First it was Greece…
Cold and freezing Greeks are stealing and burning trees to keep warm this winter.
Now it’s spreading…
Germans are stealing wood from forests and wood piles to keep their homes warm this winter as energy costs continue to rise.
With energy costs escalating, more Germans are turning to wood burning stoves for heat. That, though, has also led to a rise in tree theft in the country’s forests. Woodsmen have become more watchful.
With snow blanketing the ground, it’s the perfect time of year to snuggle up in front of a fireplace. That, though, makes German foresters nervous. When the mercury falls, the theft of wood in the country’s woodlands goes up as people turn to cheaper ways to heat their homes.
“The forest is open for everyone to enter and people just think they can help themselves, but they can’t!” says Enno Rosenthal, head of the forest farmers association in the northeastern German state of Brandenburg. “Naturally, those log piles belong to someone and there is a lot of money and work that goes into them.”
The problem has been compounded this winter by rising energy costs. The Germany’s Renters Association estimates the heating costs will go up 22 percent this winter alone. A side effect is an increasing number of people turning to wood-burning stoves for warmth. Germans bought 400,000 such stoves in 2011, the German magazine FOCUS reported this week. It marks the continuation of a trend: The number of Germans buying heating devices that burn wood and coal has grown steadily since 2005, according to consumer research company GfK Group.
That increase in demand has now also boosted prices for wood, leading many to fuel their fires with theft.
Rosenthal said just last weekend someone stole an entire bundle of oak wood worth about €150 ($199) from a private forest in the town of Neuruppin outside of Berlin. “Many foresters come back to their wood piles and find them a little smaller or even gone,” he says.
More… Forest added:
Ban nuclear, shut down coal fired plants, and everyone can burn coal and wood in their individual stoves. It’ll be just like 1910 – when the air was nice and clean.
Next up: Get rid of the sewer plants and go back to dumping chamber pots into the street.