You may call it the “Home Heating” industy, but I quite correctly call it the Pollution Industry.
The Home Heating Industry is only composed in my book by companies making products that heat homes that don’t cause their neighbours to have a reduced quality of life, or to lose their homes. So only the ethical companies can call themselves the Home Heating industry, like those that are linked on the right under the heading Ethical Home Heating Products, such as the manufacturers and retailers of split system airconditioners/heat pumps, and of gas burning stoves, and solar heaters and allied industries like insulation companies and the manufacturers of warm socks.
The other types of heating your home, are the makers of infernal contraptions that spew pollution into the local atmosphere, and hence they are the Pollution Industry, despite what they call themselves. The pollution industry associations like the AHHA, and the NZHHA are not above criticism of both their members products and services, and the environmental and societal toll of their products. Everyone has a right to say what they believe, including me. So why would I be getting sued for defamation by the AHHA? I am only a little guy with a little blog. Can’t they even handle the smallest amount of fair criticism? Why do they resort to such bullying tactics? At the time of writing my blog has only had less than 1000 hits. It’s hardly the same as taking out a prime time 30 second ad in the middle of Australian Idol.
I think the answer lies in that what I say are powerful memes. The AHHA doesn’t want the general population to think like I do. They don’t want the general population to think for themselves. They want the community to only think like the AHHA wants people to think. They only want one side of the argument. But these are powerful memes indeed and some of the ideas are completely objective.
These are some of the powerful objective ideas (ie facts and not just my humble opinion):
Wood smoke is toxic.
Wood smoke causes respiratory disease, and causes deaths.
Wood burners cannot be used anything like the way prescribed by the Pollution Industry to minimise smoke emissions in the real world, so all their claims of “clean” and small emissions are bollocks.
Many cleaner technologies exist for heating your home than solid fuel burning stoves.
Many people do not like wood smoke and think woodsmoke is a nuisance.
No one should have to put up with any form of unneccessary pollution.
People have the right to complain and speak up against environmental problems about where they live, work or visit.
These are some of the powerful subjective ideas that I have (ie my opinions, backed up with some compelling arguments):
The citizens right to clean air should be enshrined in a Bill of Rights in each state and territory in Australia and in New Zealand. Not only should maximum pollution levels be set as currently is, but state that a minimum of zero be the desired level, and that only necessary pollution be allowed. If cleaner technologies exist then they must be used. This will get rid of woodburners, but also get rid of diesel engines and replace them with compressed nautral gas, and the like.
Woodburners should be banned immediately from every street in Kapiti that has a gas connection.
Wood burners should be banned outright in all of Australasia (except for isolated farms, but even then if it causes a nuisance to a neighbour then that neighbour’s clean air rights should be able to get rid of a problem wood burner)
Woodburners should be banned immediately if their is a house within 150 metres of the flue.
Wood burners should be banned because if every household used one pollution levels would be exceeded every night, so a household to keep under the maximum prescribed pollution levels should only use their share of the quota, which means they should only have as a maximum one-seventh of a wood stove (or some arbitrary fraction, it doesn’t matter for the sake of argument). Any more than that and they are using more of their fair share of the resource (in this case saying the maximum pollution levels are what we should achieve, when really the aim is to have zero pollution)
If not totally banned then households that use wood burning appliances should compensate those that do not. All the externalised costs should be paid by the polluter. In my case, living in Adelaide, I tried to quantify this and I would have had charged them for motel rooms, because I couldn’t use my house when they burnt, and the costs of me having to move home, plus the losses in house value that their pollution caused. I would put the costs at about $50,000 a year for that one family to compensate me for the financial losses. Clearly that is unsustainable and a total ban on wood burning stoves would be more appropriate.
Compensation should be paid to people who suffer losses from wood burner usage, and victims should be able to sue both the users, and manufacturers and retailers of the wood burner, and firewood involved. None of this compensation should be publicly funded.
All wood burners that passed certification against the A/NZ air pollution standards, but then were sold with different sized air holes and subsequently would not pass retesting should be immediately recalled and the purchasers money refunded in full, with compensation for the installation and deinstallation costs.
All the pollution industry can muster is easily countered myths, half truths and propaganda:
Mine is a moral, and scientific argument for the good of society. The Pollution Industry is out for themselves.