Your Gas Stove Is Bad for You and the Planet

This article lists several things you can do to reduce your family’s carbon emissions.  Switching to induction cooktops, heat pumps, and electric heating are options that result in far fewer emissions, and not a moment too soon.

To help solve the climate crisis, we need to electrify everything.


Credit: Angie Wang

OAKLAND, Calif. — We have some good news that sounds like bad news: Your gas stove has to go.

We know how you’ll feel reading those words. We used to love cooking with gas, too. But if our society is going to solve the climate crisis, one of the things we must do is stop burning gas in our buildings.

Nobody is going to shed a tear about having to switch to a more efficient furnace or water heater. But people feel emotional about gas stoves, and the gas industry knows it. Seeing this fight coming, the industry is already issuing propaganda with gauzy pictures of blue flames.

What the gas companies will not tell you is that your stove is a danger not just to the world’s climate but also to your own family’s health. We’ll explain in a moment.

First, here’s the larger situation: The need to tackle climate change is beyond urgent. We are running out of time. Within the next decade we need to cut climate pollution in half in the United States, roughly, to do our fair part in preserving a livable planet.

Despite the Trump administration, the nation is actually making progress in some areas. We are retiring coal-burning power plants at a record pace, and half of them are already gone. A new wave of ambition to address climate change is sweeping across state legislatures this year as more and more commit to 100 percent clean electricity or debate doing so. But despite this progress, the Rhodium Group estimates that climate-altering emissions in the United States increased 3.4 percent last year from the year before, one of the biggest jumps in decades.

Burning gas is now a bigger source of such pollution than burning coal, and nearly a third of that gas is burned in homes and commercial buildings. But despite the rising chorus of climate pledges by state and local governments, none of them has really tackled the problem of gas in buildings. In fact, gas companies are still being allowed to spend billions extending new lines, connections that will have to be capped off long before the end of their useful lives if we are to meet our climate goals.  MORE

Energiesprong: Dutch-style retrofits could slash carbon emissions from 11 million UK homes


Energiesprong house retrofitting approach could slash emissions, study suggests

With £120m of backing, Dutch style retrofits could slash carbon emissions, gas demand and consumer bills, Green Alliance report argues.

More than 11 million UK homes could be suitable for a highly energy efficient, Dutch-style approach to retrofitting that could drastically slash carbon emissions, gas demand, and consumer bills, according to a new study today by Green Alliance.

The report argues that learning lessons from the Dutch government’s pioneering Energiesprong approach to retrofitting – a one-step method where ultra-efficient insulation, heat pumps and home batteries are all installed at the same time – could provide a solution for millions of fuel poor homes and make a major dent in UK emissions.

The method has been widely used to create net zero emission houses in the Netherlands, and sees rapid retrofits carried out which are then paid for through long term energy savings. Green Alliance estimates it has the potential in the UK to reduce emissions by 37 million tonnes overall, the equivalent to removing 17 million cars from the roads.  MORE

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The secret to warmer, greener homes lies in going Dutch
A Green New Deal for Housing

 

The False Choice Between Economic Growth and Combatting Climate Change

Last year, the U.S.’s carbon-dioxide emissions increased by an estimated 3.4 per cent, the second-largest gain in the past two decades.  Photograph by Fernando Moleres / Panos Pictures / Redux
In 1974, the economist William Nordhaus described the transition from a “cowboy economy” to a “spaceship economy.” In the former, he wrote, “we could afford to use our resources profligately,” and “the environment could be used as a sink without becoming fouled.” But, in the spaceship economy, “great attention must be paid to the sources of life and to the dumps where our refuse is piled.” He added, “Things which have traditionally been treated as free goods—air, water, quiet, natural beauty—must now be treated with the same care as other scarce goods.”
 “It’s absolutely the case that emissions and growth can be decoupled,” Marshall Burke, an assistant professor in Stanford University’s Department of Earth System Science, told me.
“But the switch to nuclear and renewables needs to happen more rapidly. “It takes policy. It won’t happen through markets alone.”
As a small but growing coalition of congressional Democrats, led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have outlined as part of their Green New Deal, transforming the energy sector—and, really, the entire economy, in a just and more equitable way—will require some sort of carbon tax (preferably a “fee and dividend” approach, which distributes tax revenues as rebates directly to citizens), and also new regulations and huge investments. “We can decarbonize the electric sector at a fairly low cost….That’s where some of the cheapest emissions reductions are to be found. Extensive government subsidies could hasten the spread of renewables—specifically, solar, wind, and batteries—and offset any rise in emissions elsewhere….There are ways to reduce the use of fossil fuels in heating; utilities, for instance, can create incentive programs so that homeowners have a motivation to replace their boilers with electric heat pumps. MORE