Media outlets covering a recently-published study claiming to show the harmful effects of gas stoves this past week failed to note that the study was primarily funded by a China-linked climate group.
The study found that the burning of methane in gas stoves raised household levels of benzene — a carcinogenic chemical — to those comparable with secondhand smoke, after setting one burner to high or an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Outlets such as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and NPR covered the study in the past seven days, but did not mention that the study was conducted with “primary support” from the High Tide Foundation, a climate activist non-profit committed to reducing methane that was co-founded by Richard Lawrence, an investment banker with significant economic ties to China.
In addition to serving as a director of the High Tide Foundation, Lawrence is also the founder and executive chairman of Overlook Investments Ltd., a Hong Kong investment firm that established a Cayman Islands-based firm, Overlook 3G Investments, in 2016 to invest in China’s renewable energy sector. Lawrence sang China’s praises in an interview last year.
“The Chinese entrepreneur is instinctive, long term, sometimes way too aggressive, sometimes not aggressive enough,” said Lawrence. “It’s almost an inherent skill they get, almost from birth, they’re really, really exceptional. And they are driving, say for example, 80% of urban employment today.”
Lawrence went on to say that political leaders ought to encourage “managed decoupling” with China and encourage companies like Walmart and K-Mart to “keep buying what you can from China, because it’s cheaper,” while firms like chipmaker Intel should be more careful. He doubted whether Chinese President Xi Jinping would invite sanctions by invading Taiwan, but questioned whether Western governments might misstep because “we are in a world run by politicians who are completely focused on nationalism.”
In May, Lawrence praised the state-owned hydroelectric power facility operator, China Yangtze Power, and pushed investors to support it, calling it “China’s climate change blue chip,” according to Reuters. “There is nothing that comes close to it, in fact, globally,” he told the outlet.
A new Stanford study finds one lit burner on a gas stove can create kitchen benzene concentrations similar to secondhand smoke.
We’ve got to get the gas industry out of our kitchens ya’ll. https://t.co/4LxPvtmLJO
— Anna McDevitt ☀️ (@AnnaMcDevitt1) June 22, 2023
The Biden administration has recently taken action to more aggressively regulate gas stoves, and according to a leaked October 2022 memo, at least one member of the Consumer Public Safety Commission had proposed an outright ban on gas stoves, even in existing homes. The basis for this proposed ban was a study funded by the Climate Imperative Foundation, which until recently listed a high ranking Chinese climate official and lawmaker as an advisor.
An outright ban would build on actions taken by the state of New York, which in May prohibited most new buildings from installing gas hookups during construction. Similar legislation is being considered in a variety of states and cities across the nation, inspired by cities in California.
The Biden administration has also frequently cited a December 2022 study linking gas stoves to asthma, which the DCNF found was funded by electric appliance activists, notably the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The Colorado-based RMI, which has advised the Chinese Communist Party on “clean energy technologies,” received $750,000 in grant money from the Biden administration in February to create an electric vehicle charging “roadmap” for the Bay Area of California.
High Tide funds a variety of climate change initiatives, such as the Global Methane Hub, and has donated more than $1 million to the European Climate Foundation, more than $3 million to the National Audubon Society — where Lawrence sits on the Board of Directors — and tens of thousands to Columbia University and Yale to combat climate change, according to the foundation’s most recent publicly available disclosures. The non-profit also gave $6 million in 2017 to Cool Effect, a carbon offset firm that was also co-founded by Lawrence and his wife Dee Lawrence, far in excess of any other spending the foundation has reported in recent years.
“Reducing methane emissions is the fastest down payment we can make to address climate change,” High Tide writes on its website.
It was not immediately clear to what extent High Tide funded the study. Neither High Tide nor the study’s lead author immediately responded to a request for comment by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
NPR, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times did not immediately respond to a DCNF request for comment.
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