With oil and natural gas, we consume it and it is gone. Wood is classified as a "renewable resource", and as such, we can replace what we used by planting more trees to grow and produce more wood. It is something that requires more foresight and planning to not end up in a situation where there is worsened deforestation,but it is something that can be managed. Oil cannot be replenished in our lifetime, but forests can.
Are permaculturalists not focused on planning for permanent abundance? We plant trees and bushes to produce our food, ground cover, building materials, animal feed and habitat. Branches fall, trees die. Mark Shepard wrote in his book that he has reached a point on his farm where they have more wood waste than they can use for home heating or woody mulch so he was looking to wood gasification to deal with what was becoming a problem; huge piles of tree and hazelnut bush trimmings. He states that trimmings from an acre of hazelnuts can produce $90 worth of electricity. "The problem is the solution"
Instead of focusing on how wood gasification would fit our current situation, wouldn't it make more sense to think about how we could make our situation fit wood gasification? One could probably calculate the number of trees they would have to personally plant every year to cover their (reduced) energy needs and plant far more. And as Ben said, it's a lot of work gathering and prepping all of that wood. Once you have done the work necessary to produce the energy for yourself, you are going to appreciate it more and be much more conservative. It's no different than growing your own food. Once you understand the effort that went into growing the meal on your plate, you appreciate it more and waste less.