Letters to the Editor

In defense of cook stoves in developing countries

Publishing the story “This idea to change the world was half baked” about cook stoves for developing countries did a great disservice to the public and to the needs of people struggling to survive. The article published on Nov. 24 was a poorly disguised hack job to find fault with Hillary Clinton (mentioned five times).

I have experience in five very poor countries and have witnessed the struggle women have in finding anything that will burn to heat food. Poor and desperate people use whatever materials are on hand for cook fires. This includes sticks, scrap wood and garbage, including plastics. This causes major health problems and contributes to pollution. The stoves provided are an effort to improve function, safety and health and to reduce global warming.

The article stated that the stoves “don’t meet current standards for emissions,” “won’t protect people from disease” and finally asks, “Why are we pushing gadgets we won’t use?” This is laughable. The fires are made outdoors because of the climate and lack of indoor space with ventilation.

Maybe support for an idea that could improve the lives of many and help reduce the effects of global warming deserves better treatment.

Steve Silberstein, Arroyo Grande