Joe and I were having a coffee at my place, going through the seed catalogues and trying to make up a joint order to save shipping and handling charges and maybe even get a bulk discount, also having some discussion on which varieties do better in our tough Wabigoon valley clay. Of course his manure is from the cows, and mine from the goats, and I put on a bit of Miracle-Gro, while what he does is a secret although I know it involves bone meal.  Maybe that’s why we each have our own favourite vegetable varieties, or maybe it’s just our contrariness.

I went to stoke up the stove, which reminded me of something, so I said “did you see, there was some talk on the internet about Obama passing new rules for wood-burning stoves.  Sounds like my old Valley Comfort would be scrap in the States.”  Joe answered “I think it is already scrap here, I don’t see a CSA stamp on it, so you can’t get house insurance – not that you would be likely to insure this old pile of scrap anyway –“ I butted in “Yeah, but my old stove does a lot better job of converting wood into heat than those government approved ones!”  Joe ignored that, and went on ”Sounds like Obama changed the rules so the only stoves allowed will be the most politically correct, high tech, all the bells and whistles models, nothing but a faint odour of roses coming out of the chimney.  The bit I heard said 80% of the wood stoves in the US will be obsolete”

“So”, says I, “if a government is going to take a thousand dollars or more for a new stove out of the pockets of all the rural dwellers to satisfy the environmental sensitivities of the city folk, fairness demands they buy the new stoves for us.  Like that is going to happen!  No wonder we are getting poorer as time goes by.  Of course this is in the US, but we pretty much copy them.  Not much use in putting up much firewood this winter”

“It’s worse than destroying our money”, says Joe.  “It serves no useful purpose.  Wood fuel is carbon neutral, the tree takes the carbon dioxide out of the air, and burning it puts it back.  No increase.  Now a lot of guys will just go to propane or oil, fossil fuels, which add carbon to the atmosphere.  So the excuse for doing it is to save the planet from carbon-caused global warming, but it actually will put more carbon in the air.  Of course the global warming scam is all about politics, not carbon, anyway.”

“So,”, from me, “I suppose all the remote cabins that don’t have electricity and internet to make a high-tech stove work will be abandoned once that law cuts in.  Maybe it’s really just one more step in emptying the countryside, getting us all out of the bush so we won’t be interfering with all the cute and cuddly critters out there.”

“Yeah”, says Joe, turning a few pages in the Stokes catalog, “or maybe it’s just that the guy who makes the approved stoves supports Obama.  We better stop talking about stuff like this, we are starting to sound too much alike, a couple of bitter old fools, the next thing you know we will be voting for the same party.”

“That would be just a fluke” says I “The parties are all pretty much alike anyway, so it’s a crapshoot.  Too bad we can’t have a Saskatchewan Party; they have sure turned that province around.”

“Amen”, from Joe, “let’s get this seed order put to bed before it is chore time.  I got a heifer calving soon, got to keep an eye on her.”

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