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How Your Kitchen Gas Stove is Sparking a ‘Fiery’ Debate on Global Warming

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

Many recent studies have suggested that there is a need to move over fossil completely, if we want to make radical changes while working to control the effects of climate changes.

Global Warming and climate changes are forcing us to innovate and think about ways to have more sustainable growth. The effort is to bring down carbon emission and shift to more sustainable methods to produce energies in our lives. However, are we ready to look around us to think of things that may not look like a very big problem but in long run can put of a big challenge? Many recent studies have suggested that there is a need to move over fossil completely, if we want to make radical changes while working to control the effects of climate changes. Even the gas stoves that we use to cook our food is contributing to the climate change issue that the world faces. So, what do we do?

In 2019, the city council of Berkeley in California made a bold move and banned hookups of natural gas in newly constructed houses. This unprecedented move gave a start to the debate on the carbon emission by natural gas. This move was resisted by gas companies who are in no mood to give up easily.

The fire of this hot debate comes to our kitchens as the gas stove that we use to cook our food uses these natural gases. For long, natural gas companies have presented themselves as a cleaner option to other forms of fossils such as coal and oil, but with changing times, the requirement is to move to a more sustainable option.

For gas stoves, the world uses natural gas, which is primarily made up of methane, or CH4. When it is burned, it converts to CO2 and the emission is less than other fossils fuel options. However, that does not necessarily mean that there is not any problem. The process of getting natural gas to our house involves ‘fugitive leaks’ of Methane. These leaks during the processing eventually balance the less carbon emission by natural gas burning. So, the perceived notion that natural gas options create less emission gets bulldozed here.

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On the other hand, methane is a very potent greenhouse gas and can heat up the Earth more than carbon dioxide. Also, the heat from the gas stove degrades the air quality in the house.

So, the question here remains, is natural gas really a safer option? And can we overlook the not so apparent problem it creates for the world?

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first published:April 07, 2021, 17:59 IST