Instead of viewing the millions of acres of dead trees in the Northwest as a threat and potential hazard, it’s time our National Forest Service saw it as a resource. Allowing forest fires to continue, dead trees to decompose and placing firefighters’ lives in danger is irresponsible, especially when there is a solution.

Harvesting this resource and converting the dead lumber to usable fuels, energy and synthetic natural gas is the solution. This will not only prevent unnecessary emissions of GHGs from fires and the decomposition process, but will eliminate consumption of fossil fuels for a period of at least two years. Imagine that – two years with zero consumption of coal, crude oil, or even nuclear, plus we already have the benefit that it’s essentially dried out so we’d have no dehydration.

The technology exists to accomplish this conversion. The major products include a “drop in” replacement for gasoline, diesel and even kerosene for jet fuel. Byproducts include char which is used for soil revitalization, and the opportunity to clear land for new forests, a truly sustainable approach thanks to a beetle!

It would be interesting to see if there are visionaries ready to pursue such a proposal.

Alexander Causey, Destin

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