One thing is certain: we need to get off of fossil fuels as fast as possible. The gas companies want to keep polluting and are paying people to promote the burning of carbon-intensive resources.Gas companies are using influencers to promote gas stoves, when everyone knows that induction stovetops are better in every way.
Because so many people are concerned about how much carbon we dump into the air, there is a burgeoning grassroots movement trying to disconnect everyone from gas consumption. The video above is one such example, and as more people understand the state of our planet more people are switching from gas to electric solutions.
Further complicating things, the gas industry has, for decades, framed itself as a “cleaner” alternative to fossil fuels like coal and oil. “We should probably discuss the name of it: ‘Natural gas.’” says Panama Bartholomy, executive director of the nonprofit Building Decarbonization Coalition in California. “It has been perhaps one of the most successful marketing campaigns that we’ve seen from a large industry to call what is really a dangerous pollutant, something natural.”
Gas stoves have reputation for being good to cook with, but they are really quite bad for everything else that happens in the kitchen – like inhaling air. Indoor fas stoves can actually make your kitchen air quality worse than a highway’s. Thankfully, electric stove technology has improved to the point that the cooking benefits of gas are negligible compared to a quality stove.
So if you’re in need of a new stove, go electric.
On the air-quality front, at least, the evidence against gas stoves is damning. Although cooking food on any stove produces particulate pollutants, burning gas produces nitrogen dioxide, or NO2,, and sometimes also carbon monoxide, according to Brett Singer, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who studies indoor air quality. Brief exposures to air with high concentrations of NO2 can lead to coughing and wheezing for people with asthma or other respiratory issues, and prolonged exposure to the gas can contribute to the development of those conditions, according to the EPA. Homes with gas stoves can contain approximately 50 to 400 percent higher concentrations of NO2 than homes with electric stoves, often resulting in levels of indoor air pollution that would be illegal outdoors, according to a recent report by the Rocky Mountain Institute, a sustainability think tank. â€œNO2 is invisible and odorless, which is one of the reasons itâ€™s gone so unnoticed,â€ Brady Seals, a lead author on the report, says.
Regular readers of this site may know that we are fans of efficient stoves. The Kenya Stove is a new project to get efficient stoves in the hands of Kenyans. Erin, from Kenya Stove writes:
First some bad news: More than 3 billion people rely on traditional cookstoves for cooking in the developing world. Exposure to smoke from inefficient cookstoves and open-fire cooking practices contributes to the burden of pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases and results in an estimated two million deaths worldwide per year.
Now the good news: We plan to pilot a novel gasifying wood stove and fuel project in Kenya in the coming months. The stove emits little smoke, is durable and can be made at low cost with materials locally available in Kenya by Kenyan artisans thus creating jobs. Additionally we have selected mesquite, an invasive species in Kenya, to be used as the fuel source and therefore not impact indigenous forests through deforestation for wood fuel or charcoal-making. We anticipate our project will improve the health of families by reducing exposure to smoke, provide a lower cost fuel for cooking, and reduce the environmental impact caused by charcoal-making and the emissions from inefficient stoves.
We looked at the Paradigm Project and Stove Man before in June. They have been busy making more videos about what they are up to in the world of helping people (and the planet) by providing them with efficient stoves.