Firing Up the Debate: Why Are People Arguing About Gas Stoves?
Is the government actually coming for your gas stove?
The news is heating up with a debate about the use of gas stoves, which is quickly becoming a hot topic around Washington, D.C., and the rest of the country. But why?
Advocates for reducing the use of gas stoves raise two main concerns: climate and public health. Gas stoves are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change; and the extraction, transportation and burning of natural gas for cooking releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Although natural gas is considered to be a cleaner-burning fossil fuel than coal or oil, it still releases CO2 and other pollutants into the atmosphere when burned. These pollutants can have negative health effects, particularly for children and people with respiratory issues.
Learn how cow burps contribute to the climate crisis with this PBS NewsHour Classroom current events lesson.
In response to these concerns, some governments and organizations are promoting the use of electric and induction stoves, which do not release pollutants into the air and are safer for the environment. Some areas in the United States and other countries have been phasing out the production of new gas stoves and promoting the replacement of existing gas stoves with electric or induction technologies.
It's worth noting that some companies are developing cleaner-burning natural gas stoves, which are less polluting and more efficient. Some companies are also working on smart gas stoves that can be controlled by a smartphone app, and can save energy and gas in response to the complaints of leaking gas even when they are turned off.
There are a variety of activities and videos below to choose from that cover the nascent gas stove debate, its impact on the climate, your health, and resources on how to foster healthy classroom debate. Choose activities most relevant to your class and the amount of time you have.
Some news outlets have spread misinformation about the government coming to replace your gas stove and other appliances, but experts say this is improbable and may only affect new construction. Why do you think these organizations make misleading claims?
Examine this map from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and consider the questions below.
Watch this video from CBS News and consider the questions below.
Explore more resources for educators to find a wide-range of relevant preK-12 lessons on climate change or supporting young people as they continue to lead the conversation around the climate change crisis.
Andy Kratochvil is an SML team member who loves hiking, scary books, Mexican food, and finding great content for the Share My Lesson community.He studied political science and French at California State University, Fullerton and received his Master’s in International Affairs from American University