Subscribe eNews Send Us Files Login

Hearth & Home January 2020

Richard Wright
Hearth and Home Magazine

Perspective: Shocked!

What a surprise – shocked may be a better word – it was when results came in from a retailer survey we conducted in August of 2019. We were in the midst of organizing what would be a major report on Climate Change, written by Mark Brock, and how it might impact the Hearth, Patio, and/or Barbecue industries. 

Given our position in those three industries, we felt it was our responsibility to do so. In our view, the most important issue of yesterday, today, and tomorrow is not the presidential race – although the volume of words allocated to that coverage is staggering – nor is it the never-ending Brexit fiasco in the UK, Bibi’s transgressions in Israel, or Kim Jong–un and his missiles. 

No, the most important issue is Climate Change. 

Here’s some information you should take to heart.

In a study published on December 3 in the journal BioScience, over 11,000 scientists decided to “tell it like it is” when it comes to discussing the climate crisis. They declared, “clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” which threatens every part of our ecosystem.

“We have joined together,” they said, “to declare a climate emergency because the climate change is more severe and accelerating faster than was expected by scientists,” said Bill Ripple, professor of ecology at Oregon State University and co-author of the paper. “Many of us feel like the time is running out for us to act.”

Researchers suggest tangible changes in six overarching categories:

  • Replace fossil fuels with low-carbon renewables and other cleaner sources of energy.
  • Reduce the emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, including methane, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbons.
  • Protect and restore Earth’s ecosystems, and minimize habitat and biodiversity loss.
  • Eat a mostly plant-based diet, which can improve human health and lower emissions.
  • Implement a carbon-free economy and prioritize basic human needs rather than affluence.
  • Stabilize and reduce population growth.

Now, back to our survey mentioned in the first paragraph of this editorial. We were “shocked” because 56% of respondents to our retailer survey told us that, “The weather is constantly changing, which is just part of nature, and climate change is nothing new and is being overblown by the news media and some politicians.”

Our view? The major media where you get most of your information are doing a poor job. There’s tons of information out there, in journals you might not purchase, stations you might not turn to, or books you might not buy. 

Unfortunately, you have to make the effort.

Also in this issue, as a corollary to Climate Change, is a major section on electric fireplaces. There you will find an article by Bill Sendelback on the major manufacturers of electric fireplaces, as well as results and comments from a retailer survey. There’s also the results from a minor contest to find the best installations for electric fireplaces. We say minor, because our results were less than robust.

With this issue we begin our 41st year of publishing Wood ’n Energy / Hearth & Home (it was called Wood ’n Energy until 1989, then it was changed to Hearth & Home as we began coverage of the Patio and Barbecue industries).

Forty years, 480 issues, and (here’s an educated guess) 48,000 pages of editorial dedicated to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue industries.

Here’s to a Happy & Prosperous New Year!

More Stories in this Issue

Nothing’s Impossible

By Richard Wright

Laid off in 2009, Ross Morrison and three friends formed a company – Stellar Hearth – and now are doing what they love, and what they do best.

» Continue

Its Time Has Come!

By Bill Sendelback

Electric Fireplace sales are now moving well through the specialty hearth retail network, and the market for those products is enormous.

» Continue

Modesty, Honor, Integrity

By Richard Wright

As Janet Wansor reluctantly leaves her position at Jensen Leisure Furniture, she reflects on the past 28 years, her successes, and most importantly, the people she has met along the way.

» Continue

That First Taste!

By Lisa Readie Mayer

Your customers may begin with gas, but chances are they will graduate to kamados, smokers, or charcoal grills.

» Continue

The Family Torch

By Bill Sendelback

A second generation of Shimeks stays mainly with hearth products, but this time it’s primarily for the outdoors.

» Continue

2019 November Business Climate

In early December, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio, and barbecue products, asking them to compare November 2019 sales to November 2018. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 194 usable returns.

» Continue