Here’s a wild and formidable claim with no references by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho “Turning bioenergy crops into buried charcoal to sequester carbon does not work, and could plunge the earth into an oxygen crisis towards mass extinction”. Beware the Biochar Initiative. Apparently you can pay some money to see the references..
Beware what you read… This is another reason why I’m writing my own book about Biochar and Terra Preta, which explores topics beyond and entwined with charcoal/carbon and get’s into health, vitality, nutrient dense food, our wellbeing, healing local ecologies and communities through charcoal and other key ingredients and methods associated.
If you want a free copy of the book which will be ready shortly, subscribe, email or comment. I just ask for a review on Amazon in exchange if you feel so inclined. Stay tuned
I found the article in question when I typed in ‘Biochar’ in video search and it came in at no. 2 in google search, and no. 6 in the web search. The article reads like Dr Mae-Wan Ho is being paid to justify why Biocar, or charcoal is useless, and detrimental to make and use to the environment and useless to plants.. It’s quite a read, and TBH it made me giggle as the claims were totally contradictory to what I’ve researched and experimented with, and many others, well he is a Dr (apparently), not a gardener. So I read all the comments and low and behold most of the readers had the same feeling. The comments provided far more quality information and links and I learn’t more there than the article itself.
You can see the article was written in 2010, and possibly at that time Biochar was still in it’s infancy, but it’s not now, and I don’t believe it was then either. I just think the article in question was crude and misleading disinformation, why I don’t know, possibly it was just a hack job to get views. But from what I and others have found, Biochar has enormous potentials, and we have seen enormous benefits from this natural product.
Some things to consider beyond the article’s explanation and why it’s flawed:
Use biomass that does not entail cutting down rainforests (east one ha!). Best to recycle ingredients, if you live in a fire prone area clean up your yard and nearby area then char it!
Inoculate your biochar before using (another easy one)
Use a biochar making technique to produce other products, either heat for house or cooking or energy, produce wood vinegar, or use for your dance party
Always ensure your biomass is very dry to ensure a smokeless fire
Below are some of my favorite comments from the post Beware the Biochar Initiative. There’s some interesting info in many of the other comments also, but yes it seems many people recognized this article as somewhat disinformation and this is not helpful when many of us know Biochar is really a key ingredient to re-building our soils, denuded of topsoil, humus and carbon..
And here’s another slurry of disinformation from the same Forum ~ http://permaculturenews.org APC11 Presentation: Albert Bates on Biochar (Video) Despite this comment “I’m personally unsure about biochar. This is not because I have anything significant to say against it (at the small, localised scale, at least), but rather just because I find it hard to promote a technique I’ve never, myself, seen developed and applied in real-world circumstances. Albert Bates” Mr Bates however provides some invaluable disinformation.
Be discerning, below are some comments I enjoyed and were useful. It’s seems the people actually making and using Biochar correctly have great evidence of it’s value, yet those who postulate and research cannot wrap their minds around the benefits. Now why’s that I wander?