Letters to the Editor

‘Antiquated’ fireplace warms the heart in winter

To the editor:

I am sending this message in response to Ron Barnard’s recent editorial letter: Wood Burners (Dec. 16 Capital News) in which he lambasts people who use wood or pellet burning stoves and fireplaces.

It troubles me more and more that people in our corner of the world are being swayed by bad information such as someone’s opinion that burning wood (which we, as a species, have done for countless millennia) is bad for us or the Earth.

Compared to having everyone burn nothing but wood for heat and energy, of course using natural gas and propane are more efficient. However, there are a number of undisputable facts that should be considered.

For one: Trees are a renewable resource and as long as we harvest and replant them in a sustainable manner, we will always have enough trees around.

For another: Burning clean and untreated wood is perfectly normal and healthy for the planet.  Of course nobody should be burning treated, painted or creosote-soaked wood, or worse, things like plastic or rubber, and if people are burning these things then they should be penalized harshly under stricter environmental regulations. However, wood smoke and ash is good for the Earth and the air and if you need proof, just look at how the earth is rejuvenated and replenishes itself after a natural forest fire.

Personally, I think we should be letting more forest fires burn naturally and we need to stop polluting our groundwater supplies with extremely toxic chemicals such as fire retardants.

The negative impact on our environment from incessant drilling and worse, new extraction techniques such as frakcing, are causing far more damage to our Earth and our personal health than we could ever imagine doing by just burning wood.  Just because you don’t see the damage in the air, ground or water, doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening and that it isn’t affecting us.

Please stop trying to convince people that tens of thousands of years of history, knowledge and practice can be overruled by less than a century of temporary madness and insanity which is driven by greed for profit and a total disregard for the well-being of our planet.  I personally love the smell of a wood fire, and even though I do rely on natural gas for heating my home in the winter, I still enjoy supplementing my boring old central heating with a good, hearty and healthy wood fire in my ‘antiquated’ fireplace.

Dan Thorburn,



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