21 February 2006

I burn trees

For warmth. I am environmentally irresponsible, right?

Well considering last month's gas bill, we have decided to supplement gas heat with wood burning in our wood stove. It is easy to say, "use cleaner burning fuel sources," until you are stuck with the bill. And seeing as I am not forced to internalize the external costs my burning imposes on the rest of you all, I am going to burn more than the socially optimal amount of wood.

And as wood is a renewable resource (but of course not forest ecology), it will probably be an economically viable substitute for some time, especially if gas production doesn't expand. But just because I burn wood, does that mean I have thrown efficiency to the wind?

Of course not. In fact, we want to get the most out of our wood burning, if only to keep our house all that much warmer and spend less on heating. For example, we have a fan set up to blow heat away from the stove in the central room and down the hallway to the bedrooms. So while economic factors have caused me to be more polluting, they have also influenced me to pollute more efficiently.

1 comment:

Razzi said...

I think you are in good company burning wood for heat. That practice has probably been in vogue for more of our anthropologic history than any other method. Not only that, but 'mother nature' has been burning wood in the form of forest fires since the dawn of 'man'. I don't see the harm in your measly little fire if it serves the purpose of keeping you the slightest bit warmer. Trees grow back, and the atmosphere of the 'planet' appears to do quite well at sustaining breathable air over the long run. So...stoke that fire and cosy up!