The next thing to feel bad about

For a while now, the powers that be have decided that using natural gas for heat, cooking, and drying clothes is bad for the earth. Only electricity will save us, they preach. Leave aside the fact that gas – and even worse, coal – are where a whole bunch of the world's electricity currently comes from. In a perfectly correct world, the gas would be left in the ground, and everything would run on wind, solar, and reluctantly, nuclear. (Probably not hydro, because fish.)

How long before sales of new gas appliances for homes are outlawed? Five years? Ten?

But lest you ask too many questions about the ecological argument, today the geniuses at Multnomah County wheel out a health argument: That gas appliance in your house is silently killing you.

I don't know where this pressing safety insight has been alll these years, but science is apparently making new discoveries at just about the time when the political arguments are cranking up. A convenient truth, as it were. 

We use a fair amount of gas at our place. We like it. I've lived with electric ranges, oil furnaces, and even coal furnaces in some of my younger years. I hated them all.

But I guess it's time to enjoy the status quo while we can. Natural gas in your house will someday be as taboo as wild salmon on your dinner table. Maybe soon.


  1. It is all BS. Another tool to keep us in the dark, starving, and compliant. The amount of CO2 humans generate compared to the entire planet is way too small to be the dominant driver of the climate- even if CO2 was the only driver. The models that predict this crap do not model clouds, circulation patterns, ocean currents, and variances in the Sun's magnetic output (which determines how many cosmic rays get through, which determines cloud densities).

    The filthy rich are using this to keep us under their thumb. Wake up before we are back to sticks and stones.

    1. You’re correct. Unfortunately, the camels nose is already under the tent.

    2. You couldn't be more wrong.

    3. I believe humans are contributing greatly to the climate change. But I do not think banning gas stoves in the United States is going to help much, if at all.

    4. Nothing, considered in isolation, “is going to help much, if at all.” But the first rule of holes applies — when you find yourself in one, stop digging yourself in deeper. We have superior alternatives to gas, so the first step to reducing the disruption from the transition is to stop allowing new gas in homes. Getting people off installed gas will be slower, but with incentives it will happen. But it’s crazy to have an incentive program the transition people to heat pumps for space heating and water and induction stoves, but still allow new gas installs.

  2. I always preferred gas for cooking. Until I got an induction cooktop. Heats up and cools down way faster, and you can surround the damned pan with paper, or regular, towels to catch splatter and they don't even get singed.

  3. Induction cooktop, electric oven, heat pump and solar panels with storage battery for new construction. What’s not to like? Our gas stove has an oven that serves as a cupboard for cookware. A separate electric oven is much more reliable and useful.

  4. I will take these clowns seriously if and when they outlaw those damned leaf blowers for year-round use. The smell from their motors gets into homes, and the dust that they kick up is just displaced somewhere else.

    Nothing like watching a landscaper aimlessly blowing a few leaves around only to deposit them somewhere else. If I only ran the world.......

  5. Induction is better, Jack. Try it, you'll like it!

  6. If you aren't convinced that humans are contributing to climate change, take a look at this:

    1. This is also highly readable and has excellent graphics.

      The bottom line is that anyone denying that we are sawing off the limb that we're sitting on with all our progeny is willfully blind to the evidence.

  7. Thought of an induction stove top

    Then I looked at my copper pans

  8. Maybe we should quit eating beans.

  9. Gas is real convenient for the end user…when it works.

    But all the stuff to bring it to the end user to be so convenient to use is another matter.

    Proprietary finicky Circuit boards & electric snd where you source the electricity has its issues.

    Ventilation for cooking fumes, whether the appliance is gas or not is not well planned in most houses. Outdoor kitchens & porches are hard to come by.

    The stove doesn’t use much gas and can be rejetted to run propane.

    Forced air heat kind of sucks snd is snake oil compared to a radiant floor or in room warm point and surfaces.
    Retrofitting houses for under floor heat plates and batteries and the mechanical complexity isn’t cheap or easy nor is better filtration for fumes and disease and insulation to need less heat & be more comfortable with better indoor air quality generally, whatever the source.

    I’d definitely be down with more local wind, solar & hydro w/a little nuclear (not one giant reactor done on the cheap in ‘70s malaise by PGE for the rest of us to clean up Trojan style) w/municipal stored heat like polar night is trying in Finland.

    At this point it’s taking a lot of resources to extract more gas with more side Effects snd all the effort to maintain or dig new pipelines for new subdivisions is money we could spend on digging insulated basements for houses/structures, storing heat, needing less heat; etc etc.
    It’s real eye opening to watch them put HVAC in new AZ subdivisions;
    Gas furnace + air conditioner + dig the trenches to pile the gas in in a climate where there’s enough solar intensity to keep your toes warm thru the night with a heated floor silently.

    Instead, you get something that costs almost as much as a quality even forced air heat pump, 2 systems to maintain interlinked/both can take out the other, snd ceiling leaky ducts that dry the air out snd and attic (worst possible place to install) gas furnace that wakes you up in deep sleep by 4Am. Nuts!

    But hey, it sells, snd it’s more integrated there than here and they’re still do stick built single family residential construction that’s *dimly* affordable at all & it’s more integrated.
    No water, no favorable labor laws, extra brutal policing in a lot of places…


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