Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 10, 2014

Business & Politics

Imminent mill closure is pulp fiction

Company and unions work toward profitability
Peak Online
November 9, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Catalyst Paper Corporation millworkers in Powell River have a three-year window to profitability, a union leader said. Eldon Haggarty, president of Local 1, Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, was speaking after a visit from Joe Nemeth, president and CEO of Catalyst, to Powell River last week during a tour of the BC paper mills. Nemeth provided an address that included a statement about the status of the mill in this community. Haggarty said millworkers were told that the Powell River operation has a three-year runway to make this mill profitable. “No closure of the mill site or anything like that has been announced,” he said. “We have to turn things around. We have three years to do it.”

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Details on Canfor Chetwynd pellet plant

The Chetwynd Echo
November 9, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

CHETWYND – More details are now available regarding a new pellet plant that will be constructed by Canadian Forest Products in Chetwynd. Canfor is partnering with Pacific BioEnergy for two plants in Chetwynd and Fort St. John. This particular type of pellet plant is the first of its kind for Canfor and Pacific Bioenergy, but are common in Europe. A 15-year purchase contract has been signed with Japanese companies for the product. The construction timeline is as yet undefined, but once operational, the plant is expected to create 16 – 20 full-time positions.

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Babine Forest Products sues insurer

Business in Vancouver
November 7, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The American owner of the rebuilt Babine Forest Products Mill in Burns Lake is suing one of its insurers, which the company claims has not paid the full amount owed under its policy. Hampton Investment Co. and Babine Forest Products filed a civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court October 29. In it, it claims the Great American Insurance Co. has not paid the full amount of a $30 million excess insurance policy on the rebuild of the Burns Lake mill, destroyed in an explosion and fire in 2012. 

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Put pipes under parking lot

Nelson Star
November 9, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nelson’s corporate energy co-ordinator Fiona Galbraith recently addressed city council about a feasibility study that found burning wood waste in our downtown core from local mill(s) at a cost somewhere between $2 million and $6 million would recover capital cost quicker than a proposed geothermal system that would collect energy from Kootenay Lake to heat and cool our regional pool and hockey rink. The study is shortsighted. We do not need more huge truck traffic on our narrow wintery highways. Burning biomass and creating heat to produce electricity make sense at the mill where it is manufactured. They in turn use power at the mill and sell excess to power grid.

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Interfor has approved a big upgrade for the Castlegar sawmill

EZ ROCK Kootenays
November 7, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Interfor has big plans for the Castlegar sawmill. The board has approved a 50-million dollar capital project to upgrade the sawmill, converting the Castlegar mill to a 2 line operation with state of the art technology and optimization. The project will improve capacity, and also eliminate the need for approximately $20 million in maintenance-related capital spending over the next four years. The news on the upgrade came out with Interfor’s 3rd quarter results. 

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Forest mismanaged on several fronts

By Richard Polet
The Chronicle Journal
November 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

There has been concern expressed about the lack of available birch firewood in Thunder Bay. The events playing out now regarding the breakdown of a deal to sell the shuttered Resolute mill in Fort Frances prompt me to write, as I see the two issues linked. Writers have said there is no birch available, that Resolute is taking it all for grinding. The MNR responded, that there is birch, but a lack of producers. This is true. What hasn’t happened is a closer examination of the issues. …There is indeed a shortage of operators. It is very expensive today to cut wood commercially. Fuel costs have doubled in the last few years. Rates paid for wood are 10 years old. Many contractors have left the industry, either voluntarily or been forced out. Resolute had been supplying a lot of the market through two subcontractors cutting close to town. When they redirected this fibre to the co-gen plant, a shortage ensued.

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Domtar wins 2014 two AF&PA Sustainability Awards

Newswire Press Release
November 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Domtar Corporation was recognized by the American Forest & Paper Association as a leader in sustainability with two 2014 AF&PA Sustainability Awards. This is the second consecutive year Domtar has been honored for its sustainability advancements. Domtar received the Innovation in Sustainability Award for their BioChoice™ Lignin and the Leadership in Sustainability Award for Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reductions for their Barge Unloading and Conveyor Project. Designed to recognize exemplary sustainability programs and initiatives in the paper and wood products manufacturing industry, the annual sustainability awards are given based on the merit of entries received across multiple categories.

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Chamber supports creation of ESFL

Fort Frances Times
November 7, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce is extremely frustrated by the recent breakdown in negotiations between Expera and Resolute regarding the purchase of the mill property in Fort Frances. Re-opening the mill operation will create a significant number of badly-needed jobs, estimated to be roughly 1,000 when direct, indirect, and induced job creation are factored in. Our community needs the support of the provincial government in helping bring our primary industry back. The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce is extremely concerned that if an agreement is not reached soon, and the mill property is not heated over the winter, the asset will be lost for good.

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US hardwood exports to EU 16% higher

EUWID Wood Products
November 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The EU countries imported a total of 293,414 m³ of hardwood lumber from the USA in the first nine months of this year, which is roughly 16% more than in the same period of last year. According to information from the US Department of Agriculture, the value of the imported lumber rose even more sharply by 24% owing to the price increases pushed through this year.  The growth in the volume of deliveries to the EU arose mainly as a result of an increase of 32% in shipments to the UK to 80.229 m³. The UK has thus taken Italy’s place as the most important sales market for US lumber in the EU.

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Old Stevensville mill site to house new wood products company

Billings Gazette
November 9, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

STEVENSVILLE – …At the old mill site that her father, Jim Edinger, started on the edge of Stevensville, the young couple is staking their future on a couple of innovative wood products they hope will become commonplace across the country. And if things go like they believe they will, the mill site just south of Selway Corporation will become a very busy place, with upwards of 30 to 40 employees working to turn out their patented Ghost Wood and EPEX trim… Ghost Wood is a wood product that looks similar to the aged wood that people recycle off old barns or other buildings. The company uses six to eight steps perfected over the years by Edinger to create a product from dead standing trees that the Beans say is more sustainable, at half the price of recycled wood.

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Law of the land: How litigation has shaped the Forest Service

Billings Gazette
November 9, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

HELENA — While many people may decry litigious environmental groups and point fingers at judges that rule in the groups’ favor, it’s hard to deny that they have often prevailed in court, and the federal government has been found in violation of environmental laws. And that was one of the major points made by Mike Garrity, executive director for the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, and Steve Kelly, executive director for the Montana Ecosystems Defense Council, in the Oct. 14 Independent Record story that reported the taxpayer-funded fees their attorneys had received as a result of litigation. The real story, they said, was not attorney fees for holding a government agency accountable, but that the government had broken the law.

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New generation project, plans surface in Upper Peninsula

Midwest Energy News
November 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Developers from metro Detroit have plans to build a $100 million, 34 MW biomass plant in the central Upper Peninsula, about 20 miles south of an aging coal plant that is the ongoing focus of the region’s energy crisis. The company building the plant, Marquette Green Energy LLC, says it would run on a combination of biomass and tire-derived fuels and a smaller amount of natural gas to start. The developers say it’s a step forward as the region scrambles to figure out how to avoid major rate increases in the short term and build new generation for the long term.

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Tasmanian plantations company Forico building Eucalypt plantation quality to move beyond woodchips

ABC News, Australia
November 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The company that has inherited the bulk of Gunns timber plantations in Tasmania has signalled its intention to invest in more high-value wood products, beyond woodchips. Forico is a forest management company that owns 100,000 hectares of mostly eucalypt plantations. Forico’s CEO Bryan Hayes says they are in the process of identifying the suitable plantations of Eucalyptus globulus and E. nitens for solid and engineered wood products, but it’s a direction that will take between three to five years to implement. “We have been charged with the task by our board and investors, of looking at solid wood and engineered wood opportunities,” he said.

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Indonesia’s merger of environment and forest ministries a bold, difficult move

Center for International Forestry Research
November 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The new President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, surprised some observers recently when he announced his Cabinet, combining the ministries of Environment and Forestry into one ministry, to be led by Ms. Siti Nurbaya, a politician with ample experience with regional and central governments. The decision sent ripples throughout the Indonesian environmental and policy community—and could signal that a broad and cross-sectoral environmental agenda would be weakened and simplified. At the same time, it could strengthen jurisdiction over forested lands, which will be consolidated under one ministry. 

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Sappi Limited reported Q1-Q3 sales $6,061 million

Lesprom Network
November 10, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Sappi Limited reported sales volume in Q3 decreased 1.7% to US$1,505 million, in Q1-Q3 sales totaled $6,061 million compared to $5,925 million in the prior year. Operating profit excluding special items for the year was US$346 million compared to US$180 million in the prior year. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Ungar applauds approval of six-storey wood-frame buildings

Calgary Sun
November 9, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The announcement by the City of Calgary approving construction of six-storey wood-frame multi-family buildings is a step in the right direction, says Charron Ungar, president of Avi Urban, recently named Alberta’s Multi-Family Builder of the Year. “The announcement from the City accommodating this product type shows a true example of industry and policy makers working together to introduce innovation into our marketplace,” says Ungar. “The idea surrounding six-storey wood-frame builds on the efficiency of wood construction while achieving greater site efficiency with minimal impact on surrounding lower yield land uses.” It also adds a new product builders can use to achieve the density mandates of the city’s municipal development plan, but comes with some challenges.

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All-Wood BC Building One Of World’s Tallest

Condo Magazine
November 8, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

It is unusual to hear an architect speak in philosophical, even poetic language, not about his work per se, but about the material he uses to build it. Vancouver architect Michael Green has become a sort of apostle of the gospel of wood, touting its many benefits as the ideal construction material for today’s climate-changing world. Fittingly, his latest triumph is the Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The just-opened WIDC, designed by Green, has the honour of being among the world’s tallest all-wood structures at 29.5 metres. 

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Lobbyists’ prints on rollback of LEED

The Columbus Dispatch
November 9, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A proposal that critics say would weaken Ohio’s “green” building standards was largely written by chemical industry lobbyists, including a former legislative leader, according to newly disclosed records. …Records show that the initial push came last October from a lobbyist, Tom Niehaus, the former Senate president. Among his clients is the American Chemistry Council, a national trade group that has fought the latest version of LEED standards in many venues because the rules could limit the use of certain chemicals in building materials.

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Thomson: Expanding future markets for B.C. wood

Kelowna Capital News
November 9, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

In a time when electronic devices do much of our communicating for us, there’s something to be said for face-to-face interaction. That’s why trade missions are so important. It’s difficult to open up markets for B.C. products without setting foot in them. If you don’t understand your buyers, you don’t understand their needs or how you can fulfill them. Last month, I led my third forestry trade mission to Asia, joined by a delegation of more than 25 senior executives from forest companies and associations from British Columbia and Alberta. Much was accomplished during this 12-day trip. Jiangsu Province became the latest Chinese province to sign a memorandum of understanding with our government to increase the use of wood-frame construction.

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Forestry

Ontario’s Highly Praised Invasive Species Act Gets a Second Chance

Alternatives Journal
November 7, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

LIBERAL NATURAL RESOURCE MINISTER Bill Mauro reintroduced the Invasive Species Act Wednesday, the first standalone legislation in Canada geared towards stopping the spread of invasives into the province. There is currently a patchwork of more than 20 different federal and provincial pieces of legislation affecting the control of invasive species in the country but none are designed specifically with invasive species in mind. Ontario is keen to change that, said Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Bill Mauro. “Our proposed legislation will help to address these legislative gaps,” he told a crowd of reporters and environmental stakeholders Wednesday morning at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

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U.S. Forest Service Builds Support For Controlled Burns

Payson Roundup
November 10, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

During the last two days of the prescribed burn near Payson last week, the Tonto National Forest crews have treated nearly 200 acres. Prescribed fires are good for the ecosystem — they help put valuable nutrients back into the soil. These low intensity fires cause less damage than accidental fires, which are high intensity. High intensity fires cause the soil to not accept water, which contributes to drought. A 100-year-old tree can survive 25 to 40 low intensity fires, while a high-intensity fire would destroy it.

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Correcting media on forest herbicide

National Resources Report
November 10, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Investigative reporter for The Oregonian Rob Davis released a 2-part series on forestry herbicide use. Unfortunately, instead of relying on facts to drive the reporting, Mr. Davis seems to have started his investigation with the end result already in mind. The report relies on speculation and conjecture instead of accurate information to inform the conclusions. In fact, OFS had to reach out to him as there was no indication that he intended to seek out the forest operator perspective at all. Knowing this piece was coming, we have been working with the Oregon Forest Industries Council who put together the piece below about forestry herbicide use. We urge you to use this information when talking about the issue.

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Making a (better) case for forest restoration

AZ Daily Sun
November 9, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Two studies published last month reaffirm the benefit of local forest treatment projects from both an economic perspective and an ecological one. The study calculated the potential wildfire and flood-related costs that will be avoided with the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. The other study quantified the watershed benefits of forest thinning similar to that proposed by the Four Forest Restoration Initiative. The FWPP economic study estimated that the wildfire and post-fire flooding-related costs Flagstaff will avoid could total between $573 million and $1.2 billion.

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Swan Range advocates worry how Flathead Forest will manage roadless country

The Missoulian
November 9, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CONDON – … “I don’t think anybody looks up at the Swan Range and doesn’t think they’re looking at the Bob Marshall Wilderness,” the Seeley Lake resident said as he pulled rain gear out of his backpack at the Lion Creek trailhead. “But there are a lot of places like this that have higher wildlife values than the Bob does.” The noise level could rise considerably in January, when the Flathead National Forest releases its draft proposed actions for a new forest plan. That plan, due in 2016, will guide land use on 2.4 million acres of the Flathead Forest, including 57,037 wild acres along the Swan Mountains east of Condon.

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Green Ribbon Project works to save trees from EAB

NBC – WMTV
November 7, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Madison — The sound of chainsaws will take over Madison’s east side parks this weekend in an effort to treat Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Starting in the Warner Park area, foresters will take down trees Saturday. The city has budgeted to take care of the trees lining streets, but all Ash trees will have to go in city parks. “The forestry section is treating as many street Ash trees as they can… Eventually, trees that aren’t affected by Emerald Ash Borer will have to be taken down from city parks as a preventative measure. It all boils down to not having enough money to treat the trees.

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Dreaded emerald ash borer found in Westchester trees

Poughkeepsie Journal
November 7, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The dreaded emerald ash borer has been detected in Westchester for the first time, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced earlier this week. The invasive species of beetles, originally from Asia, was discovered in purple DEC traps just north of Peekskill. It has also been found recently southeast of Binghamton, in Broome County, just outside the current state and federal quarantine zone. That zone encompasses all or part of 42 counties in central and western New York, including Putnam and Orange. Rockland is not yet on the quarantine maps, but the northeastern corner of the county is considered at risk.

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Adirondack towns get grants for business, recreational access to state forest land

The Republic
November 10, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ALBANY, New York — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says $500,000 in grants is being awarded to central Adirondack communities for business development and access to the state’s newly-acquired former Finch timber lands. The Adirondack Park Upper Hudson Recreation Hub grants are provided by The Nature Conservancy to fund nine projects that increase tourism opportunities, support small business growth and expand recreational offerings.

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Re-Tree extends fundraising campaign in push to meet tree-planting goal

Buffalo News
November 7, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Re-Tree of Western New York has extend its latest fundraising campaign to meet its goal of planting 30,000 new trees since the 2006 October Storm. The group of volunteers has worked for eights years to replant trees throughout communities in which trees were most devastated by the snowstorm. So far, the latest Re-Tree campaign has received commitments of $167,000 in donations toward its goal of raising $345,000, founder Paul D. Maurer said. About 280 people and organizations had donated to the latest campaign as of Friday, Maurer said.

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Forest owl habitat trees set for increased protection

ABC News, Australia
November 9, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Lake Macquarie Council is expected to adopt a plan to protect four large forest owls as the city comes under more development pressure. At tonight’s meeting Councillors will be asked to adopt the interim Forest Owl planning and management guidelines. The guidelines will protect around six thousand hectares of habitat for the powerful, masked, sooty and barking owls.

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Greed will cost more lives, warns Tun M

The Rakyat Post
November 10, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The continuous deforestation that was causing the floods and landslides have got to stop, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad cautioned today. In order to do this, he said, it was necessary to halt the illegal clearing of the forest and the corruption that went with it, he wrote today in his blog chedet. “Do we really need to make money from logging? Do we need to give out concessions for this? The people who get the concessions are not really poor… Speaking on the rapid clearing of Malaysia’s rainforest, Dr Mahathir lamented that while no one knew who was carrying out the logging, what was certain was the destruction of Malaysia’s “valuable heritage”.

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Cut trees, conserve better: that’s the new approach

Bangalore Mirror
November 9, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

As the chorus of green crusaders worldwide to save trees reaches a crescendo, a group of scientists, wood experts, and entrepreneurs in Bangalore have taken upon themselves the daunting task of changing the rule of the game by promoting growing and cutting of trees for large scale commercial uses. “Grow, harvest and utilize trees,” is their new mantra. The scientists, at the Institute of Wood Science and Technology in Malleswaram, a centre of excellence in wood science research and sandal wood tree research under Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, have identified about 40 species of commercially viable alternative trees, a large number of them of native variety. 

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How plywood started the destruction of Indonesia’s forests

The conversation.com
November 10, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

How do the products we buy affect the world’s rainforests? In the lead up to the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit held in Sydney this week, The Conversation is running a series on rainforest commodities. Indonesia now has the has the fastest rate of deforestation in the world, driven largely by clearing for palm oil plantations. But the process began long ago, with one of the most common building materials: plywood. As far as commodities are concerned, it was plywood that defined the rainforests of Borneo in the 1970s and 80s, clearing the way for pulp and paper, and the booming palm oil industry.

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Coalition bid to strip Tasmanian forests of world heritage cover ‘disappointing’

The Guardian
November 9, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The head of the world’s leading conservation organisation has criticised the Australian government’s attempt to strip world heritage protection from Tasmania’s forests, as new data laid bare the vast number of ecosystems in Australia at risk of collapse. Julia Marton-Lefèvre, director general of the IUCN, the body that advises the United Nations on conservation matters, told Guardian Australia it was “disappointing” that the Abbott government had launched a bid to remove 74,000ha of Tasmanian forest from world heritage protection.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

With plenty of wood, Arkansas’ biomass sector poised for growth

The City Wire
November 10, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Arkansas’ burgeoning biomass industry got a big boost earlier this summer when in the space of 30 days two privately held investor groups announced multi-million dollar projects to produce commercially viable fuel from the state’s vast supply of forest dregs. On July 30, Zilkha Biomass Energy announced plans to build a proprietary black wood pellet manufacturing plant in Monticello that company officials said could be easily integrated into the energy grid as a clean energy alternative to coal-powered electricity.

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To cut carbon from their power plants, Europeans cutting trees in the South, sparking environmental dispute

The Florida Times-Union
November 9, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Southern forests are drawing uncounted millions of dollars in foreign spending to help utilities overseas meet carbon-emission rules that this country is still debating as tools to limit climate change. What those rules will mean for the environment is in dispute, and will doubtless be contested again based on findings the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released this month. But there is money being made now selling wood pellets and other plant fiber, all called biomass, that’s burned as fuel at a growing number of power plants, many of them overseas. By 2020, the U.S. International Trade Administration projected this year, pellet exports to Europe could be between five and 15 times what they were in 2012.

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Canadian climate sceptic backs call for weather bureau inquiry

ABC News Australia
November 9, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A Canadian scientist who describes himself as a climate sceptic has backed a call for an inquiry into the weather bureau ‘fudging the figures’. Patrick Moore, who has a PhD in ecology, was recently in Australia on a lecture tour. He was one of the founders of Greenpeace, but now describes himself now as a climate warming sceptic. …He doesn’t think CO2 increases are causing the rise in temperature that has been forecast or that man-made emissions are to blame. …Dr Moore alleges the bureau has also been involved in a process of ‘homogenisation’, changing raw data so the past appears cooler than the present. “We have a scientific process being tainted at the source,” he said.

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