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Energy Crisis: Europeans Turn to Firewood as Bitter Winter Approaches

Energy Crisis: Europeans Turn to Firewood as Bitter Winter Approaches

“People in Poland are burning garbage to keep warm as the energy crisis in Europe intensifies.”

With energy prices spiraling out of control, Europeans resort to firewood to keep themselves warm as winter approaches.

“In anticipation of surging energy bills, greater numbers of Europeans are turning to wood to heat themselves up this winter,” the French TV channel Euronews reported last week.

Germany sees a rise in timber theft as gas and electricity become increasingly unaffordable for ordinary Germans. “More wood is being stolen from German forests. The reason is the high energy prices and the shortage of firewood. The Forestry departments are responding with more controls, and forest owners are reporting of increasingly brazen thefts,” the German public broadcaster Der Tagesschau reported Monday.

And 33 years after the fall of Communism in Poland, the residents of Warsaw are burning household waste to stay warm. “People in Poland are burning garbage to keep warm as the energy crisis in Europe intensifies,” Business Insider reported earlier this month.

Euronews reported the worsening energy situation across Europe:

In anticipation of surging energy bills, greater numbers of Europeans are turning to wood to heat themselves up this winter.

[T]he story is the same across the continent: firewood prices are spiking, warehouses have filled their waiting lists until next year, and concerns have been raised that all this will lead to major environmental problems.

Government agencies have expressed concerns about illegal logging, as people are expected to venture into the forests to cut down their own fuel, although some politicians have been more lax than others.

Jarosław Kaczyński, Poland’s ruling party chief, said in early September that people should “burn almost everything, of course aside from tires and similarly harmful things.”

The Hungarian government has banned the export of pellets while at the same time pulling environmental regulations that prevented logging in protected forests.

Prices for wood pellets, a compressed form of woody biomass that typically burns better than ordinary firewood, have nearly doubled to €600 a ton in France, according to a Bloomberg report.

In Bulgaria, which relies heavily on wood burning for most households, prices have also doubled to nearly €100 per cubic meter. Local media reports from Poland last month asserted that prices of firewood have already doubled this year.

The Telegraph reported in August that firewood sales in the UK have increased fivefold this year.

In July, the EU also banned the import of Russian wood and pellets, and campaigners are warning that spiking prices will be felt the most by the poorest, especially those in Central and Eastern Europe where low-income households tend to be more reliant on firewood than gas.

Amid the rush for wood, crime has reportedly flourished.

After last month’s mysterious undersea explosions destroyed most of the Russian Baltic Sea pipeline network, Europe is losing Russia as its biggest energy supplier.

With Russian energy imports drying out, Europeans pray for a mild winter. “Temperatures this winter will be crucial for homeowners worried about the record cost of heating their homes, and for European policymakers seeking to avoid energy rationing due to cuts in Russian gas supplies,” the TV channel France24 noted last week.

The dwindling oil and gas supply is slowing down the Continent’s economy and crippling industrial production. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is going into recession. “The German government and leading economists say that Germany is heading toward a recession,” the German public broadcaster DW News reported Monday.

German politicians, who once mocked President Donald Trump for warning them against energy dependence on Russia, are blaming Moscow for their foolish policies. German Energy Minister and Green Party leader “Robert Habeck blamed the gloomy forecast on Vladimir Putin’s attempts to use energy as a tool to destabilize Europe,” DW News added.


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UnCivilServant | October 20, 2022 at 1:05 pm

It amazes me at how much the average Euro puts up with without changing what needs changing to fix it. I’m guessing it’s population wide stockholm syndrome.

Maybe there is a group of people Goldstein can lead into furnaces for warmth.

With Russian energy imports drying out, Europeans pray for a mild winter.

Bet now they’re wishing they hadn’t worked so hard to stop Global Warming™️.

    MattMusson in reply to rinardman. | October 20, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    The EU was dependent upon Russian Energy and American Security guarantees. Without both, they fall apart.

      Ironclaw in reply to MattMusson. | October 20, 2022 at 2:11 pm

      Yet they’ve known since the 1960’s that Russia couldn’t be trusted and since the early 2010’s that American security guarantees were not going to last forever. They’ve actually had plenty of warning to take steps to prepare and they did not.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to MattMusson. | October 20, 2022 at 3:06 pm

      Yes, but, think of those six-week vacations and 32 hour work weeks!

        Whoopee Peabody in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | October 20, 2022 at 7:18 pm

        They use all their spare time cutting firewood.

          JohnSmith100 in reply to Whoopee Peabody. | October 21, 2022 at 11:28 am

          I wish, but the truth is they are too lazy to cut firewood, they will suck off the government teat while we are cutting firewood to make ends meet.

          By the way, the EPA is trying to restrict use of firewood. They are interfering in how wood stoves are made. This needs to be stopped.

“…forest owners are reporting of increasingly brazen thefts.”

Like when that Marxist wh*re Merkel store the German’s future away from them?

As our own Marxist Muppet once said, “Elections have consequences.”

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Paul. | October 21, 2022 at 11:33 am

    “Elections have consequences.”

    It is taking to long to bring consequences to the doorsteps of of those who have screwed up our society.

Around about March 1, all conservatives need to run on fracking, drilling and nuclear energy. Depend on a dictator for life sustaining resources, pay for it dearly.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Whitewall. | October 21, 2022 at 11:38 am

    Agreed, and the latest generation of reactors are much better, safer than what is currently in use. Solar is ok for homes and small business, heavy industry needs much more energy, nuclear is hands down the best for that.

      Problem is, what with all of the government interference, it’d take 20 years to actually build a new reactor, and by then they’d probably be banned.

The Germans should render idiotic crone, Merkel, down to fat. Get a few hours of lamplight out of her. She would serve her country and Europe more effectively in that capacity than in her 16 years a dim-witted Chancellor, spent enacting manifestly self-destructive, foolish and Putin-enabling “green” energy fantasies.

    guyjones in reply to guyjones. | October 21, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    Three Merkel-lovers lacking an appreciation for dark humor felt the need to down-vote my post. I’m sure these folks are a ton of fun at the few parties they’re invited to.

Whoopee Peabody | October 20, 2022 at 1:38 pm website says, “EU’s energy policy aims to ensure a secure, competitive and affordable supply of energy, while meeting our climate targets.”

Too bad Britain left. Now they won’t receive any wood from Germany this winter.

So, if the people start using firewood for fuel, doesn’t that go against their green agenda? From a recent news report…

“Wildfire emissions in 2020 essentially negate 18 years of reductions in greenhouse gas emission,” Michael Jarret, an environmental health researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

    Ironclaw in reply to Liz. | October 20, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    The EU actually counts firewood as a green energy as retarded as that is.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to Ironclaw. | October 20, 2022 at 2:44 pm

      What’s the problem?

      What’s bad about self-regenerating bio-collectors, foundations of ecosystems and land preservation, generating energy at point of use, plus local fertilizer, with zero transport impact?

      Commercial, plastic-wrapped “fire wood” bundles, picked up at big box stores create all kinds of impacts. Impacts from distribution to people who don’t have trees, stacked in large collections on top of each other.

      One of these things is not like the other…

        Ironclaw in reply to BierceAmbrose. | October 20, 2022 at 3:35 pm

        It greatly depends on where you live, doesn’t it? I have family that lives in the city where firewood is not a viable resource to heat their home as they don’t even have a fireplace. I also have family who live surrounded by forest and firewood is a primary source of heat in the winter. For those who live in the forest, it is free heat, and generally they don’t need to chop down a single tree to get it, as they can simply cut up the trees that have fallen and break that down to properly sized firewood.

        However, when you are pushing the fake climate change scam as most of the EU government does, then declaring wood burning to be green energy when it falls just short of coal as far as pollutants to is simply retarded.

          BierceAmbrose in reply to Ironclaw. | October 21, 2022 at 9:57 pm


          Homesteads can be productive infrastructure — capital. File-cabinet sleeping pods are an eternal, and only expense.

        JohnSmith100 in reply to BierceAmbrose. | October 21, 2022 at 3:38 pm

        This is a great way to turn poor soil into great soil within just a few years, and it can be planed the first year.

      murkyv in reply to Ironclaw. | October 21, 2022 at 3:05 pm

      Trees are the ultimate in renewable resources

    henrybowman in reply to Liz. | October 20, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    Green Agenda?

    “Poland’s ruling party chief, said in early September that people should “burn almost everything, of course aside from tires and similarly harmful things.”

    We need to retain a certain amount of our donkey poop to refertilize our garden for next season, but we have plenty to spare. If anyone wants to organize a “Send Donkey Poop to Heat a European Home” movement, we’re all in.

    Europeans: you want to live “in nature” like your “green” forebears, this is how you do it! Plus it’s a great reminder through the winter of how y’all got snookered by the American Donkey Party.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Liz. | October 21, 2022 at 11:50 am

    I think that California should be fined for wildfire emissions, they have caused this problem by not managing dead wood in the forests,

If it was truly about climate change they would not have shut down their nuclear power plants until the renewables they so desperately desire could provide sufficient energy consistently. They also would be trying to get homeowners to build smaller windmills that the homeowners controlled so that they could have massive numbers of such windmills each providing some energy. This is about control not climate.

    Firewwod: the original green energy.

    They knew this was coming and still decided to shut down the nuke plants?

    BierceAmbrose in reply to CountMontyC. | October 20, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    Eighty-kabillion times this.

    NYSERDA-funded development of a way more effective, smaller-scale wind turbine was half about how it would be hooked to the grid. Can’t develop energy that’s not centrally scrutinized, it seems. With improvements in off-the-shelf, high-head, low-flow water turbines, I’m curious about a homestead windmill with hydro, gravity storage. Mix in some point-of-use orchestrated (vs. grid-central directed) load shedding, and that gets very interesting…

    NY State explicitly, and shortly the Feebs implicitly via EPA, banning stand-alone wood stoves, for “pollution”. Incremental efforts to eliminate wood stoves via “safety” have been going on for decades.

    Their particulate production argument is nonsense. Like nearly all environmental loads, particulates act differently below vs. above a threshold concentration. Intrinsic scrubbing processes take care of lots of these problems, until too much piled up in one place. Like in a city. About a dozen ways to make wood stoves produce less particulate load vs. stoves designed with no attention to that.

    BTW, what’s the particulate load in a city?

    BTW, what’s the ambient load, vs. emissions at stack?

    BTW, if it’s about particulates, scrubbing and cleaner burning are also solutions.

    BTW, if it’s about cleaner burning, make the regulation and approval process ensuring “clean enough” straightforward and easy, vs. convoluted and hard.

    Do not get me started on the “navigable waterway” nonsense.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to CountMontyC. | October 21, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    Pre electrification, many people used windmills for basic electric power needs. The best of the lot was Jacobs, a 3 blade unit (far superior to 2 blade), with no gearbox, the generator was built to produce power at low operating speeds. They were superbly engineered.

Biden’s doing his best to see that we join them, as he drains the SPR and sends the oil overseas.

Firewood? The global religion will go bonkers

The Gentle Grizzly | October 20, 2022 at 3:01 pm

[T]he story is the same across the continent: firewood prices are spiking, warehouses have filled their waiting lists until next year, and concerns have been raised that all this will lead to major environmental problems.

I’m sure that is the top of mind thought of those who have a choice of burning something “wrong” and “muh en vie run mint”.

Subotai Bahadur | October 20, 2022 at 4:19 pm

Long ago after my divorce from my first wife, I lived on the slopes of one of the higher mountains of Colorado. The main part of my cabin was built in the 1880’s as part of a stagecoach stop, with a couple of add-on rooms. I had a pot bellied wood stove and a fireplace for heat. It was legal to cut standing dead trees in the forest [it reduced the risk of forest fires] and that is how I got my wood. Mind you, cutting trees, hauling, cutting rounds to size to split, and then splitting took a couple of hours a day AND one full day a week with my neighbor to haul the standing dead trees. And the cabin still was bloody cold in the winter.

From what I know of European cities, at least the urban parts, pretty much everybody lives in an apartment or flat, frequently multi-story. Those flats do not have fireplaces, woodstoves, or the specialized wall or ceiling penetrations for stovepipes [if you don’t have the right kind of hole and stovepipe for the penetration, the place catches fire]. And no close source of wood, nor means to move it, nor a place to cut/split it, nor a way to get it upstairs to the apartment with any efficiency.

The past, pluperfect, subjunctive form for the applicable verb is, I believe, “scrod”.

What they might be able to do is insulate everything facing outside that you can, weatherstrip and caulk any openings to the outside, especially windows, and put clear sheet plastic over any windows to the outside sealing the edges with something like duct tape. But, of course, they probably don’t have the materials to do that either.

Also, bodies produce heat. If you can set up a tent in one room and everybody sleep in the tent, the heat will be temporarily held near you and yours.

And if you are in that mess, make agreements with neighbors to check on each other, as the aged and infirm may well need help.

Subotai Bahadur

We have plenty of excess juniper in Central and Eastern Oregon we’d be happy to give them. Just let “German ingenuity” figure out how to get it across the Atlantic.

E Howard Hunt | October 20, 2022 at 4:22 pm

We should burn garbage to keep warm too. Let’s start with both chambers of congress and cabinet members.

A couple of decades ago the WSJ reported on a Colorado man who heated his entire house with junk mail. He signed up for as much junk mail as he could, and the post office ran a special truck to deliver it daily. I don’t know that that works today in the age of Google ads.

There’s one thing I don’t get: You generally can’t just cut down live trees and toss them into your wood stove. Well, you can, but they burn terribly and produce loads of smoke. Firewood typically has to be dried, either naturally for several months, or in a massively energy-guzzling kiln. October is a little late to be cutting live wood to season for winter, isn’t it?

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to Flatworm. | October 20, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    Very much so. That is why we used to cut standing dead trees, You can easily tell them from live ones regardless of the season. You let mother nature take care of drying the wood.

    Subotai Bahadur

    henrybowman in reply to Flatworm. | October 20, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    Woodstove newbies. It’s a national (re-)learning curve.

    Barry in reply to Flatworm. | October 20, 2022 at 11:29 pm

    Wet wood requires loads of energy going up in smoke. Not a viable solution. I heat mostly with a wood stove and I have 8+ acres of tree’s, burning mostly deadfall. It’s pretty apparent when you throw an unseasoned log on the fire. Heat output drops and you can see the water boiling out the cut ends of the log. It requires a lot of energy to boil water, and that steam goes straight up the chimney.

    markm in reply to Flatworm. | November 1, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    I also wonder how much of the available wood is hardwood (from deciduous trees) and how much is softwood (pine, fir, and other evergreens)? You _can_ burn pine, but it deposits lots of creosote in the chimney. You have to clean the chimney at least twice each winter or it gets plugged up. I’m sure folk that have been heating with gas and electricity are unprepared for the chimney-cleaning task that awaits even those burning oak, let alone softwoods.

I saw this coming last summer and tanked up (twin 330 gal tanks). The fuel was “only” $4.24, and it cost me over $2K to fill up. Fuel is now averaging $5.85 in this area, and the real heating season isn’t really here yet, but should be by the first Tuesday in November.

I also have a couple of cords of nice, dry hardwood for the woodstove.

Thanks, Brandon.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Dimsdale. | October 21, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    Keep in mind that ethanol is hydroscopic, it will absorb moisture. Have a good filter to trap the resulting garbage. Also, summer and winter gas are formulated differently. You should use gas stabilizer.

    For 30+ years I bought diesel in early summer and it stores for years, I bought gas in the winter, over time it loses volatile components which help engines start in colder weather, what is left works fine in the summer. Buying summer gas and using it in the winter may not work as well, If you have not treated it with gas stabilizer, do so right away.

Just to be clear, Europe failing is NOT good for Western ideals. China will definitely look to capitalize on this situation.

    henrybowman in reply to healthguyfsu. | October 20, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    I suspect they’ll have to get in line behind The Caliphate.

    The EU failed long ago. It’s the final collapse that is ahead. “Western ideals” are not being practiced in the west, thus the problems. So, failure is good. Get it over with and perhaps from the rubble freedom can thrive once again.

    MattMusson in reply to healthguyfsu. | October 21, 2022 at 7:38 am

    China will hit the bottom way before Europe. The Han Chinese have the most terminal demographic on the planet. China hit its population peak in 2005. By 2050 there will be half as many Chinese on the planet. The collapse will come so quickly, none of their systems will function.

    The price of Chinese labor has increased by a factor of 12 during the last 20 years. They will never again be low-cost producer of anything.

Anybody who has walked through a neighborhood that burns firewood knows the atmosphere there makes for difficult breathing. It’s quite nasty, in my opinion, and I don’t have any respiratory issues that would make it worse. Burning wood or trash on a city-wide scale will be environmentally disastrous.