The trial balloon of banning gas stoves is just another example of the progressive quest to eliminate risk from American society.
The political world has been in an uproar over the past week on account of a somewhat random topic: gas stoves. This whole news cycle revolved around the idea – mooted by Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. – of banning gas stoves due to their alleged harmful impact on health and indoor air quality. (I say alleged because the studies being cited are not at all solid.) Trumka, son of the famed union boss of the same name, stated regarding gas ranges that “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.” Progressives rushed to the proposal’s defense, claiming that these newly-studied health risks are only part of the problem – gas stoves are also terrible for climate change. Several cities, including New York, have banned gas hookups in new buildings entirely, stopping the promulgation not only of gas-powered stoves, but also of gas heating and water boiling.
For a day or so, these inherent ‘problems’ of household gas usage were the talk of the town, but this all stopped cold when the idea of banning a common and well-loved cooking appliance dropped like a lead balloon in the broader public. All of a sudden, the talking points shifted to gaslighting (pun intended) about the issue: denying that bans were on the table at all and claiming that this was just another conservative “culture war,” despite the clear evidence to the contrary. The New York Times serves as an excellent example of this rapid flip-flopping. On January 11, they published an article which has the web title “No, Biden Is Not Trying to Ban Gas Stoves,” as part of their coverage of the issue. The rest of their special online section discusses “Climate and Health Concerns,” “How to Lower Your Risk,” and “The Case for Induction Cooking.” On January 13, the Times published and widely promoted an alarmist op-ed titled “Your Gas Stove May Be Killing You.” The back-and-forth is head-spinning.
But more than anything it says about the media, progressive talking points, or the decline of scientific rigor, this whole gas stove brouhaha captures a major aspect of modern progressivism that is inherently un-American: the urge to guarantee “safety.”Read More »