Beyond smoke and gas



As previously mentioned by Ted Leathley (“In defence of wood heat,” Letters, Feb. 1), wood heating is carbon neutral. Its use makes a lot of sense for the Sunshine Coast because it is a locally abundant renewable natural resource that grows year round. In comparison, natural gas is extracted from deep within the earth, pushed through a pipeline across mountains to end up releasing new CO2 year after year as we burn it in our homes.

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However, the biggest challenge of our era is not a lack of resources (wood, water, gas, food, etc.). In fact, we live in a world of extreme abundance. The real challenge is to manage our resources wisely and sustainably.

As an example, there is a passive solar house named “Southern Comfort” in Waterloo, Que., that maintains a comfortable 18 C to 25 C indoor temperature without any heat source while the outside temperature is -20 C. This house has been built to be energy efficient and affordable (at construction and in occupancy). Other sustainable design options exist depending on the constraints of a building site.

This is not science fiction; it is possible to create affordable dwellings that use very little or none of the conventional heat sources. Given the Sunshine Coast’s incredibly forgiving climate, it is technically possible to go without wood or gas stoves if we so choose. And that, fellow citizens, is healthy, sustainable, affordable and resilient living.

We have an exciting future ahead of us; we already have the knowledge and the technology to take on the environmental challenges we have inherited. We can do this – and with less smoke.

Cam Landry, Roberts Creek

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