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This is fun

My burning shame: I fitted my house with three wood-burning stoves
George Monbiot

Pollution from wood burning, terrible, lacrima christi etc.


At some expense, I fitted three wood burners and the steel flues required to remove the smoke.

Three wood burners? So, not living in the 76 m2 of the average British new build then?

And that’s the bit that should perturb. Antinomianism. Absolutely none of these people who insist upon “protecting” nature and restricting building ever actually live in the floorspaces they insist the proles are to be allowed. This isn’t specific to George either. And the solution is only going to come when everyone in the planning process, from PM to Parish Councillor, every planning bureaucrat, is forced to live, with their entire families, in the sort of shite they insist is good enough for everyone else.

21 thoughts on “This is fun”

  1. “Research from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in February revealed that domestic woodburning (from closed stoves and open fires) was responsible for 17% of particulate air pollution in 2021. Although previous DEFRA data had suggested this figure was actually 38%”. *

    Green? EcoFriendly? Net Zero? Only to the true believers, who will blindly continue in their delusion whilst polluting the atmosphere for the rest of us (see also Drax and ‘Biomass’).


  2. Add to that list architects. I’ve lived or worked in too many architect designed buildings that won awards but that were totally useless as practical working buildings. [This is a pet peeve of long standing.]

  3. I too live in a ‘century old and poorly built house’ (265m2 floorspace). Ditto 3 wood-burning stoves, which I concede may well be contributing to my eventual demise. Those two-packs of ciggies/day I used to smoke and a questionable lifestyle might also have some say … the polluting vehicles I drive, miles I have flown. Have slapped myself on the wrist and moved on – short of bulldozing the place and starting over again there’s not a lot I can do. Can’t say the subject causes me any loss of sleep.

  4. George might also like to consider his contribution to the Dioxin contamination of his local area……

    Atmospheric Environment Volume 49, March 2012, Pages 415-418
    Short communication
    Dioxin inhalation doses from wood combustion in indoor cookfires
    Amanda L.,

  5. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    The Pope absolutely needs his palace, Tim. He is more than willing to make the sacrifice of conscience to emit large amounts of carbon for the net gain of thus being in a position to make good decisions about how you and billions of others might emit less yourself!

  6. Arguably, aerosols reduce global warming. So cutting air pollution might increase global warming,

  7. Wood burners are incredibly bad for the environment – and flood our homes with toxins, too. I wish I’d known that in 2008

    How could Oxford-educated scientist* George Monbiot have possibly known that burning wood produces pollution when he was just a callow 45 year old environmental correspondent for the Guardian?

    *No sniggering.

  8. “I would buy the wood locally, from a contractor I knew.” 2008? He could have planted some trees (or just fenced off some land and let trees grow spontaneously) and then coppiced them. That would have been “sustainable” and “moral”. Perhaps a bit infra-dig for a Guardian man, eh? Physical labour, phooey! But he could at least have made puns about being a “hack”.

    Actually, I suspect that in much of the country – dunno about where he lives – he could just have bought a bit of existing woodland and turned it into a coppice.

  9. Lions in general ain’t enough for cvnts like Monbiot.

    First his soft parts need to be tenderised by extensive baseball batting, before elderly lions with only a few teeth are allowed to feast.

  10. I wonder if Monbiot buys wood locally in the same way I buy palm oil and LED lights locally: i.e. from a local seller.

  11. Just read the bit where he effectively admits being a seller of wood burning stoves. He now believes:
    “the sale of wood-burning stoves and pellet boilers should be banned”.
    What a c

  12. The entire planning industry is based on the belief that “our lives will be diminished if we let you live like us”.

  13. 99% of the pollution is due to burning “wet wood” (which includes green, as well as wet, wood) instead of seasoned (or kiln-dried) wood.
    The smoke that George Monbiot suffered was due to his ignoring the simple instructions to use dry/dried wood and sufficient draught that come with the stoves: that does, of course, include having the chimney swept (once a year is normally sufficient).
    I do not get clouds of black smoke – perhaps that is because I am not an incompetent Guardian journalist burning green wood.

  14. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    What colour smoke do you get when burning Guardian journalists? I wonder if EcoPope Georgivs knows?

  15. Monbiot is a perfect example of how obsessively green thinking completely rots your brain. He isn’t called the Barking Moonbat for nothing. Does any of the pollution caused by these stoves do any actual harm? I suppose in a densely populated place like London a sufficient concentration of wood burners might have some effect but I live in a rural area. In the real world people are installing wood burners in preparation for the time when our stupid gullible politicians have destroyed our infrastructure in pursuit of net zero. We already have a generator and battery powered emergency lights installed, as well as camping stoves that run on bottled gas. It now makes sense to have as many different alternative lighting, heating and cooking methods set up in order to offset the problems that are being deliberately created by these utter morons.

  16. @Stonyground

    The rural/urban distinction is important – the emissions from woodburning stoves genuinely are detrimental to health (PM2.5 is bad for you) but if you’re in a rural area, the person who suffers the consequences of that is primarily you. Which is a good incentive to at least make sure you’ve got a model that leaks minimal amounts of smoke into your own home. In an urban area, there are more people around you to be affected by reduced air quality, and that effect is significant compared to other sources (estimates vary but in urban areas, I’ve seen estimates that wood burning may be responsible for about a quarter of PM2.5 and this proportion is likely to increase as e.g. more polluting cars get removed from circulation) and has substantial health effects.

    Personally I’d rather governments spent more time/effort improving air quality in respect of PM2.5 and other nasties with serious adverse health effects, compared to how much effort they put into CO2 (which has essentially no direct effect on health, and to the extent emissions levels matter, it’s at an international rather than local level, on which scale the UK contribution is minor). But it’s also true, as a consumer, it’s good to have a range of options available – including much ore self-reliant ones – given the mess successive governments have made, and seem intent on continuing to make, of energy policy. So I share your frustrations – I wonder to what extent the particulate emissions can be ameliorated by improved design standards, or perhaps an alternative fuel (smokeless bioethanol?) but I don’t really know.

    Some relevant reads:

  17. I won’t dispute that “PM2.5 is bad for you”, just as with many pollutants of air or water. But the spurious death stats have been contacted based on Linear No-Threshold, which is what gives us all the nonsense about radioactivity.

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