The Economist's Certain Ideas of Europe blog notes the boom in year-round operation of bar terraces, supported by outdoor space heaters, that tends to follow smoking bans. This has certainly been the case in DC. But what about global warming?
. . . these outdoor terrace heaters (which have also sprung up like topsy all over Brussels in the last couple of years) are not exactly a brilliant idea, environmentally. The gas ones may be prettily designed with little silver hats to reflect the heat downwards, but they still amount to sticking a bunch of large propane cylinders on the pavement, lighting them, and letting them heat the sky. The electric ones are surely equally wasteful, aren't they?
It is all rather a poser. This blogger, as a selfish non-smoker, confesses to finding bars and pubs in places like Britain much more pleasant since smoking was banned in them. Yet a headlong rush to more and more outdoor heating cannot be a bright idea, either.
How long before the first city council bans smoking in outside bars?
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.