A couple of weeks back, the Wall Street Journal published an article about the increasing devastation of forests (trees) in Greece, where as a result of the high cost of energy, impoverished folks who cannot afford electricity or fuel have turned to wood stoves to heat their homes and cook their food.
Although we Canadian’s tend to see Greece as having a much warmer weather, winters in the north and higher elevations are more like those temperatures experienced on the coast of southern British Columbia.
The article went on to highlight the plight of a young man caught chopping down a tree on public land in the mountains near Athens. When confronted he “broke down in tears” pleading that “he was unemployed and needed the wood to warm the home he shares with his wife and four small children”.
This is not an isolated incident, in Greece, Germany, France, Spain, Britain, etc. the rate of forest wood poaching for heat and cooking has increased dramatically over the last several years in concert with energy prices.
Fuel poverty in these countries which have embraced the fallacious economics and efficacy of subsidized wind and solar energy, has become endemic. Last September, Reuters reported that in the already troubled economy of Greece, the electricity system was near collapse when the market operator LAGHE was overextended by the subsidies it pays to wind and solar power producers. Read article