Tuesday, April 1, 2008


A friend of mine recently said that burning wood to make bread and pizzas was really a "no-no."He then talked about the significant air pollution caused by burning wood. Yes, he was right about the air pollution, but there are very few ways to make bread and pizzas without causing pollution. My friend does all his cooking and baking in a conventional electric range in his kitchen, and this is indeed a clean way to prepare food at home, but then you have to ask where the energy comes from to produce the electricity. The electricity probably comes from burning coal or oil, hardly clean methods. The electric power might also be generated from nuclear, but nobody has really figured out what to do with the waste products nor how to keep fissionable materials out of the hands of very unsavory people. Large amounts of energy are produced from hydro projects, but look at all the people being displaced in China right now, and consider the longterm effects of changing whole ecosystems. Natural gas is another option, but consider the attendant drilling required and the long pipelines.
I know people who produce their own electricity from photovoltaic cells, but I can't imagine them producing enough power to bake bread in their electric stove.
And then there are the political considerations when we rely on energy sources from other countries, or for that matter when we rely on American corporations for anything.
There is simply no easy answer in an overpopulated world when it comes to choosing energy sources, but I don't want to play the "I'm greener than you" game.

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