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Now you can pay to bury charcoal in a quarry to allay your ‘green guilt’ – but first it has to be imported from Namibia

August 30, 2019

By Paul Homewood


You could not make it up!


A carbon offset company has come up with a bizarre way to allay ‘green guilt’ – it charges people to bury bags of charcoal at the bottom of a quarry.

Those wanting to offset carbon emissions, such as from a plane trip or car journey, can pay for the equivalent amount of charcoal to be stored safely underground.

The company, Solid Carbon Storage, claims to be taking carbon dioxide (CO2) ‘out of the carbon cycle’ by converting dead trees and plants into charcoal.

But most of the charcoal it uses is imported from Namibia in southern Africa. And an expert who supports using charcoal to combat climate change said burying it in a quarry is ‘a bit of a waste’.

  1. simon smith permalink
    August 30, 2019 11:28 am

    This sounds awfully like an April Fool story to me

    • Gamecock permalink
      August 30, 2019 7:43 pm

      Sounds like 21st century Pet Rock.

  2. Adrian, East Anglia permalink
    August 30, 2019 11:45 am

    This is taking the piss bigtime…..but I’m sure there will be many ‘true believers’ out there ready and willing to swallow this garbage!!!!

  3. August 30, 2019 11:53 am

    Are you serious??????

  4. Ivan permalink
    August 30, 2019 12:00 pm

    In principle burying charcoal can be carbon sequestration. Better mixed into soil than buried in a quarry, though. See

    What I find especially fishy about this scheme is that there are large amounts of dry old (1000 yrs) deadwood present in Namibia’s deserts, in places that previously supported forest. Because it is very dry, they aren’t rotting. So they are already sequestered carbon. Charring them and reburying them is not additional sequestration.

    Further, one is right to be suspicious of any scheme that relies on “waste” wood. The argument that burning waste wood is low carbon is that it would otherwise be disposed of in a way that resulted in it rotting and releasing its carbon back into the carbon cycle, so there is no additional carbon release by taking the energy from it. But the increasing quantities of waste wood now being burnt for energy raise the question of whether there really ever was all that waste.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      August 30, 2019 12:17 pm

      Don’t worry Ivan,
      If this scheme takes off then they will be short of dead trees, so will start cutting down live ones. As per “Green” ventures supplying old growth forests to (virtue signaling**) Drax power station, and the EU’s part in destroying 30% of the tropical forest on Borneo to get palm oil for diesel fuel.

      **Drax collects subsidies for “reducing CO2 emissions” despite a 32-34% INCREASE in CO2 emissions.

      • Derek Reynolds permalink
        August 31, 2019 8:45 am

        And the 70,000 tons of wood a day that are needed at DRAX is imported from across the Atlantic.
        Professor Ian Plimer at 15mins 38secs:

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 30, 2019 12:04 pm

    If it would stop char-grill establishments, BBQs by idiot neighbours – idiot beach-goers – idiot countryside users, from making the air not breathable on the hottest most breathless days of the year, then I’m all for it. Bury the entire world’s production of charcoal I say.

    I see there was yet another ‘recycling center’ fire, near Brighton this time, suggested it was caused by a disposable BBQ in the rubbish!

  6. john in cheshire permalink
    August 30, 2019 12:11 pm

    Is this scheme taking away wood from the people of Namibia, who perhaps rely on it to cook and heat their dwellings; I don’t know, just wondering? Have they been asked if they want their wood exported? Are they being paid for it? What benefit does this have for Namibia?

    Or is it just a get rich quick scheme for some scammers with overactive imaginations?

  7. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 30, 2019 12:13 pm

    On a more serious note, traditional charcoal production is in itself extremely polluting, exploitative, and health damaging. And taking it out of Africa will surely make an important fuel source there more expensive and increase poverty?

    Charcoal production is not green or safe, several e.g. studies:

    Click to access 070f4bdec990c5fbe0eabf4942f719606be5.pdf

  8. bobn permalink
    August 30, 2019 12:18 pm

    Sounds a total scam. To make charcoal from wood you burn it and remove H2O to atmosphere (plus other compounds and no-doubt CO2). So they use energy to dry wood to charcoal and release H2O the potent ‘greenhouse gas’. It would be ‘cleaner’ just to bury the wood straight away, and the greener and wetter the better.
    Total nonsense and a waste of energy and resource. Save the planet by wasting the planet – thats about par for the greenblob.

    • Gamecock permalink
      August 30, 2019 10:35 pm

      “We had to destroy the planet in order to save it.”

  9. mikewaite permalink
    August 30, 2019 1:27 pm

    So dead wood in Namibia is being heated (with what , oil or gas) to produce charcoal in low oxygen atmosphere (producing carbon monoxide amongst other nasties eg , the dioxins not being oxidised . Then transported, a low density material so a lot of trucks for a small tonnage of load, to the coast, put on a freighter and shipped from southern Africa to northern Europe . Off loaded onto trucks, diesel powered, and sent to a quarry. And all that is supposed to reduce the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    I suspect that someone has found themselves with an empty quarry. Wondered what to do with it . A sailing lake costs money to develop , but this scheme simply requires as a start up, some certificates printed in exchange for money from the gullible (no shortage of these thanks to the never ending propaganda from the BBC). Clever idea though – have to admit that.

  10. Ivan permalink
    August 30, 2019 1:40 pm

    Apparently Namibia is already a large exporter of charcoal and it is already largely being exported to Europe. So these people are perhaps proposing to use Namibian charcoal because it is already here available in Europe.
    Namibian bulk charcoal appears to come from living forests, not fossil deadwood. So this charcoal is perhaps made from “dead wood” in the sense that the tree was cut down and that deaded it.

  11. sassycoupleok permalink
    August 30, 2019 1:42 pm

    This has to be a big time joke. The process of making charcoal in itself is creating more toxins than it saves !! WOW !!

  12. August 30, 2019 1:55 pm

    If only there was a way that guilt-ridden metro-liberals could collect £3.5bn/year of the public’s money to make an advert for the project
    BBC Look North calls Solid Carbon Storage’s scheme UN-COALMINING
    not “Coals to Barnsley”
    “Pay £58 and that offsets a return flight to Europe”
    “1,000 tonnes before the pit is sealed”
    “Expert Stephen Hall of UoLeeds says the sciences makes sense”
    “We’ve done 12 tonnes so far”
    Beeboid presenter “That is an ingenious idea isn’t it ?”
    The corp has left comments open

  13. DevonCamel permalink
    August 30, 2019 2:05 pm

    I wish I’d thought of it first – selling carbon to the guilt conscious green blob. This is right up there with selling oil to the Arabs and ice to the Inuit people.

  14. August 30, 2019 2:06 pm

    The BBC Radio Sheffield clip
    The Underneath The Stars Festival

  15. Bertie permalink
    August 30, 2019 2:13 pm

    I can’t remember when I last laughed throughout an entire article.Thank you, Paul.

  16. johnbillscott permalink
    August 30, 2019 2:41 pm

    As they say “there “is one born every minute” so this bunch of shyster con artists will make a fortune selling the same bag of charcoal many times over, same as California sells the same tree many time under their carbon credits scam.

  17. max stavros permalink
    August 30, 2019 3:23 pm

    Makes papal indulgences look quite credible

    • Phil permalink
      August 30, 2019 6:17 pm

      Certainly carbon neutral! Talking of popes, aren’t they buried beneath St. Peter’s in lead-lined coffins? Papal sequestration!

  18. August 30, 2019 4:35 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:

    In a report released [May 2018], 6% of globally listed equity was derived from renewable and alternative energy, energy efficiency, water, waste and pollution services. This ‘green economy’ was now worth approximately $4 trillion, roughly the same as the fossil fuel sector.

    the Greta phenomenon has also involved green lobbyists, PR hustlers, eco-academics and a think tank founded by a wealthy former minister in Sweden’s Social Democratic government with links to the country’s energy companies. These companies are preparing for the biggest bonanza of government contracts in history: the greening of the western economies. Greta, whether she and her parents know it or not, is the face of their political strategy.

    The family’s story is that Greta launched a one-girl “school strike” at the Swedish parliament on the morning of August 20 last year. Ingmar Rentzhog, the founder of a social media platform, We Don’t Have Time, happened to be passing. Inspired, Rentzhog posted Greta’s photograph on his own Facebook page. By late afternoon, the newspaper Dagens Nyheter had Greta’s story and face on its website. The rest is viral.

    But this isn’t the full story. In emails, Rentzhog told me that he “met Greta for the first time” at the parliament and “did not know Greta or Greta’s parents” before then. Yet in the same emails, the media entrepreneur admitted to having met Greta’s mother “3-4 months before everything started” — in early May last year, when he and Malena shared a stage at a Stockholm conference called the Climate Parliament.

    Nor did Rentzhog stumble on Greta’s protest by accident. He now admits to having been informed “the week before [via] a mailing list from a climate activist” named Bo Thoren.

    Rebecca Weidmo Uvell, an independent journalist, has obtained an earlier email that reveals Thoren, the leader of a group called Fossil Free Dalsland, was searching for fresh green faces.

    In February last year, he invited a group of environmental activists, academics and politicians to plan “how we can involve and get help from young people to increase the pace of the transition to a sustainable society”.

    Business fraud consists of dishonest and illegal activities perpetrated by individuals or companies in order to provide an advantageous financial outcome to those persons or establishments. Also known as corporate fraud, these schemes often appear under the guise of legitimate business practices. An array of crimes fall under business fraud

    The green /carbon schemes we see are possibly the greatest fraud ever perpetuated upon mankind. Who has benefited from the bonanza and more importantly where has all the money gone? A Ponzi Scheme can only sustain itself as long as there are new suckers investors, which is why we have Saint Greta wheeled out to save the planet by a smash and grab on our cash and liberty before the jig is up.

  19. Rob permalink
    August 30, 2019 4:35 pm

    This is genius – importing charcoal and selling it at a hugely inflated price to rich mugs from London, with a couple of extra services thrown in (burying it, service at the graveside, etc).

  20. dunc permalink
    August 30, 2019 7:12 pm

    As a regular annoyer of the DM moderators Im wondering why this article didnt appear for me to view.
    Can the DM website censor articles for the awkward squad who fact check them?

  21. It doesn't add up... permalink
    August 30, 2019 7:18 pm

    Next, someone will “discover” it, and bag it up for next summer’s barbecues. We are going to have a barbecue summer, aren’t we?

  22. Stonyground permalink
    August 30, 2019 7:48 pm

    I have just read a thread on a site called Bored Panda where medical professionals have related stories of almost unbelievable levels of ignorance and stupidity among their patients. In the past I was fascinated by a site that compiled the most idiotic posts from social media. The levels of utter stupidity were almost beyond belief. If you want to get rich, it seems that you either have to come up with a really useful product that everyone will want, or alternatively something utterly useless that you can sell to idiots. I need some advice on how to set up my cycling to work carbon offset scheme.

  23. August 30, 2019 11:07 pm

    This is an obscenity on the level with 16-year-olds using high tech sial-powered raceboats that could not even exist without fossil fuels in order to cross the Atlantic in order to show how climate-friendly she is. Importing char-coal from Africa in order to place it in a mine? This reminds me of a religious cult and their ceremonies. You may sin but you must repent and you must pay a price in order to buy your conscience clean. Like Elton John did for Prince Harry and Maeghan. The sun-king himself would blush at the sight this obscenity.

  24. Joe Public permalink
    August 30, 2019 11:10 pm

    Credit where it’s due.

    There are so many gullible enviros & greens out there wishing to purchase Indulgences to salve their conscience, let them. It’s their cash lining the pockets of entrepreneurs.

    • tomo permalink
      August 31, 2019 3:32 am

      The evidence in West Wiltshire and North Somerset the gullibility extends to local public sector and councillors who are setting up ways to spend my taxes on woke virtue signalling and eco-prattery of the first rank….

      What irks is that few are challenging them … or even ridiculing their stupid antics.

  25. Athelstan. permalink
    August 31, 2019 12:18 am

    It wants to be publicized, this eejit practice, guilt trippers need to be guilt tripped out of it – green indulgences………. In his most ‘recent’ series albeit now somewhat a few years ago (he’s far too non PC these days), Harry Enfield’s sketch wherein, the salesman in the grot shop sells all sorts of pathetic trash for think of a number – outrageous prices to interminably gullible trustafarian champagne socialistas, titled, ‘I saw you coming’ – indeed springs to mind.

  26. August 31, 2019 8:50 am

    The UK used to be covered in trees. A lot of trees were cut down to make charcoal and burnt to turn smelly coal into coke as well as in wood burning stoves. Wide spread use of gas , oil and electric for heating did not start until the 1950’s. The air pollution from the burning of coal , coke , charcoal and wood when concentrated in high density city’s killed millions.
    This prompted the clean air act in 1956 but it was a slow process of change. A second clean air act as recent as 1968. Nearly every house used to have a chimney and a fireplace.
    My sister still has a coal fire.
    Many countries are still going through the process that UK has gone through over the past five decades. The billions being misdirect on climate change should be directed in helping countries along this journey. This will save lives by concentrating on low level climate.

  27. It doesn't add up... permalink
    August 31, 2019 9:48 am

    I found there is just a 2.7% import tariff on charcoal. It also seems to escape carbon taxation unless consumed by a power station

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