I just finished splitting and stacking three cords of firewood. What’s that? Yes, I know I’m late getting it in and that it won’t dry enough to burn well this season. Thank you for reminding me.

I’m late because a bottleneck seems to have developed with the splitting and stacking in my wood processing system. Another bottleneck might be my increasing age but I have eliminated that possibility through denial.

Wood has to be split, stored out of the rain and stacked just right or it won’t have the right juju when heating time rolls around. By juju I mean moisture content. The more moisture in the wood, the more energy is wasted boiling off the water before the wood can burn.

In the past a man would just have to produce more offspring to address chores like splitting and stacking but today we have technology to take the place of helpful children. There are many time-saving wood-splitting tricks; I have seen them all by binge-watching wood-splitting tricks on YouTube. The best trick is getting a good buddy to lend you his gas-powered hydraulic splitter. Unlike offspring, the splitter never asks for the car keys and a day off to mischiefulate about the neighborhood.

Anyway, as I labored to get next season’s wood squared away, I had plenty of time to think about the wood and my “carbon management plan.”

Wet wood is heavy. You learn this by lifting it — a lot. If you forget, your back will remind you later in the evening. Dry wood is still rather heavy and even though wood has an uncanny resemblance to wood, it is actually 50 percent carbon atoms, 42 percent oxygen, 6 percent hydrogen and 2 percent other mystery atoms.

When burned, the carbon combines with oxygen and is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. It’s amazing that most all the weight from the tons of wood we burn goes up those flimsy six-inch chimney pipes and out into the atmosphere.

Burning 1 kilogram of wood produces 1.9 kilograms of carbon dioxide. Wait a minute; how can you possibly produce almost twice the weight of carbon dioxide as what your wood weighs? Well, burning takes oxygen from the air around us to keep the fire going and much of that oxygen your wood stove pulls in gets combined with the carbon in the wood and so the weight of the carbon dioxide you produce exceeds the weight of the wood.

Wood has a very high emission of carbon dioxide per unit of heat produced when burning it. It’s higher than coal, fuel oil or diesel, but if you make the assumption that for every tree you burn another grows in the forest, absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, then burning wood is considered almost carbon neutral. But, you have to make sure that your forest size is not shrinking and indeed growing more than you harvest.

If you feel scientific thinking (you know, the thought processes that gave us space travel, cellphones, long bridges, tall buildings, weather forecasting, abundant food, inexpensive travel, longer lifespans and modern medicine) somehow explains how our world actually works and points to the truth more often than not, then you should be concerned about warnings from the scientific community. A vast majority of scientists warn that pumping more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is not conducive to continuing life on the planet as we have become accustomed.

I don’t particularly want to contribute to changing the composition of the earth’s atmosphere by hiking the carbon dioxide component. I do like heating with wood so I do maintain a healthy woodlot and I’m looking at the old oil and gas burners I’m still using. As they need to be replaced, I am exchanging them with heat pumps that run on electricity that will hopefully be produced, more and more, by solar, wind, hydro-electric or other methods that do not involve releasing large quantities of carbon dioxide into the environment.

One last trick for getting your firewood in, not covered on YouTube, is to get your buddy to lend you his eldest son or daughter. The trick to good buddy relationships is to maintain what you borrow and to always return it in better condition than when you got it. That goes for tools and children, and maybe it’s time we start thinking that it also applies to the earth and the time we spend using it.