May 15, 2024

Gas Stove Fearmongering Heats Up

A new study dubiously attempts to connect gas stoves to pediatric asthma.

The anti-fossil fuel lobby, in its zealousness, overlooks the undeniable benefits of gas stoves. These appliances, powered by one of the most cost-effective sources of energy in the world, have played a significant role in lifting much of the world out of abject poverty.

But they use a fossil fuel, so they must be bad.

However, since Americans have been using gas stoves for generations, and because gas stoves are in many ways superior to electric stoves when it comes to cooking, merely proclaiming that natural gas is bad will not convince Americans to stop buying and using them.

With the Biden administration getting caught trying to underhandedly ban gas stoves, a move that a majority of Americans objected to, the anti-fossil fuel lobby began with demonizing gas stoves as a threat to people’s health. Doubling down on “the science” is the only way to make “progress.”

In that vein, The Washington Post recently ran a story titled, “Gas stoves spread harmful pollution beyond the kitchen, study finds.” The subhead pushed the fearmongering even further, stating, “A study finds that the nitrogen dioxide emitted from stoves impacts the entire home, in some cases hours after the stove was turned off.”

The article notes that the study was conducted by researchers at Stanford University, which is an apparent attempt to suggest that this is actual scientific stuff here. The article then notes the study’s apparently startling claim “that long-term exposure to the staple kitchen appliance could be responsible for 50,000 current pediatric asthma cases from nitrogen dioxide.”

That’s right. Gas stoves are giving children asthma.

Furthermore, because of this woke world we are living in, those most negatively impacted by these dangerous gas stoves are poor minority kids. According to the study, “Indigenous, Alaska Native, Hispanic and Black households, as well as low-income households, experience the highest exposure to nitrogen dioxide from gas and propane from cooking.” Why do researchers think minorities are so inferior that they can’t stave off the danger as well?

The study’s principal researcher, Rob Jackson, claims, “It compounds the injustice of air pollution: Poorer people, and often minority communities, breathe dirtier air outdoors all the time. And it turns out they also breathe dirtier air indoors.” He adds, “And it’s not fair.”

We’re not sure how this is “not fair” because many white people and wealthy people also use gas stoves in their homes. It appears that Jackson is basing his comment on the average size of people’s homes, implying that those with smaller homes are poor minorities.

Tellingly, midway into the article, there is a qualifier that serves to undercut the fearmongering title of the story. The article quotes American Gas Association President and CEO Karen Harbert, who observes, “Despite the impressive names on this study, the data presented here clearly does not support any linkages between gas stoves and childhood asthma or adult mortality.” She adds: “The two major cited studies used to underpin the Stanford analysis directly contradict the conclusions they have presented. In short, the interpretation of results … are misleading and unsupported.”

Seeming to tacitly agree with Harbert that this study is basically bunk, the article notes the response of Michael Johnson, the technical director at Berkeley Air Monitoring Group: “It’s not that I don’t think there are health impacts from using gas stoves,” says Johnson. “There almost certainly are. But, trying to estimate what those health impacts are would need some type of randomized controlled trial.”

In other words, this study is effectively meaningless. It’s suitable only for propagating anti-gas stove propaganda. Besides, the government should focus on more pressing problems, such as securing the southern border. However, due to Washington’s bloated bureaucracy, Americans are subject to countless needless regulations that only infringe on our liberty.

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