Thursday, April 16, 2009

Economist's Notebook: Cooking Stoves

While we are on the topic of development, The New York Times has a story today about the use of cooking stoves in low-income countries and their effect on the climate. The basics are that the stuff they burn: wood, dung, charcoal, releases lots of soot or black carbon and this soot can act as a heat absorber and help warm the surface of the earth.

But there is another problem with these stoves: they appear to be extremely detrimental to the health of users. The aforementioned Poverty Action Lab has a working paper that summarizes the current research.

Photo Credit: Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

1 comment:

Jeff said...

I've been around these in villages in South Asia. They are indeed extremely detrimental to air quality, not only locally but also atmospherically.

Natural gas stoves are a nice alternative.