Posted by: Matthew | April 3, 2010

The simple truth that should be at the heart of public policy

One simple fact – Wood smoke is toxic.

All public policy should start from that fact.

It doesn’t matter if it is a bushfire, a burnoff, a bonfire, an old fireplace or a new so-called “clean” woodburner. All of the wood smoke is toxic. Toxic chemicals should be minimised in our environment as much as possible. Are there other ways to deal with waste than burning it? Yes, therefore burnoffs should be banned. Are there other ways to heat your home other than woodburners? Yes (and the other technologies are way better in every other way too), therefore woodburners should be banned.

It is as simple as that.  Scientific ignorance is no excuse. Selfishness is certainly no excuse. Saying it is tradition is only making excuses. Public policy should reflect what we want to be. It shouldn’t codify our previous failures, or we will be forever enslavened by them.

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