Patio Heaters - Too Hot to Handle?

This TreeHugger has always found the idea of patio heaters a little absurd — if it's not warm enough to sit outside, why not move indoors? It would seem the folks at Wyevale Garden Centres agree. According to Friends of the Earth UK, the leading UK chain has announced that all of its stores will stop selling patio heaters due to concerns over their contribution to climate change. Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Craig Bennett welcomed the move:

"We're delighted that Wyevale has decided to stop selling patio heaters, and urge other retailers to follow suit. Using a patio heater for just one hour can waste enough energy to make 400 cups of tea. Climate change is the biggest threat the planet faces and the responsible thing for companies to do is to stop selling the most polluting products".

Apparently these items are a hot [sorry] topic in the UK, with former energy minister Malcolm Wickes describing them as "environmental obscenities". Meanwhile, former Liberal Democrat environment spokesman, Norman Baker, called them "an absurd invention" saying that "It is ludicrous that people are trying to heat the open air". There are even some grave concerns that the forthcoming ban on smoking in pubs will lead to huge increases in emissions as landlords seek to keep their smoking clientele happy.

According to a Guardian report, Wyevale Garden Centers are also planning to phase out 90% of peat-based products over the next three years. Given the urgent need to protect remaining peat bogs, this is a very welcome move indeed.