Published on: June 3, 2022
The other day we pointed out a story in the Los Angeles Times piece saying that, "citing the climate crisis, the Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to ban most gas appliances in new construction, a policy that’s expected to result in new homes and businesses coming equipped with electric stoves, clothes dryers, water heaters and furnaces."
One MNB reader responded:
Here in So Cal we have plenty of clean burning natural gas. It is efficient and affordable. The leftists that run this state are working to push us to all electric when we do not have an electrical grid that meets our needs today. We keep hearing on the radio and TV about curtailing our electrical use in the afternoons and evenings and that is before summer when the demand will increase. There is a Reuters story in US New & World Reports about how we are facing a potential shortfall of 1,700 megawatts to as high as 5,000 megawatts. We are seeing more and more black outs and those foolish enough to sign up for the Smart Energy Program will see brown outs when demand exceeds supply. If feels like we are moving towards being a third world state.
I disagreed with that characterization, as did another MNB user:
Regarding LA banning gas appliances in new construction, and the reader who claims we don’t have the electricity to support such a move…FYI California started requiring all new house builds to come equipped with solar panels back in 2020. So, theoretically the solar panels on top of the house should operate the electric appliances inside it making it more sustainable (and cheaper) than continuing to run appliances on natural gas. Hardly becoming a 3rd world country, more like leading the nation in sustainability efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions (but maybe I think that because I’m a one of those “radical lefties”).
I don't live in California, but I did go to school there and have a soft spot in my heart for the state … and I have to say that I get real tired of people crapping all over the state. While there has been a minor exodus from California in the last couple of years, the fact remains that more people live there than in any other state, and it does set the agenda in a lot of areas for trends that move elsewhere.
It may not be for everybody, but that's okay.
If I may … there was an interesting story about the subject in the Washington Post earlier this year that was brought to my attention by an MNB reader:
"Gas-burning stoves in kitchens across America may pose a greater risk to the planet and public health than previously thought, new research suggests.
"The appliances release far more of the potent planet-warming gas methane than the Environmental Protection Agency estimates, Stanford University scientists found in a study published Thursday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The appliances also emit significant amounts of nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant that can trigger asthma and other respiratory conditions.
"Scientists and climate activists have increasingly urged homeowners to switch to all-electric stoves, water boilers and other appliances, even as the natural gas industry fights in New York and across the country to keep the signature blue flames of gas-burning stoves as a staple in American homes."
Here's more from the Post story:
"Nationally, more than one-third of households — about 40 million homes — cook with natural gas. In California, 60 percent of households favor the popular fuel.
"The researchers in Thursday’s study measured emissions from stoves in 53 homes across seven California counties. They used their findings to estimate that methane emissions from gas stoves in the United States have a comparable climate impact to about 500,000 gas-powered cars driven for a year … Methane, the main component of natural gas, is the second-largest contributor to climate change among greenhouse gases. Although it dissipates more quickly than carbon dioxide, it is more than 80 times as powerful in the first 20 years after it is released into the atmosphere."
And so, it would appear that if Los Angeles moves to ban most gas appliances in new construction, it is an act of self-preservation that suggests a progressive culture dealing with reality, not a third world culture.
Though … I do think the issue of the state's electrical grid is worth considering. But the answer is to improve the grid, not embrace practices that are themselves problematic.
Yesterday MNB took note of an Axios report that a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine says that "those who drank coffee - even with sugar - were less likely to die than non-coffee drinkers in the following seven years."
My reaction: Yippee.
MNB reader Matt Nitzberg concurred:
As a 2-cup-a-day coffee drinker, it looks like I’m right in the sweet spot identified in the study. Besides the longevity benefit, I’m glad you included “enjoy” in your headline. Without coffee, life just *seems* longer.
Finally, I got a number of emails about yesterday's FaceTime piece about The Giant Company.
One MNB reader wrote:
As a long term store manager with the Giant Company, I really appreciate the video, pictures and kind words. Nick Bertram brought a lot of vibrancy and vision to the company and the results speak for itself. During my time with the company, my fellow team members and peers always pulled together to accomplish acquisitions or projects. Focused, appreciative leadership makes all the difference.
And, from MNB reader Deborah Faragher:
Enjoyed this piece, particularly since I had a 30 year career at Strawbridge & Clothier, the “iconic” department store that now houses Giant’s Heirloom Market in part of the first floor. I have not traveled to Philadelphia recently so I have not had the opportunity to visit the Heirloom market. I had, however, been very pleased to see they retained a lot of the original character of the store—Il Porcilino sculpture in the elevator lobby as well as the original paintings over the elevators. What’s particularly interesting is that The Tap Room is housed in the entrance to what was the Food Hall.
You didn’t note any eating you may have done while in Philadelphia—would have loved to set you on the right Philly Cheesesteak path!
As always, Kevin, thank you for doing what you do and doing it so well. By the way—watching your Covid vaccine updates is like watching the Bataan Death March! Sad to say.
Thinking there’s a shot you’ll spend some time in Portland this summer? Long overdue.
I totally agree with you about how the Heirloom Market has retained the character of the original store.
As for cheesesteaks … I've been to both Pat's and Geno's numerous times, and so this time went to The Original Tony Luke's, which I thought compared very favorably.
As for the Covid vaccine updates … I agree. Unfortunately.
Finally … I won't be going to Oregon to teach at Portland State University this summer … the third summer in a row that I've missed it, after seven or eight summers spent there. And I really do miss it … but in a post-pandemic educational environment, my skill set isn't quite in alignment with how the curriculum is laid out. I hope to go back, I'm still an adjunct faculty member, and so my fingers are crossed.
I will be back in the area, though, in September, when I'll once again be emceeing the annual City of Hope gala, taking place this year just across the river in Vancouver, Washington. It is one of my favorite events, and I've been privileged to be part of it for a number of years - the work that City of Hope does in terms of cancer research and the nurturing care of patients is just extraordinary.