Wood fireplaces and the selfish homeowner

A few years ago while walking around Penrith in the evening I was shocked by the amount of smoke and it's smell hanging thickly in the air. The smoke comes from wood fireplaces. These dirty, unhealthy things have to go. It only takes one selfish person who thinks he's living in a lone log cabin in the Ozarks to stink up a whole neighbourhood. We all know the type: arrogant, uninformed, overfed over-consumers who won't be told they're doing the wrong thing by other people. What amazes me is that these wimps will still fire-up even when it's not that cold or, even more stupidly, during the day. Why do the majority of people who manage quite well without fireplaces have to continuously suffer during winter because of a relative few inconsiderates? I get sore eyes and runny nose from this...I don't have asthma but I feel so sorry for those that do. I don't think I have to mention how bad this is for our environment.

Surely there aren't that many, (if any), businesses who solely depend on selling wood fireplaces and no other type of heating. The use of these things needs to be phased-out. A good start would be to make it unlawful to fire-up during the day. At the very least people can hang out their washing when THEY choose.

Any comments from any councils?

Comments

Dear idiot,

Answer these Questions !

1. Is it illegal to own a fireplace ?
2. Is it illegal to use a fireplace anytime of the day ?
3. Why are you complaininh about something that happened a few years ago, has it not happened since ?
4. Where is the survey / statistics that prove that people think a fireplace is wrong. How many people were in that survey ?
5. "People fire up in the day" So Penrith (at the base of the blue mountains) is not cold in Winter, hmmm, last time I was there it was pretty damn cold. The BOM website seems to show Penrith as a rather cold place.
6. "the majority of people who manage without a fireplace" again, statistics please, what is your source for this information ?
7. Possibly the most stupid comment of all "I dont have to mention how bad it is for the environment", So would you prefer we all sell our fireplaces and buy big bad air conditioners that we can set to HOT and blast our houses, I hope they have enough coal to fire up the power stations for all that extra electricity that is needed. While you are at it, lets ban backburns and bushfires as well. The smoke from that hurts my little eyes too.
8. Look in the yellow pages doppy, there are plenty of places that sell fireplaces and firewood.
9. Some Councils have tried to ban fireplaces but they cannot and if one day they decide too, I am more than happy for them to do it. As it is my main method of heating my house, they can remove my fireplace, fix the hole in the ceiling and install a big bad air conditioner at no cost to me. My fireplace is not illegal, I bought and installed it without breaking the law so they can pay the full cost of changing it. I thank you in advance for your tax dollars.

I am sure there are many things that you do that annoy people and are bad for the environment, but you feel it is your right to tell me what I can and cant do. SO wipe the tears from your eyes from a few years ago and harden the hell up. Idiot !

I agree, there are more important things Council should worry about than the odd household fireplace.

Yes, there are important things council should be attending to but respectfully, what could be more important than your family's health and the health of the environment on which we all 100% depend upon? And as I said, it only takes one wood fireplace to annoy a lot of people.

It seems very odd indeed that for thousands of years people lived with fire...cook ...heat...manufacturing. now some modern "genius's" has a whinge about fireplaces,etc etc. I wonder how come we all still on this planet should not we all have died if all that smoke was soooo bad. seems to me we are going backwards. Leave the coal and the uraniium in the ground and grow more trees.Learn to use nature as it was intended

For thousands of years people used fire because that was the technology available but I wonder what their health was like or what their life expectancy was. I will also make the point that there were a hell of a lot less people in the world than now. What do YOU think would happen if everybody started lighting-up woodfires? Now, I've already stated elsewhere that there is plenty evidence that woodfire smoke causes respiratory problems. It may take years to properly show up but why would you want to risk spending your later years with breathing problems, at best? I've chosen to heed the warnings.

Your last statement is actually interesting to me because it touches on something philosophical. You state that we should "learn to use nature as it was intended". I'll ask, intended by whom or by what? It's a genuine question. You've chosen to ignore addressing any other point I've raised, do you have the conviction to answer this one?

To begin, it seems these days that unless you needle people somewhat then you won’t get a response, so thanks for the opportunity to more fully put forward my point of view. I can admit that the “overfed” comment was a bit unkind but I’ll stand by everything else I wrote. Also, I can see that I didn’t properly explain that whilst I first noticed the bad air a few years ago, it is worse now with more homes lighting up and for longer periods. Thanks again for the chance to clarify.

Your first two questions are related. Are fireplaces illegal? No, (not yet), but just because something is legal is no guarantee that it’s actually a good thing, especially when you’ve got interest groups involved. Drinking alcohol is legal but look at what happens when people drink to excess. Again, are fireplaces illegal? No, but that’s provided they are operated according to proper guidelines. Amongst many other things, the government’s Review of Literature on Residential Firewood Use says: “It is generally acknowledged that ‘real world’ emission factors (of fine particles) will be higher…because an unknown proportion of households operate their heaters poorly and use wet firewood.” Are you operating your fireplace according to HB170(2002)? Are you really?

It’s hard to believe that you’re unaware of the public concern on this issue. The above-mentioned review states in section 4.1 that “Community and government concern about urban wood-smoke has been increasing since the mid-1980s. International studies linking mortality and morbidity to fine particle concentrations significantly increased this concern since emission inventories for Australian cities showed residential wood heating was a significant source of (fine) particles.” And that “the available evidence overwhelmingly suggests that wood-smoke in urban areas should be reduced.” Have you ever asked anybody if they mind if you fire-up? I’m aware that particular swathes of demographics will either support or oppose wood fireplaces. It’s my experience that supporters are not aware of the implications of their use of fireplaces and can actually be arrogant in their unwillingness to delve a bit deeper. Why is that? Are they saying “bugger you, I want my fireplace”? And you neglected to mention what you would say to an asthma-sufferer or anyone with any kind of respiratory problem. Would you say “bugger you, I want my fireplace”?

Penrith, the western suburbs or Sydney in general is not a cold place. Somewhere with snow and ice is a cold place. When I was young, (this is going back somewhat), I can remember one house with a fireplace in my neighbourhood. Nobody had air conditioners. My family had an electric radiant heater used at night before going to bed. People survived quite well. Perhaps even you might agree with me that people are too soft these days, (in other ways as well). So you can’t rug-up a little when there’s a bit of frost on the ground? And you’re telling me to harden-up! I believe that people in temperate regions have become too dependent on any form of air conditioning. Of course I don’t begrudge the elderly or the very young or for people to have a comfortable house but the majority of people use their heaters or coolers unnecessarily. But back to fireplaces.

Regarding question 6, why do you need statistics for this? You should be able to see for yourself which houses have wood fireplaces in operation. A drive around town should reveal that there are more houses without working fireplaces than with. Again, this applies to temperate regions and it’s not to say that these homes don’t use some form of heating.

Now, the environmental issues. A thoughtful person will look into as many aspects of an issue as they can and make an informed choice or decision. Go to www.environment.govt.au Home Heating and Cooling for a comparison of emissions from heaters. Go to www.yourhome.govt.au where it states that “up to 90% of heat is lost up the chimney in open fireplaces” Slow combustion fairs better at 60% efficiency. To me, the big bad air conditioners don’t look so big or bad. In Sydney’s outer west where power is generated from hydroelectricity there’s no argument: electric (and gas) heaters are much more environmentally and neighbour friendly: shame on anyone there who has alternatives and regularly operates wood fireplaces. In other areas that are supplied from coal fire stations the question requires more consideration. Two things: the government’s carbon reduction scheme in 2010 is expected to impact on emissions from coal power stations so there will be incentives for districts to gradually switch to other forms of generation, (as it should for all our sakes). Secondly, the issue of fine particles, the biggest objection to wood fireplaces. If you do nothing else, I strongly urge you to go to Wikipedia: “Particulte” and read the Health Effects section. Then tell me if you still think having a wood fireplace is a good idea.

I think you strayed from the point with your backburns and bushfires comment but I’ll be happy to discuss that with you. I checked the yellow pages: the number of places selling only wood fireplaces is in the vast minority. These places would need compensation from the government of course. I’ll discuss that further with you too if you’d like.

The fact that councils have tried to ban wood fireplaces should indicate to you how much public concern there is on this issue. They haven’t been able to so far because the lobby groups are too strong. Look at the tobacco industry and yet everyone agrees that smoking is bad for you. Now, if you did already know everything I’ve been talking about, why did you still opt for a wood fireplace? I like the crackle of a nice cosy fire just like you but, I’m sorry, it’s just not a good enough reason in an urban situation when there are better alternatives.

Finally, everything we do impacts the environment. The whole point of my argument is to thoughtfully and judiciously use what we need to minimize our impact on the environment and other people. I do try to reduce my use of resources and while I’m at it I try to be a courteous and quiet neighbour. It’s up to you whether you believe me on that one or not. You’re angry because you don’t like me telling you I think your wood fireplace causes people problems. I’m angry because you think you’ve got the right to pollute the air my family and I breathe and you won’t listen. What say ye?

That's Wikipedia: "Particulate".

HollowHal got owned!

Thorpe = 1
HollowHal = 0

Hey genius...get a life. and stay out of other peoples business. You and people like you is what is killing the environment..turn your car off turn your light off etc. etc.etc. We were all better off in the dark anyway and me I will keep on lighting a fire cause thats natural.........

If somebody blows smoke in my face don't expect me to keep quiet about it. And, if I'm reading you correctly, are you speaking-out against technology? I notice that you used a computer to post a reply on this electronic forum. Come on now, surely you can think more clearly than that?

You never replied to my post.

your a cockhead mate. alot of people love fresh air and not a skyfull of smoke. chimneys should be banned and consider other people just like smoking.

I might not have used quite that language. But I wholeheartdly agree with you. Chimneys should be banned. Apparently the some parts of Queensland have banned them.
I know next thing someones going to say they have warmer weather then NSW. Maybe. But in our household we use no heating, we just put a jumper on and believe me I in the past use to feel the cold. Not anymore I find it quite pleasant having a non stuffy house and being a comfortable temperature.

you are f hilarious! thanks for this laugh ...i needed it :) love wood fires but hey im from the country side...

Out of interest, I wonder what exactly you find f hilarious. That's if you think you've thought this right through enough to actually answer...

hahahaha was gonna reply to this clown that wants to whinge about fireplaces... after reading your reply, I don't think I need to great responce!

Ithink you should harden up you sook. Oh runny nose and sore eyes.....boo hoo.Get a life and turn off your air con during summer.

thanks Hollow hal, let them stress about things they have no control, and empolde.

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Is there anything better than snuggling up with a loved one next to a red hot flamin fireplace. With the cold weather setting in, there is nothing better than seeing a smoky fog over the whole neighbourhood.

I did think about my neighbours once, but then again, they piss me off with the things they do. Never shut there dog up from barking all day, plant vines that grow over my fence. Plant deciduous trees right on the boundary fence above my pool. Park there truck in front of my house instead of theirs.

So do I give a rats about anyone else, not anymore. I hope the smoke is chocking them ! Now where is that green log !

We live in a society where no one cares about anyone else. So stuff you and you whinging little asthmatics.

Wear a mask.

PS - I think you will find more people reverting to fireplaces with the cost of Electricity increasing. There is nothing better then sharpening up the chainsaw and heading into the bush and cutting down trees. My tip is to cut down a nice green healthy one and then come back in 12 months time.

After your beautiful words Thorpe, I did try to ease up on the raging fire but to be honest the marshmallows never were as good when I tried to toast them on the 60 watt energy efficient light bulb and wrapping them in an electric blanket was really a bad idea.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm toasted marshmallows.

Have to go Thorpey, time to nude up and get the sheep-skin rug out. Mmmmmmmmmm roasted nuts !!!!!!!!!!!!

H, how are ya?! 'ow's-it-goin'-me-old-mucker?

Crikey, it took you a year to come up with that? Buffoonery really IS your medium isn't it.

I take it from all your responses that a thoughtful discussion ain't on the cards with you. Boy, I really nailed your character in my first post, didn't I? Just as I thought: can only recognise & respond to boorish language. Okay, we'll do it your stupid way but remember: I did get my message out and you helped me.

You're full of it H. I've also had every one of those things done to me by irresponsible neighbours and yet I still manage to be environmentally aware & courteous to my neighbours; (you're lost already aren't you?). Anyway, there are still those on my street who deserve my regard. So what's the difference between me & you?

I'm only too aware that more people will be lighting-up their fireplaces as the cost of electricity, (without a capital E), goes up. So the choice is: cheap(ish) warmth now or your own future health, (stay with me mate).

As for the rest of the wood fire proponents, only one person could discuss this without being arrogant. Are the majority of you unable to calmly debate? H, on the other hand, is a great mass debater & although I've come to love our little intellectual tête-à-têtes, I feel they are one-sided. Make sure you take care of yourself H. You can go back to watching The X-Factor now and don't worry about that nagging little tickle in your throat, it'll be all right if you ignore it.

calmly isnt in you vocabulary is it bud....your extra long overboring self gratifying and yes aggressive comments are offensive . keep em to yourself!

I guess you think that Hollow Hal's and the others' comments are a model of temperance? It's rather telling that you only replied to my "nasty" post whilst not addressing a single point I raised elsewhere. As long as individuals keep ignoring those around them and being arrogant about it, I will keeping pointing out how selfish they are being.

I found this page because I was looking to compare the effects of using a heater vs a wood fire on the environment.

My housemates and I have been using a fire place this winter for fear of the electricity bill from an electrical heater. I thought that the difference in pollution from a wood fire would balance the pollution from an electrical heater. Seems I am wrong and I appreciate your informational blog, Thorpe, as I am a passionate advocate of making ethical decisions in our consumption.

It's sad, HallowHal that you state that "we live in a society where no one cares about anyone else" and you use this as a justification for your own selfishness. There are many people who do care and whilst it seems that some people don't care, maybe they are using the same rationale as you? To change the world you have to change yourself, you get what you give... and so it goes. The world can be a dark and ugly place, but if we each take responsibility for our own effect on the world we can make this world what we want it to be. It does mean that we will have to stop living in denial of our responsibility to the planet, each other, and our selves and stop being so selfish and taking what we feel we 'deserve'.

Thanks again, I will try and influence our housemates not to use the wood fire place and I plan to purchase an energy efficient heater!

It was my pleasure to bring this issue up. To me, to have knowledge on a subject and not take heed of it seems pretty dumb. Thanks for your post.

Thanks for your response Anonymous (not game enough to leave a name). I am so sorry for writing what is factual. After your statements I suddenly feel all warm and fuzzy (could just be from the wood fire though), I promise to help little old ladys across the road from now on.

Any chance of getting together for a hug and to sing cum-bi-arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr around a high energy efficient bar heater.

And what's your real name, eh Chumley? You are piggish in the way you relate to people. Witness the dumbing-down of our society "where no one cares about anyone else."

Too many marshmellows, that's your problem.

know what you're saying hollow hal. that wood heater is bloody beautiful. you guys who don't like it should all pull your head in! go get some green wood hollow hal?

Can you give me a reason why we should pull our heads in?

stink em out!

Ive been turning the oven up to 260degrees and leaving its door open for years now. I think its more practical, efficient, neighbourhood friendly and environmentally green than both air con and wood heaters.
The kids love it!
This is definitely the way of the future guys!! Remember, we just have to think outside of the box and our society will improve in leaps and bounds.
Peace

Wow, I was just looking for information about wood heaters and the effects they have on the environment I'm not educated well enough in the subject to have a valid opinion. Seems the issue has an equally harmful effect on our ability to reason with each other though. Well done Thorpe for trying to raise an important issue in an adult manner. I can't believe anyone would speak to another person the way hollow head has. That is very sad to see, you must be having a very bad day indeed.

Does anybody know if there is a law from the Waverly council which forbidden the use of wooden fires indoor? I have a lovely fireplace and i would like to use it but the real estate person is telling me that is forbidden (lots of crap i think).
That's what i've found in the State of the Environment Report 2005-2009 at page 72 of the PDF document

http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/10275/SOE2009...

"5.5.4.2 Wood Smoke
Wood smoke is a significant generator of odour complaints in Waverley, with the majority of
these complaints coming from solid fuel heaters. Council does not see solid fuel heaters as a
favourable form of home heating due to the adverse effect they can have on surrounding
residents. For this reason Council no longer allows the installation of new solid fuel heaters.
This is because in a medium to high density urban environment the smoke being emitted from
chimney stacks does often not have enough space to disperse before it enters neighbouring
premises and contributes to overall pollution. In strong enough concentrations this smoke can
lead to a high level of annoyance for the neighbours. In many cases the reduction of smoke
from a solid fuel heater can be attained by using it more efficiently. For example, get the flue
serviced regularly by a chimney sweep and use wood that is dry and well seasoned. For more
information about using your solid fuel heater more efficiently check out the following website:
www.deh.gov.au/woodsmoke.

So i suppose i can use it if it's serviced regularly isn't it?

tks

Matteo

Hello Matteo, thanks for at least one decent reply from the wood fire owners.

Yes, wood fires are great and I too would like to sit infront of one but for me, the health and pollutive effects are too great. I could not begrudge someone lighting-up for an occasional indulgence or if it's really cold and as long they are following council rules. I strongly applaud your effort to maintain your own fireplace...unfortunately, as the population grows and if more people light-up then even these measures won't be enough.

Matteo, if you haven't already, I strongly urge you to read the "Health Effects" section of "Wikipedia:Particulate". I also haven't mentioned the carcinogens that are also released when burning wood and no, I'm not making this up.

People might say, "What about the smoke from car exhaust?" I would say, "Why add to it?"

Naturally, the choice to light-up is yours and your own health is your responsibility. But there are others around you and I saw a good saying the other day: "When you can't breathe, nothing else matters." Thanks for your time.

Hi,

I have a wood fire, and I take care to use seasoned wood which i keep undercover for 12 months before using. I also clean my inner chimney flue after every winter.

I really enjoy my wood fire, and it saves me a lot of money. I think if used responsibly, one should have a right to use a wood fire.

D

No wood fires. Imagine if everyone everywhere used a wood heater. The place would be f@#ked!

well i have a fire place and i love it and due to the raise in electricity i think it saves alot of people

I am a uni student living in a freezing old house with high ceilings. the only economically (we are students after all) way to heat the rooms is by using the fireplace. Using dry wood and having a knowledge of how to start and maintain an efficient fire in a fireplace with a door should not cause much smoke at all. Maybe rather than banning a perfectly sensible and sustainable heating source the councils could spend time educating people on the proper use of wood fireplaces.

Thanks for your reply. It gets down to this: do you think you have a right to pollute the air someone else is breathing? And as I've said before, not everybody operates their fireplace properly. It is the pig-headed ones who won't consider the people around them that I've got a big problem with. I also question your assertion that wood fireplaces, (in an urban situation), are sensible and sustainable. Education would be great but how do you get the obstinate to do their bit, (bearing in mind it only takes one to annoy a lot of people), and I keep asking this question: what if everybody had a wood fireplace? Any sensible replies that actually address what I'm saying?.... I thought not.

Thorpe,

You really dont know how to communicate with people do you. You seem to be very judgemental and highly sarcastic of everyone who dares to disagree with your views.

I was right.

A big f*** you to the meddling nanny state a****e c**t who wants to ban fireplaces. Like a typical little snivelling nanny stater, he wants to run to big brother government every time he has a f**ing problem. I bet this f***d is on benefits.

You stupid greenie f**k, I have my fireplace cranking all winter, every f***g night. If you don't like it you can suck my f***g coke can sized c*** and like it you piece of smarmy s**t.

We will fight you in the courts, we will fight you at the ballot box, no more nanny state f**heads. I hope you f***g choke.

How dare you advocate yet another one of our freedoms be taken away.

*Had to edit out the swearing* - CouncilGripe

Oooh, I love it when you talk dirty. Kiss me you gorgeous hunk of one-eyed redneck, I like 'em big and dumb.

While its true the older fireplaces caused actual heat loss and not any gain within the household, newer versions brought about by harsher standards and better technology are much more efficient than the 10 percent heat gain thorpe mentioned earlier. Also these new fireplaces also can reduce emissions (so far 60 percent less emissions is the highest I've seen). So they are not as much a bane on the environment as they once were.
As for the smell bothering you outside, thats a personal preference, I used to love how the outdoors smelled in winter when other houses used their chimneys. So instead of stating your personal opinion and making it sound like its a fact, that everyone shares it, (instead of saying that because you don't like the smell of it that everyone else is being bothered by it to) how about some statistics to back up what your saying.
You say that the fact that councils are trying to ban fireplaces, that that proves that lots of people have a problem with it, and the only reason they haven't succeeded is because of a small group of stubborn interest groups. How do you know that, where is your proof? How do you know that its not the other way around, maybe small groups of stubborn environmental interest groups are pressuring the councils into banning fireplaces, and it never succeeds because the majority of people don't agree? I'm not saying this is the case, but its just as likely as your theory thorpe. So if you want to use that argument find some proof. I'd be interested in seeing which way it really is.
As for the carcinogens caused by wood smoke, nearly every thing around nowadays is carcinogenic. Did you know plywood (the most prevalent wood used in almost all construction) is carcinogenic? How about certain hair dyes? Or the dyes for synthetic fibers like clothes, or pesticides, glues, gas fumes, detergents, or how about the sun? Surf the web for a list of known carcinogens, and you'll see there everywhere. I do not see it being possible in my lifetime or in the next hundred generations to whipe out every known carcinogen, its there its going to happen. If you have a problem with the idea of cancer (like you should) then give money to fund research for developing cures.
The real question is, at what point should personal freedom be restrained for the good of the people? Obviously to some extent it should be, as no society would exist without some laws. But is banning fireplaces one of those? Do you have the right to tell someone else that they can't have one, or use one in their home, just because it annoys you? When does it stop, should we force people to live within walking distance of their jobs and ban cars because car smoke is undeniably bad for us? And yes, people who have acces to a water / solor wind plant, it is better for the enviornment to use electricity, but what about the places that still use coal power plants, isnt it just as bad to use a warm fireplace as it is the heater? Is it, I don't know, I don't have any proof to back that up, so I wont state it as a fact, just a question to think about. And what about an earlier post, the guy who already has a fireplace, fireplaces without a fire do casue a draft and heat loss in winter, so if your not letting him use it, not only are you increasing his bill, but your also devaluing the home of anyone who already has a fireplace. Who would want to buy a home with a fireplace in a county that bans fires?
How do I feel about htis issue? I don't know. When I stop renting and buy a house, do I want one with a fireplace, not sure yet, I'm still debating it in my head. But when I looked at this post, all I saw was each group taking their personal views and establishing them as facts. Thorpe you say H is being ignorant, and he is, but I see you being just as bad (if maybe at least a little better mannered)
Well theres my two sense.
David

That all ended pretty sadly, what a grown up debate well done everybody.

Our neighbour burns wet wood in their shocker of a fireplace all the time.... and their chimney is dead level with our house.
I don't mind the smell.......when it isn't forced down my throat and into my husbands asthmatic lungs and through every thread in my freshly washed clothes...and when I dress my children they end up stinking of smoke. Very un-fair :(
I am not saying that open fireplaces should be banned...but I really wish that people were more considerate of their neighbours and used their fireplace responsibly.
Now...any tips on how to address this problem without causing friction between neighbours!!

I know exactly how you feel. And I hate to say that there appears no way to stop this pollution. The councils do not listen. Everybody ignores your complaints including the neighbours.
As I reply to your post feeling congested, coughing and spluttering from my neighbours constant smoke that manages to seep through thickly into our house also. I feel the only cause of action. Is to start an action group to stop this appaulling practise of polluting a persons air.
The laws for noise pollution and lights shining into peoples houses, overshadowing someones house with your tree are inforced by a council even though these problems do not effect a persons health and you can do something about it. But polluting someones airsource which that person has no control over it is just to bad.
My sympathy goes out to you but just know your not alone.

Hornsby Council get tough on rate payers who choose to use fires. Maybe make it law that they must have it checked annually and pay a carbon tax. Save that money as you may need it to help pay for our medical fees, when we succumb to health issues later on.

I have a slow combustion heater and caused a bit of grief for my neighbour to the east. After tweaking the flue height and understanding it's operation it now burns pretty clean and the neighbour is happy.
On the flip side, my neighbour to the west has an open fire and in their wisdom have chosen to use it as a main form of heating. We now sit is a cloud of smoke and fume. They dont see the problem as the due is at our common boundary and leaves them to join us (weather is predominantly from the W-SW).
When you have a neighbour who appears all concerned but feels there is little they can do it is near impossible to resolve.
At least it is teaching my children the impact of open fires in an urban environment.
We are in City of Darebin.
James

spare a thought for all the little kids who wind up in hospital for days on end after breathing in the stuff.... yeah...my neighbours a terrible culprit and enjoys "lighting up" even when its 20 degrees. i have a sister who is highly allergic to the smoke - when i was younger it didn't bother me so much but now in my 40's i get sick of the smell and the headaches and runny nose and dry throat. and - like at the moment - if you have a bit of a cold and sore throat - it's really hard to breath cos it feels like the smoke is burning your insides...my neighbours down the street let me know about the two kids living around the corner...every season now they end up rushed to the hospital breathless and suffering from really bad asthma attacks...funny how it's always within hours of some of the neighbours "lighting up"... yeah...i thinks its great and its green and all the rest....but hey - the world is overpopulated and it's everyone for themselves - nobody cares about anybody anymore and so the youth shall suffer for it....

Combustion burning wood heaters are very efficient and if you always use seasoned wood you won't product much smoke at all.

We live on a property with thousands of trees. We only cut up and burn those trees that have died naturally and new trees are springing up all the time. We have never (and never needed to) cut down any live trees. There is always more than enough dead ones around.

I think the eco nazis would call that sustainable but they'd probably still whinge about fireplaces because they don't/can't have one themselves. They are usually those narcissistic personality types that love controlling what other people do.

They usually live in some inner city pollution filled (from automobiles) expensive, trendy ghetto where they sip on their latte's and brag to their friends about how environmentally friendly their V10 Audi 4WD is.

This 'control through political and environmental correctness' is at last coming to an abrupt end as people are seeing through the BS. They only have freaks like Flannery to thank for that with his outlandish, over the top predictions that all turned out to be BS. (Warragamba dam would never fill again, whoops!)

The pendulum is starting to swing the other way at last and reasonable people and people capable of original thought are starting to rise up against the mindless herd of 'me too' sheep who have been programmed to ruin your life with their narcissistic obsessions.

wow what a hilarious way to kill 10 minutes :D be thankful you were born humans and not dogs, cause the B**** mother would of known something was wrong with 3/4 of you and not fed you, leaving you to die... DIEEEEEEE
-Ron O'Brien

Classic hal you had me in stitches!
True, it will be interesting to see how the Greenies react when peopel start to fire up their wood fires again now that they have had their way in introducing a carbon tax to find 'more efficient' ways of creating energy. Why would I bother paying an extra 15% on electriciy bills when I can head out to Londonderry and chop down a few trees every month to burn in my pot belly? all free, and terrible for the environment. How we seem to have gone full circle.

Hi all,
Just wondering why a peanut always must be cracked with a sledge hammer. If you want to know why people can be so aggressive over these matters may I suggest that the environmental concerns that some people have (legitimate or not) seem to become an excuse to over-regulate the hell out of others until we all feel that we are in (expletive) straight jackets!
If wood smoke is an issue to most (and that is certainly a big 'if') there is certainly a great deal that could be done before extreme (and completely arrogantly one-sided remedies) are sought. For example, I keep my flue clean and only burn seasoned hardwood. I would be happy to run the risk of a big fine if council wanted to spot check my wood pile or flue anytime. I would prefer this to some annual inspection process which adds unnecessary expense to warming your home. Wood smoke is a natural occurrence so it doesn't make much sense to deprive everyone of a slow combustion fireplace only to be confronted by our annual round of national park fires in summer. It seems to me that more should be done to help any person who has a serious problem coping with wood smoke, unless you are also suggesting that back- burning ought not be undertaken either...which would be pretty crazy. If your car is spewing to many nasty fumes you can be fined. If we need to start anywhere at all, lets start with fines for inappropriate fuel or maintainance and not be at one another's throats. A little understanding on the part of both parties would be nice.

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