Date   

Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Nando Breiter
 

Debbie, 

Which claims do you want to refute?





On Sun, Jul 18, 2021 at 7:39 PM mikethewormguy via groups.io <mikethewormguy=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
When folks decide they want to be rocks in a stream of truth than let them be and go around them. Overtime the stream makes the rocks small and less of an issue.

Is Rachel against wood biomass char only ? What about the thousand of other biomass char types ?



--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland


Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

mikethewormguy
 

When folks decide they want to be rocks in a stream of truth than let them be and go around them. Overtime the stream makes the rocks small and less of an issue.

Is Rachel against wood biomass char only ? What about the thousand of other biomass char types ?



Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Deborah Cook
 

I hear you for sure. My point is that I wished I had something ready to refute Rachel’s claims that I could send immediately to my undecided friend. 

We certainly see that once people are convinced of their positions, it is nearly impossible to convince them otherwise. I want to intercept those who are not yet polarized. 

I have tons of info on biochar, but not ready for a rebuttal to her claims that tackles each one with appropriate studies.

On Sun, Jul 18, 2021 at 12:57 PM Hugh McLaughlin via groups.io <wastemin1=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
I actually debated Rachael at a NOFA event the summer of 2011 - pro and cons of biochar. I do not believe she can be convinced because she is not basing her position on facts and reasoning, but rather fear-mongering and hanging untenable requirements on the opposition as appropriate obligations. She and BFW have well-rehearsed party lines that attract funding from dark money and seem to get them traction with some audiences.

I remember the debate as a verbal version of "Whack a mole". She would make some outrageous claim, I would refute it by putting it in perspective, she would say "That's fine for you to claim, but what about the Spanish giving the New World peoples smallpox - when are you going to correct that."

Put your energy into something or someone that might respond to facts and reasoning. I recommend ignoring Rachael and her lot - they just want to muddy the water and waste your time.

- Hugh McLaughlin

There is a old piece of advice that applies here: Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

On Sunday, July 18, 2021, 12:41:48 PM EDT, Deborah Cook <debbiecook281@...> wrote:


Nando,
I agree it is tilting at windmills to engage with Rachel’s entrenched position.  However, since it seems she has laid out all or most of her objections, I think it would behoove iBI or someone to take each objection and refute with one or several valid studies so we are prepared with talking points and references when we encounter People who are unsure about biochar.  We would be prepared to answer the objections more for the undecided than the firmly entrenched..

Case in point, I had a discussion with someone on the call who was on the fence. He could be convinced to support biochar if we had a clear, intelligent and rational response. Meanwhile he was leaning toward her position.
Debbie


On Sun, Jul 18, 2021 at 7:55 AM Nando Breiter <nando@...> wrote:
Deborah,

It is hard to counter disinformation. Defensiveness seems to be a natural reaction, but I don't think it is worth engaging with Rachel. 

Back in 2011 or so, I spent a lot of time refuting Rachel's arguments, corresponding with her directly. One of the core objections she raised was that biochar was going to drive deforestation. George Moinbot picked this up from BFW and repeated it in a Guardian article, saying it was an absolutely daft idea to cut all the trees down and convert them to biochar. 

Rachel lives in Vermont in a rural area adjacent to a number of farms. I corresponded with her directly, providing very compelling data that it was financially completely out of the question for farmers, or companies supplying them with soil amendments, to go to the expense of cutting down trees to convert them to biochar. I told her to go ask her neighbors if they thought it would be financially worthwhile to hire loggers to clear cut the forests in her region, build a large scale pyrolysis plant, make biochar, and spread it across their land. I gave her realistic numbers to demonstrate that this feedstock scenario is the most expensive in an industry where it is already very difficult to identify financially viable ways forward. On top of that, farming is a risky, competitive business. 

I also wrote George Moinbot with the same information. While he didn't retract the article, he seemed to moderate his position on biochar after he got a lot of pushback from the biochar community.

The real story seems to be more complex. Deforestation to make char as a cooking fuel is prevalent in developing countries. This is real, rather than an imagined issue. And in this case pyrolysis technology can help immensely, which is completely contrary to Rachel's position. I'm aware of a project in Malawi where kontiki kilns are used to make cooking char from a species of rapidly growing, large bamboo, and we're looking to see if we can improve the financials in this scenario to help it expand. This can prevent the harvesting of virgin forest to make charcoal with inefficient primitive earthen kilns. 




On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 4:24 PM Deborah Cook <debbiecook281@...> wrote:
Hi,

I feel a very defensive strain running through this group. We have an incredible body of scientific corroboration on the benefits of biochar, with more coming every day to defend our position. 

As I remember Rachel spoke only in generalities and did not cite any specific studies. Well that's easy enough to do. She only used the word reference in parentheses when she mentioned a study. I didn't hear a fact either.

My take is that Biofuelwatch started as being against burning biomass for fuel, and couldn't change the paradigm to accept biochar, fearing a slippery slope.

Maybe someone should get her presentation and refute every point with an actual referenced study or two or three, so we are prepared with talking points and not let her get the upper hand.

Debbie


On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 9:27 AM Benoit Lambert <biocharben@...> wrote:
Ron and list,

Some people, sometimes, a bit oddly well trained, made a speciality of being ‘naysayer' as they call them in Switzerland--referring to people that always answer no to 'votations' no matter the question. Journalist of the Guardian George Monbiot is one of them. He believes strongly everyone should become vegetarian to solve the climate crisis. While the argument makes sense when referring to industrial CAFO, it is false for regenerative ranching that jump starts trophic chains—animals eat grass avoiding their oxydation and desertification, theirs dropping feeds grasses that eventually increases organic matter in soils, humus gets thicker and carbon get stored, a circular economy gets in place. Paleo botanist tell us that is how soils organic matter was created over 65 million years and ppm went from 560 to 270. 

Here is an answer to Monbiot by L Hunter Lovins:


George Monbiot also went against biochar in 2008 just after the Newcastle. Just like Ms Smolker, he did not attend the IBI meeting, and, obviously knew very little about biochar. I was in Newcastle, and, we already knew quite a bit about biochar at the time.

Dr. Benoit Lambert
Founder and President / Fondateur et président
Cbiochar Inc., https://cbiochar.com
555 Ch. Réal, n° 105, 
Sutton, QC, Canada, J0E 2K0
BioGéoThérapiste, auteur/blog https://cologie.wordpress.com 
Membre: Fondation Stratégie énergétique, biosphère et société, Genève
Reviewer/réviseur IPCC/GIEC, Working Group I (WGI), Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), in particular Chap. 5 Carbon dioxide removal methods/biochar.
Tel: 450 775 7444



Le 16 juill. 2021 à 08:31, Frank Strie via groups.io <frank.strie@...> a écrit :

Who is?  https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2021/ect-press-release  
Yes, there is a Tasmanian connection … sad to say actually. 
 
About
Through my work with Biofuelwatch, I have researched and published about most aspects of bioenergy, including biofuels for road transport and aviation, biochar, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, and wood-based bioenergy.

I have written about wider environmental justice concerns, including the interconnections between climate, biodiversity and social justice, about geoengineering proposals, renewable energy in general, and about the dangers of techno-optimism. I have had articles published by magazines and weblogs including 
Truth Out, The Ecologist, Common Dreams, New Internationalist, Red Pepper, Corporate Watch.

I have acquired a high level of experience in relation to UK planning policies regarding energy proposals, and in relation to UK and EU air quality legislation.

In my spare time, I volunteer as an ESOL tutor.



Almuth Ernsting
Almuth Ernsting helped to found Biofuelwatch in 2006. She has researched and published about a wide range of issues related to bioenergy, including the climate, social and biodiversity impacts of biofuels and wood-based biomass; public health impacts of biomass and biofuel power stations; and the science and policy debate related to proposed use of biomass for geoengineering, especially biochar and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage.
Source: https://truthout.org/authors/almuth-ernsting
 
From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ron Larson
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2021 3:14 PM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io; Claudia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...>
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch
 
Claudia and list:
 
              I agree with most below.   See inserts


On Jul 15, 2021, at 4:30 AM, Cla few udia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...> wrote:
 
Dear all,
 
thank you so much, Benoit and Ron, for your enduring this BFW unpleasantness and sharing your thoughts with us.
 
In the last year it became more and more clear to me that it’s so easy to “be against something” and to try and appear smart by blocking, by saying why something doesn’t work. And endlessly hard to seek solutions and change, to try and fail, to take action. You’re vulnerable when you do, you can be hurt or hit by failure. Good to have a supportive group (like this one) when you do. But falling and getting up is how we learn, how we grow and invent things. It’s the essence of being human. 
We’ve had this “blocking solutions” behaviour in Germany by the older Generation for far too long, meanwhile it really endangers my kid’s generations’ future.
 
We’ve had these “I know better than you and boost my alpha-person ego with it” blockers for far too long, and this is why we are in this global warming mess in the first place.
 
Often, these were “white old men” guys but here, we seem to have the evidence that this behaviour is definitely not gender-driven: 
 
      [RWL1:  This below is to mostly comment on your noting that that there may be some sort of unusual “gender-driven" aspect to biochar opposition.  This webinar would (unfortunately) suggest so.
 
              1.  First some history.  
              a.  Dr. Smoker is a relatively late addition to BFW - in biochar terms.  BFW was founded by an equally anti-biomass (but unmentioned) Brit;  Almuth Ernsting).  As an example, Rachel erred in saying BFW became aware of biochar in 2009.  I remember hearing Ms Ernsting's opposition prior to the 2008 IBI meeting in Newcastle UK.  Then being surprised she was not in attendance -  as i thought she would be there with more biochar background.  Newcastle and London are not that far apart.  
 
              b.   I was in a CBD meeting later in London with Almuth, and a very supportive German woman, where they again were strongly anti-biochar - and fairly successful. So i have viewed BFW as a small, wrong but effective female-dominated small "environmental”  NGO.  This week's audience [78 sounds OK - not 10) seemed about 95% female.  From the evidence this week one could easily conclude that biochar opposition is female dominated
 
              2.  So, its great that you (a very effective female IBI board member) have joined this BFW vs. biochar discussion.  
              Fortunately, biochar is well represented gender wise - on both the USBI board (5 females out of 11) and IBI boards (Kathleen Draper being on both and the IBI chair).  This being another pretty good proof that there is not much biochar gender divide on biochar at this upper level.   Anyone listening to this week’s talk would have gained the opposite opinion.    
              I checked Google on biochar technical publications.  Conservatively you are ahead by a ratio of about 100 to 1.  Dr.  Smolker has done some good scientific work - just. not on biochar.
 
              3.   I consider pretty good proof also of no gender divide in the first US state legislation on biochar (https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sjr17-002) passed with a 98-0 vote. But more importantly, most of the unanimous vote credit should go to a then senior Colorado state senator - Ellen Roberts.(R).  The state of Washington has also recently unanimously.passed similar biochar legislation.  Both bills predominantly based on forestry - not agriculture, energy, water, waste, or climate. By no means is BFW a leading voice on the harm biochar can do to forests (forestry harm and preservation being the almost sole webinar topic.) 
 
She seems to be such a “white old male” type of person in my eyes, drawing ego from blocking, not from developing, inventing, helping. Just my 2 cents.
 
              [RWL2:  I have been told (accurately) that I qualify aa  a “white old male” - and I confess to taking some pleasure in blocking BFW.  It’s possibly or even probably true as "drawing ego from blocking”.  But hopefully also at least partially balanced by my "developing, inventing, helping” biochar (I have helped with this list since before biochar got its present name in 2007). 
              
 
Sorry for my sentimental thoughts, maybe I’m too sleep-deprived ;)
 
              [RWL4:  I’m not sorry.  Thanks.  And for doing such leading and exciting biochar research.
 
                I hope someone has a way to get your and these thoughts back to the webinar sponsors and audience.   Won’t be me.  
              Most in that audience are in danger of considerable future embarrassment for not understanding biochar’s huge potential role in the webinar’s subject matter - improving, not destroying, today’s often unhealthy forests.  
              I see little chance of changing the Smolker stance. 
              And I’m sure we agree gender is a non-issue as it relates to either biochar or forestry. 
 
Ron
 
Claudia
 
 



--
Deborah Cook
781.383.6313
-------------------
.      Check out my new book Parted Waters  



--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland

--
Deborah Cook
781.383.6313
-------------------
.      Check out my new book Parted Waters  


--
Deborah Cook
781.383.6313
-------------------
.      Check out my new book Parted Waters  



Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

mikethewormguy
 

At the end of the day, it is always better to be for something than against. It is more satisfying to break new trail and discover than defend your back trail and become a grumpy old coot... ..

my 2 cents,

Mike  


Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Hugh McLaughlin
 

I actually debated Rachael at a NOFA event the summer of 2011 - pro and cons of biochar. I do not believe she can be convinced because she is not basing her position on facts and reasoning, but rather fear-mongering and hanging untenable requirements on the opposition as appropriate obligations. She and BFW have well-rehearsed party lines that attract funding from dark money and seem to get them traction with some audiences.

I remember the debate as a verbal version of "Whack a mole". She would make some outrageous claim, I would refute it by putting it in perspective, she would say "That's fine for you to claim, but what about the Spanish giving the New World peoples smallpox - when are you going to correct that."

Put your energy into something or someone that might respond to facts and reasoning. I recommend ignoring Rachael and her lot - they just want to muddy the water and waste your time.

- Hugh McLaughlin

There is a old piece of advice that applies here: Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

On Sunday, July 18, 2021, 12:41:48 PM EDT, Deborah Cook <debbiecook281@...> wrote:


Nando,
I agree it is tilting at windmills to engage with Rachel’s entrenched position.  However, since it seems she has laid out all or most of her objections, I think it would behoove iBI or someone to take each objection and refute with one or several valid studies so we are prepared with talking points and references when we encounter People who are unsure about biochar.  We would be prepared to answer the objections more for the undecided than the firmly entrenched..

Case in point, I had a discussion with someone on the call who was on the fence. He could be convinced to support biochar if we had a clear, intelligent and rational response. Meanwhile he was leaning toward her position.
Debbie


On Sun, Jul 18, 2021 at 7:55 AM Nando Breiter <nando@...> wrote:
Deborah,

It is hard to counter disinformation. Defensiveness seems to be a natural reaction, but I don't think it is worth engaging with Rachel. 

Back in 2011 or so, I spent a lot of time refuting Rachel's arguments, corresponding with her directly. One of the core objections she raised was that biochar was going to drive deforestation. George Moinbot picked this up from BFW and repeated it in a Guardian article, saying it was an absolutely daft idea to cut all the trees down and convert them to biochar. 

Rachel lives in Vermont in a rural area adjacent to a number of farms. I corresponded with her directly, providing very compelling data that it was financially completely out of the question for farmers, or companies supplying them with soil amendments, to go to the expense of cutting down trees to convert them to biochar. I told her to go ask her neighbors if they thought it would be financially worthwhile to hire loggers to clear cut the forests in her region, build a large scale pyrolysis plant, make biochar, and spread it across their land. I gave her realistic numbers to demonstrate that this feedstock scenario is the most expensive in an industry where it is already very difficult to identify financially viable ways forward. On top of that, farming is a risky, competitive business. 

I also wrote George Moinbot with the same information. While he didn't retract the article, he seemed to moderate his position on biochar after he got a lot of pushback from the biochar community.

The real story seems to be more complex. Deforestation to make char as a cooking fuel is prevalent in developing countries. This is real, rather than an imagined issue. And in this case pyrolysis technology can help immensely, which is completely contrary to Rachel's position. I'm aware of a project in Malawi where kontiki kilns are used to make cooking char from a species of rapidly growing, large bamboo, and we're looking to see if we can improve the financials in this scenario to help it expand. This can prevent the harvesting of virgin forest to make charcoal with inefficient primitive earthen kilns. 




On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 4:24 PM Deborah Cook <debbiecook281@...> wrote:
Hi,

I feel a very defensive strain running through this group. We have an incredible body of scientific corroboration on the benefits of biochar, with more coming every day to defend our position. 

As I remember Rachel spoke only in generalities and did not cite any specific studies. Well that's easy enough to do. She only used the word reference in parentheses when she mentioned a study. I didn't hear a fact either.

My take is that Biofuelwatch started as being against burning biomass for fuel, and couldn't change the paradigm to accept biochar, fearing a slippery slope.

Maybe someone should get her presentation and refute every point with an actual referenced study or two or three, so we are prepared with talking points and not let her get the upper hand.

Debbie


On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 9:27 AM Benoit Lambert <biocharben@...> wrote:
Ron and list,

Some people, sometimes, a bit oddly well trained, made a speciality of being ‘naysayer' as they call them in Switzerland--referring to people that always answer no to 'votations' no matter the question. Journalist of the Guardian George Monbiot is one of them. He believes strongly everyone should become vegetarian to solve the climate crisis. While the argument makes sense when referring to industrial CAFO, it is false for regenerative ranching that jump starts trophic chains—animals eat grass avoiding their oxydation and desertification, theirs dropping feeds grasses that eventually increases organic matter in soils, humus gets thicker and carbon get stored, a circular economy gets in place. Paleo botanist tell us that is how soils organic matter was created over 65 million years and ppm went from 560 to 270. 

Here is an answer to Monbiot by L Hunter Lovins:


George Monbiot also went against biochar in 2008 just after the Newcastle. Just like Ms Smolker, he did not attend the IBI meeting, and, obviously knew very little about biochar. I was in Newcastle, and, we already knew quite a bit about biochar at the time.

Dr. Benoit Lambert
Founder and President / Fondateur et président
Cbiochar Inc., https://cbiochar.com
555 Ch. Réal, n° 105, 
Sutton, QC, Canada, J0E 2K0
BioGéoThérapiste, auteur/blog https://cologie.wordpress.com 
Membre: Fondation Stratégie énergétique, biosphère et société, Genève
Reviewer/réviseur IPCC/GIEC, Working Group I (WGI), Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), in particular Chap. 5 Carbon dioxide removal methods/biochar.
Tel: 450 775 7444



Le 16 juill. 2021 à 08:31, Frank Strie via groups.io <frank.strie@...> a écrit :

Who is?  https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2021/ect-press-release  
Yes, there is a Tasmanian connection … sad to say actually. 
 
About
Through my work with Biofuelwatch, I have researched and published about most aspects of bioenergy, including biofuels for road transport and aviation, biochar, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, and wood-based bioenergy.

I have written about wider environmental justice concerns, including the interconnections between climate, biodiversity and social justice, about geoengineering proposals, renewable energy in general, and about the dangers of techno-optimism. I have had articles published by magazines and weblogs including 
Truth Out, The Ecologist, Common Dreams, New Internationalist, Red Pepper, Corporate Watch.

I have acquired a high level of experience in relation to UK planning policies regarding energy proposals, and in relation to UK and EU air quality legislation.

In my spare time, I volunteer as an ESOL tutor.



Almuth Ernsting
Almuth Ernsting helped to found Biofuelwatch in 2006. She has researched and published about a wide range of issues related to bioenergy, including the climate, social and biodiversity impacts of biofuels and wood-based biomass; public health impacts of biomass and biofuel power stations; and the science and policy debate related to proposed use of biomass for geoengineering, especially biochar and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage.
Source: https://truthout.org/authors/almuth-ernsting
 
From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ron Larson
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2021 3:14 PM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io; Claudia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...>
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch
 
Claudia and list:
 
              I agree with most below.   See inserts


On Jul 15, 2021, at 4:30 AM, Cla few udia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...> wrote:
 
Dear all,
 
thank you so much, Benoit and Ron, for your enduring this BFW unpleasantness and sharing your thoughts with us.
 
In the last year it became more and more clear to me that it’s so easy to “be against something” and to try and appear smart by blocking, by saying why something doesn’t work. And endlessly hard to seek solutions and change, to try and fail, to take action. You’re vulnerable when you do, you can be hurt or hit by failure. Good to have a supportive group (like this one) when you do. But falling and getting up is how we learn, how we grow and invent things. It’s the essence of being human. 
We’ve had this “blocking solutions” behaviour in Germany by the older Generation for far too long, meanwhile it really endangers my kid’s generations’ future.
 
We’ve had these “I know better than you and boost my alpha-person ego with it” blockers for far too long, and this is why we are in this global warming mess in the first place.
 
Often, these were “white old men” guys but here, we seem to have the evidence that this behaviour is definitely not gender-driven: 
 
      [RWL1:  This below is to mostly comment on your noting that that there may be some sort of unusual “gender-driven" aspect to biochar opposition.  This webinar would (unfortunately) suggest so.
 
              1.  First some history.  
              a.  Dr. Smoker is a relatively late addition to BFW - in biochar terms.  BFW was founded by an equally anti-biomass (but unmentioned) Brit;  Almuth Ernsting).  As an example, Rachel erred in saying BFW became aware of biochar in 2009.  I remember hearing Ms Ernsting's opposition prior to the 2008 IBI meeting in Newcastle UK.  Then being surprised she was not in attendance -  as i thought she would be there with more biochar background.  Newcastle and London are not that far apart.  
 
              b.   I was in a CBD meeting later in London with Almuth, and a very supportive German woman, where they again were strongly anti-biochar - and fairly successful. So i have viewed BFW as a small, wrong but effective female-dominated small "environmental”  NGO.  This week's audience [78 sounds OK - not 10) seemed about 95% female.  From the evidence this week one could easily conclude that biochar opposition is female dominated
 
              2.  So, its great that you (a very effective female IBI board member) have joined this BFW vs. biochar discussion.  
              Fortunately, biochar is well represented gender wise - on both the USBI board (5 females out of 11) and IBI boards (Kathleen Draper being on both and the IBI chair).  This being another pretty good proof that there is not much biochar gender divide on biochar at this upper level.   Anyone listening to this week’s talk would have gained the opposite opinion.    
              I checked Google on biochar technical publications.  Conservatively you are ahead by a ratio of about 100 to 1.  Dr.  Smolker has done some good scientific work - just. not on biochar.
 
              3.   I consider pretty good proof also of no gender divide in the first US state legislation on biochar (https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sjr17-002) passed with a 98-0 vote. But more importantly, most of the unanimous vote credit should go to a then senior Colorado state senator - Ellen Roberts.(R).  The state of Washington has also recently unanimously.passed similar biochar legislation.  Both bills predominantly based on forestry - not agriculture, energy, water, waste, or climate. By no means is BFW a leading voice on the harm biochar can do to forests (forestry harm and preservation being the almost sole webinar topic.) 
 
She seems to be such a “white old male” type of person in my eyes, drawing ego from blocking, not from developing, inventing, helping. Just my 2 cents.
 
              [RWL2:  I have been told (accurately) that I qualify aa  a “white old male” - and I confess to taking some pleasure in blocking BFW.  It’s possibly or even probably true as "drawing ego from blocking”.  But hopefully also at least partially balanced by my "developing, inventing, helping” biochar (I have helped with this list since before biochar got its present name in 2007). 
              
 
Sorry for my sentimental thoughts, maybe I’m too sleep-deprived ;)
 
              [RWL4:  I’m not sorry.  Thanks.  And for doing such leading and exciting biochar research.
 
                I hope someone has a way to get your and these thoughts back to the webinar sponsors and audience.   Won’t be me.  
              Most in that audience are in danger of considerable future embarrassment for not understanding biochar’s huge potential role in the webinar’s subject matter - improving, not destroying, today’s often unhealthy forests.  
              I see little chance of changing the Smolker stance. 
              And I’m sure we agree gender is a non-issue as it relates to either biochar or forestry. 
 
Ron
 
Claudia
 
 



--
Deborah Cook
781.383.6313
-------------------
.      Check out my new book Parted Waters  



--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland

--
Deborah Cook
781.383.6313
-------------------
.      Check out my new book Parted Waters  



Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Deborah Cook
 

Nando,
I agree it is tilting at windmills to engage with Rachel’s entrenched position.  However, since it seems she has laid out all or most of her objections, I think it would behoove iBI or someone to take each objection and refute with one or several valid studies so we are prepared with talking points and references when we encounter People who are unsure about biochar.  We would be prepared to answer the objections more for the undecided than the firmly entrenched..

Case in point, I had a discussion with someone on the call who was on the fence. He could be convinced to support biochar if we had a clear, intelligent and rational response. Meanwhile he was leaning toward her position.
Debbie


On Sun, Jul 18, 2021 at 7:55 AM Nando Breiter <nando@...> wrote:
Deborah,

It is hard to counter disinformation. Defensiveness seems to be a natural reaction, but I don't think it is worth engaging with Rachel. 

Back in 2011 or so, I spent a lot of time refuting Rachel's arguments, corresponding with her directly. One of the core objections she raised was that biochar was going to drive deforestation. George Moinbot picked this up from BFW and repeated it in a Guardian article, saying it was an absolutely daft idea to cut all the trees down and convert them to biochar. 

Rachel lives in Vermont in a rural area adjacent to a number of farms. I corresponded with her directly, providing very compelling data that it was financially completely out of the question for farmers, or companies supplying them with soil amendments, to go to the expense of cutting down trees to convert them to biochar. I told her to go ask her neighbors if they thought it would be financially worthwhile to hire loggers to clear cut the forests in her region, build a large scale pyrolysis plant, make biochar, and spread it across their land. I gave her realistic numbers to demonstrate that this feedstock scenario is the most expensive in an industry where it is already very difficult to identify financially viable ways forward. On top of that, farming is a risky, competitive business. 

I also wrote George Moinbot with the same information. While he didn't retract the article, he seemed to moderate his position on biochar after he got a lot of pushback from the biochar community.

The real story seems to be more complex. Deforestation to make char as a cooking fuel is prevalent in developing countries. This is real, rather than an imagined issue. And in this case pyrolysis technology can help immensely, which is completely contrary to Rachel's position. I'm aware of a project in Malawi where kontiki kilns are used to make cooking char from a species of rapidly growing, large bamboo, and we're looking to see if we can improve the financials in this scenario to help it expand. This can prevent the harvesting of virgin forest to make charcoal with inefficient primitive earthen kilns. 




On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 4:24 PM Deborah Cook <debbiecook281@...> wrote:
Hi,

I feel a very defensive strain running through this group. We have an incredible body of scientific corroboration on the benefits of biochar, with more coming every day to defend our position. 

As I remember Rachel spoke only in generalities and did not cite any specific studies. Well that's easy enough to do. She only used the word reference in parentheses when she mentioned a study. I didn't hear a fact either.

My take is that Biofuelwatch started as being against burning biomass for fuel, and couldn't change the paradigm to accept biochar, fearing a slippery slope.

Maybe someone should get her presentation and refute every point with an actual referenced study or two or three, so we are prepared with talking points and not let her get the upper hand.

Debbie


On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 9:27 AM Benoit Lambert <biocharben@...> wrote:
Ron and list,

Some people, sometimes, a bit oddly well trained, made a speciality of being ‘naysayer' as they call them in Switzerland--referring to people that always answer no to 'votations' no matter the question. Journalist of the Guardian George Monbiot is one of them. He believes strongly everyone should become vegetarian to solve the climate crisis. While the argument makes sense when referring to industrial CAFO, it is false for regenerative ranching that jump starts trophic chains—animals eat grass avoiding their oxydation and desertification, theirs dropping feeds grasses that eventually increases organic matter in soils, humus gets thicker and carbon get stored, a circular economy gets in place. Paleo botanist tell us that is how soils organic matter was created over 65 million years and ppm went from 560 to 270. 

Here is an answer to Monbiot by L Hunter Lovins:


George Monbiot also went against biochar in 2008 just after the Newcastle. Just like Ms Smolker, he did not attend the IBI meeting, and, obviously knew very little about biochar. I was in Newcastle, and, we already knew quite a bit about biochar at the time.

Dr. Benoit Lambert
Founder and President / Fondateur et président
Cbiochar Inc., https://cbiochar.com
555 Ch. Réal, n° 105, 
Sutton, QC, Canada, J0E 2K0
BioGéoThérapiste, auteur/blog https://cologie.wordpress.com 
Membre: Fondation Stratégie énergétique, biosphère et société, Genève
Reviewer/réviseur IPCC/GIEC, Working Group I (WGI), Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), in particular Chap. 5 Carbon dioxide removal methods/biochar.
Tel: 450 775 7444



Le 16 juill. 2021 à 08:31, Frank Strie via groups.io <frank.strie@...> a écrit :

Who is?  https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2021/ect-press-release  
Yes, there is a Tasmanian connection … sad to say actually. 
 
About
Through my work with Biofuelwatch, I have researched and published about most aspects of bioenergy, including biofuels for road transport and aviation, biochar, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, and wood-based bioenergy.

I have written about wider environmental justice concerns, including the interconnections between climate, biodiversity and social justice, about geoengineering proposals, renewable energy in general, and about the dangers of techno-optimism. I have had articles published by magazines and weblogs including 
Truth Out, The Ecologist, Common Dreams, New Internationalist, Red Pepper, Corporate Watch.

I have acquired a high level of experience in relation to UK planning policies regarding energy proposals, and in relation to UK and EU air quality legislation.

In my spare time, I volunteer as an ESOL tutor.



Almuth Ernsting
Almuth Ernsting helped to found Biofuelwatch in 2006. She has researched and published about a wide range of issues related to bioenergy, including the climate, social and biodiversity impacts of biofuels and wood-based biomass; public health impacts of biomass and biofuel power stations; and the science and policy debate related to proposed use of biomass for geoengineering, especially biochar and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage.
Source: https://truthout.org/authors/almuth-ernsting
 
From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ron Larson
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2021 3:14 PM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io; Claudia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...>
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch
 
Claudia and list:
 
              I agree with most below.   See inserts


On Jul 15, 2021, at 4:30 AM, Cla few udia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...> wrote:
 
Dear all,
 
thank you so much, Benoit and Ron, for your enduring this BFW unpleasantness and sharing your thoughts with us.
 
In the last year it became more and more clear to me that it’s so easy to “be against something” and to try and appear smart by blocking, by saying why something doesn’t work. And endlessly hard to seek solutions and change, to try and fail, to take action. You’re vulnerable when you do, you can be hurt or hit by failure. Good to have a supportive group (like this one) when you do. But falling and getting up is how we learn, how we grow and invent things. It’s the essence of being human. 
We’ve had this “blocking solutions” behaviour in Germany by the older Generation for far too long, meanwhile it really endangers my kid’s generations’ future.
 
We’ve had these “I know better than you and boost my alpha-person ego with it” blockers for far too long, and this is why we are in this global warming mess in the first place.
 
Often, these were “white old men” guys but here, we seem to have the evidence that this behaviour is definitely not gender-driven: 
 
      [RWL1:  This below is to mostly comment on your noting that that there may be some sort of unusual “gender-driven" aspect to biochar opposition.  This webinar would (unfortunately) suggest so.
 
              1.  First some history.  
              a.  Dr. Smoker is a relatively late addition to BFW - in biochar terms.  BFW was founded by an equally anti-biomass (but unmentioned) Brit;  Almuth Ernsting).  As an example, Rachel erred in saying BFW became aware of biochar in 2009.  I remember hearing Ms Ernsting's opposition prior to the 2008 IBI meeting in Newcastle UK.  Then being surprised she was not in attendance -  as i thought she would be there with more biochar background.  Newcastle and London are not that far apart.  
 
              b.   I was in a CBD meeting later in London with Almuth, and a very supportive German woman, where they again were strongly anti-biochar - and fairly successful. So i have viewed BFW as a small, wrong but effective female-dominated small "environmental”  NGO.  This week's audience [78 sounds OK - not 10) seemed about 95% female.  From the evidence this week one could easily conclude that biochar opposition is female dominated
 
              2.  So, its great that you (a very effective female IBI board member) have joined this BFW vs. biochar discussion.  
              Fortunately, biochar is well represented gender wise - on both the USBI board (5 females out of 11) and IBI boards (Kathleen Draper being on both and the IBI chair).  This being another pretty good proof that there is not much biochar gender divide on biochar at this upper level.   Anyone listening to this week’s talk would have gained the opposite opinion.    
              I checked Google on biochar technical publications.  Conservatively you are ahead by a ratio of about 100 to 1.  Dr.  Smolker has done some good scientific work - just. not on biochar.
 
              3.   I consider pretty good proof also of no gender divide in the first US state legislation on biochar (https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sjr17-002) passed with a 98-0 vote. But more importantly, most of the unanimous vote credit should go to a then senior Colorado state senator - Ellen Roberts.(R).  The state of Washington has also recently unanimously.passed similar biochar legislation.  Both bills predominantly based on forestry - not agriculture, energy, water, waste, or climate. By no means is BFW a leading voice on the harm biochar can do to forests (forestry harm and preservation being the almost sole webinar topic.) 
 
She seems to be such a “white old male” type of person in my eyes, drawing ego from blocking, not from developing, inventing, helping. Just my 2 cents.
 
              [RWL2:  I have been told (accurately) that I qualify aa  a “white old male” - and I confess to taking some pleasure in blocking BFW.  It’s possibly or even probably true as "drawing ego from blocking”.  But hopefully also at least partially balanced by my "developing, inventing, helping” biochar (I have helped with this list since before biochar got its present name in 2007). 
              
 
Sorry for my sentimental thoughts, maybe I’m too sleep-deprived ;)
 
              [RWL4:  I’m not sorry.  Thanks.  And for doing such leading and exciting biochar research.
 
                I hope someone has a way to get your and these thoughts back to the webinar sponsors and audience.   Won’t be me.  
              Most in that audience are in danger of considerable future embarrassment for not understanding biochar’s huge potential role in the webinar’s subject matter - improving, not destroying, today’s often unhealthy forests.  
              I see little chance of changing the Smolker stance. 
              And I’m sure we agree gender is a non-issue as it relates to either biochar or forestry. 
 
Ron
 
Claudia
 
 



--
Deborah Cook
781.383.6313
-------------------
.      Check out my new book Parted Waters  



--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland

--
Deborah Cook
781.383.6313
-------------------
.      Check out my new book Parted Waters  



Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Frank Strie
 

Thanks again Nado Breiter – 100%

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Nando Breiter
Sent: Sunday, July 18, 2021 9:55 PM
To: main@biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

 

Deborah,

 

It is hard to counter disinformation. Defensiveness seems to be a natural reaction, but I don't think it is worth engaging with Rachel. 

 

Back in 2011 or so, I spent a lot of time refuting Rachel's arguments, corresponding with her directly. One of the core objections she raised was that biochar was going to drive deforestation. George Moinbot picked this up from BFW and repeated it in a Guardian article, saying it was an absolutely daft idea to cut all the trees down and convert them to biochar. 

 

Rachel lives in Vermont in a rural area adjacent to a number of farms. I corresponded with her directly, providing very compelling data that it was financially completely out of the question for farmers, or companies supplying them with soil amendments, to go to the expense of cutting down trees to convert them to biochar. I told her to go ask her neighbors if they thought it would be financially worthwhile to hire loggers to clear cut the forests in her region, build a large scale pyrolysis plant, make biochar, and spread it across their land. I gave her realistic numbers to demonstrate that this feedstock scenario is the most expensive in an industry where it is already very difficult to identify financially viable ways forward. On top of that, farming is a risky, competitive business. 

 

I also wrote George Moinbot with the same information. While he didn't retract the article, he seemed to moderate his position on biochar after he got a lot of pushback from the biochar community.

 

The real story seems to be more complex. Deforestation to make char as a cooking fuel is prevalent in developing countries. This is real, rather than an imagined issue. And in this case pyrolysis technology can help immensely, which is completely contrary to Rachel's position. I'm aware of a project in Malawi where kontiki kilns are used to make cooking char from a species of rapidly growing, large bamboo, and we're looking to see if we can improve the financials in this scenario to help it expand. This can prevent the harvesting of virgin forest to make charcoal with inefficient primitive earthen kilns. 

 

 

 

 

On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 4:24 PM Deborah Cook <debbiecook281@...> wrote:

Hi,

 

I feel a very defensive strain running through this group. We have an incredible body of scientific corroboration on the benefits of biochar, with more coming every day to defend our position. 

 

As I remember Rachel spoke only in generalities and did not cite any specific studies. Well that's easy enough to do. She only used the word reference in parentheses when she mentioned a study. I didn't hear a fact either.

 

My take is that Biofuelwatch started as being against burning biomass for fuel, and couldn't change the paradigm to accept biochar, fearing a slippery slope.

 

Maybe someone should get her presentation and refute every point with an actual referenced study or two or three, so we are prepared with talking points and not let her get the upper hand.

 

Debbie

 

 

On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 9:27 AM Benoit Lambert <biocharben@...> wrote:

Ron and list,

 

Some people, sometimes, a bit oddly well trained, made a speciality of being ‘naysayer' as they call them in Switzerland--referring to people that always answer no to 'votations' no matter the question. Journalist of the Guardian George Monbiot is one of them. He believes strongly everyone should become vegetarian to solve the climate crisis. While the argument makes sense when referring to industrial CAFO, it is false for regenerative ranching that jump starts trophic chains—animals eat grass avoiding their oxydation and desertification, theirs dropping feeds grasses that eventually increases organic matter in soils, humus gets thicker and carbon get stored, a circular economy gets in place. Paleo botanist tell us that is how soils organic matter was created over 65 million years and ppm went from 560 to 270. 

 

Here is an answer to Monbiot by L Hunter Lovins:

 

 

George Monbiot also went against biochar in 2008 just after the Newcastle. Just like Ms Smolker, he did not attend the IBI meeting, and, obviously knew very little about biochar. I was in Newcastle, and, we already knew quite a bit about biochar at the time.

 

Dr. Benoit Lambert

Founder and President / Fondateur et président
Cbiochar Inc., https://cbiochar.com

555 Ch. Réal, n° 105, 

Sutton, QC, Canada, J0E 2K0
BioGéoThérapiste, auteur/blog https://cologie.wordpress.com 

Membre: Fondation Stratégie énergétique, biosphère et société, Genève
Reviewer/réviseur IPCC/GIEC, Working Group I (WGI), Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), in particular Chap. 5 Carbon dioxide removal methods/biochar.
Tel: 450 775 7444

 



Le 16 juill. 2021 à 08:31, Frank Strie via groups.io <frank.strie@...> a écrit :

 

Who is?  https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2021/ect-press-release  
Yes, there is a Tasmanian connection … sad to say actually. 

 

About

Through my work with Biofuelwatch, I have researched and published about most aspects of bioenergy, including biofuels for road transport and aviation, biochar, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, and wood-based bioenergy.

I have written about wider environmental justice concerns, including the interconnections between climate, biodiversity and social justice, about geoengineering proposals, renewable energy in general, and about the dangers of techno-optimism. I have had articles published by magazines and weblogs including 
Truth Out, The Ecologist, Common Dreams, New Internationalist, Red Pepper, Corporate Watch.

I have acquired a high level of experience in relation to UK planning policies regarding energy proposals, and in relation to UK and EU air quality legislation.

In my spare time, I volunteer as an ESOL tutor.



Almuth Ernsting

Almuth Ernsting helped to found Biofuelwatch in 2006. She has researched and published about a wide range of issues related to bioenergy, including the climate, social and biodiversity impacts of biofuels and wood-based biomass; public health impacts of biomass and biofuel power stations; and the science and policy debate related to proposed use of biomass for geoengineering, especially biochar and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage.
Source: https://truthout.org/authors/almuth-ernsting

 

From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.ioOn Behalf Of Ron Larson
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2021 3:14 PM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io; Claudia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...>
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

 

Claudia and list:

 

              I agree with most below.   See inserts

 

On Jul 15, 2021, at 4:30 AM, Cla few udia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...> wrote:

 

Dear all,

 

thank you so much, Benoit and Ron, for your enduring this BFW unpleasantness and sharing your thoughts with us.

 

In the last year it became more and more clear to me that it’s so easy to “be against something” and to try and appear smart by blocking, by saying why something doesn’t work. And endlessly hard to seek solutions and change, to try and fail, to take action. You’re vulnerable when you do, you can be hurt or hit by failure. Good to have a supportive group (like this one) when you do. But falling and getting up is how we learn, how we grow and invent things. It’s the essence of being human. 

We’ve had this “blocking solutions” behaviour in Germany by the older Generation for far too long, meanwhile it really endangers my kid’s generations’ future.

 

We’ve had these “I know better than you and boost my alpha-person ego with it” blockers for far too long, and this is why we are in this global warming mess in the first place.

 

Often, these were “white old men” guys but here, we seem to have the evidence that this behaviour is definitely not gender-driven: 

 

      [RWL1:  This below is to mostly comment on your noting that that there may be some sort of unusual “gender-driven" aspect to biochar opposition.  This webinar would (unfortunately) suggest so.

 

              1.  First some history.  

              a.  Dr. Smoker is a relatively late addition to BFW - in biochar terms.  BFW was founded by an equally anti-biomass (but unmentioned) Brit;  Almuth Ernsting).  As an example, Rachel erred in saying BFW became aware of biochar in 2009.  I remember hearing Ms Ernsting's opposition prior to the 2008 IBI meeting in Newcastle UK.  Then being surprised she was not in attendance -  as i thought she would be there with more biochar background.  Newcastle and London are not that far apart.  

 

              b.   I was in a CBD meeting later in London with Almuth, and a very supportive German woman, where they again were strongly anti-biochar - and fairly successful. So i have viewed BFW as a small, wrong but effective female-dominated small "environmental”  NGO.  This week's audience [78 sounds OK - not 10) seemed about 95% female.  From the evidence this week one could easily conclude that biochar opposition is female dominated

 

              2.  So, its great that you (a very effective female IBI board member) have joined this BFW vs. biochar discussion.  

              Fortunately, biochar is well represented gender wise - on both the USBI board (5 females out of 11) and IBI boards (Kathleen Draper being on both and the IBI chair).  This being another pretty good proof that there is not much biochar gender divide on biochar at this upper level.   Anyone listening to this week’s talk would have gained the opposite opinion.    

              I checked Google on biochar technical publications.  Conservatively you are ahead by a ratio of about 100 to 1.  Dr.  Smolker has done some good scientific work - just. not on biochar.

 

              3.   I consider pretty good proof also of no gender divide in the first US state legislation on biochar (https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sjr17-002) passed with a 98-0 vote. But more importantly, most of the unanimous vote credit should go to a then senior Colorado state senator - Ellen Roberts.(R).  The state of Washington has also recently unanimously.passed similar biochar legislation.  Both bills predominantly based on forestry - not agriculture, energy, water, waste, or climate. By no means is BFW a leading voice on the harm biochar can do to forests (forestry harm and preservation being the almost sole webinar topic.) 

 

She seems to be such a “white old male” type of person in my eyes, drawing ego from blocking, not from developing, inventing, helping. Just my 2 cents.

 

              [RWL2:  I have been told (accurately) that I qualify aa  a “white old male” - and I confess to taking some pleasure in blocking BFW.  It’s possibly or even probably true as "drawing ego from blocking”.  But hopefully also at least partially balanced by my "developing, inventing, helping” biochar (I have helped with this list since before biochar got its present name in 2007). 

              

 

Sorry for my sentimental thoughts, maybe I’m too sleep-deprived ;)

 

              [RWL4:  I’m not sorry.  Thanks.  And for doing such leading and exciting biochar research.

 

                I hope someone has a way to get your and these thoughts back to the webinar sponsors and audience.   Won’t be me.  

              Most in that audience are in danger of considerable future embarrassment for not understanding biochar’s huge potential role in the webinar’s subject matter - improving, not destroying, today’s often unhealthy forests.  

              I see little chance of changing the Smolker stance. 

              And I’m sure we agree gender is a non-issue as it relates to either biochar or forestry. 

 

Ron

 

Claudia

 

 

 


 

--

Deborah Cook

781.383.6313

debbiecook281@...

-------------------

.      Check out my new book Parted Waters  

 

 


--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland


Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Nando Breiter
 

Deborah,

It is hard to counter disinformation. Defensiveness seems to be a natural reaction, but I don't think it is worth engaging with Rachel. 

Back in 2011 or so, I spent a lot of time refuting Rachel's arguments, corresponding with her directly. One of the core objections she raised was that biochar was going to drive deforestation. George Moinbot picked this up from BFW and repeated it in a Guardian article, saying it was an absolutely daft idea to cut all the trees down and convert them to biochar. 

Rachel lives in Vermont in a rural area adjacent to a number of farms. I corresponded with her directly, providing very compelling data that it was financially completely out of the question for farmers, or companies supplying them with soil amendments, to go to the expense of cutting down trees to convert them to biochar. I told her to go ask her neighbors if they thought it would be financially worthwhile to hire loggers to clear cut the forests in her region, build a large scale pyrolysis plant, make biochar, and spread it across their land. I gave her realistic numbers to demonstrate that this feedstock scenario is the most expensive in an industry where it is already very difficult to identify financially viable ways forward. On top of that, farming is a risky, competitive business. 

I also wrote George Moinbot with the same information. While he didn't retract the article, he seemed to moderate his position on biochar after he got a lot of pushback from the biochar community.

The real story seems to be more complex. Deforestation to make char as a cooking fuel is prevalent in developing countries. This is real, rather than an imagined issue. And in this case pyrolysis technology can help immensely, which is completely contrary to Rachel's position. I'm aware of a project in Malawi where kontiki kilns are used to make cooking char from a species of rapidly growing, large bamboo, and we're looking to see if we can improve the financials in this scenario to help it expand. This can prevent the harvesting of virgin forest to make charcoal with inefficient primitive earthen kilns. 




On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 4:24 PM Deborah Cook <debbiecook281@...> wrote:
Hi,

I feel a very defensive strain running through this group. We have an incredible body of scientific corroboration on the benefits of biochar, with more coming every day to defend our position. 

As I remember Rachel spoke only in generalities and did not cite any specific studies. Well that's easy enough to do. She only used the word reference in parentheses when she mentioned a study. I didn't hear a fact either.

My take is that Biofuelwatch started as being against burning biomass for fuel, and couldn't change the paradigm to accept biochar, fearing a slippery slope.

Maybe someone should get her presentation and refute every point with an actual referenced study or two or three, so we are prepared with talking points and not let her get the upper hand.

Debbie


On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 9:27 AM Benoit Lambert <biocharben@...> wrote:
Ron and list,

Some people, sometimes, a bit oddly well trained, made a speciality of being ‘naysayer' as they call them in Switzerland--referring to people that always answer no to 'votations' no matter the question. Journalist of the Guardian George Monbiot is one of them. He believes strongly everyone should become vegetarian to solve the climate crisis. While the argument makes sense when referring to industrial CAFO, it is false for regenerative ranching that jump starts trophic chains—animals eat grass avoiding their oxydation and desertification, theirs dropping feeds grasses that eventually increases organic matter in soils, humus gets thicker and carbon get stored, a circular economy gets in place. Paleo botanist tell us that is how soils organic matter was created over 65 million years and ppm went from 560 to 270. 

Here is an answer to Monbiot by L Hunter Lovins:


George Monbiot also went against biochar in 2008 just after the Newcastle. Just like Ms Smolker, he did not attend the IBI meeting, and, obviously knew very little about biochar. I was in Newcastle, and, we already knew quite a bit about biochar at the time.

Dr. Benoit Lambert
Founder and President / Fondateur et président
Cbiochar Inc., https://cbiochar.com
555 Ch. Réal, n° 105, 
Sutton, QC, Canada, J0E 2K0
BioGéoThérapiste, auteur/blog https://cologie.wordpress.com 
Membre: Fondation Stratégie énergétique, biosphère et société, Genève
Reviewer/réviseur IPCC/GIEC, Working Group I (WGI), Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), in particular Chap. 5 Carbon dioxide removal methods/biochar.
Tel: 450 775 7444



Le 16 juill. 2021 à 08:31, Frank Strie via groups.io <frank.strie@...> a écrit :

Who is?  https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2021/ect-press-release  
Yes, there is a Tasmanian connection … sad to say actually. 
 
About
Through my work with Biofuelwatch, I have researched and published about most aspects of bioenergy, including biofuels for road transport and aviation, biochar, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, and wood-based bioenergy.

I have written about wider environmental justice concerns, including the interconnections between climate, biodiversity and social justice, about geoengineering proposals, renewable energy in general, and about the dangers of techno-optimism. I have had articles published by magazines and weblogs including 
Truth Out, The Ecologist, Common Dreams, New Internationalist, Red Pepper, Corporate Watch.

I have acquired a high level of experience in relation to UK planning policies regarding energy proposals, and in relation to UK and EU air quality legislation.

In my spare time, I volunteer as an ESOL tutor.



Almuth Ernsting
Almuth Ernsting helped to found Biofuelwatch in 2006. She has researched and published about a wide range of issues related to bioenergy, including the climate, social and biodiversity impacts of biofuels and wood-based biomass; public health impacts of biomass and biofuel power stations; and the science and policy debate related to proposed use of biomass for geoengineering, especially biochar and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage.
Source: https://truthout.org/authors/almuth-ernsting
 
From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ron Larson
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2021 3:14 PM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io; Claudia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...>
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch
 
Claudia and list:
 
              I agree with most below.   See inserts


On Jul 15, 2021, at 4:30 AM, Cla few udia Kammann <claudia.kammann@...> wrote:
 
Dear all,
 
thank you so much, Benoit and Ron, for your enduring this BFW unpleasantness and sharing your thoughts with us.
 
In the last year it became more and more clear to me that it’s so easy to “be against something” and to try and appear smart by blocking, by saying why something doesn’t work. And endlessly hard to seek solutions and change, to try and fail, to take action. You’re vulnerable when you do, you can be hurt or hit by failure. Good to have a supportive group (like this one) when you do. But falling and getting up is how we learn, how we grow and invent things. It’s the essence of being human. 
We’ve had this “blocking solutions” behaviour in Germany by the older Generation for far too long, meanwhile it really endangers my kid’s generations’ future.
 
We’ve had these “I know better than you and boost my alpha-person ego with it” blockers for far too long, and this is why we are in this global warming mess in the first place.
 
Often, these were “white old men” guys but here, we seem to have the evidence that this behaviour is definitely not gender-driven: 
 
      [RWL1:  This below is to mostly comment on your noting that that there may be some sort of unusual “gender-driven" aspect to biochar opposition.  This webinar would (unfortunately) suggest so.
 
              1.  First some history.  
              a.  Dr. Smoker is a relatively late addition to BFW - in biochar terms.  BFW was founded by an equally anti-biomass (but unmentioned) Brit;  Almuth Ernsting).  As an example, Rachel erred in saying BFW became aware of biochar in 2009.  I remember hearing Ms Ernsting's opposition prior to the 2008 IBI meeting in Newcastle UK.  Then being surprised she was not in attendance -  as i thought she would be there with more biochar background.  Newcastle and London are not that far apart.  
 
              b.   I was in a CBD meeting later in London with Almuth, and a very supportive German woman, where they again were strongly anti-biochar - and fairly successful. So i have viewed BFW as a small, wrong but effective female-dominated small "environmental”  NGO.  This week's audience [78 sounds OK - not 10) seemed about 95% female.  From the evidence this week one could easily conclude that biochar opposition is female dominated
 
              2.  So, its great that you (a very effective female IBI board member) have joined this BFW vs. biochar discussion.  
              Fortunately, biochar is well represented gender wise - on both the USBI board (5 females out of 11) and IBI boards (Kathleen Draper being on both and the IBI chair).  This being another pretty good proof that there is not much biochar gender divide on biochar at this upper level.   Anyone listening to this week’s talk would have gained the opposite opinion.    
              I checked Google on biochar technical publications.  Conservatively you are ahead by a ratio of about 100 to 1.  Dr.  Smolker has done some good scientific work - just. not on biochar.
 
              3.   I consider pretty good proof also of no gender divide in the first US state legislation on biochar (https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sjr17-002) passed with a 98-0 vote. But more importantly, most of the unanimous vote credit should go to a then senior Colorado state senator - Ellen Roberts.(R).  The state of Washington has also recently unanimously.passed similar biochar legislation.  Both bills predominantly based on forestry - not agriculture, energy, water, waste, or climate. By no means is BFW a leading voice on the harm biochar can do to forests (forestry harm and preservation being the almost sole webinar topic.) 
 
She seems to be such a “white old male” type of person in my eyes, drawing ego from blocking, not from developing, inventing, helping. Just my 2 cents.
 
              [RWL2:  I have been told (accurately) that I qualify aa  a “white old male” - and I confess to taking some pleasure in blocking BFW.  It’s possibly or even probably true as "drawing ego from blocking”.  But hopefully also at least partially balanced by my "developing, inventing, helping” biochar (I have helped with this list since before biochar got its present name in 2007). 
              
 
Sorry for my sentimental thoughts, maybe I’m too sleep-deprived ;)
 
              [RWL4:  I’m not sorry.  Thanks.  And for doing such leading and exciting biochar research.
 
                I hope someone has a way to get your and these thoughts back to the webinar sponsors and audience.   Won’t be me.  
              Most in that audience are in danger of considerable future embarrassment for not understanding biochar’s huge potential role in the webinar’s subject matter - improving, not destroying, today’s often unhealthy forests.  
              I see little chance of changing the Smolker stance. 
              And I’m sure we agree gender is a non-issue as it relates to either biochar or forestry. 
 
Ron
 
Claudia
 
 



--
Deborah Cook
781.383.6313
-------------------
.      Check out my new book Parted Waters  



--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland


Re: Cool Planet and.Google question

Nando Breiter
 

Rick,

Very interested in what you wrote below in your "Ron, one distinction" post, but it is a bit too cryptic for me to decipher. Could you elaborate just a bit?



On Sun, Jul 18, 2021 at 6:36 AM Rick Wilson via groups.io <rick012=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Ron, one distinction.  The use of wood in for feedstock makes sense  if you are making fuels so that that puts you near refineries, like in Louisiana. 
Biochar alone, not.  That is the mistake Cool Planet made. (After I left)

Rick

On Jul 17, 2021, at 9:13 PM, Rick Wilson via groups.io <rick012@...> wrote:

Hi Ron, great note.

Re Cool Planet. They failed because their business model was wrong. It was based on chopping down trees, which created a cost disadvantage.  
Instead of reusing what is already out there.   For instance, today in California, green waste, millions of tons are being diverted from landfills, and there is a tipping fee (negative cost).

Rick


On Jul 17, 2021, at 6:10 PM, Ron Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:

Rick and list;

I just sent the following to the IEEE magazine “Spectrum”. Did I get my Cool Planet story correct enough?

" This mainly addressing the two Google authors, but also supporting fb36. In their 2014 article, they urged supporting RE technologies that are both dispatchable and decentralized. Won't be wind or solar, but definitely possible with biomass. (One reason for supporting fb36.)
I believe some part of Google financially supported the company "Cool Planet", which in my opinion did some very nice work, but failed as the biochar market failed to bloom. That failure likely because of little to no governmental financial support. I hope David Fork and Ross Koningstein can report on what they know about Google's. decision to support Cool Planet - and whether they still see any better choice in the "dispatchable - distributed" energy arena. (especially considering co-gen) For those unaware of biochar - it has these additional favorable characteristics (that presumably influenced Google's early decision to support Cool Planet (along with GE and several oil majors) a. although only receiving its name in 2007, with a few technical articles per month then, we can now read more than 3000 per month. b. sales of biochar, still small, seem to be doubling about every two years. c. the global leading country (maybe half of world total?) in producing biochar is the same as for wind and solar: China. d. biochar fits all the pertinent climate categories: carbon negative, carbon neutral, adaptation, mitigation....... e. we can justify positive statements for all 17 SDGs - and especially those related to climate, energy, water, waste, hunger, health, poverty ...... 5. reputable authors have given CDR numbers up to 10 Gt C/year. (roughly 3 times better than 10 Gt CO2/year.) ps: nice math addendum - thanks for reporting twice for Google. Ron

1. The article is non-fee at.

My above not yet approved.

2.  i didn’t praise enough - but I like their message.   This journal probably goes to more engineers than any other engineering journal.  (I used to be very active in IEEE, but haven’t read an article for decades. They probably rarely use the word “biomass”.   But this could be an important article foe us.)

3.  Although biochar is unmentioned, there is more use of “biomass” than most such articles (almost always limited to wind and solar).

4. Maybe this can be a good opening to get back to Google for IBI and USBI funding (after Rick’s edits).   IBI especially as IEEE is definitely international.

5.  I received much of the article via “geoengin.info” - but can’t remember how I got on that list.  Anyone able to help?  (I am getting good leads there.)




--
Nando Breiter
http://biochar.info
CarbonZero Sagl
Astano, Switzerland


Re: Cool Planet and.Google question

Rick Wilson
 

Ron, one distinction.  The use of wood in for feedstock makes sense  if you are making fuels so that that puts you near refineries, like in Louisiana. 
Biochar alone, not.  That is the mistake Cool Planet made. (After I left)

Rick

On Jul 17, 2021, at 9:13 PM, Rick Wilson via groups.io <rick012@...> wrote:

Hi Ron, great note.

Re Cool Planet. They failed because their business model was wrong. It was based on chopping down trees, which created a cost disadvantage.  
Instead of reusing what is already out there.   For instance, today in California, green waste, millions of tons are being diverted from landfills, and there is a tipping fee (negative cost).

Rick


On Jul 17, 2021, at 6:10 PM, Ron Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:

Rick and list;

I just sent the following to the IEEE magazine “Spectrum”. Did I get my Cool Planet story correct enough?

" This mainly addressing the two Google authors, but also supporting fb36. In their 2014 article, they urged supporting RE technologies that are both dispatchable and decentralized. Won't be wind or solar, but definitely possible with biomass. (One reason for supporting fb36.)
I believe some part of Google financially supported the company "Cool Planet", which in my opinion did some very nice work, but failed as the biochar market failed to bloom. That failure likely because of little to no governmental financial support. I hope David Fork and Ross Koningstein can report on what they know about Google's. decision to support Cool Planet - and whether they still see any better choice in the "dispatchable - distributed" energy arena. (especially considering co-gen) For those unaware of biochar - it has these additional favorable characteristics (that presumably influenced Google's early decision to support Cool Planet (along with GE and several oil majors) a. although only receiving its name in 2007, with a few technical articles per month then, we can now read more than 3000 per month. b. sales of biochar, still small, seem to be doubling about every two years. c. the global leading country (maybe half of world total?) in producing biochar is the same as for wind and solar: China. d. biochar fits all the pertinent climate categories: carbon negative, carbon neutral, adaptation, mitigation....... e. we can justify positive statements for all 17 SDGs - and especially those related to climate, energy, water, waste, hunger, health, poverty ...... 5. reputable authors have given CDR numbers up to 10 Gt C/year. (roughly 3 times better than 10 Gt CO2/year.) ps: nice math addendum - thanks for reporting twice for Google. Ron

1. The article is non-fee at.

My above not yet approved.

2.  i didn’t praise enough - but I like their message.   This journal probably goes to more engineers than any other engineering journal.  (I used to be very active in IEEE, but haven’t read an article for decades. They probably rarely use the word “biomass”.   But this could be an important article foe us.)

3.  Although biochar is unmentioned, there is more use of “biomass” than most such articles (almost always limited to wind and solar).

4. Maybe this can be a good opening to get back to Google for IBI and USBI funding (after Rick’s edits).   IBI especially as IEEE is definitely international.

5.  I received much of the article via “geoengin.info” - but can’t remember how I got on that list.  Anyone able to help?  (I am getting good leads there.)




Some interesting Carbon Sequestration Chemistry

Rick Wilson
 

Group.  I would be interested to know if anyone has every tracked Calcium Carbonate concentrations while composting with biochar?

Forms of Calcium can form Carbonates, CaCO3, which is insoluble and locks out CO2, forever.   Biomass contains about 1 weight percent Calcium.  

Ca(OH)2 (soluble) + CO2 -> CaCO3 (solid which precipitates) + H2O

I’ve attached a standard analysis of compost.  Some calcium carbonate is forming, Note it has almost 1 wt% Calcium, and 11 pounds per ton of Calcium Carbonate. 
My guess is the CO2 from microbe metabolism is reacting with the Calcium. 

Converting more of the calcium to Calcium carbonate, is to sequester CO2. 

Rick






Re: Cool Planet and.Google question

Rick Wilson
 

Hi Ron, great note.

Re Cool Planet. They failed because their business model was wrong. It was based on chopping down trees, which created a cost disadvantage.  
Instead of reusing what is already out there.   For instance, today in California, green waste, millions of tons are being diverted from landfills, and there is a tipping fee (negative cost).

Rick


On Jul 17, 2021, at 6:10 PM, Ron Larson <rongretlarson@...> wrote:

Rick and list;

I just sent the following to the IEEE magazine “Spectrum”. Did I get my Cool Planet story correct enough?

" This mainly addressing the two Google authors, but also supporting fb36. In their 2014 article, they urged supporting RE technologies that are both dispatchable and decentralized. Won't be wind or solar, but definitely possible with biomass. (One reason for supporting fb36.)
I believe some part of Google financially supported the company "Cool Planet", which in my opinion did some very nice work, but failed as the biochar market failed to bloom. That failure likely because of little to no governmental financial support. I hope David Fork and Ross Koningstein can report on what they know about Google's. decision to support Cool Planet - and whether they still see any better choice in the "dispatchable - distributed" energy arena. (especially considering co-gen) For those unaware of biochar - it has these additional favorable characteristics (that presumably influenced Google's early decision to support Cool Planet (along with GE and several oil majors) a. although only receiving its name in 2007, with a few technical articles per month then, we can now read more than 3000 per month. b. sales of biochar, still small, seem to be doubling about every two years. c. the global leading country (maybe half of world total?) in producing biochar is the same as for wind and solar: China. d. biochar fits all the pertinent climate categories: carbon negative, carbon neutral, adaptation, mitigation....... e. we can justify positive statements for all 17 SDGs - and especially those related to climate, energy, water, waste, hunger, health, poverty ...... 5. reputable authors have given CDR numbers up to 10 Gt C/year. (roughly 3 times better than 10 Gt CO2/year.) ps: nice math addendum - thanks for reporting twice for Google. Ron

1. The article is non-fee at.

My above not yet approved.

2.  i didn’t praise enough - but I like their message.   This journal probably goes to more engineers than any other engineering journal.  (I used to be very active in IEEE, but haven’t read an article for decades. They probably rarely use the word “biomass”.   But this could be an important article foe us.)

3.  Although biochar is unmentioned, there is more use of “biomass” than most such articles (almost always limited to wind and solar).

4. Maybe this can be a good opening to get back to Google for IBI and USBI funding (after Rick’s edits).   IBI especially as IEEE is definitely international.

5.  I received much of the article via “geoengin.info” - but can’t remember how I got on that list.  Anyone able to help?  (I am getting good leads there.)



Cool Planet and.Google question

Ron Larson
 

Rick and list;

I just sent the following to the IEEE magazine “Spectrum”. Did I get my Cool Planet story correct enough?

" This mainly addressing the two Google authors, but also supporting fb36. In their 2014 article, they urged supporting RE technologies that are both dispatchable and decentralized. Won't be wind or solar, but definitely possible with biomass. (One reason for supporting fb36.)
I believe some part of Google financially supported the company "Cool Planet", which in my opinion did some very nice work, but failed as the biochar market failed to bloom. That failure likely because of little to no governmental financial support. I hope David Fork and Ross Koningstein can report on what they know about Google's. decision to support Cool Planet - and whether they still see any better choice in the "dispatchable - distributed" energy arena. (especially considering co-gen) For those unaware of biochar - it has these additional favorable characteristics (that presumably influenced Google's early decision to support Cool Planet (along with GE and several oil majors) a. although only receiving its name in 2007, with a few technical articles per month then, we can now read more than 3000 per month. b. sales of biochar, still small, seem to be doubling about every two years. c. the global leading country (maybe half of world total?) in producing biochar is the same as for wind and solar: China. d. biochar fits all the pertinent climate categories: carbon negative, carbon neutral, adaptation, mitigation....... e. we can justify positive statements for all 17 SDGs - and especially those related to climate, energy, water, waste, hunger, health, poverty ...... 5. reputable authors have given CDR numbers up to 10 Gt C/year. (roughly 3 times better than 10 Gt CO2/year.) ps: nice math addendum - thanks for reporting twice for Google. Ron

1. The article is non-fee at.

My above not yet approved.

2.  i didn’t praise enough - but I like their message.   This journal probably goes to more engineers than any other engineering journal.  (I used to be very active in IEEE, but haven’t read an article for decades. They probably rarely use the word “biomass”.   But this could be an important article foe us.)

3.  Although biochar is unmentioned, there is more use of “biomass” than most such articles (almost always limited to wind and solar).

4. Maybe this can be a good opening to get back to Google for IBI and USBI funding (after Rick’s edits).   IBI especially as IEEE is definitely international.

5.  I received much of the article via “geoengin.info” - but can’t remember how I got on that list.  Anyone able to help?  (I am getting good leads there.)


Re: PROBLEM Harald Bier is out of his office RE: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Tom Miles
 

Our admin error. It's taken care of Paul. Thanks.

Tom

-----Original Message-----
From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of Paul S
Anderson
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2021 2:54 PM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: PROBLEM Harald Bier is out of his office RE: [EXTERN] [Biochar]
Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Is anyone else (or maybe everyone?) getting 6 identical messages that Harald
Bier is our of his office? It seems to be prompted via the
biochar.group.io discussions.

Any efforts to correct this problem will be greatly appreciated.

Paul

Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website: www.drtlud.com
Email: psanders@ilstu.edu Skype: paultlud
Phone: Office: 309-452-7072 Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP Go to: www.JuntosNFP.org
Inventor of RoCC kilns and author of Biochar white paper : See
www.woodgas.energy/resources
Author of "A Capitalist Carol" (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org)
with pages 88 - 94 about solving the world crisis for clean
cookstoves.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of
Harald Bier via groups.io
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2021 10:53 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of
Biofuelwatch

[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to
abuse@ilstu.edu<mailto:abuse@ilstu.edu>]

I am temporary out of office and will return July 27th.
Emails will only be read sporadically.

All the best, Harald Bier





PROBLEM Harald Bier is out of his office RE: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Paul S Anderson
 

Is anyone else (or maybe everyone?) getting 6 identical messages that Harald Bier is our of his office? It seems to be prompted via the biochar.group.io discussions.

Any efforts to correct this problem will be greatly appreciated.

Paul

Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD --- Website: www.drtlud.com
Email: psanders@ilstu.edu Skype: paultlud
Phone: Office: 309-452-7072 Mobile & WhatsApp: 309-531-4434
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP Go to: www.JuntosNFP.org
Inventor of RoCC kilns and author of Biochar white paper : See www.woodgas.energy/resources
Author of "A Capitalist Carol" (free digital copies at www.capitalism21.org)
with pages 88 - 94 about solving the world crisis for clean cookstoves.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@Biochar.groups.io <main@Biochar.groups.io> On Behalf Of
Harald Bier via groups.io
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2021 10:53 AM
To: main@Biochar.groups.io
Subject: Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

[This message came from an external source. If suspicious, report to
abuse@ilstu.edu<mailto:abuse@ilstu.edu>]

I am temporary out of office and will return July 27th.
Emails will only be read sporadically.

All the best, Harald Bier





Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Harald Bier
 

I am temporary out of office and will return July 27th.
Emails will only be read sporadically.

All the best, Harald Bier


Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Harald Bier
 

I am temporary out of office and will return July 27th.
Emails will only be read sporadically.

All the best, Harald Bier


Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Harald Bier
 

I am temporary out of office and will return July 27th.
Emails will only be read sporadically.

All the best, Harald Bier


Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Harald Bier
 

I am temporary out of office and will return July 27th.
Emails will only be read sporadically.

All the best, Harald Bier


Re: [EXTERN] [Biochar] Seminar by Rachael Smolker of Biofuelwatch

Harald Bier
 

I am temporary out of office and will return July 27th.
Emails will only be read sporadically.

All the best, Harald Bier

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