Burning Trees

Bruce Krasting's picture


If you want to see what poverty looks like, go to Haiti. This country ranks high on the bad list. You can see it from the air. There is no money for fuel to cook with, so they burn charcoal. Whole areas have been denuded over the years. A few pics of the transition from the Dominican Republic to Haiti:





I talked with a friend in Athens today, we spoke about the terrible air quality conditions in China. He said that Athens was suffering a similar problem. Smog, caused by people burning wood to heat homes is the issue in Greece. My friend mused:


China's rapid industrialization has created its problem, in Greece, we have the same problem, for the opposite reason. China has a booming economy and smog. Greece has a collapsing economy and smog.


The WSJ had a story on this topic, the trees are falling in Greece:




Zero Hedge wrote about the Greeks burning their trees. This Blog has an interesting perspective on life in Athens these days. A pic, and the authors caption:




This bit of modern insanity is brought to you by the technocrats in Brussels. They created a system a dozen years ago that was never intended to work in a country like Greece. It was doomed from the start. As painful as it might be for Mario Draghi, and those who still believe in the Euro Uber Alles, the reality is that the only way out for Greece, is a an exit from the Euro.


If Greece did take the bold step of divorcing a bad partner, it would bring additional pain to the citizens. The wood fires would become more necessary, more trees would have to come down. But there would at least be a future, where today there is just soot and and no hope.


A question for readers in Spain: Are trees getting cut for firewood, as is happening in Greece?


Graffiti on Boris Johnson's front step with soot


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Clowns on Acid's picture

Doesn't look like all that money Bill Clinton collected went to Haiti...I wonder where it went ?

Matt's picture

90% of the budget of any big celeb charity is consumed by the charity itself. The remainder is mostly squandered by the local politicians in the area being "aided". Bono's ONE Charity gives 1 percent to actually help people: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314543/Bonos-ONE-foundation-giv...


TrumpXVI's picture

What in the Sam Hill are those trees doing in Greece to begin with?

Why weren't they already cut down for lumber to use as collateral against Greek bail out loans?

Letting the Greeks use this valuable lumber stock as firewood is a Goddamn crime against the banks!

SKY85hawk's picture

Yes, foreign people's problems are important.

All you large profile pundits should report on this.

So, THEY promised us $210 billion spending cuts This Year.  

"2011, when the debt limit was increased by $2.1 trillion in return for $2.1 trillion in spending cuts over ten years."




  What's the plan for 2013?  Or, did the Gummint also   IGNORE the promised cuts in 2012?


THEY also ignored the $100 billion suggested by CBO (Congressional Budget Office), also a yearly number!



I'm sure other readers can add to this list!


Matt's picture

There is no official budget, so the cuts did and did not happen.

q99x2's picture

No the NWO can do better than that. They are freaking preparing to Nuke us.

ConfederateH's picture

I am in Andalucia near Nerja right now.  I have noticed several new small operations selling what looks like old olive tree wood.  This is an area of steep hills and I think olive-oil production has been moved inland to flatter land where the trees can be machine harvested.  But there is also clearly ongoing investments being made in agriculture, all around.  Land on the hills is still being cleared and green houses set up for growing vegetables.   The farmers also seem to have gone crazy planting guava's and avacado's.  probably some EU subsidy at work here.

I will also say that few restaurants or smaller shops seem to have gone under along the costa, and there is a new and very nice Mercadona grocery store not far from where we are that opened before christmas.  The roads are as busy as ever for this time of year.

I think that just as in the US, most Spaniards on the costa del sol are just getting by and the system is very fragile.  But as long as the retired Germans, Belgians, Russians and Brits keep getting their pension checks this area will probably remain stable.

Omen IV's picture

"But as long as the retired Germans, Belgians, Russians and Brits keep getting their pension checks this area will probably remain stable."

excellent example of socialism in one country supporting small entrpreneurial business in another country and creating value

Stuntgirl's picture

Man, I envy you Costa del Sol dwellers.

Fuel-wise the rest of Spain seems pretty stable as well, for the moment.

Spain mostly depends on Natural Gas for heating, as opposed to Diesel.

The poorer households do not have inbuilt gas or diesel heating, they use electric heaters for a few hours a day a few weeks of the year, and they will be hit hard by the ongoing electricity price hikes.

We'll see next year, I keep observing that we seem to be 2 - 3 years behind the greeks but closing the gap.

disabledvet's picture

I envy them too. With all that sunlight they will be net energy producers us have all that beauty to surround and envelope them. I do agree those are very valuable trees they are burning. Tree beard is not happy. Don't mess with tree beard. Seems like a case not of eurocracy gone bad but of Greek leaders not setting their national priorities and telling their people to behave. I've been in Haiti and that place really is "the tragedy of the commons." Once the trees are gone the rainfall is a big problem. It's funny but imagine if after that horrific earthquake the USA has started "the greatest rebuilding effort ever" (like we care kind of thing) instead of "doubling down on war" (cuz we really don't.) Sorry but these policies "sans election" have completely lost me. I'm no political expert but when it comes to "a chicken in every pot" this stuff seems really out there.

Matt's picture

A great deal of aid was sent to Haiti. It was, of course, squandered by local politicians. I think the only way to provide aid is to go build the thing yourself, rather than providing money to the locals or hiring local workers to do the project.

shovelhead's picture

I hope the Haitians eat Sean Penn.

css1971's picture

See what they could be doing rather than burning trees is pyrolysing the wood into charcoal, which produces the heat they're looking for. Then burying the wood charcoal in their fields and gardens, simultaneously improving their soil and selling carbon credits to developed countries for acting as a carbon sink.


Moe Howard's picture

Instead they are eating worms and weeds and burning twigs because they did not think of that. Please write it in French and drop it on Hati. Maybe someone who can read will find it. Before someone who can't read burns it.

Ruger556's picture

I've avoided the Dominican Repuiblic because I am always afraid someone, the pilot or bus driver might make a mistake and we would end up in Haiti..

the grateful unemployed's picture

from a marketing standpoint the country is a disaster. they should change they name to Loavie, or Loveati, or some such variation. get Hal David and Burt Bacharach to write a new national anthem

Cleve Meater's picture

No, they should market themselves as a giganic Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome themepark... Or better yet, "Come to Haiti and experience Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road" firsthand"... They're doing it all wrong. Apocalyptic tourism is where it's at.

the grateful unemployed's picture

read Mike Davis' Planet of Slums, and it occurs to me that Haiti is a giant slum without a major city built inside of it. maybe they need some urban renewal, a few skyscrapers, some rich investment banks. no one notices poverty unless you have obscene wealth standing next to it.

otto skorzeny's picture

where's Trav to point out the "color" difference in who inhabits haiti vs dom repub

Itch's picture

Last time i seen him he was tying something to the back of his truck...

Moe Howard's picture

Language difference is bigger - French vs. Spanish. 


Color? Both pretty dark.

Seer's picture

"Language difference is bigger - French vs. Spanish."

French controlled Haiti, Spanish the Dominican Republic.  Apparently that wood-burning prowess of the French didn't work out in Haiti...

The color remark was likely pure sarcasm (since Trav is here it's always worth rattling his cage over this).

Ruger556's picture

I love the smell of burning wood.. bring it on

booboo's picture

Wait till they disarm Ameicans, the airborne carbon levels will hit the roof and the Progs will cheer cause the means justify the ends. Armor up ladies.

etresoi's picture

Well Bruce, I know exactly where you live and am glad I do not breathe that air.  It always seems to me that one needs to chew that air, before allowing it into the body.

And, where I live, above the Rhone valley of France, we burn seven cords of hardwood every winter, as the sole source of heat.  As does 90% of every household for miles around.  There are a few too lazy to burn wood and they use electricity but they are the same lazy fools, who have frozen meals delivered rather than grow their own. 

Our air is clean; yours and Bejing's filthy for the same reason - automobiles and coal burning to produce electricity.  Haiti burns wood to cook, when they can find food.  But Greece, Haiti, USA have the same root cause of bad air, which is corrupt governments.

Why do you spend so much time prattling on so much about social security, when you know that your corrupt government is going to destroy it any way they can?  The USA does not need any more chroniclers of doom and distress.  It needs people to get off their ass, away from a keyboard and actively fighting for their rights.

DCFusor's picture

Same here etresoi, in SW VA, we all use wood for heat.  I have a large enough woodlot to not even have to cut healthy trees.  Just the usual dead fall and thinning required to keep it healthy is more than enough - some we turn into lumber and keep that carbon out of the air.

The real deal is when you pack too many human rats into too few acres, but those who willingly do that, and even look down on we rural types are just rationalizing their own bad decisions, and trying to force us to be less free and live like they are forced to by their own choice.

To which the proper answer is - fuck off, get off my lawn, and don't be so fucking ignorant to be a rat in a too-crowded cage.


etresoi's picture

Nah, I'd look too much like an amerikan president.

SokPOTUS's picture

France saved the creation of a large amount of unecessary pollution by surrendering to Germany up front, too.  Maybe you guys should sell WWII Carbon Credits...

etresoi's picture

Agreed.  France always has had chickenshit politicians, which is why the people often toss them out or worse. 

I am not French.  I choose to live here because it is as close to anarchy, as I can find.


OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Anarchy and great bakeries? You should try Vanuatu. We can do whatever the f*ck we please. 0 tax, 0 regulations, high-speed broadband, French ex-pat lovelies..


etresoi's picture

I have tried island living for some years.  Paradise can get boring.  When I found myself flying to London just to see a movie, I knew I had to leave.

Itch's picture

France? Close to anarchy? Have you any idea how ridiculous that sounds? A bunch of petulant greedy farmers milking the EU coffers for subsidies, does not a revolution make.  Some of these comments baffle the shit out of me. I think what you meant to say was “as close to the illusion of anarchy as you can find”, because when the heat really comes on, the Parisians just get back in the box when they are told. They have big swinging dick syndrome, and it sounds like you caught a dose.

etresoi's picture

Revolution and anarchy are quite dissimilar my friend,  A second revolution is what USA needs and has in its future. 

Anarchy means without hierarchy.  And what I mean when I apply it to the French people, is that the French government sets all sorts of laws and decrees ad infinitum but the French people simply ignore them.  Believe it or not, there is life outside the cities.  Paris is a shit hole and I avoid it.

Seer's picture

" I choose to live here because it is as close to anarchy, as I can find."

Nearly all rural areas are pretty much anarchistic by default.  Takes too much energy by the pols to muck around much.

Bruce Krasting's picture

You thinking you know where I live? And I have bad air? Doubt it.


You up in the Rhone, burning trees, seven cords of wood just for you. All your neighbors the same you say? I suspect you got some soot too.


As for SS, well we all have to rant once in a while. I admit, its my hot button. And as for me sitting on my ass not fighting? I do my fighting with keys.


I'll leave it to you folks in the Rhone to get out the swords. How long should I wait? 20 years before you get off your ass?

etresoi's picture

Bruce I learned to fish for bass in the resevoir nearest your home.

And I am not a keyboard commando.  In the hman rights arena, I have quite a CV, having been jailed for activism in six countries.  I also have the honor of being called a terrorist by John Bolton, at the UN General Assembly.

Bruce Krasting's picture

Bolton said you were a terrorist? Well, then, you're probably "okay" after all.


There are no bass in that reservoir. At least not the good ones. That water is too big and too deep for large-mouth. There are some lake trout, but they are a pain in the ass to catch.


Now, on my property, I've got a five acre pond that is perfect for large mouth. Young, 18 inchers that fight like hell, and old lunckers, pushing five pounds. On a July evening I can go out for an hour and catch 20 fish (I'm catch and release).


Oh, by the way, there are large chunks of America where you can't burn cordwood any more. Per BTU, it produces much more soot than coal.


DCFusor's picture

Where'd you get that one Bruce?  You're just dead wrong.  I've burned both, and in an efficient stove, and coal is by far nastier on all counts - more ash, more stink.  I never see soot coming out of my chimney, but I do see smoke - much more with coal than with quality wood.  And most of that smoke is in reality, water vapor, recondensing when it hits cold air.

I have coal because it was cheap, and unlike firewood, it keeps forever.  Think "thermal security".  But I HATE burning the stuff for the above reasons, and a few more - my geiger counter can see that it's a bit radioactive, it has mercury in it (forget soot - breath merc vapor!), leaves toxic ash I can't use on my garden (kills plants, but wood ash helps them) and on and on and on.  You're just uninformed on this topic.

etresoi's picture

Uninformed like most city cave dwellers.  I burn aged oak, birch and beech.  They are harder than stone and a cord burns down to a small bucket of ash, which I use to fertilize my strwberry garden - 100 kilos of berries each year.

etresoi's picture

Uninformed like most city cave dwellers.  I burn aged oak, birch and beech.  They are harder than stone and a cord burns down to a small bucket of ash, which I use to fertilize my strwberry garden - 100 kilos of berries each year.

Stuntgirl's picture

"Bruce, I am a terrorist and I know where you live."




etresoi's picture

To me, being called a terrorist by Bolton is a badge of honor.  Bruce living near the area where I was a kid is his hard luck.  If he was not so underwater on his mortgage, I'm sure he'd leave.

Stuntgirl's picture

etresoi, I could not care less about what you think of what other people think of you.

That said, now WE know where you live.

I'm personally adding to that that I will NOT let you know who called me what where, and I will definitely NOT tell you where I've been arrested or not for what activity. I hope you can sleep tonight on that thought.



I have a soft spot for Bruce.

etresoi's picture

I do not know if I understand your statements but I have a soft spot for Btuce, also.  I do, however, think he drifts off into nonesense sometimes.  Perhaps to fill a page, I often wonder why he does it.

When Bruce wrote about forex, I was always very interested because he obviously knows much more than me.  I made a lot of forex profit from noticing that Bruce was always wrong and betting against him.

Moe Howard's picture

Thank God France is above it all and can burn wood without pollution, and has no automobiles or factories.


What a mindless twit you are. Typical French thinking.


By the way, your smog is blown away by prevailing winds, to be someone else's problem. What a moron you are.

etresoi's picture

Enjoy your bad air.  I am happy for you.

Poster_Boy's picture

How do regular French and the French gov't feel about Americans who want to leave this mess and can't and thus need asylum. Americans who are not felons.

etresoi's picture

The French people are very xenophobic, in general.  I would not choose France as my first refuge from the Americam mess.  The French government and all EU governments essentially have the same procedures, which take time.  As a US citizen, you can come to EU land and stay for three to six months without a visa.  If you intend to stay, rent a place to live and go visit the local mayor's office, where you register and file for a temporary residency visa.  After a certain amount of time, you can then file for a permanent residency permit, whuch also give you a work permit, if needed. After a period of years, you can apply for citizenship.

I am fuzzy on the lengths of time because I took a different path but what is stated above is generally valid. 

One very new shortcut to the process is buying in.  Spain, Portugal and Ireland will grant you a permanent residency, if you buy a home for €160,000, €400,000 or €500,000, respectively.  I am working on this method for my son, who escaped USA and now lives in Cambodia.  He loves Cambodia but I will feel more secure if he also has permanent EU status.

The difficulty is not finding a sympathetic host country but shedding the burden of being born in the USA.  The USA and Eritrea are the only two countries that claim to have the right to tax you wherever you live.  As more and more people escape and renounce citizenship, the USA makes it more and more difficult but it is still possible.  Again, it takes time measured in years but for me, it is the best thing I ever did for myself.

Asylum is the path I took but as a US citizen you must have a very strongly documented legal case and high political connections to support your claim.

One other method, which many people use is to marry a local.