Banning the burning of solid fuel is a “worthless conversation” without a viable replacement.
That’s according to Lunchtime Live listeners getting in touch after Government unveiled its first-ever Clean Air Strategy which aims to cut down on air pollution in Ireland.
The wide-ranging strategy commits the country to hit the World Health Organisation’s guideline values for air quality by 2040.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning UCC Professor John Sodeau said the country should look to ban the burning of all solid fuels – and called for people to think about the practice in the same way they think about smoking tobacco.
Pat in Kildare told the show: “I'm not in favour because I do burn some fuel, and that's our only heating source, so I'm not sure what the alternative would be.”
“I'm hearing the problem but I'm not hearing any solution to it,” he said.
“A heat pump won't work in my house – my house is too old, and it's not built to the standards that can be heated with a heat pump.
“Maybe I should just buy a load of jumpers or something.”
Pat rejected Professor Sodeau’s suggestion that individuals should be “shunned for burning solid fuels”.
“You're talking about some kind of social engineering to try and make people think a certain way,” he said.
“That sounds like some kind of dystopian nightmare to me.
“You can say all these things, but without a solution to hand, then it's just a worthless conversation.
“What is the cost of hundreds of thousands of people not having heating? What is the cost of implementing this?
“So, you're talking about banning solid fuels? So, does that mean the guards are going to kick my door and drag me to prison because I light a fire?”
‘Smog in the area’
Adam in Limerick said he didn’t opt for a fireplace or a stove when he designed his new home.
“In the new house we have an air-to-water system and then we've got underfloor heating,” he said.
Adam said he doesn’t miss having an open fire in the house, because “it’s so well insulated.”
“Then we use flame effects electrical heaters that give that kind of cosy ambient effects without all the smoke.
“We’re happier in the knowledge that we're not adding to the smog in the area on still evenings.
“We’re doing our bit for the Planet by reducing our own emissions.”
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