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Friday, November 23, 2007

San Francisco considering banning fireplace fires?

At least it doesn't seem that SF is thinking of banning the fireplace, although the fireplace is a necessary, although not sufficient, condition, for a fireplace fire. Nevertheless, this seems like the kind of do-gooder bureaucracy that gives "good" bureaucracy a bad name.

This opinion piece from the SF Chronicle is actually rather thoughtful. I suppose reasonable debate is possible, even in blue states, depending on who's ox is getting gored.

So what is the question? Are the fires in our homes bad because they add to global warming? Release carbon dioxide into the air? Pollute the atmosphere with soot and particulate matter? All of the above?

Where is the research? The Chronicle reported that "government studies" indicate that 33 percent of all "particulate matter" comes from your fireplace and mine. With all the industry and all the cars in the Bay Area, does anyone actually believe that?

Shouldn't we be given more quantitative information such has, "How many fireplaces are there in the nine counties? How many are used each night? How many hours is each fireplace used? How much "particulate matter" is expelled from each fire? How many parts per million are in the air? How much dissipates into the atmosphere?"

Is this decision truly about air quality or global warming?

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