The panic industry in the San Francisco Bay Area is all aquiver over a new, sinister threat to good health. It’s "déjà vu all over again" but it ain’t about smoking.
Very quietly but with with single-minded relentlessness the social engineers have been building the case to prohibit yet another activity that people have enjoyed for centuries. Below is a sampling of comments from the rabidly anti-tobacco San Francisco Chronicle that adhere closely to a melody that has been overplayed for the past three decades and more.
"We know there are very toxic components in [the] smoke," said Dr. Janice Kim, public health medical officer with the air toxicology and epidemiology branch of the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Those indulging themselves "are exposing themselves, their neighbors and their families to harmful compounds, including carcinogens."
Influenced by a rash of studies showing that [the] smoke poses severe health hazards, two-thirds of the residents who commented on the air district’s plan said they favor mandatory controls.
Paul Spiegel of Walnut Creek said, "There is no escape from inhaling these emissions, even inside your own home with an air-cleaner going." He said he’d accept more government controls to crack down on those who "needlessly pump our lungs full of their irritating, penetrating and persistent fumes and particulates which bring great risks to our immediate and long term health."
University of California-San Francisco associate clinical professor Dr. Michael Lipsett, who also serves as chief of the exposure assessment section in the California Department of Public Health, was among several authors of a review published last year concluding that [they] "emit significant quantities of known health-damaging pollutants, including several cancer-causing compounds."
A Marin County resident suggests that sensors be put in place so neighbors are not policing neighbors. "We have the right to clean air," she said.
In this one article we have it all. A flat statement from the authorities that brooks no debate. Science, in the form of the professoriat at a state university citing evidence uncovered in studies attesting to toxins that cause cancer. Two "civilians" very concerned about the harm facing them and their loved ones and, finally, a consensus from the governed that calls for mandatory controls. We’re not talking tobacco control here, although tobacco control is the progenitor of this new scheme to reform the behavior of the masses.
On the chopping block are California fireplaces. Like smoking a cigarette, burning a fire is not a necessity. Like smoking a cigarette, burning a fire is pleasurable and traditionally has not ever been listed as a harm or even an annoyance to others. Like smoking a cigarette, burning a fire must be destroyed and "science" and government must collaborate to foist yet one more sickening pill down the throats of the ignorant.
While deaths by smoke inhalation do routinely occur, the occurrence is always caused by unplanned fires that seriously damage or destroy the structures in which they accidentally start or are criminally started. There is not one death that can be scientifically laid at the door of a chimney conducting the smoke from a fireplace into the air, even though "scientists", with no supporting evidence, say that smoke from fireplaces has caused "an increase of deaths."
As with smoking tobacco, restrictions will begin, real evidence or not. In a very short time fireplaces will be banned in new structures while use of those in older homes will be forbidden. Tobacco use was the canary in the coal mine and that bird’s death was ignored. The passivity greeting tobacco control meant that all other forms of control will go forward even quicker.