Educational > Analysis

Burning wood for heat has a terrible environmental cost

05 March 2018

It’s a natural instinct to huddle around a wood-burning fire in this snowy weather. But burning wood as fuel is one of the worst ways to get heat. Worse than burning coal or oil.[i] As we know, trees absorb atmospheric CO2 over their lifetimes. When we burn wood, we release the CO2 accumulated over years or decades in one go, straight into the atmosphere.

Wood burning isn’t climate neutral at all. Inhaling the smoke from the fire could lead to respiratory problems, especially in young children, elderly people, and those suffering from breathing disorders.

We will need to plant more trees and have more forested areas for every bit of wood that we burn. Humanity is at the tipping point in our human-caused Climate Change effects. Let us not add one more checkbox to the number of ways in which we are polluting the environment and ruining not just our health, but endangering the lives of the generations to come.

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[i] https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/woody-biomass-power-and-heat-impacts-global-climate
[ii] Image source – https://in.pinterest.com/pin/300333868884431584/