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Articles by Senior Staff Writer Tik Root

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This story was produced by Grist and co-published with The Guardian.

My wife and I live in a green, two-story colonial at the end of a cul-de-sac in Burlington, Vermont. Each spring, the front of our home is lined with lilacs, crocuses, and peonies. The backyard is thick with towering black locust trees. We occasionally spot a fox from our office windows, or toddlers from the neighborhood daycare trundling through the woods. It’s an alarmingly idyllic home, with one exception: It runs on natural gas.

The boiler, which heats our house and our water, burns it. So do the stove and the dryer and even the fireplace in the living room. Some 60 percent of American residences are similarly reliant on gas, the primary component of which is the potent greenhouse gas methane. This dependence on fossil fuels didn’t particularly faze us in the past. When we had to replace the furnace in our last place in late 2018, it was the easiest option. Same for the other appliances. At least it wasn’t oil, we told ourselves. It didn’t help that our contractors weren’t well-v... Read more

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