This could happen to you (and don’t think that it won’t)


(This article originally linked to an article, from the Norwich Bulletin, about wood stoves. The comments in this piece were developed after reading the article… about certain wood stoves being used in Connecticut and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.)

Blumenthal is looking to have Connecticut join the state of Washington… and a few towns in Connecticut… in outlawing outdoor wood stoves. And on the surface, it seems like an interesting debate. Topics are raised such as people using the stoves for burning garbage and that outdoor units are not regulated the way indoor stoves are. That’s the basics.

But did you see the deeper idea? The out-of-the-box idea… one that falls right in line with the questions I usually find myself asking about all sorts of subjects… is about burning wood. But you have to follow the story to the next phase. (And that’s where I come in… as usual, I want to know where this leads… the reaction following the action, which so often seems to get left out.)

See… if Blumenthal wants to ban outdoor wood stoves, then I really can’t say I have an interest in the story. I don’t have an outdoor wood stove. I have no plans to buy an outdoor wood stove… install an outdoor wood stove… or in any way use an outdoor wood stove in the near future. Blumenthal regularly seems to enjoy seeing his name in the paper while waving at windmills, so… you know… whatever.

But this seems like more than that to me. Or, potentially more than that.

The article starts talking about carbon footprints and breathing wood smoke and all sorts of other stuff. And if they are sincere about that… simply about what they claim burning wood does… that has me wondering…

When do they plan to ban all wood stoves… and fireplaces… and other associated stuff?

Ok… I see I may be losing you. After all… who would ban a fireplace? (Well… I think Blumenthal for one. But that would force me to really digress.)

Let me ask you something…

When was the last time you changed the oil in your car? How about having your furnace cleaned? Did someone come to sweep out your chimney?

After all… we all know there are certain things we should do at certain intervals. Of course those of us using oil to heat our homes know the filters should be changed, nozzles checked, and the furnace cleaned every year (or at least every two). Some times though, we hit three years. (Some times… gasp… more.)

Occasionally you drive an extra 500… 1,000… 2,000 miles or more before rotating your tires.

And these things happen even with the best of intentions. You lose track… don’t have the money… the list of reasons goes on and on, and it is long.

Here though, it even goes beyond those reasons.

Let’s consider that every state is slightly different (and some times vastly different) in what they require for automobile inspections. Fair enough concept to agree upon? Ok… good.

In the end, the idea involving the wood becomes simple. If we can agree people lose track of things even with the best of intentions… and if we can agree that states come up with wildly different laws for the same issues… than I don’t think that it is that misplaced to think that someone who feels banning outdoor wood stoves is the right thing to do is that far away from believing that banning indoor wood stoves is worth considering… and then taking action.

I read far more stories about the dangers of fireplaces and indoor wood stoves than I do about outdoor wood stoves. Does burning wood in an outdoor wood stove really pollute more than burning wood in a fireplace that hasn’t been cleaned properly for several years?

I’m just asking.

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