California Clamps Down on Fireplaces

Nothing could be more wholesome or more fundamental to the traditional human experience over the past few millennia than an open fire. The American Heritage dictionary defines hearth as meaning “A fireplace” but also “Family life; the home.” Like marriage, the hearth must be destroyed:

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire are a celebrated slice of Americana, but those cheerful blazes are bound for extinction under proposed Bay Area air quality regulations that would apply to most of Sonoma County’s 185,660 households.

Sonoma County is just north of San Francisco.

Aimed at reducing the health threat from pollutants produced by burning wood in fireplaces and stoves, the rules would cost property owners hundreds to thousands of dollars to install alternatives — including federally certified wood-burning devices, gas-fueled or electric options — or to remove or wall off fireplaces.

In Phoenix, you have to check on a government website before having a fire in your fireplace, to see if permission has been granted for the day. Don’t bother to look on Christmas. That being the best day to create a wholesome, homey atmosphere with a fire, fires are never allowed on December 25.

But no burn days (or “Spare the Air alerts” as they call them in California) are not enough. No amount of repression will ever be enough.

In order to avoid resistance, “the requirements would not apply until their property is sold or transferred.” That way, everyone with a fireplace is not hit all at once. Ever so gradually, the garrote progressively tightens around our necks.

There is no end to what they will take away.

On a tip from Don M. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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