It Might Be Time to Get Rid of Gas Stoves in Order to Fight Climate Change

updated Nov 12, 2019
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Credit: Lucy Hewett

As climate change-conscious movements inch toward progress and communities become more aware of the various causes of it, we learn more and more about the way seemingly everyday choices we make could weigh heavily on the planet. The latest battleground comes close to home: Some cities are banning natural gas in homes to save the planet, reports USA Today. That means the precious gas stove that so many cooks covet could be on its way out.

California, where fires have raged up and down the state the last few months — and the last few years — is unsurprisingly leading the charge against gas stoves. Thirteen cities and one county in the state have recently passed zoning codes designed to prevent new construction from running in gas lines.

Natural gas, which fuels gas stoves, is the source of about a third of our country’s dioxide emissions from electricity generation — the primary cause of climate change. That’s a huge amount of change that can be accomplished by moving away from the use of natural gas and other fossil fuels to power our homes and kitchens, and toward renewable electric energy sources. 

The biggest issue that researchers have found in getting people to give up natural gas in their homes is gas stoves. Right now, the article reports, about a third of U.S. households have a gas stove. And while California is leading the way in reducing gas to homes, that may be in part because gas is less prevalent in other parts of the country: In the Southeast, almost half of all homes are already all electric.

As tough as it might be for cooks to give up that control of a gas stove and the high-heat abilities it offers, it’s hard to justify needing that in the face of the state of climate change, and new model electric stoves have come a long way from the always-tilted bare coils of your first adult apartment.