Michael Noll: “from the Sierra Club directly”

This message from Michael Noll was sent to the Valdosta Board of Education, among others. The interjections in square brackets [] where there when I received it.


Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 20:41:26 -0400

Mr. Lofton.

Although your email seems to be addressed to Dr. Bergstrom, the nonsense in it warrants a short reply, before I will go home and enjoy an evening meal:

1) I am not sure how you did in terms of reading comprehension in school, but the fact is Dr. Bergstrom wrote:

"… even those groups that jumped on the biomass bandwagon early–like Sierra Club–are having serious second thoughts."
To further elaborate, let me share some comments I got from the Sierra Club directly in response to an email I sent to inquire about their position on biomass:
"The [Sierra] Club absolutely opposes all combustion of Municipal Waste, sorted or not [referring to the burning of sewage sludge in the proposed biomass incinerator] …. We believe that biomass projects can be sustainable, but that many biomass projects are not. We are not confident that massive new biomass energy resources are available without risking soil and forest health, given the lack of commitment by governments and industry to preservation, restoration, and conservation of natural resources …. Biomass incineration advocates [like yourself Mr. Lofton] have been misrepresenting the [Sierra] Club for a long time on this." (Ned Ford, Sierra Club, Chair of the Energy Technical Advisory Committee, August 18, 2010.
In other words, your project does NOT have the (automatic) support
of any environmental group I know of, whether that be the Sierra Club, NRDC, SACE, or any other. One thing is clear, though, all of these organizations could do a better job communicating their reservations about biomass incineration, since those who like to go cherry picking (like yourself) may need a little help.

2) Concerning your research skills (and this seems to be related to the point I already made), it may do you some good to also spend a couple of hours online or in a library. For that, however, you would have to take off your "Industrial Authority Sunglasses" first, since here, too, cherry picking can be lethal … and quite literally so for our community. Very quickly you will find out just how much nonsense your claim is that your "biomass plant" is safe. Ever heard of the American Cancer Society? American Heart Association? American Lung Association? They will tell you what the kind of pollution your pet project will emit can do to our children, neighbors, and friends … and I hope I don't have to remind me on the hundreds of tons of pollutants you have listed in your own application (NOx,SO2, CO, VOCs, HAPs, PM, PM10, PM2.5, etc.).

My sincere apologies to my VSU colleague for interfering.

Dr. Michael G. Noll.