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Making wood function like home heating oil

An evening pause: Hat tip Cotour.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Jeff

    In the late 70’s I worked in a cedar processing plant. Not much was wasted. Sawdust and chips were used to fire the steam boilers for facility heat ,kilns and steam extraction of cedar oils. Dried shavings bagged for kennel bedding. Prime heart wood milled for closet lining. Any unusable scraps, slabs, bark was ground up and sold as mulch. If they had electrical generators, entire facility would have been mostly self-sufficient. When I asked about that aspect was told buying electricity was cheaper. The pelletizing of wood waste was in its infancy. I’m sure the company would have managed to work that into their recycling system.

    Sadly, market changes, city growth, taxes and environmental pressures forced the closing

  • wayne

    Great Story!

  • MDN

    Seems like contrived efficiency to me. That was a pretty substantial plant to generate the equivalent of 1 small tanker truck of heating oil per day (the stated 2,500 gallons). Last winter the commodity price for heating oil was about $2 per gallon (currently it’s only $0.92 presumably due to the shutdown/Saudi-Russia glut), so that means $5,000/day in revenue normally for these chips.

    And even assuming the same density as oil (which they aren’t because they float), 20 tons of these chips must require at least 4X the volume of oil to transport, so will need 4X the number of trucks and drivers to distribute. I’m sure they pay for themselves, but not much beyond that.

    They are a true bio fuel though, except for all those trucks anyway : )

  • Cotour

    This appears to be a very nice and neat and fairly complete cycle type of business model.

  • Max

    Until the 1900, biofuels what is the primary source of energy. Oil, coal and natural gas has far outpaced natural bio fuel wood products…
    Even so, biofuels still today produce more than twice as much energy as all the others (Solar, wind, nuclear, Hydro power) combined.
    Natures solar powered renewable energy.

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