NY Times Smears Scientist on Front Page for Daring to Defend Gas Stoves

February 3rd, 2023 8:51 PM

The New York Times was going all-out with its gas-stove “eliminationist rhetoric,” (to coin a phrase) putting this snotty headline over a front-page story Monday: “Gas Stoves Are Just Fine, Claims the Scientist Paid to Say So.”

The story was written by investigative climate desk reporter Hiroko Tabuchi, who has shown herself hypersensitive to the supposed corporate and even “white supremacist” corruption of scientific research, while ignoring all conflicts of interest on the left-wing, environmental side of the issue.

She’s uncovered a dissenter from the narrative and was trying to wreck her credibility by raising questions of funding or conflict of interest -- questions that never get applied to environmental organizations that could make a profit off of environmental regulations.

When Multnomah County in Oregon convened a recent public hearing on the health hazards posed by pollution from gas stoves, a toxicologist named Julie Goodman was the first to testify.

Studies linking gas stoves to childhood asthma, which have prompted talk of gas-stove bans in recent weeks and months, were “missing important context,” she said. Levels of pollutants in the kitchen, particularly a well-ventilated one, were negligible, Dr. Goodman told people at the November meeting. In fact, she said, the simple act of cooking itself, “baking, frying and sautéing,” also released emissions that had nothing to do with gas.

What Dr. Goodman didn’t tell the crowd was that she was paid to testify by a local gas provider. Dr. Goodman is a toxicologist who works for Gradient, a consulting firm that provides environmental reviews for corporations. She appeared at the county hearing on behalf of NW Natural, the local utility that is heavily reliant on gas, an affiliation she didn’t state during her testimony.

The Washington Free Beacon pointed out that not even Goodman's advanced degrees and stint teaching at Harvard spared her from the paper’s wrath. So much for listening to the experts – only the correct-thinking experts need apply.

A growing body of scientific research has documented indoor air pollution and health problems caused by gas stoves, which emit nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter when they are turned on. A December study estimated that gas-burning stoves were associated with 13 percent of childhood asthma in the United States.

Tabuchi tellingly does not analyze that “study” (actually a meta-analysis of many studies) for possible conflicts of interest, even though its sponsor, the Rocky Mountain Institute (according to the Free Beacon) “boasts of its attempt to drive an ‘economy-wide transformation’ away from oil and gas in the name of the ‘climate crisis’ and is led by green energy executives who stand to profit from such a transformation.”

After sneering earlier that the alleged federal drive to ban gas stoves was a myth, the Times was no longer shy about listing all the municipalities that are in fact banning new gas stoves: "Almost 100 cities and counties have adopted electrification ordinances that ban or discourage gas hookups for new buildings in favor of electric appliances and heat pumps…."

And the paper again downplayed a radical proposal floated by a regulatory body:

This month, Richard Trumka Jr., a commissioner of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, drew a rebuke from the fossil fuel industry and its allies for suggesting his agency might take regulatory action on gas stoves in the face of the mounting research on their hazards.

Trumka didn’t say “regulatory action,” he said, “Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”

In a now-deleted October 2020 Twitter post, Tabuchi actually linked the fossil fuel industry that she covers to “white supremacy.”