Last year the Daily Mail
ran an April Fool's Day article
in which it claimed that Brits would have to pay a "carbon offset" tax if they wanted to barbecue in their backyards:
IT IS one of the timeless rituals of the new globally-warmed great British summer: firing up the barbecue and slinging on a steak. But people who choose to burn charcoal may have to think twice as councils now have swingeing new powers to force homeowners to buy 'carbon offsets' before they light up or face a Pounds 50 fine. The measures, which have been approved by the Climate Change Unit of the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs, are likely to severely curtail the number of barbecues Britons enjoy this summer...
A spokesman for B&Q said last night that they were looking at producing new 'green' barbecues to cut down CO2 emissions. One idea is to harness the warmth created by rotting compost, but these would require a chef to start cooking days in advance. So-called 'friction barbecues' powered by a guest on a stationary exercise bike are also being examined.
Yesterday, in a case of an April Fool's Day joke almost becoming reality, the European Union announced that it was considering banning patio heaters
in order to protect the environment:
Fiona Hall, a Liberal Democrat MEP, has led the calls for the ban, which is expected to be endorsed by the parliament in Brussels.
"Patio heaters are scandalous because they are burning fossil fuels in the open sky, so producing vast quantities of CO2 with very little heat benefit," she said.
But the proposal has been attacked by publicans, who say bars and pubs need the heaters for customers driven outside by smoking bans.
The two aren't exactly the same (barbecues vs. patio heaters), but pretty close. Here in Southern California we love our patio heaters. The slightest chill in the air prompts us to fire them up, so we can continue sitting outside. It would hurt to have to give them up.