News

Duraflame loses court battle over 'Spare the Air'

Firelog manufacturer sought exemption from Bay Area wood-burning rule

A firelog manufacturer lost its legal challenge to the Bay Area's wood-burning rule, according to an announcement Thursday by the region's air district.

Duraflame, which has corporate headquarters in Stockton, contended that its manufactured logs burned cleaner than natural wood logs, and sought an exemption from winter Spare the Air alerts that prohibit the use of fireplaces and wood stoves on poor air quality days.

The First District Court of Appeal rejected Duraflame's claim, and the company is now required to re-label its products to notify customers of the restrictions and provide contact information for consumers to check the burn status.

"The court has reaffirmed the air district's rule to protect public health and reduce harmful wintertime air pollution," Bay Area Air Quality Management District executive office Jack Broadbent said in a statement.

The labeling requirement went into effect on Oct. 1, and winter Spare the Air requirements are in effect between November and February.

During winter Spare the Air days, the air district prohibits the use of wood-burning devices, including fireplaces, pellet stoves, wood stoves and outdoor fire pits.

A survey conducted by the air district found that 25 percent of Bay Area households curtailed their wood burning in response to the air quality restrictions.

A majority of survey respondents -- 71 percent -- indicated that they supported the wood-burning rule. The air district estimates that there are 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves throughout the Bay Area that contribute pollutants like particulate matter and carbon monoxide.

Wood smoke is a major wintertime source of air pollution, while car exhaust is the major summertime contributor, according to the air district. Particulate matter has been linked to respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and lung disease.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

3 people like this
Posted by who cares
a resident of Triple El
on Oct 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Bay Area Air Quality Management District will have 20-30 inspectors on overtime pay orginating out of their San Francisco offices driving fossil fuel vehicles to cite those using Duraflame logs on winter spare the air days. God Bless America! Government stupidity at it's best!


1 person likes this
Posted by vsteblin
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Good for you, all you clean air people. And you burners should just wear warm clothes in layers if cold and turn your thermostat way down to save on costs. Central heat is unnecessary to basic health and was invented by rich snobs. Children have brown fat for heat and us adults can bundle up in a colder house. What ever happened to long underwear, sweaters, night caps, and double socks? A blasting, useless fireplace was OK when there were only a billion of us on the planet, but not anymore in crowded places. Let the wood rot and go for a hike in the cleaner air.


3 people like this
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm


Interesting to see we have one hippy still living in Palo Alto

We thought they had all moved on to retirement homes or medical facilities.

What is the cost benefit analysis of spare the air days in dollars?

400,000 Americans die of smoking related illness every year--how many die of wood fires? got any evidence?


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2010 at 4:14 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

While the modern fireplace is an inefficient heat source, it is cheerful and conducive to family togetherness, and disposes of a product that otherwise would be wasted. The morbidity of smoke is primarily in primitive societies where scavenged fuel like dry dung is used. In my days in industrial pollution study, we would sample the contaminate within occupied areas, often with personal samplers on the worker to monitor his specific exposure. It is junk science to extrapolate from emission to exposure, but then since all the real hazards to the air were resolved in the 70's the Air
Pollution Control boys have been playing extrapolateio to justify their existence. Not so oddly they pay no attention to major pollution sources like toll collecting traffic or pollen.
Cost-benefit has become a bad concept, but the health care dollar saved by spare the air may have been better spent on wages producing the Duraflame logs. BAAPCD Grinches, put Christmas Cheer back.


2 people like this
Posted by Fed Up, again
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 9, 2010 at 6:48 am

Um, this would be over what silly law? The one based on fraudulent "science" that "erred" 340%, enacted by the CARB ( Ca Air Resource Board)?? Web Link

Isn't it absurd that the point of the law that forbad Christmas Day fireplace burnings ( hmm...oddly coincidental) was to lower Carb emissions from fireplaces...and yet the amount of Carb emissions was "overestimated' ( read: lie) by 340%? And more so, isn't it odd that a non-emission duraflame log is STILL illegal?

This is, as usual, about CONTROLLING each of us. We have to stop this. Vote out the government control-freaks. ( I would say 'tyrants", but that seems to get people riled up. But, same thing.

BTW, didn't Moonbeam Brown start this board and appoint the chief of it?


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2010 at 9:45 am

I don't like smoke hanging in the air on winter's evenings. If duraflame and other similar manufactured fuels are smokeless, then I think we should allow them so that those who want to light a fire have something they can burn which doesn't give the rest of us an unpleasant outdoor experience.

A car can drive past me in the street and I can't notice any bad air. I can walk past a house with a smoking chimney and find it hard to breath as well as smell it on my clothes when I return home.

These are two different problems.


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Posted by vsteblin
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2010 at 10:14 am

Burners will use every excuse to justify their smoke, like "look at all the cars", "it is Christmas time", "it keeps the family together", "forest fires are bigger","leaf blowers are worse", "I have a historical right","the cavemen burned and still survived", "this is America and we have rights", "the pioneers burned", "I am just keeping my family warm", "prove to me that wood smoke is worse than cigarettes","it smells nice", "it is natural", "the oil leaks are really bad", "natural gas pipelines are bad', "the oil sands are bad", blah, blah, etc, etc, boohoo. With so many of us thinking that external heat is so necessary it is no wonder that we have so much smoke. Just butt out already, a hike with family in some clean air is better than singing carols around the yule log!


2 people like this
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2010 at 11:08 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

vsteblin, you, like many of your ilk have it backward. We don't need an excuse to do any damn thing we want to do, you need an extremely good reason to make us stop. Before you throw someone in jail you need science to back up your charge and it just ain't there. CARB has been jacking up standards every year in a job protection program that has expanded its control to North and South America and all the ships at sea. [See Cold Iron]. When you take a walk, don't sweat while passing my home.


Like this comment
Posted by vsteblin
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Wallis, keep your smoke out of my property and I promise to keep my sweat well away from you. Of course this is a matter of balance and consideration to others, one of the founding principles of any decent society, America included. I do not think many people object to smoke in the rural areas where no-one complains. The crowded places are different, and anyone producing smoke should feel guilty about infringing on the rights of others. "If it bothers someone, don't do it" is also NOT a backwards statement. I am a science teacher and there are SO MANY reasons to butt out in crowded places. One of the silly reasons burners give is "Wood only goes to waste anyway". But nature is profoundly wasteful, so why not let the wood rot! Of course burners will then bring up the "science" that rotting produces more methane than burning, oh boohoo a global warming threat! Give me a good scientific or social reason to make smoke near others. Even if smoke were only a public nuisance why make it?


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

You still have it backwards.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 9, 2010 at 7:35 pm

I have reason to believe Duraflame is a reputable company - based on personal contact yrs ago - so I am sorry to hear of this ruling against their product.


Like this comment
Posted by EnviroWhacko
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2010 at 9:44 pm

"You still have it backwards."

What does he have backwards, Walter_E_Wallis?

<b>E</b>


Like this comment
Posted by CaresAboutHealth
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2010 at 10:30 pm

The American Lung Association "strongly recommends using cleaner, less toxic sources of heat. Converting a wood-burning fireplace or stove to use either natural gas or propane will eliminate exposure to the dangerous toxins wood burning generates including dioxin, arsenic and formaldehyde” see lungusa.org/press-room/press-releases/cleaner-alternatives-for-winter-heat.html

Wood burning isn't harmless - the average wood stove puts out as much health-hazardous pollution per year as more than 100 passenger cars - woodsmoke.3sc.net/woodheater-car-comparison

So anyone who wouldn't like 100 passenger cars doing their entire annual driving round and the house should be consider their own and their neighbours health and start using non-toxic non-polluting heating.


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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Walter,

For all your years, I can't understand why you try to engage liberals in logical discourse.

Though I'm years your junior, I gave up on that prospect decades ago.


2 people like this
Posted by Fed up, again
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 10, 2010 at 5:17 am

Hmm...for all those folks who say they walk by a house with a smoking chimney and come home covered in smoke..methinks you exaggerate just a tad.

What are you doing, climbing on the rooftops and resting by the chimney? Smoke rises..from the chimney..on the roof... Very rare for there to be a downdraft that pushes smoke DOWN. There is a reason a flue in the chimney causes the smoke to get sucked up and out of the house.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2010 at 8:47 am

That's why they have spare the air nights. The air is so still that the smoke comes out the chimney and doesn't go up, but just dissipates into the atmosphere and hangs in the air. This air is heavier than clean air so the dirty, heavy air falls while the clean air rises.


2 people like this
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 10, 2010 at 9:24 am

I'm all for Spare the air days, and real wood smoke gives me a headache. But let's use a little common sense and not issue them on the handful of days that a fire really does add to the ambiance of the day. So skip at least Christmas and Christmas eve.


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Posted by vsteblin
a resident of another community
on Oct 10, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Sorry, I used to have relatives in Old Palo Alto and used that location instead of "another community" which is honest. To "palo alto mom"; re "let's use a little common sense" and "allow fires around the Christmas time". Sounds nice until one suggests that by that logic we should also allow "drinking and driving" once in awhile. By some accounts the overall health load of wood smoke in crowded areas rivals that of drunk drivers. By the same logic we should also allow shooting once in awhile in city limits. Or how about "incest" like in the cavemen days, but just once in awhile?

For "Outside Observer", the above ridiculous arguments of drunks, shooting and incest are "liberal" ideas, since "consideration for others" is extremely conservative. I repeat the cornerstone of any decent society,"If something bothers someone, then don't do it". There are alternatives to needless smoke, like wearing layers of clothes when cold. But every one needs a breath every few seconds and it should be a basic right for that breath to be as clean as possible.


2 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm

What kills me is that we are deprived of woodfires on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but there is no problem with driving cars, using gasoline powered lawnmowers, charcoal barbecues etc... on all the other spare the air days, winter and summer. I consider myself green, but this is totally ridiculous.


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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Oct 10, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Very good point "Whatever". It's not about sparing the air, it's all about petty bureaucrats abusing their power to bring everyone else down to their level of miserability.


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 10, 2010 at 6:49 pm


It is always comforting to worry about trivial things while
there is a natural EMP bomb on its way—

“Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

In a new warning, Nasa said the super storm would hit like “a bolt of lightning” and could cause catastrophic consequences for the world’s health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken.

Scientists believe it could damage everything from emergency services’ systems, hospital equipment, banking systems and air traffic control devices, through to “everyday” items such as home computers, iPods and Sat Navs.

Due to humans’ heavy reliance on electronic devices, which are sensitive to magnetic energy, the storm could leave a multi-billion pound damage bill and “potentially devastating” problems for governments.

The National Academy of Sciences warned two years ago that power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services and emergency radio communications could “all be knocked out by intense solar activity”.

It warned a powerful solar storm could cause “twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina”.

That storm devastated New Orleans in 2005 and left an estimated damage bill of more than $125bn (£85bn). ”

Web Link

In fact, the power distribution could blow out and it would take years to get them back on the grid.

The probabilities of that scenario vary from .5 to .9 a very bleak prospect either way you look at it.

The Internet was designed to survive regular nuclear warfare– not EMP nor Solar Storms


Like this comment
Posted by vsteblin
a resident of another community
on Oct 10, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Totally ridiculous, green whatever, is all the stuff we put into the air, and never think twice about it. Consider air fresheners; to cover some offensive odor, we add more to hide it. Consider perfume; to support a billion dollar industry, we buy billions worth of added scents. Consider lawns; and the silly attempt to impress neighbors when rocks, bushes and variety will do. Consider leaf blowers; whoever convinced us to just blow things around? Consider barbecues; a cavemen remnant that usually just chars everything into some nice smelling mess. Consider aromatic candles; calms you like the honey bees and so far only one death attributed to suffocation by candle.

Sure, nature also puts out lots of stuff, but do we have to add so much? Should we not have a little more respect for clean air? Picking on smoke from wood stoves is a no-brainer, since all the cigarette smokers combined are equal to one stack of wood. And all the above examples are tiny compared to home heating with wood. And now there is "got to have a diesel to haul the wood" to deal with. Butt out already with unnecessary wood smoke, to many obviously the worst culprit in crowded areas.


Like this comment
Posted by cleanair
a resident of Woodside
on Oct 11, 2010 at 5:53 am

This is a very good ruling. There is no such thing as 'safer' woodsmoke.
To all the burners, I say go cover your flue, light a fire and see how long you can breathe in the house.
It is not up to the non burners to answer claims and say woodsmoke causes ditress and disease. There are well proven facts now by properly conducted speer reviewed cientific studies.
I am happy for the people that mounted a successful campaign.
Long live [in] clean air!


2 people like this
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 11, 2010 at 7:52 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

EnviroWhacko, nony asserts that if it bothers someone I shouldn't do it, but neglects to mention that the bother needs to be significant - The fuel rejected was specifically formulated to burn clean, a measurable quality, and yet was denied consideration.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

vsteblin, ...the cornerstone of any decent society,"If something bothers someone, then don't do it"... Some folk are bothered by trivialities. The harm of burning formulated logs is an unproven downward extrapolation. The "bother" is mostly emotional. The power to use force to modify the behavior of others is one best used only in extreme cases, not frivolously as has been recent practice.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:39 am

Some of you think that sitting around a fire is a good way to celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving. Others like to celebrate by going for an after dinner walk around their neighborhoods. Not really sure why sitting around a smokey fire on a warm evening is really necessary to celebrate with your family. After all, we don't have snow on the ground or sub zero temperatures.

While you are sitting around your fire on a spare the air night, go outside and breathe the air. If there is a breeze and the smoke blows away I don't have a problem. But on a spare the air night that is not the case. It is really difficult to breathe outside if someone is being unthoughtful, and if it is a mild evening some of us like to have our windows open and can't.

As for outside fireplaces, why do we allow these in residential neighborhoods? We have cigarette smoking restrictions, so isn't it time to have other smoke regulated?


2 people like this
Posted by Fed up, again
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:00 am

To Resident above this post:

You are right. While we are at it, perfumes of all sorts really bother me. Why should we allow any fragrances on non-windy days? I think all fragrances should be banned on spare the air days. Even if one is inside her house, it might sneak out.

And, it really hurts my eyes and causes me emotional distress to see anyone ugly, fat or disabled on the streets. Really need to ban that highly inconsiderate group also.

And, those cars! We need to just ban them, they are noisy and hurt my ears, and the fumes are gross. Just ban 'em.


Like this comment
Posted by vsteblin
a resident of another community
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:29 am

To Fed up, I am still waiting for your trivial "If a posting bothers someone, then don't do it?"

To Wallis, your "shooting fish in barrels, emotional trivialities, tar and feathers, supposed age and interest in science prompted me to respond with some science of my own, consider the following...


Wood burners will sometimes ask about the science of wood smoke. They do not see immediate effects on health and claim that the long term chronic damage is negligible. They say, ”Show me the science.”
The same pattern happened with other historical issues. It took time for society to generally accept that the Earth was round, that the Earth went around the Sun, that dinosaur bones actually existed, that the platypus existed, that the Neanderthals existed, that blood circulated, that infectious disease was caused by germs, that Einstein relativity had evidence, that continental drift has evidence, that quantum physics seems correct, etc.
Today there are still many who are not convinced that evolution has evidence, that DNA supports evolution, that whales have a mammal origin, that black holes exist, that there was a Big Bang, that global warming is here, that String Theory is relevant, etc.
Then there are many who just rely on historical tradition for their information. Religious fundamentalists and wood burners come to mind. What parents or trusted authorities passed on will not be changed even into old age and death. Die-hard Bible believers do NOT accept evolution? Die-hard wood burners do NOT accept that wood smoke is harmful?
Although it is obvious that people around a campfire do try to avoid smoke, burners dismiss their winter haze over cities as negligible. Their minds are already made up. To these people I ask, “What does a reasonable person do when new evidence comes along?” They should carefully consider that evidence and change their mind, but they mostly just continue with old habits because of tradition. There is already lots of science for a reasonable person to BUTT out. Then laws become necessary and the complaining starts.


Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 11, 2010 at 10:55 am

I'm pretty sure that wood burning outdoor fireplaces are banned in Palo Alto, but firepits are not a permanent structure. Many are simply a metal bowl to contain whatever is burning.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter walter walter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 11:17 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 11, 2010 at 11:58 am

And I thought " spare the air " days mean no Taco Bell on those days...

The same CATALYTIC CONVERTER route was used by the stove and fireplace insert manufacturers to get rid of the hazard in the fumes...

The typical complaints ere are just more NIMBY NEANDERTHALS who want to play " it's for your own good " POWER TRIPS....

I say, just be glad no one BURNS TRASH in their fireplace these days. If you push elimination of ALL burning, why not just start using the fireplace like a 55 gallon drum is used during a homeless campout?

The way things are going, EVERYONE in the SFBA are doing to need them...

You have way too many " rats in a box " in the SFBA...

Read the study to find out how THE RATS took care of the problem...

When we can fit EVERY FUMAROLE ( undersea too ) and ACTIVE VOLCANO with CATALYTIC CONVERTERS, than lets talk about toxic air pollution.

CARB is just another CONTROL FREAK group. California has been SCAMMED for decades....

PS: for the GREENIES: where are YOUR seven acres?

( if you are TRULY green, you know what I mean )


Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 11, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Walter, I know you relish your position as resident libertarian curmudgeon, but your act is getting old.

> “We don't need an excuse to do any damn thing we want to do, you need an extremely good reason to make us stop.”

This is such a ludicrous statement that it doesn’t merit a response.

>” Some folk are bothered by trivialities. … The bother is mostly emotional.”

I’m so sorry that the triviality of my asthma might affect your “cheerful … family togetherness.” And yes, it must be my emotions that cause me to cough and wheeze.

Resident says it perfectly: “While you are sitting around your fire on a spare the air night, go outside and breathe the air.” It’s not so cheerful or cozy out there!

There are about 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves throughout the Bay Area that contribute pollutants like particulate matter and carbon monoxide. The tiniest particles penetrate deep into the lungs and bloodstream. Studies show that both ozone and particle pollution cause premature death, decreased lung function, and increased rates of heart attacks, strokes, bronchitis, asthma and lung diseases.
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Walter walter walter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Well said, Pat. It would help Walter if he tried to be civil when disagreeing with you, but that is apparently beyond his bitter nature.


Like this comment
Posted by Greg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 11, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Like last year I expect Thanksgiving and Christmas will be spare the air days no matter what the weather. The Grinch is alive and well...


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Those that live in cold climates may want fireplaces to celebrate Christmas. I myself lived in a cold, damp climate and as a child remember toasting bread and roasting chestnuts in our fireplace. I also remember how dirty we got and how the room was painted nearly every spring because of the smoke. I also remember the amount of effort needed to clean out the fireplace the next day, I know because it was often my chore.

Fortunately, I now live in California. My home is seldom cold enough to warrant lighting a fire for heat. On the one time we did, we ended up opening up the windows and changing into shorts because we were much too warm.

What's with needing a fire for heat? If you really like to look at one, get a gas flame which doesn't produce any heat or any mess.

People living in Australia go to the beach for Christmas dinner. You can celebrate without a fire. It is the people and the activities which are important, not lighting a fire.

I don't upset you with load music and you don't upset me with smoke. Isn't that what being good neighbors is all about?


Like this comment
Posted by vsteblin
a resident of another community
on Oct 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Where I live the "Greenies" are all going back to burning wood because of anti-pipeline feelings. They think that biomass is environmentally friendly and that rotting wood makes too much global-warming methane. I am no old hippy but they can all go back to some campground commune and smoke away to thin their herd. Consideration to others says it all, Pat. We have just one girl allergic to nuts in our school and the whole population kindly BUTTS out. Heating with wood, even cooking with wood is NOT necessary any more in modern society.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 11, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Fireplaces were poor heating apparatuses in Ben Franklin's day, but we have improved them since with outside combustion air intakes, catalytic converters and better, cleaner fuels. I learned about combustion efficiency with a Hayes Orsat. I was too young to need the Ringleman chart.
I will debate that that evolution has evidence, that DNA supports evolution, that whales have a mammal origin, that black holes exist and that String Theory is relevant, etc when they come to my door to arrest me for non-belief. They are already at my door to forcibly make me bow to the trash science of global warming even as it fades away to join the other cults that have tried to drag down mankind to their particular God. And anyone who does not understand that I am personally free to do what I wish to do bearing a compelling, demonstrated reason to stop me needs to leave this adult forum for some lesser clime. It id difficult at my age to kindly tell someone they have been taken for a fool and a sucker, but perhaps. I will learn. Nah!


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Hal Lewis, an emeritus professor from the University of California has distributed on the Internet a damning letter of resignation from the American Physical Society (APS), refer to:

Web Link

Apparently the Council of the APS has been captured by moonbats and they’re making foolish proclamations concerning Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).
The following is the most offending text:

“The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.”

No honest physicist would use the word “incontrovertible” for something as nebulous as AGW.
The only things in physics that can safely be called “incontrovertible” are the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the conservation of mass and energy.
The Council of the APS have shot their credibility.
Hal Lewis did the right thing in resigning.


Like this comment
Posted by vsteblin
a resident of another community
on Oct 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm

So Wallis, you would promote the EPA approved and modern pellet technology because there is improvement in technology, just like the filtered cigarettes promised improvement? Maybe we have been suckered in with the whole idea of central, external heat in homes? Sure a bit of heat is necessary to keep pipes from freezing, but the rest is pure luxury. In a decent society nobody is "free to do as they wish", they have to adjust with consideration to others. Wood smoke is one of the best modern issues to debate, even better than noise, litter, drunk driving, drugs, global warming or evolution.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm


vsteblin, a resident of another community
by its own admission lives in another location---China seems probable --- the main source of lethal air pollution in this area comes from mercury, arsenic, lead etc that blows across the Pacific from Chinese coal powered power plants.

Chinese disinformation could be more sophisticated--


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm

When one’s position is as calcified as Walter’s, there’s little point in confusing him with facts or even scientific theories like gravity, let alone evolution.

> “And anyone who does not understand that I am personally free to do what I wish to do bearing a compelling, demonstrated reason to stop me needs to leave this adult forum for some lesser clime.”

I suppose that qualifies as an adult statement in Walter’s universe.


Like this comment
Posted by who cares
a resident of Triple El
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:48 pm

"sharon" and "resident" you've gone over the edge. go out and try to have some fun in your life. goosfraba...all is well...all is well...all is well...


Like this comment
Posted by common sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2010 at 10:34 pm

From the American Lung Association analysis of studies on particulate pollution:
Web Link

"In its study of the 90 largest U.S. cities, NMMAPS found strong evidence linking daily
increases in particulate pollution to increases in death. On average, overall mortality
increased by 0.5 percent for every 10 microgram per cubic meter increase in PM10
measured the day before death."

and

Web Link
"Short-term exposure to elevated levels of particle pollution is associated with a higher risk of death due to a cardiovascular event."

And then in addition to sudden heart attack and stroke increases, there's asthma, COPD, emphysema, etc.

If you have to have a fire, get a gas fixture. Or save the money and go to a B&B (with a gas fixture) once in awhile. Sheesh, the selfishness of some of the posters above is astonishing.


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Posted by whatever
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm

For all of you who are adamant it's necessary to ban wood fires on Thanksgiving and Christmas, along with all other spare the air days, why are you not advocating a ban on:

barbecues,
gas powered lawn mowers,
synthetic fragrances,
non electric automobiles,

on spare the air days? After all, none of the above are both necessary and without alternatives.

I'd love your answer on this. Thank you.


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Posted by vsteblin
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm

For Whatever, just weigh out the beginning masses of your materials and compare them. For example, compare the total mass of perfume to the total mass of wood. And we have already left the wood-fired vehicles back in the steam age, because they were not as efficient as gasoline. Most of your examples are trivial compared to a single wood burner's stack. Weigh all the cigarettes in your area and then weigh all the wood! Butt out already and throw your wood pile back into the bush to rot.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

vsteblin, the total mass of the wood, or just the VOC? The dose delivered, or the dose dispersed? The material in the Duraflame is a far piece from a log. I believe this was an unjustified ban lacking technical support. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by vste
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm

The masses are just one quick, rough comparison, yet strangely thought provoking. Walter, with all due respect, one wood burner can hold a whole neighborhood hostage with smoke. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] Freedom to what? Smoke someone out? Wood smoke belongs in the rural areas, and NOT in crowded communities.


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Posted by whatever
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Well, vste I'll continue to hold you hostage two nights a year... since I am constantly, day in day out, held hostage by gas powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers, weekly at least by my neighbors' barbecues in the summer... and daily, and hourly by the hords driving their gasoline powered cars everywhere, while I do not barbecue, do not use gas power implements in my yard, and drive less than 5000 miles a year.

I won't feel guilty at all.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2010 at 8:27 pm

You can view the huge plume of toxic pollution from China as it creeps across the Pacific and dumps mercury, lead and arsenic on the Bay Area.

Chi Coms want to distract us from the fact that China builds a massive unfiltered coal powered power station every 2 weeks---50+ per year-- and the toxic plumes land on us in the Bay area.

Wood fires in PA are .0000005% of the poisons that blow in from China.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Bitter and calcified? I joyfully shred the twits who challenge my knowledge of energy and pollution control.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2010 at 10:05 pm




@ Walter

At least you are not accused of being "bitter and clinging to you guns and Churches"

As Obama said in SF-- to a private audience of millionaire donors--









2


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Posted by Fed Up, again
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 14, 2010 at 4:06 am

Walter and Sharon: Ok, I was wondering how you would respond..and they were good ones! As soon as I hear my opinion is "bitter", "greedy", "selfish", or ( this is a new one..I like it!!) "calcified", I know that the person is frustrated by facts and logic and resorting to the now-made-famous tactics of Alinsky.

Now, if we can just prevent Cloward-Piven's approach from completing reality, we will be ok.

Whatever: Well said, also. But, please, don't confuse anyone with logic.

I think the age of reason, joined by the age of freedom, is returning, slowly, to our country. Not sure California will join in, ...it may decide to keep falling off the cliff.


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