Essay by Eric Worrall
As British energy prices and home heating spiral out of the reach of ordinary people, affluent greens are campaigning for their poorer neighbours to be forbidden from staying warm by burning wood.
Log burner ban warning as ‘harmful’ impacts pinpointed: ‘Like 750 HGV exhausts!’
ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners are calling on Britons to “protect your neighbours” and stop using log burners as using them is like having 750 diesel trucks pumping their exhaust into your living room – including those marketed as “eco-friendly”.
11:00, Sun, Jun 26, 2022 | UPDATED: 12:38, Sun, Jun 26, 2022
Only stoves that meet the ecodesign standard can be legally sold as of this year in the UK and EU, but experts said that the PM2.5 pollution – which comes from wood-burning – hasn’t been reduced.
According to the Forum of International Respiratory Societies’ Environmental Committee, PM2.5 is especially harmful to health as it can pass through the lungs into the bloodstream and then be carried around the body and lodge in organs.
Statistics also show that there are at least 40,000 early deaths a year attributed to wood burning in Europe.
The source of the original HGV figure is a report by the European Environmental Bureau, which looked at the amount of PM2.5 emissions given off by the wood stove compared to the amount generated by HGVs.
A Defra spokesperson said: “Air pollution has reduced significantly since 2010, with nitrogen oxide levels down by 44 percent and PM2.5 down 18 percent since 2010.”
In response to the statement, Ms Hartshorn said that the Governmental department “always say that” but the findings from the “National Audit Office (NAO) report said nitrogen oxide, which is from cars, has dropped but pollution from PM2.5, including from wood-burning stoves hasn’t”.
…Read more: https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1629751/log-burner-ban-wood-smoke-air-pollution-mums-for-lungs-defra
The UK already has a powerful clean air act which could be used to stop wood burning, but enforcement is less than universal.
I used to burn lots of wood when I lived in Britain, we didn’t have gas and the electricity was ridiculously expensive. The wood was delivered by a guy who was referred by one of my neighbours. I somehow always forgot to ask for a receipt, I was grateful for affordable home heating.
The British Government admits fuel poverty rates are unacceptably high, a situation which will only get worse in the light of recent price hikes. The UK also suffers a substantial excess winter deaths, 17,280 excess winter deaths in 2018-19. 2019-2020 was a horror year, 28,300, and 2020-21 even worse, at 63,000.
Obviously Covid was the big issue after 2019, and its difficult to separate poor indoor air quality from other factors in previous years. But everyone who has experienced cold weather knows severe cold would be more of a problem for people’s health, than a little smoke. There is a reason our ancestors have been using fire to stay warm, for at least the last few million years.
If greens get their way, and the last affordable form of home heating is further restricted, I suspect a lot more people are going to die from cold than the number who currently die from wood smoke pollution.