1. Brad Bossack

    Thanks for this article! Wood burning for heat is a subject close to my heart. I started doing this a few years ago, mainly to get away from ‘un’natural gas heating. I try to use as little fossil fuels as possible. This was a decision with big implications! Given the the premise was to not use fossil fuels, I also saw gas chainsaws, truck hauling, even the oil to lubricate a saw chain as counter-purpose. Being lucky to be in such a natural ecosystem allowed me to ‘man-up’, walk across the highway from my house, go into the forest and find dead trees to cut down, and buck up, using a rechargeable electric chainsaw (10″ bar!) lubed with vegetable oil. I split the wood on site, loaded a large hikers backpack to the brim, and walked home accompanied with two loaded fabric bags of wood for each hand. Every day of the winter. Things have changed since tat first couple years…I’ve acquired old hand saws so that I may cut using mostly muscle energy, instead of relying on the multiple batteries needed for the electric saw. Masses of grand (lodgepole) pine trees have died over the last couple years due to the huge numbers of pine-beetle attacks on them, which is due to increasingly warm winters that would usually kill them, due to humanities continuing use of fossil fuels. This has allowed my ‘hunt’ for dead trees to be…not challenging. Also, because the time commitment was so high, I’ve switched to wood-burning on only the very cold days, and use a couple electric space heaters in between.

    Wood burning for heat does not have to be destructive to forests, or pollutive of air. It does need to be done correctly to ensure these things don’t happen. It may be easier to flick a switch and heat your home with fossil fuels, but as the deadened red British Columbian forests tell us, that is not the path to healthy life. Burning with wood has given me great exercise, wisdom, comforting warmth, and great joy. I will never gain the majority of my home-heating any other way. Long live trees, and the gifts they bring!

  2. The very first comment on my new blog!

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Brad. I used to have one of those small electric chain saws, but it died. All I have now is what I call a Swede saw; others call it something else (don’t remember what). That was a lot of work you did in the beginning! It’s such a crying shame about the destruction of so many tree species – nature’s circle has closed in this case.

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