Sunday, October 16, 2005


Rutland Herald: Rutland Vermont News & Information


Vermont Castings reports sales of wood stoves, up 50%! Since the 1920's, America has reforested 80 million acres of trees, halleluia! Our coutry reduced pollution by turning away from the buring of wood for fuel. It is much smarter to burn coal or nuclear fuel inside a controlled power plant than to light millions of fireplaces each day.

One point here is that folks are taking extraordinary folks to reduce the consumption of gas and oil. The action highlights again the false savings pushed upon the country by those who understand the environment but not economics.

Economics is the science of scarce resources. The reality is that the price of scarce resources makes the market use these resources in a rational way. Yes, some goods are public goods and some goods are private goods. Clean air is a public good. There should be a cost imposed on private indivuduals who "consume" our clean air.

The answer is not to fight nuclear power plants or oil refineries. When we prohibit the production of low cost electricity, folks will be forced to turn to wood stoves and other extremely dirty and extremly inefficient sources of energy.

The good news is that wood stoves are not the only substitutions taking place. For example, Chevron has started construction on its gas to liquid plant in India. When carbons such as coal and gas are converted to liquid, pollutants can be filtered as a part of the process.

We need to permit the construction of refineries. As good citizens of the planet earth, we must insist on the production and burning of clean fuels. The air in the USA is cleaner now than 5 years ago but more progress is needed. We will not get there by taking the backward step of burning wood instead of building refineries.
Fireplace Lowdown
Preventative Action