Jay Evensen: Still think you have a right to burn wood in the winter?

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  • NEAD SLC, UT
    Jan. 16, 2019 9:26 a.m.

    @shaun,

    You're a creative person. You can probably think of a way to reduce the number of days you drive your car.

    @2 bits

    I appreciate your focus on our personal responsibility in reducing pollution. Keep beating that drum; it's going to take a while before enough people come around.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 9:10 a.m.

    RE: "Suppose we do something about the magnesium refinery"...
    ---
    OK, we get it. industry is the villain, we get it. But did you know industry isn't the biggest contributor to our air pollution?

    It's not #1. It's not even 2nd. It's 3rd.

    Google "Pollution Sources | KUED.org"...

    #1 57% of our air pollution comes from transportation (cars,etc).
    #2 Coming in at 32%, is not industry, its your home (heating the air, heating water, cooling the air in summer, lights, etc).
    #3 Causing 11% of our air pollution, is Industry (Mines, refineries, large industry)

    Industry is doing better all the time on reducing their emissions. Kennecott's new refinery will have 90% less emissions than it's old one.

    Google "Kennecott’s role in reducing emissions"...

    Have you reduced your home/car emissions by 90%?

    Blaming industry doesn't solve the problem.

    Blaming industry is a copout. It's the only one of the 3 that doesn't require you to make any changes, and just sit back and think you are doing your part (blaming industry).

    We have to change.

    If each of us changes a little... the aggregate change is HUGE.

  • quackquack Park City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 7:53 a.m.

    Interesting lets take all things into consideration here Utah gives tax breaks to real estate developers, tech companies and corporations.

    Utah your adding hundreds of thousands of people to to the population, that's hundreds of thousands of cars, hundreds of thousands of buildings that need to to be heated, not to mention the pollution building these huge developments.

    Sorry but its too late the only way your going to clean the air is to slow the population growth.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 14, 2019 1:36 a.m.

    Suppose we do something about the magnesium refinery. They we can talk about the fireplace.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Jan. 13, 2019 1:44 p.m.

    I don't think anyone has a right to burn wood along the Wasatch Front for mere recreation or ambiance. I do think everyone has a right to heat their homes, including those who don't have a natural gas furnace.

    Let's turn the question around. Does anyone have a right to live along the WF and expect not to deal with winter weather, city crowds, or well known amd long standing periodic air quality issues?

    Lots of people end up moving to St. George or other sunbelt areas to avoid SL winters. Some move to rural areas to get away from city crowds. And for the last 100 years, some people have moved out of SL to escape winter air quality issues.

    Some people can't afford to live in Draper or Park City. Some can't tolerate cold weather. Some are highly sensitive to air quality.

    When the media stops supporting wasting money on mass transit that does nothing to improve air quality and instead encourages efforts to convert cars to CNG, to synchronize lights and oppose high density in the suburbs so as to reduce congestion, amd other material benefits, I will believe they care about air quality. Until then, it looks like air quality is just an excuse to push other agenda items.

  • Christian 24-7 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2019 1:48 p.m.

    Not all wood burning pollutes equally. I have lived in a logging town, in a basin, where over half the population heated with wood. Yah, it really stunk. Our bad air is better than theirs by a lot. They did enact some burning regulations, but with sensitivity to the fact that it was a poor town, and many people had no other heat source. I hear no public mention in Utah of the fact that burning small hot fires, and having a modern wood stove with a secondary burn cycle, significantly reduces the emissions. It was preached constantly in that little town. Perhaps such stoves could be subsidized by the public (preferably voluntarily) for those in need.

    Real solutions will only come when we think and talk in terms of loving our neighbors instead of demanding our rights. Rights are important and need to be respected, but our society is torn apart by those who love only themselves and their own, and make demands accordingly.

    And remember folks, we live in a desert basin. We can't blame anyone for that except ourselves.

  • WallE Walla Walla, WA
    Jan. 13, 2019 1:29 p.m.

    It's a classic urban vs. rural issue. No you shouldn't be able to smolder green wood in a stove to heat your house in urban Utah, but a good fire in a wood stove shouldn't be a problem in rural Utah, as long as you don't smoke out your neighbor(s).

    We have the same problem in Washington State. They make the rules in urban Washington and say I can only have an outdoor fire that's 4'X4'X3'. After a windstorm I might have a pile of tumbleweeds that 20'X20'X10'. If I were to choose to burn that whole pile at once I know my neighbors, and I wouldn't have a problem as long as the wind goes the right direction and my fire is hot to keep the smoke from being excessive, and I burn on a burn day. A smokey nasty 4'X4'X3' fire would not endear me to my neighbors.

    Common sense says know your neighbors and work with them & things will be ok. That might mean helping your parents with the electric bill when the city surrounds them. Helping family is an American value, regardless of your political outlook.

  • Suttree Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 12, 2019 11:46 p.m.

    I don't. On a different note, do the refineries, taking a bus from Bountiful to Salt Lake, have a right to pollute in Winter and red and yellow air days? Yes, yes they do.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 2:03 p.m.

    How am I not suppose to drive? Should I quit my job?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 11:28 a.m.

    A quote from the story about the difference between winter and summer inversions in Utah...

    ... "While the science behind the two air quality issues is different, a major factor in both are transportation emissions. These are responsible for an estimated fifty-percent of ground level ozone and nearly half of the emissions that fuel an inversion. So by simply reducing vehicle trips, we can protect our health, our environment and our quality of life"...

    No mention of wood burning. So maybe that's not the big problem some make it out to be.

    transportation emissions are a much bigger contributor, and what we need to control to control the problem.

    Don't burn wood unless you must to live, but that's only 5% of the problem. You can help much more by not driving your car (unless absolutely necessary)

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 11:29 a.m.

    A quote from the story about the difference between winter and summer inversions in Utah...

    ... "While the science behind the two air quality issues is different, a major factor in both are transportation emissions. These are responsible for an estimated fifty-percent of ground level ozone and nearly half of the emissions that fuel an inversion. So by simply reducing vehicle trips, we can protect our health, our environment and our quality of life"...

    No mention of wood burning. So maybe that's not the big problem some make it out to be.

    transportation emissions are a much bigger contributor, and what we need to control to control the problem.

    Don't burn wood unless you must to live, but that's only 5% of the problem. You can help much more by not driving your car (unless absolutely necessary)

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 11:19 a.m.

    @NeifyT
    " I don't know what the meteorological term for the weather pattern that traps pollutants in the valley during the summer months is called; but it is just as bad as winter "inversions.""

    It's still an inversion. We do get inversions in the summer too. They are just sometimes less visible, but they are there. And you are right, they are just as bad.

    The main problem in summer is Ozone. When we get a no-drive day in Summer it's usually because of high ozone levels (not particulates).

    But particulates can be a problem too. That's the main problem with the smoke we get from forest fires, that's mostly particulates (AKA PM 2.5).

    But there can be different problems than just particulates. Some you can't see (like Ozone).

    Google "The Difference Between Utah’s Summer Ozone and Winter Inversions"...

    It can be as bad as a winter inversion

    And the prevention is the same... don't drive. That's why they will announce no-drive days on the news and on the overhead signs on the freeways in the summer. Mostly for ozone. But there are PM 2.5 problems too in summer too.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 10:40 a.m.

    @NeifyT
    " I don't know what the meteorological term for the weather pattern that traps pollutants in the valley during the summer months is called; but it is just as bad as winter "inversions.""

    It'd still be an inversion. An inversion is just when temperature increases with height leaving a stable layer.

    We can still have particulate issues during the summer, they tended to coincide with wildfire issues (or the occasional dust storm but that also tends to drop back down in less than 24 hours), but because most days the air mixes out it doesn't tend to build up the same way as it does in the winter. It just stays as long as the smoke plume is pointed our way. Ozone is the more summer-focused pollution issue.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 10:18 a.m.

    @liberal larry
    RE: "It's odd that a culture that is almost fanatical about cigerette smoke is so blase about smoke belching home fireplaces!"...
    ---
    It's also befuddling that people so concerned about an orange air day would be OK with sucking smoke directly from a cigarette or a joint directly into their lungs. When we know for a fact how damaging that is (much worse than breathing the air on the worst red-air day).

    I've watched people smoking at a clean air rally... and just scratched my head.

    I mean if you're going to demand clean air... and then sit and suck nicotine, tar, and carcinogen laced smoke through a straw with your friends, isn't that a little weird?

    I don't have a wood burning stove or a fireplace, so I'm not your problem. But I also don't know that it's our right to prevent you from smoking, or to prevent somebody else from heating their home (if this is the only heating source they have).

    Burning wood just for atmosphere seems silly though. It's not worth it. But it's not my decision, it's yours. Just like smoking.

    BTW cigarettes and fireplaces are not what quickly fill our valley with smog when high pressure moves in. Most of it is from cars.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 10:03 a.m.

    Your right to burn wood or coal ends where my lungs begin.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 10:00 a.m.

    liberal larry
    RE: "It's odd that a culture that is almost fanatical about cigerette smoke"...
    ---
    Actually Utahns are not fanatical about cigarette smoke. At least not as fanatical as some places I've lived.

    Utah was not one of the first States to ban smoking in public places. In fact they were one of the last.

    Google "List of smoking bans in the United States - Wikipedia"...

    California was the first State to enact a statewide smoking ban (1995). We didn't ban it till 2007.

    So... California is more fanatical about it than we are.

    We may not smoke as much as other populations. But we are slow to ban others from doing it. Well... at lest slower than California and other places.

    And you can still smoke in Utah. Just not where other people have to breath it. Same as in California or any other State. That's not "fanatical". It's the same as most States.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 9:32 a.m.

    justawhim
    RE: "I don't see Jay calling for a complete ban on wood stoves"...
    ---
    He didn't call for a total ban. But he did pretend he has the right to ban it at his whim (or his son's).

    He said, "Someone’s right to burn wood ends at my son's right to breathe"...

    That sounds good, but how do we know when that ban goes into affect? How do we know when his son is having problems breathing? And do we know that just banning wood burning would fix it? What if the problem is really from the cars driving around?

    It's true his son has a right to breath. But how we respond to that is not simple. Do we ban wood? Or do we ban cars? Which would have a bigger affect on his son?

    And if I can ban somebody else from driving because my son has asthma... what else can I ban?

  • liberal larry Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 9:23 a.m.

    It's odd that a culture that is almost fanatical about cigerette smoke is so blase about smoke belching home fireplaces!

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Jan. 11, 2019 8:13 a.m.

    This is simply a case of politicians wanting to look like they are doing something, while not actually fixing the problem. Imagine we totally ban wood burning stoves during the winter. Air quality will not be changed because there are so few people who use wood.

    This is like the money they are spending on fixing pollution by adding in green energy. Yes it sounds like they are doing something, but the end result is nothing actually changes.

  • reriding Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2019 4:05 a.m.

    Air pollution is the "second hand smoke" of the day. We should do everything in our power to mitigate it. Air pollution irritates the lungs, and causes damage to living and unborn children, crops, forests, animals, bodies of water, and the ozone layer. It is a factor in increased nutrients in bodies of water (the cause of algal blooms) and global climate change. Health problems such as heart disease, stroke, COPD, lung cancer, and acute lower respiratory infections can be attributed to air pollution.

  • Red Smith , 00
    Jan. 10, 2019 8:37 p.m.

    Environmental moralizing is fun.

    Does a person have a right to drive 200 miles to get a hamburger? Think of the pollution and the children?

    Does a person have aright to joy ride to Europe to eat French pastries? Think of the pollution and the children.

    The environment shaming and virtue signalling is not helpful.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 6:26 p.m.

    .0003% of Utahns use a wood stove or fireplace to heat their homes.

    There are already no burn days that the vast majority of that .0003% abide by.

    I think the 15% of the 39% is likely based on if all that .0003% were using their stoves on no burn days? I really question that 5%, especially after there are a lot of no burn days.

    If someone were to use their wood stove the day or two before and during a storm when all the bad air will be blown out of the valley, I know I don't have a problem with it.

    Wood is renewable.

  • justawhim Payson, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 4:48 p.m.

    @NeifyT

    I would love to see a ban on fireworks here in Utah. Or at least some additional regulations. They cause immense pollution and are a danger to homes and forests.

    I don't see Jay calling for a complete ban on wood stoves. He is merely causing attention to something that many homes could do that would help lessen their contribution to our pollution. Having incentives to switch over is a great idea. Every little bit helps.

  • zgomer Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 4:27 p.m.

    It doesn't matter at all, salt lake valley will always have the pollution problems, been that way over a hundred years and no agentcy is going to change anything...burn the wood.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 3:55 p.m.

    @Frozen Fractals,

    We may not get a weather pattern called "inversion" in the summer, but particulates do not always just blow right on out of the valley in the summer either. As I said, the air this past summer was tremendously worse in the valleys along the Wasatch front the whole summer. I don't know what the meteorological term for the weather pattern that traps pollutants in the valley during the summer months is called; but it is just as bad as winter "inversions."

    Again, it all depends on those weather patterns whether fireworks during the month of July (and I have neighbors that light them off every single night in July and plenty often throughout the whole year) whether the pollution moves on out or stays in the valley. And is has become worse ever since they lifted the ban on specific types of fireworks.

    I certainly admit that most of the pollution this past summer was from wildfires not fireworks. But, fireworks started some of those fires; hence, unless one is advocating the banning of fireworks; it is hypocritical to even talk of banning wood burning. At least winter wood burning serves a valuable purpose. Fireworks do not!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 3:40 p.m.

    If 69% of workers say they would leave the state due to bad air... why don't we let them? That would fix our problem right there! 69% less drivers on our roads... can you imagine the air quality improvements that would bring?

    I say let them leave. It would help them and it would help us.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 3:17 p.m.

    Ya want to breath carbon monoxide (oil) or dioxide ( wood). I'd love to have natural gas but propane is the other option, wood is the preferred cost. . 0003, petty.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 3:12 p.m.

    @cork
    "39% times 15% in my calculator comes up with 5.58%. Seems pretty darn small compared to all the other polluters out there. Again, go get them. Why attack 6%? An easy target?"

    6% is a lot for something that is just a tiny percentage of homes in the valley.

    @NeifyT
    "Fireworks cause far far far more pollution than winter wood burning. "

    The spikes on big fireworks nights are easy to detect, but they are quite temporary and the next day one would struggle notice as the air mixes out to a high enough level that it can escape out of the valley. It doesn't just settle into our November-February soup.

    @Vanceone
    "They love it when old people die... less burden on the health care system!"

    Because liberals are totally the ones saying that we need to cut spending on things like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security...

    @2bits
    " (Which contributes much more to our air pollution)?"

    Depends on what we're referring to. Overall vehicles are around 50% and assuming cork's math is correct wood burning is 6%. But if car ownership is 9x higher than wood stoves then on a per owner level the wood burning is worse.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 2:21 p.m.

    Jay,
    I'm not familiar with any Constitutional "Right" to burn wood in the winter. But there are limitations on what the government can/can't do to the people. At least the Federal Government. But I don't see anything about the right to burn wood in the winter shall not be infringed, or anything like that.

    ===

    RE: "The discussion should focus on where someone’s right to burn wood ends and his right to breathe begins"...
    ---
    If their right to heat their home with wood ends... where does your right to drive end?

    Does my right to drive end because of your son's asthma?

    I mean if one ends, why doesn't the other (Which contributes much more to our air pollution)?

    More of our air pollution and your son's problem is from cars. So if you claim the right to curtail people heating their homes because of your son's condition... do you not also have the right to make driving illegal (if it bothers your son)?

    Just pointing out that you can't just apply it to one thing an not others. Especially when wood burning is such a small contributor and cars are such a HUGE contributor.

  • Flipphone , 00
    Jan. 10, 2019 2:16 p.m.

    None if only we could out law high pressure systems.

  • Covfefe_for_truth Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 1:43 p.m.

    Ban wood burning stoves? That is not an American thing to do.
    Pretty soon we'll be banning people from smoking in public places and places that serve the public under the guise of protecting health. This needs to stop. No one will stand for trampling on our rights in this state.
    Smokers, watch out or our liberal state government will ban you from your right to smoke. We conservatives will never advocate for restricting your rights to do as you please. I don't care what liberal scientists say about health. It doesn't trump my rights to do as I please.
    People with health problems are responsible for their own health, not me. Your bad health is not my responsibility.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 1:17 p.m.

    Yep.

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    Jan. 10, 2019 1:00 p.m.

    People should be able to do whatever they want as long as they don't harm anyone else.

    The problem is we all live together and share resources such as air and water. As our population has grown we finally realize that things that we once considered acceptable really were not as we were/are harming others by the pollution we create. People have never paid the true, complete price for our conveniences, we just push the pollution we create out into the air, water and ground. We have merely kicked the problem down the road to the next generation and that bill is overdue. At least some are paying more attention to the problem and working to alleviate it. I've also changed, I quit idling vehicles and using a fireplace decades ago, I no longer own a gas-powered muscle or performance vehicle, I've focused on vehicles that minimize pollution, but even electric vehicles aren't pollution free, they just make pollution easier to manage.

    We can't all do everything, and I have no issue with people who must heat their homes with wood if they can't afford better options. What we all need to do is everything each person can do to reasonably help reduce pollution which affects all of us.

  • sbaggs south jordan, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 12:58 p.m.

    Attacking the little guy again. Why don't you see what comes out of your own chimney. Yes you have one connected to your furnace. Millions of homes, apartments, and businesses pollute our air constantly each day and night when their furnace clicks on and it's not as CLEAN as they say it is and you can't even smell it when it leaks. That's why people sleep right through it and die in their own homes when there is a problem. Find out how dangerous that is to our air along with all the cars, trucks, etc. Pollution is the price of living in the world. I'm sorry your son suffers from asthma. I have a heart problem of my own that I deal with, but I can't let that stop me from living life that way I want to live it. It's my freedom of choice just like it's a smokers to smoke or to use charcoal instead of gas when using the barbeque. I consider it freedom precious.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 12:21 p.m.

    So let's see. My mom and dad, getting pretty elderly. Their home doesn't have natural gas. It's miles from a natural gas line, in fact.

    Electric heat is prohibitively expensive. The cheapest is coal, second is wood burning.

    Leftists want to ban both, of course. And since it's too expensive to heat with electricity.... my parents will freeze to death.

    But then, that's a feature, not a bug, for leftists. They love it when old people die... less burden on the health care system!

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 11:58 a.m.

    Without reading the article... I have to ask Jay

    "Do you still think you have the right to light fireworks in the summer?"

    Fireworks cause far far far more pollution than winter wood burning. And they then commonly start wild-fires which burn far far far far more pollution than winter wood burning.

    Last summer the air in Utah was far worse than it has been all winter long this winter.

    Calling out winter wood burners is absolutely hypocritical!

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 11:41 a.m.

    Concerns about particulate matter in the air and health problems from pollution are so 1990s. With my crisis fatigue, I can only focus on one crisis at a time. Today the fashionable problem de jour is carbon dioxide, or carbon pollution, or carbon footprint, because this contributes to the impending doom of global warming.

    It should be noted that carbon dioxide does not cause exacerbations of asthma or really any health problems related to pollution, but we have been told it will apparently annihilate the entire human race within a few decades, so perhaps that's a concern. Lots of thing burn cleaner than wood and would cause less pollution, but they don't cut down on the C02 emitted and thus don't combat the great evil. Thus using natural gas or other cleaner energy, etc is only nipping at the edges of the true crisis. Everyone should really be powering their homes with windmills or solar (such as all Democrats obviously already do) as well as completely give up their cars (as all Democrats have already done) and that would show some promise.

  • mhowardjr3 ,
    Jan. 10, 2019 11:23 a.m.

    I have a crazy idea! If 69% of workers say they would leave the state due to bad air, and we want to get rid of coal, why not move the companies that have "high tech employees" to Carbon and Emery counties! The sky is beautiful, housing is way cheaper, there is a university and fiber and very willing workforce to secure employment to keep our kids here.

  • cork Murray, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 10:39 a.m.

    Let;s see: 39% times 15% in my calculator comes up with 5.58%. Seems pretty darn small compared to all the other polluters out there. Again, go get them. Why attack 6%? An easy target? Yep, typical government.

    As for your son, I'm sorry for his asthma, but it doesn't preclude my right to burn in my stove any more than my rights infringing upon his. With that logic, we'd have all the cars off the streets, the TRAX at a standstill, the factories shut down, etc. etc.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 10:11 a.m.

    Wait. This is about jobs (just like the coal argument). There are many Utahn's that make their livings cutting trees, buying and selling firewood and manufacturing and selling wood burning stoves. These restrictions can put them out of business. So what if the air gets a little nasty? We are a pro-jobs, republican state. We need less regulation. We don't need leftists telling us what we can or can't do in our own homes-right?

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 9:40 a.m.

    There are many personal air quality sensors scattered around the valley these days and what they find going along the streets is that pollution levels take noticeably huge jumps near homes using a wood-burning stove.