The gas industry's marketing has influenced American culture as quietly as the fumes from their much-beloved stoves.
Mind blown — I thought I knew a lot about fossil fuel industry propaganda but had no idea the gas stove part had such an extensive history. It really is ingrained in culture that serious cooks need gas stoves. Also, funny some of the people yelling now about how much they love their gas stoves despite the actual health dangers are the same ones who are always yelling about "toxins" in perfectly safe things.
Proposed new slogan for the electromagnetic induction era: 🧲"Now we're cooking with mags!"🧲
I think I can confirm the bit about gas industry people posing as neighbors on the Nextdoor website. Just a few days ago a "neighbor" posted a query about costs of home heating with gas, and several people weighed in on keeping their house at a lower temperature to save on the gas bill. I commented that I have no gas bill, and I love how cheap it is to power my all-electric, solar-arrayed home. I saw that the OP "neighbor" had "liked" NW Natural, our local gas utility, in her profile. Another "neighbor" challenged my estimate of how soon my solar array would pay for itself with cost savings (7 years, by my math) - by the time I had checked my data to compose an honest response to his question, the whole thread was removed from the site. So yeah, I suspect that there are industry lurkers on Nextdoor waiting to change the conversation of anyone who offers useful information to the community about home electrification. No need to boot people off the site if you simply take their posts down. Nextdoor appears to be as full of shenanigans as Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media.
When searching for a retirement home in 2018, I insisted on having a gas stove - and that's what I have in my kitchen. Indeed, this home, which was built a little more than 20 years ago, has a gas furnace, gas water heater, gas clothes dryer, gas fireplace, and of course the gas range. And all this time I thought I was doing a good thing, having all these gas appliances. I recently spent 10 months in Houston on a temporary job assignment and had an electric range in my apartment there, and frankly I don't recall having any issues with it. So I had no idea why I was so insistent on having a gas range, other than this illicit programming you described.
Of course now that I know better I'll do my best to replace each of these appliances with their electric counterparts, just as I plan to replace my car - which I also purchased in 2018 - with an electric car. But these things take time of course, and currently the money isn't there to make such a switch when the old gas appliances and gasoline-powered car are still working so well. Switching from gas to electric is no small matter - it involve thousands of dollars in added wiring, as well as the cost of the new appliance. And I can't even begin to think about the average cost of a new electric car, or the charging apparatus in my garage.
Those who perpetually claim that all these gas ranges out here are simply a matter of consumer choice fail to take the fossil fuel advertising into account - it's just like previous arguments about people choosing to smoke, or choosing not to wear seat belts. Without seat belt laws, lots more people would still be getting slaughtered in high speed car wrecks. Without non-smoking areas in buildings and massive judgments against tobacco companies, many more of us would still be smoking. These laws created a massive change in public attitudes toward seat belts and smoking.
And without major changes in laws about fossil fuels, the destruction of our planet will proceed, full force. We need a major change in public attitudes about fossil fuels, and that change can only come about as the result of public policy. It won't happen as the result of "personal choices."
I love articles like this because I learn new historical facts about fossil fuels, but at the same time I get angry for just how much of a stranglehold fossil fuels have had on our cultural history.
So it is kinda weird to say, but thank you for making me angry.
So here’s an idea... how about flooding #CookingWithGas with stories of deaths in homes due to gas leaks, statistics of kids with asthma in gas powered homes, the danger of gas line breaks in earthquakes, etc. And maybe get some celebs and influencers to rave about the new induction stoves.
Absolutely loved this article.
So how bout we update with “Now you’re cooking with induction!”?
Emily, I suggest you put a twist on the phrase that should make EVERYONE uncomfortable: "Now you're cookin' with Methane!" You could use it to illustrate how a comment or idea is an attempt to gaslight others (pun intended).
Oh my heavens, Emily! I have been a subscriber for a long time (almost the very beginning), I have rooted for you to come through Covid not just healthy and intact but better-better!! And, lo!!! Here you are blowing our minds, uncovering our cultural sinkholes, pushing and laboring to get us to MOVE. And just look at the sneaky, nay -- CRAVEN, force arrayed against us!! THANK YOU (as William said) for making us angry.
~ps~ been after one of those amazing Italian induction ranges... drool baby drool... for when I win the lottery! (https://www.appliancesconnection.com/bertazzoni-prof365insgit.html)
I grew up in Montreal, and for me, electric stoves were the rule. Very few places had gas ranges/ovens. It was only once I got to the US (and specifically, the Mid-Atlantic area) that I saw gas appliances as the rule rather than the exception.
Hey Emily, I think your "further reading" might have the wrong dates. I'm pretty sure the NYT article is from 2023 and maybe the Distilled articles too.
In my local NextDoor there was a discussion about high gas prices in Southern California. A professor of economics from the local community college jumped in to give a story to explain the reason. "the high prices are due to supply constraints because of an outage blah blah". She didn't like that I pointed out that the pipeline company, Kinder Morgan, was making record profits because of the outage. I looked her up and she is a professor of econ at Glendale CC *and* a Sempra employee. Sempra owns the two largest SoCal gas companies and is a partner with Kinder Morgan. Poking around on Google, I see lots of scholarships available from Sempra. I wonder how much the fossil fuel giants are putting into community colleges to spread the misinformation.
Let’s all start saying “Now you’re cooking with electrons.” GO! 👏
Outside of a lot of other strong thoughts about gas and it's influence, this gives The Lemonheads song "Stove" a whole new meaning to me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNVYuLuhLf0&ab_channel=TheLemonheads-Topic