After 2015, the method of calculating CO2 absorption by Vermont's forests, etc., was changed to conform with EPA and international standards.


As a result, the higher values of the old method were replaced with the lower values of the new method.

For example, 8.23 million metric ton in 2015 (old) became 4.39 million Mt in 2015 (new), about 47% less.


If Vermont were to reduce overall CO2 to lower levels, then forests would absorb an increasing percentage of the overall CO2, if we don't trample on the forests, i.e., leave them alone to do their job. See URLs.


Clearcutting Holocaust of the 1800s


The NE clearcutting holocaust of the 1800s and early 1900s occurred for two reasons:


1) Clearing for farming and pasture (haying for cows and horses and for sheep that produced wool)

2) Production of charcoal for iron working.


On hilly land, the clearcutting caused erosion of topsoil and nutrients into nearby streams.

The clearcutting released vast quantities of CO2 due to decay of 1) belowground biomass, 2) dead wood, 3) litter, and 4) soil organic carbon.


New England was mostly reforested by the 1950s; some farmlands became forests again; some forest area was permanently eliminated by human encroachments.


However, the clearcutting had damaged forest soils, which reduced the storage of biomass/acre.

Undisturbed, old forests, on healthy soils, store much more biomass per acre, than young forests on damaged soils.

Acid rain from the 1950s onward has been harmful for forest soil, regrowth and health as well.


Forest Fragmentation 

A continuous forest is much healthier and has a greater abundance and diversity of flora and fauna than a fractured forest.

Forest fragmentation is due to human encroachments, such as roads, paths, transmission lines, wind turbines on ridgelines, partial land clearing for development. See URLs

1) Forest, plus Other Vegetation CO2 Absorption


Forests, plus other vegetation, absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it into stored biomass by photosynthesis. This process is an important factor when estimating net greenhouse gas emissions, particularly for a heavily forested state, as Vermont.


This URL shows Vermont forests, plus other vegetation, sequestered 5.0 million Mt of CO2 in 2016. It was about 5.8 million Mt in 1990.

The reduction was due to: 1) less forest acreage and 2) trees becoming less robust and less healthy (acid rain, pollution, human encroachments, over-harvesting, etc.)

About 50% of Vermont’s forests are classified “low grade”, suitable only for burning and pelletizing, according to forestry/logging people.

However, it would be much better, if those low-grade trees were chipped and spread on the forest floor to provide quicker nutrition to the forest soils. That would allow any new trees to grow up healthier.


See URl, figure 18


2) Forest CO2 Absorption


The 2015 data show Vermont forests absorbed 4.39 million Mt of CO2 in 2015

Each acre of forest land stored 107 Mt of carbon (URL, table 1).

Forest total biomass, above and belowground, increased from 1990 to 2015 (URL, figure 1).


Annual CO2 absorption decreased from 4.70 million Mt in 1990, to 4.39 million Mt in 2015 (URL, figure 2).

Even though, there is more biomass per acre, that biomass does not absorb as much CO2 in 2015 as it did in 1990, mostly due to less healthy forests, etc.


See URL.

3) Vermont Total CO2


Vermont total CO2 has increased from 8.65 million Mt in 1990 to 10.19 million Mt in 2015, or 18% more than 1990, despite many energy programs that were supposed to reduce CO2, but did not, i.e., they increased everyone's energy costs, but proved to be dysfunctional, courtesy of Montpelier's self-serving, subsidy-seeking RE cabal. See URL, page 23. 


If wood burning CO2 is added, the VT total becomes about 10.19 + 1.91 = 12.10 million Mt in 2015. See URL, page 25

If forest CO2 absorption is subtracted, the VT total becomes 12.10 – 4.39 = 7.71 million Mt in 2015.

Wood burning CO2 estimated from URL, page 25, figure 19.


Table 1/Year

VT Total

 Wood burning

VT Total

Forest Absorption

VT Net Total







 Million Mt

 Million Mt

Million Mt

Million Mt

Million Mt














Maine makes a lot of electricity with tree burning at an efficiency of less than 25%, and the logging of those trees basically is a rape of the forest, that is well known to/condoned by/encourage by Maine State government.

Some of the New Hampshire plants have closed, because they produce at about 8 to 9 c/kWh. Owners begged for 4 c/kWh subsidies, but Governor Sununu, a Republican, vetoed the bill.

NE wholesale electricity prices have averaged about 5 c/kWh, starting in 2008, 11 years, courtesy of low-cost gas and low-cost nuclear, which provide about 70% of all NE electricity.

Wind/solar folks want you to hate gas and nuclear plants, that produce steady, no-particulate, very-low-CO2 electricity at 4.5 to 5.0 c/kWh

Wind/solar folks want to close them, so they would have the electricity market all to themselves, while riding the subsidy gravy train and shooting New England's economy in the foot with ever higher retail electricity prices.

Northern Maine has almost no grid for connecting wind turbines.

Building the grid for just the wind turbines would lead to an uneconomical 25% capacity factor, the same CF as Maine wind.

The Maine wind owners would like to get the grid for free.

Various RE yo-yos in Disgusta likely would give it to them.

But that would require a significant surcharge on household electric bills, just as it did in Texas.


Maine emits about 4.52 million Mt of carbon/y in 2016; Maine ranks 46th. 

It is likely much higher, because Maine, etc., do not count the CO2 of wood burning and the CO2 resulting from the damage of logging activities.

Maine population was 1.331 million in 2016

Maine carbon was about 3.40 Mt/capita in 2016; Maine ranks 19th

See URLs

Maine forests absorb about 5.3 million Mt of carbon/y; 0.3 Mt/acre.

Maine forests currently store about 2000 million Mt of carbon.

Maple/Beech/Birch stands have the highest carbon density per acre, storing about 550 million Mt of carbon.

Tree plantations, with 20 to 30 years between harvests, have the lowest carbon density per acre.

Doubling the stocking on the 550,000 acres with poorly stocked stands could increase carbon storage by up to 500 million Mt.

Old Forests Absorb More Carbon per Acre

A 50-year-old forest absorbs 0.8 Mt of carbon/y, on average.

A 65-year-old forest absorbs 1.6 Mt of carbon/y, on average

Doubling the age of the forest in the North Maine Woods could increase carbon storage by more than 1000 million Mt, a 50% increase.

Currently, the age of the forest is decreasing, because of short periods between harvests, aka "prudent forest management practices".

Decreasing Forest Areas

Between 1982 and 2003, about 21 years, changes of land use resulted in the loss of 806,957 acres of forest.

This forever reduced the Maine carbon sink by about 242,000 Mt/y.

This forever removed about 42 million Mt of carbon (equivalent to about 170 million Mt of standing wood) from former forest areas to feed wood burning plants, and to supply wood product makers.


Maine’s Forest Absorb More CO2 Than Maine’s Total CO2 Emissions


Maine emitted about 4.52 million Mt of carbon in 2016. See URL


Maine forests absorbed 5.3 million Mt of carbon, according to Maine Forest Ecology; for what year was the data?


Maine Better Than Carbon Neutral.


The people of Maine do not need to do anything, except make sure the forests stay healthy, and are allowed to grow undisturbed to an average age of at least 100 years before cutting.


The people of Maine should concentrate on making their houses as energy-efficient as possible. Such improvements could last a lifetime.


All that noise-making and scare-mongering by self-serving, subsidy-seeking RE folks in Disgusta, Maine, and elsewhere, is just to get people aroused, and to get them to act against their own best interests, for the good of the “cause” of the subsidy-seekers.


The people of Maine should oppose whatever expensive, irrational, "jobs-creating" schemes, the subsidy-seekers come up with, such as their latest fantasy of expensive, floating, offshore wind turbines, made in Europe. See URLs


Carbon sequestered per acre of average U.S. forest/y = 0.23 Mt C/acre/y x (44 units CO2/12 units C) = 0.85 Mt of CO2.


NOTE: Disturbed, fragmented, less than healthy forests, as in most of New England, sequester about 1.0 Mt of CO2/acre/y, due to:


1) Acid rain and pollution from Midwest power plants, etc.,

2) Various encroachments, and

3) Colder climate and short growing season.



The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources claims 0.976 Mt/acre/y

The Maine Forest Ecology Network claims 1.10 Mt/acre/y

See URLs.


"Wood Burning is Renewable" is a Hoax


Proponents of wood burning do not mention a CO2 reabsorption time period on purpose.

Proponents want you to think CO2 reabsorption starts right away and is completed in the a few years.

Proponents want you to ignore the damage logging does to the forest, which results in the release of CO2

In order for our wood burning to be renewable, the CO2 must to be reabsorbed by regrowth on our harvested areas

There is no spare forest standing around waiting to reabsorb our CO2.


Light, selective, cutting does the least damage to the forest

Heavy cutting, 50% or more, kills the belowground biomass because it is no longer needed.

Soil and nutrients wash away into nearby streams, which kills fish habitats.


The decaying belowground biomass would emit CO2 for 80 - 100 years in colder climates.

The new growth on our harvested areas would require about 35 years of CO2 absorption to equal the CO2 released by decay during the first 35 years of the 80 - 100-year period. 

The 35 years is the C-neutrality period. See URL.


Any combustion CO2 of year 1 could not start to be reabsorbed by growth on our harvested areas until after the C-neutrality period, and that reabsorption would take about 80 - 100 years, in colder climates.


After reabsorption is complete, we can say our wood burning has been about 80% to 90% renewable, because there is other CO2, not related to combustion, such as diesel fuel for machinery and transport, and fuels for operating the heating or power plant, etc., plus there is embodied CO2 in infrastructures.


In the real world, a logger would come along, look at these 35 to 40-year-old trees and start cutting; veni, vidi, vici.

That means our original combustion CO2 will never be completely absorbed by growth on our harvested areas!

The trees on our harvested areas would not be there!




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Comment by Sherwin Start on March 4, 2020 at 9:40pm
WE all need to start PLANTING TREES - on a WORLD-WIDE SCALE - Both DECIDUOUS & Coniferous and STOP CUTTING TREES on the same scale!
Comment by Sherwin Start on March 4, 2020 at 8:32pm
Wood burning is of value- it produces NITROGEN and POTASH which ALL VEGATATIVE /ORGANIC Matter needs to grow (BASIC SOIL NUTRIENTS)!
Comment by Sherwin Start on March 4, 2020 at 8:24pm
CLIMATOLOGISTS all over the WORLD have all pretty much agreed that even with the WORLD'S forests at their EXISTING standing- that the WORLD DOES NOT HAVE nearly enough trees to mitigate the affects of the pollution that is in this EARTH'S Atmosphere as it exists today - so why are you worried about the little c02 sequestration of only a few million acres of the North Eastern corner of the UNTED STATES??
Comment by Penny Gray on March 4, 2020 at 12:29pm

Thank you for posting this, Willem Post, this is a subject that deserves a lot more attention.  

Comment by Willem Post on March 3, 2020 at 10:39pm


See Appendix 5

Comment by Sherwin Start on March 3, 2020 at 8:57pm

I have some more BAD News for the residents of this STATE, Country, and this planet - the WORLDS  FRESH WATER SUPPLY is DWINDLING at an  incredible rate (that's the water you drink-by the way) ! One  the reasons why this is happening  is that  the HUMAN RACE  is cutting down the FORESTS for any number of reasons- in short we are  DEFORESTING the Land  and as a result the tree ROOTS That hold the water in the soil along with the tree CANOPY that provides shade  that shields the  ground from the evaporative rays of the sun -are in FACT driving the MOISTURE(h2o) further into the ground and drying up the surface of the land(s). It is absolutely VITAL that  we not CLEAR -CUT our Forests & Lands  such as taking place in INDIA and BRASIL and other locations on this planet.

The ONLY except to this rule would be to control the SPREAD of PESTULANCE or A Forest Fire ..

Clear cutting Forests for any reason other than those is  one of the most destructive ACTS that MANKIND can inflict upon this Planet-IN MY OPINION ...

Sherwin Start  Ph.D.  Env. Sci. 

Comment by Long Islander on March 3, 2020 at 12:00am

The pdf at the following link is now a few years old and perhaps some of the numbers have changed. But conceptually it's still valid: Maine's forest cover is huge compared to its CO2 output and while wind power would make an almost imperceptible change in Maine's CO2 ouput, it would make a sweeping change on its landscapes. Maine is doing more than its fair share in the carbon department without having to scar itself with a useless power source.

Maine's Wind Goals in Proper Perspective

Comment by Bob Stone on March 2, 2020 at 8:04pm

Thanks, Dan.  I thought that's where we are as pertains to carbon.

Comment by Sherwin Start on March 2, 2020 at 7:13pm

I have some news  for all those that want to cut LIVING TREES  -IRREGARDLESS  where they are - BEFORE man appeared on this PLANET  the forests were MANAGING themselves and they (the FORESTS) did just fine for millons of years - in fact they thrived and left us a layer of CARBONACEOUS  LIGUID that we use in our Cars & trucks to this day ! MAn will NEVER-EVER  be free of its dependence on FOSSIL FUELS or any of its Duratives/by-products.. 

FUrther  more I would ike to know just how these so-called "EXPERTS" calculate  the  CARBON ABSORPTION rate  of  ANY Type of Foilage - irrespective  of its nature ??

Sherwin Start  Ph.D.

Comment by Sherwin Start on March 2, 2020 at 7:00pm

TELL  -whats wrong with just letting ALL trees just die of/from old age and crumble to the ground and nurture the soil and start new regenerate new  growth? When a tree  DIES and becomes a "HEALTH HAZARD" to humans & other trees in the  FOREST - THEN & only then cut it down - trying to minimizing  its detrimental damage to other living trees . I realize that "FORESTERS" have to make a living by  "MANAGING" the FORESTS and that "WOOD-LOT Owners" need to HAve  wood for their wood stoves or sell wood for income - but lately  I have seen CLEAR CUTS  of 200 acres or more -Is this contributing to the "CARBON ABSORPTION" ?? I ask you -WHEN there is absolutely nothing left but the BARE GROUND - tell me how that keeps this PLANET cool nd retain the water n the soil & the water table ?

Sherwin Start  Ph.D.


Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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