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Account Management
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Should fireplace fires be banned?

Jeffrey Earl Warren
SF Chronicle
Friday November 23, 2007

Under the auspices of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, "public hearings" are being held to determine the fate of the family hearth.

Those of us who live in rural areas have a pretty good idea what the outcome is going to be.

Still, in the interest of basic fairness, we'd at least like the decision-makers to employ the rudiments of the scientific method, rather than riding the winds of energy dependence and global warming hysteria, before coming to a final decision.

The scientific method follows a rigid methodology. Ask a question. Do background research. Construct a hypothesis. Test the hypothesis. And then, communicate the results.

(Article continues below)

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?

Full article here.

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