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article imageOp-Ed: Chinese lanterns – an import we can do without

By Alexander Baron     Aug 3, 2011 in Environment
Chinese lanterns may be fun, but they’ve been banned in both Germany and Australia. When Dominic Littlewood investigated, he found out why.
On occasion, Chinese lanterns have been mistaken for UFOs. Yesterday, a guest on BBC Television’s The One Show said he had seen what he thought was a cluster of flying saucers over the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and when they burned out, he thought they had flown off into the dark blue yonder. He learned later that he had seen a phenomenon that while spectacular was anything but extraterrestrial.
Spectacular they may be, but when Fake Britain presenter Dominic Littlewood investigated for the former programme, he found beauty comes at a price.
In Bury, what was thought to have been an arson attack on a car was caused by a Chinese lantern; a similar incident happened in Luton; one that landed on a roof in Trowbridge could have resulted in the deaths of a mother and her young son and daughter if a neighbour hadn’t woken them up with the stark news that their house was on fire, and in a really shocking case last year, a three year old boy received severe facial burns when hot wax from a lantern spilled on him from above at a Bonfire Night party.
Both farmers and the Coastguard are unhappy with them too; the former because there have been many reports of animals eating them and dying, while the Coastguard blame them for numerous false call outs. The Civil Aviation Authority is not too thrilled with them either, and doesn’t welcome their use near airports.
Needless to say, Chinese lanterns have their supporters, but like Anjem Choudary, this is one foreign import we could do without.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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