Booker: Is obsession with global warming rotting the political class’s brains?

Posted: May 23, 2018 by oldbrew in Emissions, Energy, government, greenblob
Tags: , , ,

Wood burner [image credit: BBC]


That point was probably reached ten years ago when the UK’s notorious Climate Change Act was passed. Now we have things like this “Scandal of ‘killer’ wood burning stoves”.

The bitter truth is that these fiascos caused by our obsession with wood-burning are just a part of a larger disaster that taints almost every green scheme governments have foisted on Britain, writes Christopher Booker in the Daily Mail.

The Government earned plaudits from the green lobby yesterday for its new plan to crack down on the craze for wood-burning stoves.

As the Mail reported on its front page, the stoves chuck out lethal pollution, particularly from wet wood, and contribute to thousands of early deaths from lung and heart disease.

But hang on!

One reason Britain burns more wood than it has done for decades — a 2016 survey found 7.5 per cent of households in London burn wood — is that only recently, the Government and the greens told us burning wood to heat our homes was the best thing we could do for the environment.

Wood is ‘sustainable’, we were told. It gives off less CO2 than any other heating. It will help us save the planet and meet CO2 reduction targets under the Climate Change Act.

As a result of these persuasive arguments, about 1.5 million British homes have wood-burning stoves and 200,000 more are sold every year.

Now we learn that wood-burning is the single biggest source of tiny soot particles called PM2.5s — they are also emitted by burning coal and diesel — which go into our lungs and are said to be responsible for an estimated 37,800 premature deaths a year.

Given these horrific facts, why have governments in recent years made wood-burning such a core part of energy policy? For there is no doubt ministers have been desperate to encourage it.

There is just one issue. Health problems apart, the whole thing is an economic disaster.

Continued here.

Comments
  1. Scute says:

    I sent my diesel car in for an MOT yesterday. This was the day after new MOT regs were rolled out. One of them is stricter tests on diesel emissions and you fail if smoke of any sort is visible coming from the exhaust. Furthermore, failure on diesel emissions is deemed as a major fault under the new rules rendering the vehicle undrivable and requiring immediate repair- even though it’s not a real danger to other road users.

    My mechanic was booked up for a week so if it had failed (it didn’t) I would have had to book a recovery lorry and pay to have the car transported to some other garage who could fix the emissions immediately. The sensible alternative would be to be allowed to drive it back home, not use it, and drive back to have it fixed. That would do no harm to anyone. These dumb rules cause headaches and cost money.

  2. Bloke down the pub says:

    ‘As a result of these persuasive arguments, about 1.5 million British homes have wood-burning stoves and 200,000 more are sold every year.’

    I’d suggest that a prime reason for people installing log burners is that it gives them a source of heating that gives them some protection from price rises inflicted by future green levies.Especially suited to those with a supply of scrap wood.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Remember the NI cash-for-ash scandal.

    Imagine your home heating oil costing you 2p an hour. And for every hour you keep the heating on you get 3p from the government.

    That was similar to the flaw within RHI, so we ended up with a scheme where “the more you burn, the more you earn” – a scheme that was not only economically calamitous, but potentially environmentally damaging.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-38229535

  4. Kip Hansen says:

    PM2.5s Mania ==> The “deaths” from PM2.5s are almost entirely imaginary — a product of crazed epidemiological statistical manipulation. There is not a single body anywhere in the world that can be shown to have died as a result of inhaling PM2.5s. NOT ONE!

    Using an imaginary problem to beat-up the over-the-edge Greens on their whipsaw policies on wood stoves smacks of the tactics the Greens use to beat-up skeptics!

    That said, it is unhealthy to breath in smoke on any kind…tobacco, pot, wood or dung (used for cooking in many primitive cultures). Hundreds of thousands of wood fires burning on a London winter day might be more a less good idea — London has the propensity for smog conditions.

  5. pochas94 says:

    POWER TO THE PEOPLE! No matter that they don’t know what they are doing.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    So let me get this straight:

    Wood burning by DRAX where YOU must pay for heat: Good!
    Wood burning by YOU where you don’t pay for heat: Bad?

    Hmmm…. There’s something there… Something about who gets money from whom… If I could just put my finger on it… /sarc;

    Oh, and I note in snide passing that clearly all those millions of years of warming the ‘ol cave with open fires killed off all our ancestors so the human race is extinct now…

  7. dennisambler says:

    https://junkscience.com/2018/05/new-study-still-no-association-between-pm2-5-ozone-and-premature-death/

    In passing, I note that the new Drax CEO is seeking more money for battery storage, CCS etc

    https://www.drax.com/media/

    and Dr Rebecca Heaton, Head of Sustainability and Policy at Drax Group, is now on the Climate Change Committee:

    https://www.theccc.org.uk/about/committee-on-climate-change/

  8. oldbrew says:

    We, HMG bring you the…

    Diesel craze – RIP
    Wood burner craze – RIP

    Next?

  9. Phoenix44 says:

    I don’t deny that occasionally government does something that benefits us, and obviously we need a strong, centralised state to administer law and order and to defend us.

    But the net effect of all the rest is so wildly negative and so all-pervasive that it is impossible to believe that we would not be significantly better off without it.

    It is educational to read the long history of government interference from around 1850 or so, with various laws disrupted private initiatives paid for by everyone in things like education, welfare and health. By the time the state mandated education for example, just about everyone was already literate, and the destruction of the Friendly Societies by (admittedly well-meaning) government legislation is horrible to read about.

  10. tom0mason says:

    “Now we learn that wood-burning is the single biggest source of tiny soot particles called PM2.5s — they are also emitted by burning coal and diesel — which go into our lungs and are said to be responsible for an estimated 37,800 premature deaths a year.”

    Most probably more people with lung injures caused by being in contact with nasty (unsustainable) plastic resins’ vapours, and the glass and carbon fibre dust of mixed composite while making those blades of modern wind mills.

    Or maybe more that suffer from being slowly poisoned from all the toxic metals leaching out (and into water courses) from broken and poorly installed solar panels.

    Or all those in low cost housing incorporating highly insulated (and some flammable), low ventilation living spaces.

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