Some people are concerned that the processing of wood pellets as a renewable fuel will add particulate matter to the atmosphere.
This apparently would raise the level above an already high level and ruin the lungs of children.
Let’s take a look at the big picture.
Mineral dust from land all over the earth is the No. 1 source of particulates in the Earth’s atmosphere and are estimated at 100 to 500 million tons per year.
Some particulates occur naturally, originating from volcanoes, dust storms, deserts, forest and grassland fires, living vegetation, and sea spray. The largest source is deserts.
The second largest source of particulate is sea spray.
It is the overwhelmingly most common form of particulate in the atmosphere.
Human activities currently account for about 10 per cent of the total mass of aerosols in our atmosphere.
These include the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants and various industrial processes, agricultural burning, residential fireplaces, plowing fields, open fields, and blown organic matter.
Coal combustion in developing countries is the primary method for heating homes and supplying energy.
Emissions from the U.S., China and India take three weeks to diffuse all over the planet. All of the above contribute to high background particulate levels.
Background particulate levels are rising all over the world. Because we live in the Interior, we are not immune to what is happening.
In 2013, a record 40 billion tons of C02 were dumped into the atmosphere.
This is causing the earth to heat up even more. Relentless accumulations of C02 are eventually going to create a desert on 40 per cent of all the land on earth.
Warmer oceans, and higher winds will increase all background levels of particulate in the air. We should applaud and encourage any and all efforts to use renewable fuels, and reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Or would you rather live on Mars?