It boggles my mind that someone paid for a study of the benefits of petroleum-based fuel in Africa when a superior, lower-cost solution is already available. For the cost of the study, solar cookers might have been provided to several thousand families, protecting the health of those families and saving them the time and expense of gathering fuel, not to mention protecting the environment from smoke. The world is currently experiencing a shortage of petroleum-based fuels. It is unlikely that most African families could afford the better fuels—nor can we afford to be encouraging more people to use them.

Anne Barschall
Tarrytown, N.Y.