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EPA To Alaskans In Sub-Zero Temps: Stop Burning Wood To Keep Warm

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In Jack London’s famous short story, “To Build A Fire,” a man freezes to death because he underestimates the cold in America’s far north and cannot build a proper fire. The unnamed man—a chechaquo, what Alaska natives call newcomers—is accompanied by a wolf-dog that knows the danger of the cold and is wholly indifferent to the fate of the man. “This man did not know cold. Possibly, all the generations of his ancestry had been ignorant of cold, of real cold, of cold 107 degrees below freezing point. But the dog knew; all its ancestry knew, and it had inherited the knowledge.”

If only the bureaucrats in Washington DC knew what the wolf-dog knew. But alas, now comes the federal government to tell the inhabitants of Alaska’s interior that, really, they should not be building fires to keep themselves warm during the winter. The New York Times reports the Environmental Protection Agency could soon declare the Alaskan cities of Fairbanks and North Pole, which have a combined population of about 100,000, in “serious” noncompliance of the Clean Air Act early next year.

Like most people in Alaska, the residents of those frozen cities are burning wood to keep themselves warm this winter. Smoke from wood-burning stoves increases small-particle pollution, which settles in low-lying areas and can be breathed in. The EPA thinks this is a big problem. Eight years ago, the agency ruled that wide swaths of the most densely populated parts of the region were in “non-attainment” of federal air quality standards.

That prompted state and local authorities to look for ways to cut down on pollution from wood-burning stoves, including the possibility of fining residents who burn wood. After all, a declaration of noncompliance from the EPA would have enormous economic implications for the region, like the loss of federal transportation funding.

The problem is, there’s no replacement for wood-burning stoves in Alaska’s interior. Heating oil is too expensive for a lot of people, and natural gas isn’t available. So they’ve got to burn something. The average low temperature in Fairbanks in December is 13 degrees below zero. In January, it’s 17 below. During the coldest days of winter, the high temperature averages -2 degrees, and it can get as cold as -60. This is not a place where you play games with the cold. If you don’t keep the fire lit, you die. For people of modest means, and especially for the poor, that means you burn wood in a stove—and you keep that fire lit around the clock.

As Necessary As Food And Water

Growing up in Alaska, I learned this from an early age. (My father, in fact, was a chechaquo. As a white kid growing up in Alaska native villages in the 1950s, the native kids would call him and his siblings chechaquos as a kind of juvenile epithet.) Like many families in Alaska, then and now, we weren’t wealthy and had no other means of staying warm besides burning wood. As kids, my brothers and I would spend long hours stacking cords of wood and, when we were older, felling trees, cutting them into logs, and hauling them back to the house. It wasn’t romantic, it was simply part of life in the far north: firewood was as natural and necessary as food and water.

For most Alaskans, it still is. Replacing wood-burning stoves, especially in the state’s interior, isn’t easily done. Ever since the EPA’s ruling in 2008, local and state efforts to address air pollution caused by wood stoves hasn’t solved the problem. As the editors of the Fairbanks newspaper recently noted, “The borough faces two unpalatable alternatives: More stringent restrictions on home heating devices that could impact residents’ ability to heat their homes affordably, or choosing to stand pat and accept a host of costly economic sanctions and health effects to residents.”

Local residents have been assured that of course the government means well. According to the Times, the EPA official in charge claims that “his agency was definitely not trying to take away anyone’s wood stove, or make life more expensive.” But he also said the EPA’s job is to enforce air quality standards set by the Clean Air Act. The implication is clear: these wood stoves are going to be a problem.

more at http://thefederalist.com/2016/12/30/epa-alaskans-sub-zero-temps-stop-burning-wood-keep-warm


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

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I burn wood, quite a lot of it, and we can get down to -20F but not that often.

I assume the issue is burning inefficiently in an area where there are inversions. There are ale\ready EPA approved stoves etc, now I happen to have a very low opinion of the EPA on this matter.

I am surrounded by Federal Forests and they make it more and more difficult for people to get wood, some areas around here are stacked with dead timber, only a matter of time before it all goes up.

Fed hypocrisy is outstanding.

 

 


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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It's amazing how quickly certain people get worked up over nothing.

https://www.google.com/amp/www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy/stories/amp/breathe-easy-clean-burning-wood-stoves-are-on-the-way

 

All the prepper sites are going nuts: "80 percent of wood stoves banned" the headlines scream. "Obama is taking away your wood stove." The Heartland Institute, famous for ridiculous climate denial campaigns, claims in a headline: "New EPA Regulations Ban Production and Sale of Most Wood-Burning Stoves." Alaska state Rep. Tammie Wilson complains: "Rather than fret over EPA’s computer model-based warning about the dangers of inhaling soot from wood smoke, residents have more pressing concerns on their minds such as the immediate risk of freezing when the mercury plunges."

But there's nothing hypothetical about the dangers of wood smoke. In fact, at certain times of year, the air quality in Fairbanks, Alaska, is worse than in Beijing. Wood smoke is a serious health hazard. In some parts of the United States, it can be responsible for 80 percent of the particulate matter. According to the EPA:

Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces contains a complex mixture of gases and particles. The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into the lungs, and some may even get into the bloodstream. Among these particles are “fine particles,” which are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller. These fine particles can affect both your lungs and your heart. 
The new stoves will reduce dangerous particle and Volatile Organic Compound emissions by 70 percent and carbon monoxide emissions by 65 percent. But the Heartland Institute denies that particulates even have anything to do with health:


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39 minutes ago, jg121783 said:

These are the same people who want to tax cow flatulence and fine farmers for kicking up dust while harvesting crops. Good thing the carbon Nazis are on their way out.

Crazy Nazis who have a thing about breathing in smog. 


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Amazing what get's some people all in a lather. Praising a man for dropping someone out of a helicopter and who has initiated a deadly purge, but let the EPA who's job it is to monitor air quality tell people that it's time to clean up their act, and the EPA become 'Nazi's.' Yep, four years of 'Greatness' coming up!


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1 hour ago, jg121783 said:

Last time I checked cow flatulence doesn't produce smog.

The OP wasn't about cow flatulance. It was a classic example of how certain groups will believe anything negative about the EPA. They hate the EPA so much, that they would rather choke on polluted air, than admit the EPA does anything positive. If you don't like clean air and water, then move India or China, where they have few pesky environmentalists getting in the way of industrial pollution. If only America was free like those countries.

Edited by Póg mo

Oct 19, 2010 I-130 application submitted to US Embassy Seoul, South Korea

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Ah the good old days, of breathing in polluted air. Then evil environmentalists took over and forced everyone to breathe smog free air. 


Oct 19, 2010 I-130 application submitted to US Embassy Seoul, South Korea

Oct 22, 2010 I-130 application approved

Oct 22, 2010 packet 3 received via email

Nov 15, 2010 DS-230 part 1 faxed to US Embassy Seoul

Nov 15, 2010 Appointment for visa interview made on-line

Nov 16, 2010 Confirmation of appointment received via email

Dec 13, 2010 Interview date

Dec 15, 2010 CR-1 received via courier

Mar 29, 2011 POE Detroit Michigan

Feb 15, 2012 Change of address via telephone

Jan 10, 2013 I-751 packet mailed to Vermont Service CenterJan 15, 2013 NOA1

Jan 31, 2013 Biometrics appointment letter received

Feb 20, 2013 Biometric appointment date

June 14, 2013 RFE

June 24, 2013 Responded to RFE

July 24, 2013 Removal of conditions approved

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17 minutes ago, MarkPerry said:

Trump has appointed Myron Bell to head the EPA

Trump has made it clear his disdain for the EPA as it now being ran by a group of Snowflakes.

Changes are a coming

 

 

He appointed a football player?  


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18 minutes ago, Póg mo said:

He appointed a football player?  

I don't know the dudes background. I just know he appointed someone who is not a snowflake. I was a fan since he doesn't buy into the coal plants are going to destroy the planet.  I am wanting my coal plants back up and working.  We have way too many EPA regulations on us and it's killing businesses.  

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5 hours ago, MarkPerry said:

I don't know the dudes background. I just know he appointed someone who is not a snowflake. I was a fan since he doesn't buy into the coal plants are going to destroy the planet.  I am wanting my coal plants back up and working.  We have way too many EPA regulations on us and it's killing businesses.  

I was joking. You spelled the guys name wrong. Anyway, I don't see what any of what you wrote, has to to do with the OP. 


Oct 19, 2010 I-130 application submitted to US Embassy Seoul, South Korea

Oct 22, 2010 I-130 application approved

Oct 22, 2010 packet 3 received via email

Nov 15, 2010 DS-230 part 1 faxed to US Embassy Seoul

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Dec 13, 2010 Interview date

Dec 15, 2010 CR-1 received via courier

Mar 29, 2011 POE Detroit Michigan

Feb 15, 2012 Change of address via telephone

Jan 10, 2013 I-751 packet mailed to Vermont Service CenterJan 15, 2013 NOA1

Jan 31, 2013 Biometrics appointment letter received

Feb 20, 2013 Biometric appointment date

June 14, 2013 RFE

June 24, 2013 Responded to RFE

July 24, 2013 Removal of conditions approved

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Any EPA edicts are likely to be short-lived, given the pending change in administration.

In the meantime, the burn-wooding offenders might mollify the environmentalists at the EPA by substituting whale oil, of course at risk of offending the animal-rights activists at the EPA.


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