Building on the accepted science that climate change is real and caused by human activity, BURNED: Are Trees the New Coal? takes a hard look at the latest false solution to humanity’s vast energy appetite: woody biomass. The film tells the story of how woody biomass has become the alternative-energy savior for the power-generation industry and of the people and parties who are both promoting and fighting its adoption and use.
Using interviews with experts, activists, and citizens, along with verité-style footage shot across the US and in the EU and UK, the film interweaves the science of climate change, the escalating energy-policy disputes, the dynamics of forest ecology, the industry practices, and the actions of activists and citizens who are working to protect their own health, their communities, the forest, and the planet’s climate. Woven together, the various stories present an intimate and visceral account of what is at this moment in time a critical, yet somewhat unknown, national and international controversy.