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In 2018, after the birth of Christ, the Wood Stove Rebellion broke out in the Kingdom of Sweden. Unlike the many previous uprisings of the Ommogens, this was a peaceful uprising that they actually won.
Boverket announced earlier this week that they now propose to remove the ban on new installations of old wood-burning stoves that was due to come into force this autumn, and to exempt old kitchen stoves in their entirety from the stricter emission requirements.
This means that even future generations of Swedes will be able to put in an old wood stove at home or in the cottage to cook and keep warm even if the power goes out in the middle of the coldest winter of the year.
This means that the old wood stoves in castles, cottages and storerooms, all a beautiful part of our Swedish cultural heritage, will live on instead of being dumped as scrap iron.
That means we won. More accurately, common sense won out. It gives a glimmer of hope that there still seem to be people with common sense at the Boverket and in the government, or at least open to listening to the views of ordinary people.
Well, let's not hang the crossbow on the wall just yet. The proposal will first be put out for consultation until 9 August 2019, but if no bully actively tries to put a spanner in the works, the amended rules should come into force on 1 October 2019.
In case you missed what this is all about, it was last January that the general public went out into the streets (well, if Facebook had had streets), when it came to light that Boverket wanted to prohibit new installation of old wood stoves.
Not only that, they wanted to send them to the junkyard too - and we taxpayers would pay for it. They estimated that it would cost as much as SEK 5 billion to deprive us of our old wood-burning stoves.
But of course this was not something that the Swedish people would accept. Protests echoed from all over Sweden, and the gentlemen in Stockholm quickly realised that they had hit a sore spot. The Allmogen like their old wood stoves, and they have no plans to give them up. They had plenty of logs, too, as Housing Minister Peter Eriksson (MP) found out when logs poured into the government chancellery in protest against the planned curtailment of our ancient right.
A partial victory was won when the government backed down on the scrap premium. We also demanded an unconditional exemption for old kitchen stoves, and that is what we have now finally got in this proposal from Boverket.
It's thanks to all of you who got involved and protested, not least all of you thousands upon thousands in the Facebook group Vedspisupproret, as our old wood-burning stoves now look set to be saved. Thank you! As the proverb I shared earlier says: He must shout loudly, who wants to scare the devil. It pays to protest when power sticks its fingers in the wrong cookie jar.
Now we are keeping a close eye on this proposal to make sure it goes through, remembering the words of Mother Sigga in Vilhelm Moberg's novel Ride tonight!:
Alone you can do nothing. Together you can do anything.Sigga, Ride tonight!
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