As one of thousands still without power after the Northeast’s ice storm last Thursday, I’m feeling more thankful than usual for my woodstove (it’s also great that my place of employment dodged the storm, so I can at least escape the darkness at the Orion office). I’ve got three cords of wood stacked up to keep the stove stocked and the house warm, and during bouts of hauling logs and gallons of water, I’ve been thinking about James Hansen’s recent statement about the importance of biomass for the future of the atmosphere. He said in the Independent in September that humanity needs to grow more trees and burn them for power, while capturing the CO2 produced.

I don’t know what that would look like, but I can tell you, the wood piled on the sides of the roads in my town right now could fuel such a power plant for a long while.