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‘I use it because it’s better’: why chefs are embracing the electric stove

As evidence mounts that gas stoves are bad for human health, a growing number of professional chefs say electric even makes for a better cooking experienceThe evidence that gas stoves are bad for human health has grown so staggering over the last few years that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced that it would consider banning the appliances. Though a conservative backlash prompted the White House to rule out the possibility of a nationwide ban, and some states have passed pre-emptive laws that prohibit cities from ever passing gas bans, other cities including Berkeley, New York and San Francisco have already moved to bar new gas hookups due to health and environmental concerns.One study from earlier this month found that one in eight cases of childhood asthma in the US is caused by gas stove pollution. According to the lead author on the study, Talor Gruenwald, a research associate at the non-profit Rewiring America, that means that living in a home with a gas stove is comparable to living in a home with a smoker. Gas stoves release pollutants so harmful that the air pollution they create would be illegal if it were outdoors, and that’s not just true when you’re actively cooking – gas stoves continue to emit harmful compounds like methane even when turned off. Beyond the adverse health impacts, those emissions are greenhouse gasses that also contribute to the climate crisis. Continue reading...

As evidence mounts that gas stoves are bad for human health, a growing number of professional chefs say electric even makes for a better cooking experienceThe evidence that gas stoves are bad for human health has grown so staggering over the last few years that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced that it would consider banning the appliances. Though a conservative backlash prompted the White House to rule out the possibility of a nationwide ban, and some states have passed pre-emptive laws that prohibit cities from ever passing gas bans, other cities including Berkeley, New York and San Francisco have already moved to bar new gas hookups due to health and environmental concerns.One study from earlier this month found that one in eight cases of childhood asthma in the US is caused by gas stove pollution. According to the lead author on the study, Talor Gruenwald, a research associate at the non-profit Rewiring America, that means that living in a home with a gas stove is comparable to living in a home with a smoker. Gas stoves release pollutants so harmful that the air pollution they create would be illegal if it were outdoors, and that’s not just true when you’re actively cooking – gas stoves continue to emit harmful compounds like methane even when turned off. Beyond the adverse health impacts, those emissions are greenhouse gasses that also contribute to the climate crisis. Continue reading...

Death in the marshes: environmental calamity hits Iraq’s unique wetlands

Rivers and lakes that have nurtured communities since civilisation’s dawn are drying up, as drought leads to hunger, displacement and simmering conflictSmall gangs of buffaloes sat submerged in green and muddy waters. Their back ridges rose over the surface like a chain of black islets, spanning the Toos River, a tributary of the Tigris that flows into the Huwaiza marshes in southern Iraq.With their melancholic eyes, they gazed with defiance at an approaching boat, refusing to budge. Only when the boatman shrieked “heyy, heyy, heyy” did one or two reluctantly raise their haunches. Towering over the boat, they moved a few steps away, giving the boatmen barely enough space to steer between a cluster of large, curved horns. Continue reading...

Rivers and lakes that have nurtured communities since civilisation’s dawn are drying up, as drought leads to hunger, displacement and simmering conflictSmall gangs of buffaloes sat submerged in green and muddy waters. Their back ridges rose over the surface like a chain of black islets, spanning the Toos River, a tributary of the Tigris that flows into the Huwaiza marshes in southern Iraq.With their melancholic eyes, they gazed with defiance at an approaching boat, refusing to budge. Only when the boatman shrieked “heyy, heyy, heyy” did one or two reluctantly raise their haunches. Towering over the boat, they moved a few steps away, giving the boatmen barely enough space to steer between a cluster of large, curved horns. Continue reading...

Costa Rica on Track to Shelve Escazu Environmental Agreement

The emblematic Escazú Agreement on environmental protection approved by Latin American countries in 2018, is about to fall into oblivion in Costa Rica, one of its promoters, in the face of the rejection of the government, the majority of Congress and businessmen, who see it as a brake on economic reactivation. Costa Rica has been […] The post Costa Rica on Track to Shelve Escazu Environmental Agreement appeared first on The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate.

The emblematic Escazú Agreement on environmental protection approved by Latin American countries in 2018, is about to fall into oblivion in Costa Rica, one of its promoters, in the face of the rejection of the government, the majority of Congress and businessmen, who see it as a brake on economic reactivation. Costa Rica has been a “vanguard country, with positions always in favor of the environment and human rights”, says Nicolás Boeglin, professor of international law at the University of Costa Rica, to AFP. For this reason, says the academic, it is inexplicable that the Legislative Assembly intends to shelve the agreement, which guarantees access to information on environmental matters, the right of citizen participation in decisions affecting the environment and protection for nature defenders. Only the six deputies of the Frente Amplio (left) are determined to extend the period of discussion in Congress, but 29 votes are needed. If the deadline, which expires on February 1, is not extended, the Agreement will be shelved. “Costa Rica is wrong if it does not approve the Escazú Agreement because of the signal it gives. Being a country that has been at the forefront in this matter (…) to throw it overboard would be a very serious mistake”, comments Jonathan Acuña, a member of the parliament of the Front of the Amplist Front, to AFP. Boeglin estimates that “it seems [that the other deputies] are very much in agreement and very comfortable with the fact that Costa Rica is turning its back internationally on two traditional pillars of its foreign policy: the environment and human rights”. Little support Pushed by Costa Rica and Chile, the convention was signed in 2018 by 24 countries after six years of arduous negotiations. It was ratified by 14: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Uruguay. The Costa Rican delegates christened it the Escazú Agreement, the name of an upper-class municipality of San José where its negotiation was closed, and it was signed in New York in September 2018 in the framework of the UN General Assembly. “The current scenario indicates that there is little support from the deputies and deputies,” the Ministry of Environment said in a note. “However, in a country like Costa Rica, where there is a very good protection of human rights, very good protection of the environment and a whole process of validation of the environmental impact of projects […] it will not affect anything if the Escazú Agreement is not approved,” it added. At the CELAC Summit held this week in Buenos Aires, Chilean President Gabriel Boric urged not to let the Agreement die.  It’s not on the agenda The Costa Rican Parliament approved the agreement in February 2020 with 44 votes in favor (out of 57 parliamentarians) and none against. However, a year later the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court annulled the vote for “procedural flaws” and alleged lack of prior consultation with the Judiciary. “Most of what is contained in the Escazu Agreement, Costa Rica already has in its own legislation, the couple of things that would be new would be a monumental obstacle for any future development project of the country,” according to Liberal Congressman Eli Fienzag. Other parliamentarians and the president of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves, do not like this Latin American pact either. “The private sector should be reassured that the Escazú Agreement is not on the government’s agenda […], I do not think it would be beneficial for the country”, said the president after taking office in May 2022. According to Chaves, if ratified, it would “unjustifiably” delay the economic reactivation after the covid-19 pandemic. Attacks against businesses The Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of the Business Sector (Uccaep) supported the president’s words through a letter. “Said agreement attempts against the legal security of the companies and the economic reactivation”, says the missive. “When what we need are measures of economic reactivation, this initiative that does not contain a single point to boost production is being promoted,” said Uccaep’s president, José Álvaro Jenkins, in the letter. But the NGO MarViva, which operates in Latin American tropical Pacific nations, affirms that “contrary to what is argued” by the businessmen, the ratification of the Agreement would be beneficial for Costa Rica’s economy. “Rather, it is a guarantee in the investment climate, which would facilitate the creation of added value for those productive activities that are developed in accordance with the provisions of the agreement”, says to AFP the manager of Political Advocacy of MarViva, Katherine Arroyo. The post Costa Rica on Track to Shelve Escazu Environmental Agreement appeared first on The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate.

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