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Pensioners burn books for warmth
Metro ^ | 5th January, 2010 | Miles Erwin

Posted on 01/05/2010 12:50:43 PM PST by Parody

Volunteers have reported that ‘a large number’ of elderly customers are snapping up hardbacks as cheap fuel for their fires and stoves.

Temperatures this week are forecast to plummet as low as -13ºC in the Scottish Highlands, with the mercury falling to -6ºC in London, -5ºC in Birmingham and -7ºC in Manchester as one of the coldest winters in years continues to bite.

Workers at one charity shop in Swansea, in south Wales, described how the most vulnerable shoppers were seeking out thick books such as encyclopaedias for a few pence because they were cheaper than coal.

One assistant said: ‘Book burning seems terribly wrong but we have to get rid of unsold stock for pennies and some of the pensioners say the books make ideal slow-burning fuel for fires and stoves.

A lot of them buy up large hardback volumes so they can stick them in the fire to last all night.’

A 500g book can sell for as little as 5p, while a 20kg bag of coal costs £5.

Since January 2008, gas bills have risen 40 per cent and electricity prices 20 per cent, although people over 60 are entitled to a winter fuel allowance of between £125 and £400.

Jonathan Stearn, energy expert for Consumer Focus, said: ‘If pensioners are taking such desperate measures to heat their homes it is shocking. With low wholesale prices and increasing profit margins, there is clearly room for energy companies to make price cuts immediately.’

Ruth Davison, of the National Housing Federation, said: ‘The spiralling cost of energy means heating homes has become a luxury rather than a necessity for many people – particularly the elderly, low paid and unemployed.’


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: 451f; bookburning; books; burn; coldseniors; globalcooling; globalwarming; iceage; pensioners; winter
Life imitates art:


1 posted on 01/05/2010 12:50:45 PM PST by Parody
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To: hennie pennie

*bookmark*


2 posted on 01/05/2010 12:54:00 PM PST by hennie pennie
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To: Parody

I love how the eurotwits are always telling US what to do, but they can’t even efficiently deal with unusually high/low temperatures.

Remember all the elderly French who died during a heat wave because their “families” wouldn’t postpone or cancel their all important vacations?


3 posted on 01/05/2010 12:55:18 PM PST by Politicalmom (Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. -- James Madison)
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To: Parody

How much does a koran cost?


4 posted on 01/05/2010 12:55:27 PM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: Blue Jays
I find it hard to believe even a stack of encyclopedias would last as long as even just one solid wooden log.
5 posted on 01/05/2010 12:59:08 PM PST by Blue Jays (Rock Hard, Ride Free)
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To: Parody
dollars are getting cheaper ,too. Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

6 posted on 01/05/2010 1:00:33 PM PST by WOBBLY BOB (ACORN:American Corruption for Obama Right Now)
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To: LearsFool

The cost of the Koran? Untold misery.


7 posted on 01/05/2010 1:01:19 PM PST by shineon
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To: Parody

I’m sure we can start with the school libraries’ copies of Marx and Alinsky’s texts...


8 posted on 01/05/2010 1:02:06 PM PST by a fool in paradise (Beware the Green Menace, the socialists warning you of global warming under your bed are hysteric.)
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To: Parody

My niece lived in London last year. She went in on a large flat with a bunch of other kids (20’s). I think it was 8 people in a 3-4 bedroom apartment. They all chipped in some money to buy a pre-paid credit card that plugs into the meter in the flat. (Or something like that). That pays for the electric and heat, etc.

I forget exactly, but I think they started off with over $400 on the card and they figured that would last them the month. It lasted less than a week! Unbelievable how expensive it is over there!


9 posted on 01/05/2010 1:02:49 PM PST by 21twelve
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To: Politicalmom

Next thing you know we will be unable to keep the electricity on just like some third world countries (like the US)... Or maybe we’ll have to abandon whole cities due to a little storm, just like yank morons had to during Katrina...


10 posted on 01/05/2010 1:06:04 PM PST by LastNorwegian
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To: Parody

And so it begins.....

I used to wonder if the homeschooling movement would eventually be like the monks of a prior age; Knowledge kept by the few who value it.


11 posted on 01/05/2010 1:06:37 PM PST by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: 21twelve

12 posted on 01/05/2010 1:08:32 PM PST by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: Parody

Mark Twain late in his career served as a correspondent for a New York newspaper, answering questions from readers of the paper. One woman wrote and asked him if a book made the perfect gift.

He told her a thin book could shim the leg of a wobbly table, a leather bound one could serve as a razor strop, a heavy book was good to throw at a howling cat.

We find more and more uses for books every day, don’t we?


13 posted on 01/05/2010 1:11:02 PM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (The CRU needs adult supervision.)
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To: 21twelve
My niece lived in London last year. She went in on a large flat with a bunch of other kids (20’s). I think it was 8 people in a 3-4 bedroom apartment. They all chipped in some money to buy a pre-paid credit card that plugs into the meter in the flat. (Or something like that). That pays for the electric and heat, etc.

I saw one of those in the 1931 film, Waterloo Bridge, when Mae Clark tries to heat some water for tea, she is out of credit and the male guest needs to cough up the coins, for the meter on the kitchen wall.

14 posted on 01/05/2010 1:15:22 PM PST by ansel12 (anti SoCon. Earl Warren's court 1953-1969, libertarian hero, anti social conservative loser.)
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To: Politicalmom

I remember that

Some French family didnt’ even bother take Granny on holiday with them I read that on UK Daily Telegraph

OMG


15 posted on 01/05/2010 1:15:54 PM PST by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us, resistence is futile")
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To: ansel12

OH MAN I saw that on TCM

That good movie one of they consider pre code movie


16 posted on 01/05/2010 1:18:03 PM PST by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us, resistence is futile")
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To: ansel12

My niece had to go back to the utility company (across town on the various mass transit) to get more credit put onto the card (maybe it was a usb drive?). They got something like $800 on it and vowed to keep the heat low, turn off lights, short showers, etc. I think the $800 lasted them less than 3 weeks.

As my brother said “Well, that’s how you learn. By your mistakes. But she’s dealing with it and figuring it out. On her own.”


17 posted on 01/05/2010 1:22:45 PM PST by 21twelve
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To: SevenofNine

Wonderful movie and Mae Clarke performance, and I was really surprised when I saw those individual meters inside the flat, especially that far back.


18 posted on 01/05/2010 1:24:10 PM PST by ansel12 (anti SoCon. Earl Warren's court 1953-1969, libertarian hero, anti social conservative loser.)
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To: Parody
They've been reading too many Bradbury novels.


19 posted on 01/05/2010 1:25:45 PM PST by rednesss (fascism is the union,marriage,merger or fusion of corporate economic power with governmental power)
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To: 21twelve
I forget exactly, but I think they started off with over $400 on the card and they figured that would last them the month. It lasted less than a week! Unbelievable how expensive it is over there!

I see lots of testimony of two-br flats with energy (gas plus electric) running less than $150 per month. That would be about $300 a month for a 3/4 br. Me thinks that there is more to the story.

20 posted on 01/05/2010 1:27:00 PM PST by ColdWater ("The theory of evolution really has no bearing on what I'm trying to accomplish with FR anyway. ")
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To: ColdWater

I might be a bit off on the size of the flat. Or, perhaps she was angling for some money from her dad. But I doubt that. From a young age she knows she that she always had to pay her own way for things like that.


21 posted on 01/05/2010 1:39:56 PM PST by 21twelve
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To: 21twelve

You should get her to call out a company rep to check her meter.


22 posted on 01/05/2010 1:46:26 PM PST by ansel12 (anti SoCon. Earl Warren's court 1953-1969, libertarian hero, anti social conservative loser.)
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To: ansel12

That’s what my brother told her. Not sure if she did or not. She now lives in Manhattan. Went there on one-week’s notice because “a friend knows someone that is moving out of an apartment there and we can get it for a lot less but we have to move in by Monday and then it will be easier for me to find a job in the publishing business if I’m already out there”!!

She is doing okay and somehow makes ends meet by working at a large bookstore. My brother had a friend that knew someone at one of the big publishing house and got an interview for her. She didn’t pursue it though as it wasn’t exactly what she wanted. (And working minimum wage is!!??)

I guess she can always use her employee discount to buy books to use in heating her apartment.


23 posted on 01/05/2010 2:21:14 PM PST by 21twelve
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To: Parody

Well, that’s one thing that Amazon Kindle won’t do.


24 posted on 01/05/2010 2:22:39 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: ansel12

I saw one in real early talkie movie of 1929 those meters back in da day


25 posted on 01/05/2010 2:48:35 PM PST by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us, resistence is futile")
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To: Parody; mmanager; FreedomPoster; carolinablonde; bamahead; Delacon; SteamShovel; SolitaryMan; ...
 




Beam me to Planet Gore !

26 posted on 01/05/2010 3:02:56 PM PST by steelyourfaith (Freedom from fat cat greedy Big Government tyranny IS a Right ... It IS the Constitution.)
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To: Politicalmom
-6C equates to about +20F. I've seen temps hit around 20.

FOR A HIGH. 0 to -5 (-18 to -21 C) for lows. Sorry, but the global warming idiots have sold this snake oil, and anyone who bought into it without thinking or asking the hard questions isn't going to garner a great deal of sympathy from me.

And 5 quid for a 45-lb bag of coal? That comes out to like over $400/ton! Even here I can get it for under $250/ton...bagged.
27 posted on 01/11/2010 9:06:43 PM PST by OCCASparky (Obama--Playing a West Wing fantasy in a '24' world.)
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