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Red Flags Galore
A nation-wide ban on natural gas stoves may be coming soon. Via the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (same imbeciles, who, excuse the language, fucked things up for bicycling) one of whose commissioners insists,
”This is a hidden hazard. Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
There are dual narratives for such bans. One, natural gas, which the authoritarian journalist-wannabes over at Vox (same idiots who sided with Abuser Lorena Gonzalez’s atrocious AB5 bill, then subsequently lost their jobs due to said law) demand we stop calling natural gas “natural” largely because muh feelings but also because it’s a dirty icky ocean-boiling fossil fuel. The other and the one which right now seems the more likely culprit for the ban is the apparent indoor air pollution issues - in particular with children and seniors.
Boston.com broke the story just a few days ago in the latest on an article, which they labeled as a study, supposedly concluding the hazards of cooking with natural gas. The article, entitled, “Population Attributable Fraction of Gas Stoves and Childhood Asthma in the United States” was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
We’re reminded by the kind folks at Boston.com that it’s peer-reviewed (which means it’s certainly factual given the researchers Followed the Science) which goes onto conclude more or less that children’s asthma rates are higher in homes where cooking is done on stoves powered by natural gas. They believe that approximately 12.7% of childhood asthma in the US is due to gas stove use. Where the remaining 87.3% come from they do not explain, nor do they compare asthma rates in homes where say cooking is done on electric stoves (yet they suggest anyways that one way to cut down on gas usage is to convert to electric cooking), or God-forbid perhaps wood or dung burning as is common in much of the developing world.
Something the Boston.com journalists leave out is that this is a meta-analysis which is a fancy way of saying that it’s a study about studies. These researches themselves setup no actual experiment themselves. Meta analysis have their use in academia but they also are easy to game - take into account this one used to supposedly prove that homeopathy actually works.
Never mind a potential massive red flag in this study that the primary researcher is from Rocky Mountain Institute, a well-known anti-nuclear energy organization whose mission is to eliminate the use of fossil fuels in favor of Fiat fuels. Not to mention the remainders are from Public Health a field (who also ruined bicycling) filled with fiat grifters, frauds, and bigoted authoritarians. We’re constantly reminded that any study promoted by someone who even slightly acknowledges the advantages of hydrocarbons must be funded by fossil fuel interests. Fiat energy enthusiast Michael Mann years ago accused legitimate energy and pro-humanity expertof the ever horrific crime of being funded by the Koch Brothers, which has been debunked but nevertheless remains a common way to attack Epstein.
The toxic combination of Corporate Press cheerleaders, non-elected Federal Bureaucrats, out-of-touch with how the world works fiat energy non-profits, and so-called Public Health will likely reveal something far more stinky than the rotten egg smell of natural gas.
We don’t make the rules. Fiat energy enthusiasts started this guilt-by-association nonsense.
In an upcoming post we’ll dig into the uncomfortable truth about the systemic racism embedded in natural gas bans.