Video: Sam Harris – Fireplace Delusion

Do not burn wood, or any other materials. They are hazardous for your health, and your neighbours, even with a chimney. It makes life worse for those with respiratory conditions and makes such health problems more likely to develop in children.

Do not want to believe this? Welcome to the fireplace delusion orginally written by Sam Harris.

You can read the essay as it appeared on Sam Harris’ site here.

Thanks to @CarnunMP for sharing in twitter whose blog you can read here.


Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

Follow @JPSargeant78



Filed under atheism, Religion, Sam Harris, Science

3 responses to “Video: Sam Harris – Fireplace Delusion

  1. We do plenty of things that are bad for us. I accept the evidence without feeling angry about it. I think it’s debatable whether or not we should ban it though. He suggests gas as an alternative but that comes with a slew of harmful effects.

    I’d add that wood-burning fireplaces actually make the house colder by pulling in heat from other rooms. It doesn’t really warm anything except for the area closest to the fire itself.

    • The externality is the issue – I neglected to mention that my disabled brother has bronchial spasms caused by such things, and a dispute with a neighbour that burnt rubbish in their chimney (which made him worse). Environmental health department did not want to know, and there were issues with representation (as my brother has no mental capacity).

      I am not saying our case means there should be an outright ban – but I am closer to that side of the argument than individual choice because of how it impacts others.

      • I’m hesitant of bans in general. This is definitely an issue that needs to be looked at though.

        I’m for bans on cigarette smoking in public, enclosed spaces. I’ve been in plenty of restaurants with wood-burning fireplaces though. It’s difficult because even if there were channels for getting a localized ban for cases like your brother’s, unless you are near enough to see them, you wouldn’t necessarily know that was causing the issue.

        The first step with anything like this is awareness, I doubt most people even think twice unless they are coughing themselves. In the end, I think I’d agree with a recreational ban but it is hard to imagine that happening. I’d get behind a candidate that had a plan to get rid of fireplaces and make our front lawns vegetable gardens.

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