Canterbury has an air quality problem.
Let’s Clean the Air is a response to the problem. But it is a completely bonkers, messed in the head response to the problem of wood smoke pollution.
Let’s state what the problem is:
People burning wood think they burn clean. The reality is that burning wood is a filthy fuel that kills and harms and pollutes.
But then what does Let’s Clean the AIr tell us? They tell us how to burn wood cleanly. What? There is no way to burn clean.
They tell us to always burn clean dry wood. But that doesn’t fix the problem!!!!! Burning clean, dry wood, in a supposedly “clean” modern woodburner, still leads to particulate pollution emission levels that are way too high. It seems to be that no matter how the woodburner performs in the laboratory it will burn at anything up to 13 or 15 g/kg in the real world. See this study or this study.
They tell us to check the age of our woodburners. But new ones are just as polluting as old ones. They only want to sell you a new one. What people should do is junk their old shitty woodburner and put in a nice gas one, or put in heat pumps.
They tell us to that ultra clean wood burners are available. They average 0.2 or 0.4g of PM2.5s per kg of fuel . This is still between one and two orders of magnitude more than natural gas, and remember those studies, this study or this study which show that laboratory results are nothing like real world results and those supposedly “clean” woodburners will be averaging 9 or 10g/kg in the real world, and some possibly much higher.
And remember punters that if any woodheater actually was going to have low emissions they don’t throw off much heat. They’re a pretty useless way to heat a home.
Let’s take a look at what the NZ Ministry of the Environment study called “Real-life emissions from residential woodburning appliances in New Zealand” said in it’s executive summary:
“The most important findings of the study were:
• Real-life emissions measured from the four low emission wood burners were substantially higher than the 3 g/kg emission factor typically used for this group of appliances.
•The AS/NZS 4012/3 test method is not indicative of real-life emissions because of thewide range of variables, behaviours and installations evident in the field. Thus, reallife emissions could not be predicted from the AS/NZS 4012/3 test results”
Yet we’re mean to trust all the manufacturers’ testing to a meaningless standard is really indicative of how much emissions they are going to achieve? Yeah, right. The only guarantee is that they’ll be dirtier than advertised. Are the recommended models really as clean as they pretend they are being? Of course not, You’ve probably got more chance of that if you own a diesel Volkswagen.
This is what we are supposed to believe Let’s Clean the Air is going to achieve:
But this is going to be the reality of what they are going to achieve:
The programme is not based on science. It is based on marketing hype and wishful thinking. Why are the governments involved being so piss weak in actually trying to improve Christchurch’s and neighbouring towns’ air quality? Why don’t they stand up for residents instead of listening to the bullshit disinformation put out by the industry organisation, the NZHHA?
Where are the councils’ backbones? On behalf of residents you should all be telling the NZHHA to get stuffed. Instead of gullibly and unquestioningly regurgitating industry propaganda, get laws passed so you can properly address wood smoke pollution, with world’s best practices. The only way to effectively mitigate wood smoke pollution is to ban burning wood. Everything else that has been tried has failed in the real world. Got that? The only proven mitigation is prohibition.
No wonder Christchurch and Canterbury towns are polluted. And it’s one hell of a shame that the problem isn’t going to be fixed with this kind of institutionalised time wasting.
Who are the residents going to sue when air quality continues to be degraded unnecessarily by woodsmoke, and people are going to keep on getting sick and dying? Are they going to sue Environment Canterbury, the Ashburton District Council, the Christchurch City Council, the Canterbury District Health Board, the South Canterbury District Health Board, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, the Timaru District Council, the Waimakariri District Council, or the Waimate District Council? All of these have been super sucked in by non-scientific bullshit, and should know better. Shame on them all.
Let’s clean the air indeed, but this sham information programme is going to fail to do that.
Go on be brave do real world emissions testing of all your recommended models. Link those real world emissions to actual measured ambient air quality testing. Then revise your list to the models that actually don’t pollute at more than one household’s fair share of the ambient pollution limits. It would probably be an empty set. And of course the high ambient air quality limits aren’t a target to just get under, you want to be aiming towards zero.
Woodburners are just shit technology. Let’s Clean the AIr is a rubbish programme. If a household does everything the programme recommends, they buy a recommended model, they try to burn as “cleanly” as possible, and they’re still poisoning their neighbours then what? Will the polluting woodheaters be removed, and if so, at whose cost?
What a clusterfuck of a programme. Canterbury residents deserve better.