When I first heard rumours that Michael Gove was planning to go round the country with his environmental Gestapo, ripping out our wood-burning stoves in order to heal the planet, greenwash conservatism and reduce an imaginary 36,000 deaths a year, I must admit that a small part of me felt ever so slightly relieved. Of all the desirable accessories that I’ve coveted in my life, I don’t think any has quite disappointed me as much as the wood-burning stove now staring at me accusingly as I sit at my desk.
It looks very handsome and room-furnishing, as cast-iron stoves do. And when it gets going, it really does pump out lots of heat. But there’s a reason, you eventually realise, why western civilisation graduated from such 18th-century technology to central heating. One is easy and convenient; the other, a massive pain in the arse.
Read the rest in the Spectator.