South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis suggested doing away with the toss in Test cricket as it would help teams compete better when they travel away from home. Faf du Plessis was speaking after his team suffered a 3-0 loss to India where the second and third Test matches followed almost an exact blueprint for the home side India.”Every Test match, they bat first, they score 500, they declare when it’s dark, they get three wickets when it’s dark and when day three starts, you’re under pressure,” du Plessis was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.”It was like copy and paste in every Test match.” In the recently-concluded three-match Test series, the Proteas lost all the three tosses and a hapless du Plessis even sent “proxy captain” Temba Bavuma for the toss in the third rubber.Although the move did not work, it showed his desperation to call right after losing their 10th successive toss in Asia.South Africa did start the series on a promising note when centuries from Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock helped them score 431 in the first innings of the Vizag Test but lost all the three games by big margins. Doing away with the toss was one of the topics raised during an ICC conclave attended by domestic captains and coaches earlier this year.Cricket fans across Twitter were quick to pounce on Faf du Plessis for his comment on Indian team batting first, and some fans even went on to claim that the South Africa skipper couldn’t do anything except making lame excuses after the drubbing at the hands of Team India.advertisementAnd if you thought Faf du Plessis was done with giving horrible excuses, you’re wrong. This guy won’t stop. Lmao. Ridiculous #INDvSA pic.twitter.com/e0qkKGJMGcSaurabh (@Boomrah_) October 26, 2019Want to take a dig at Faf du Plessis but the CSK fan in me holding me backK Vijayendra (@k_vijayendra8) October 26, 2019lmao, the cry baby’s audacity. Copy and paste in every match – https://t.co/mYiqf9vmGAaditi (@KohliXCapSteve_) October 26, 2019Look, if the captain of the side has this mentality, the team can never bounce back. NEVER.You saw that in the World Cup. You saw the same in the Test series in India.Faf needed to do what Kohli did to India in SA after 2 Tests, not what he did here. https://t.co/5XrCI8qqliTUSHAR (@mainlycricket) October 26, 2019
Wood is increasingly being used to replace coal as a source of electricity generation in many regions such as the European Union, where policymakers have declared it “carbon neutral.” However, new research from researchers at MIT, Climate Interactive, and UMass Lowell reveals that displacing coal with wood for power generation can make climate change worse for many decades or more.In the new study, Does replacing coal with wood lower CO2 emissions? Dynamic lifecycle analysis of wood bioenergy, the researchers—John Sterman, the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at MIT Sloan School of Management; Juliette Rooney-Varga, Director of the UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative; and Lori Siegel, PhD, Senior Modeler for Climate Interactive—examine the climate impact of replacing coal power generation in the EU and UK with wood pellets sourced from forests in the southern US. The research is slated for publication on Friday, January 19, 2018 in the academic journal, Environmental Research Letters. The paper can be accessed online at http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aaa512/pdfThe researchers found that wood pellets burned in European and UK power plants, such as the Drax facility in North Yorkshire, England—which has transitioned some of its coal power generation capacity to wood pellets with the support of UK government subsidies—actually emit more CO2 per kilowatt hour than that generated by coal. This is because wood is both less efficient at the point of combustion and has larger processing and supply chain emissions than coal. Their research shows that using wood instead of coal in power generation increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, worsening climate change until—and only if—the harvested forests regrow.US forests are a main source for EU wood pellet imports, which have been rising as demand has grown. These forests grow back slowly, so it takes a long time to repay the initial “carbon debt” incurred by burning wood instead of coal. For forests in the central and eastern US, which supply much of the wood used in UK power plants, the payback time for this carbon debt ranges from 44 to 104 years, depending on forest type—and assuming the land remains forest. If the land is developed, or converted to agricultural use, then the carbon debt is never repaid and grows over time as the harvested land emits additional carbon from soils.The research was conducted with the use of a system dynamics model, based on the award-winning Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support (C-ROADS) simulator. Launched in 2008, the model was reviewed by an external scientific review committee, chaired by Sir Robert Watson, former Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A summary of their review can be accessed here.The researchers also explored an increasingly common scenario in which hardwood forests harvested for bioenergy are replaced with faster-growing loblolly pine plantations. Surprisingly, replanting with fast-growing pine plantations worsens the CO2 impact of wood because managed plantations do not sequester as much carbon as natural forests.They found that continued growth in wood use, as many predict, will worsen climate change throughout the rest of this century, or longer. This is because the first impact of substituting wood for coal in power generation is an increase in CO2 emissions. Even if the forests eventually regrow, notes Prof. Sterman, each year the new carbon debt from increased harvest and combustion outweighs the regrowth, just as borrowing more on a credit card each month than one is able to pay back will steadily increase what he or she owes. For countries using wood bioenergy as a component of their climate policies this could take them backwards. Indeed, bioenergy from wood made up 44% of the EU’s renewable energy production in 2015.“A molecule of CO2 emitted today has the same impact on the climate whether it comes from coal or biomass,” says Sterman. “Declaring that biofuels are carbon neutral, as the EU, UK and others have done, erroneously assumes forest regrowth happens quickly and fully offsets the emissions from biofuel production and combustion. One way to address the challenges raised in this study would be to count emissions where they occur, for example, at a power plant, and monitor and count carbon removed from the atmosphere by regrowth on the harvested land.”Critically, the analysis doesn’t support continued coal use as it is the most carbon intensive fuel and a major contributor to climate change. The researchers stress energy efficiency, solar, wind and storage as the cheapest, safest, and quickest ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions while meeting energy needs.The model behind the research is available for scientists and policymakers to design their own scenarios for bioenergy, conduct sensitivity analysis, and get immediate feedback showing the full dynamics, including both short and long run impacts.Drax produces about 7% of the UK’s power. The picture shows unloading wood pellets at ABP Immingham for this power plant.