Gas stoves have become a proxy battleground for the planet’s future. Some cities are trying to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by removing gas connections in new construction. But the natural gas industry is not going to collapse without a struggle.
Pro gas marketing campaigns have most successfully waged war in the kitchen, promoting gas stoves as superior to electric stoves. That made it more difficult for cities like Seattle to pass mandates that would limit the use of gas in homes and buildings. What is at stake in this battle is the ability of cities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Complicating matters further is that for decades the gas industry has envisioned itself as a ‘cleaner’ alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil. “We should probably discuss its name: ‘Natural gas,'” said Panama Bartholomy, executive director of the California nonprofit Building Decarbonization Coalition. “It is arguably one of the most successful marketing campaigns we’ve seen in any major industry to call what is truly a dangerous pollutant something natural.”
Recent Research flipped out that completely natural image. It turns out that extracting natural gas and getting it to people’s homes can seriously damage the climate because it emits so much methane. Methane is a super-powerful greenhouse gas with even more power to heat the planet than carbon dioxide. In addition, gas stoves can do that too affect air quality at home.
The edge delved into the science that has given us a new look at natural gas. And we’re exploring what this struggle over stoves can mean for our homes and the environment. If you’d like to learn more about why a much-loved kitchen appliance could be making efforts to tackle the climate crisis, check out our video above.