Why have parts of Greece been covered in smog?
The smog is said to be not from cars or coal plants, but from the smoke from wood stoves and fireplaces. And it's not because the Greeks are curling up with a good book. It seems that there has been a massive switch off heating oil as many can no longer afford it to heat their homes. Bloomberg says heating oil prices have risen here 50 percent from 2011 to 2012, mainly due to the heavy taxes levied on. So the Greeks are turning to burning everything from furniture to chopped down trees, some illegally cut from protected forests.
According to the EPA, a fireplace emits more than 2,000 times the amount of fine particles that an oil furnace does. Surely, the environmental and health care costs from toxic clouds of smoke exceed the benefits of collecting high heating oil taxes, especially if the citizens are no longer buying it.