” and to “end subsidies and other incentives that today exist for the burning of wood.”

Trees are more valuable alive than dead both for climate and for biodiversity,” the letter read. “To meet future net zero emission goals, your governments should work to preserve and restore forests and not to burn them.”

Wren Causey says she feels that Wren can empathize.

“I want to live,” she said.

She has so much to be thankful for. She is a loving wife and mother to her young nieces. A pony she abandoned is her care. She’s hoping to start a charity to help local kids, and once a week, she takes elderly women who can’t drive to the post office and bank.

“But every night I’m in bed,” she said. “I’m praying and asking God to please let me wake up in the morning.”


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