Flipping a switch and letting the oil burner make my heat is not what I like for many reasons.
One of which is, that stored carbon burned as oil, that was made eons ago is released and the balance of stored carbon versus released, is broken. When we burn fuel oil and gas along with a list of other things that release carbon we are releasing more carbon than we store, and that is where the problem is.
Secondly, when we have acres and acres of unmanaged woodlands around us and we heat with oil produced in some foreign nation, well that really doesn’t make much sense to me. We transport oil from a country 1,000 miles away to heat our homes when all we have to do is look out the window and see thousands of acres of potential fuel if managed properly. Not only would we get fuel, we can create wildlife habitat, have managed sugar bushes, and other fruit and nut tree crops.
I support the oil companies enough when I fill my car and truck with gas. I really don’t want to spend all my money on foreign fuel when I can spend it on Adirondack, organic, locally grown heat. With the proper woodstove and chimney setup, you can enjoy wood heat in your house and know that you are supporting locally grown fuels and businesses.
Whether you get cord wood delivered or have a wood pellet stove, you are spending your hard earned money locally. That is important in keeping an Adirondack community alive. Far too many small businesses have left or gone out of business because of the lack of community support. Many Adirondack communities are based on agriculture and forestland ownership. Keeping them profitable helps keep communities thriving. We have far too many empty store fronts and vacant buildings in our area. It’s easy to blame Walmart or some other box store, but it all boils down to the consumer. You make the final decision where to buy. I am not opposed to “wally world” or McDonald’s, or any other business trying to make a living. I shop at some of these places but I also try to buy from farmers markets, local fire wood suppliers and local lumber yards.
Rich Redman is a retired District Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and an avid outdoorsman. His column will appear regularly. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.