Kit Sang Boos: Many solutions leading toward sustainable future

  • mactrunk

Sunday, November 19, 2017
Many solutions leading toward sustainable future

It’s heartening that Stephen Bryant, president of Columbia Gas, has learned that methane leaks are a driver of climate change as well as a danger to lives and properties (“Columbia Gas president: Plans could end natural gas moratorium by 2021”).

His concerted efforts at repairing company gas leaks are much appreciated. However, leaks can occur in different locations along the extraction and supply chain.

Fossil fuels are a dead end. Its extraction from the earth is becoming more and more destructive and costly, in more ways than just dollars. Instead of building more pipelines to a dead end, we need to wean ourselves off finite fossil fuels.

We need to conserve even as we demand more efficiencies from all our appliances. We should invest our resources and ingenuity, and create jobs in abundant, clean, renewable energy.

Some of the current demand for gas comes from desire for professional-grade gas burners with high BTUs for gourmet cooking. I used to be one of those people who wanted a high-BTU gas burner for my wok cooking.

Instead, I experimented with an induction cooking unit. I found it to be as good, if not better, than a gas burner when using a flat-bottom wok. Induction cooking tops use magnets to generate heat in the stainless or carbon steel cooking pan to cook food. It turns on and off instantaneously.

There is no flame, no residual heat on the burner itself other than the conducted heat of the pan, so it is much safer, especially for children and the elderly. It is the fastest way of boiling water. It is the most energy-efficient way of cooking today.

But what convinced me is that I can get what Chinese cooks call wok hay, or breath of the wok, when I stir fry on my induction unit. It has been widely used for decades in Europe and is gaining in popularity in the U.S.

There are efforts in our city right now to promote energy efficiency with the HeatSmart Northampton program. There are bills in committee in the state legislature to put a graduated price on carbon that truly represents its costs to our health and environment. The money collected would be returned to the citizens to offset that cost as the market responds in the transition to a clean energy future. There is also a bill to encourage the development and production of better batteries for storage of renewable energy right here in Massachusetts.

There are many ideas and solutions that you can participate in for a better and more sustainable future for our children and our nation and our world.

Kit Sang Boos