If you're a local, for those four or so weeks in Miami when it is generally sweater weather, the cold can be a bitch, even if the rest of the country is experiencing blizzards and freezing temperatures. But it's really not that big of a deal to take out a nice cardigan or a Slankent or avoid the outdoors.
Not so for the tourists who pack only tank tops and flip-flops. The tourist bazaar known as Ocean Drive is, of course, ready to do anything to keep alive its dedication to showing a lil' skin, and brings out its army of patio heaters every winter.
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Treehugger points out these heaters go through gallons of fossil fuel and aren't too eco-friendly. Plus there are movements in other places to ban them.
Unfortunately, one brave, green-friendly restaurateur can't decide whether to phase out his heaters, because the visiting masses will flow to the restaurant next door like moths to a -- ahem -- flame.
Considering how tourist-friendly the Miami Beach gov is, a ban is unlikely. The best, it seems, you could do is put on a sweater and give your patronage to a restaurant without patio heaters. It's a win-win really, because you won't be surrounded by old guys in strappy sandles and black socks from upstate New York anyway.