[Stoves] "Those of us who believe that the WBT is critical to stove improvement"

Nikhil Desai pienergy2008 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 6 22:36:47 MST 2017


Crispin:

What does it matter that "It is agreed by everyone that I can find that the
WBT does not predict performance in use." if the performance metric itself
is irrelevant?

All your belaboring is that WBT doesn't predict efficiency in use and that
there are valid theoretical reasons that it simply cannot.

I argue that there isn't an iota of evidence that efficiency is the
performance metric around which users select stoves or organize their
cooking practices.

Even if you don't agree with me, all it says is that "It is agreed by not
everyone".

The fundamental problem is one of legality. Anybody can do anything they
want, measure the length of women's skirt as indicative of temperature and
wind for example. Makes no difference that it doesn't reliably predict
actual weather if everybody agrees that it is good enough approximation.

Nothing is ever gained from expert disagreements. If WBT has harmed
anybody, go to any court that would take up a case that use of WBT violated
any particular regulation; since that claim cannot be made, arguing about
it is useless.

Since everything that I see going on is private agents choosing to do as
they please, it needs to be advertised -- and announced loud and clear --
that WBT is not reliable on efficiency.

I see no evidence at all that it - or any other protocol - has been found
to be a good predictor of PM2.5 emission rates in actual use of stoves.

The sole rationale for test protocols is now in terms of PM2.5 emission
rates because, as far as I can tell, PM2.5 ERTs are the limiting
constraints for a solid fuel stove being put in Tier 4.

Yes, GACC might want it because then only LPG and electricity can be
promoted.

But so what? What is your theory of change and theory of damage, as
estimated by whom? It's not as if GACC and its donor governments are lined
up with a billion dollars to spend on solid fuel stoves put in Tier 4 for
PM2.5 hourly average emission rates.

You don't have a theory of change. You don't have a theory of damage. You
are only complaining - and I joint you in complaining - that WBT falls
short in its promises; I say that the promises are not worth a hoot to the
cook.

Prove me wrong. What business are you in - beating a dead horse that has
value only for Gold Standard and GACC?

Poor people have no enforceable right against EPA, the Empire Promotion
Authority. This whole business smacks of exploiting poor girls of today who
just may want a better stove on their own terms, not those of experts'. But
it is the experts who make money, so once EPA funds run out, let's hope the
next payor of the piper asks for different tunes.

Nikhil

PS: There is a double meaning in any assertion about "peer-reviewed".  One
is that when an opportunity is offered to contest a claim, some people
capable of testing the claim and having the resources to do that test would
honestly point out its potential pitfalls. As I tried to make obvious with
my link to the WHO methodology on HAP GND 2012 methodology, this
interpretation does not hold. All kinds of numbers were cooked up by
passing the hat around for getting peer-approval stamps.

So the other interpretation is simply that "peer-reviewed" means an excuse
to get one's errors - inadvertent or deliberate - past the invisible
gatekeeper that is "scientific method" and "scientific integrity",and do
anything one wishes.

That, unfortunately, is the state of so-called "stove science". Any thing
goes. Find another payor to the pipers. Until then, John Mitchell rules,
and Berkeley caravan (except Daniel Wilson, I suppose) rolls along.

Why don't you write to US government - say, Scott Pruitt; John Mitchell
actually invited the listeners to the Winrock webinar last week to write to
himself and cc Scott Pruitt - and UKAid, EU, all the European donors to
GACC, CDM authorities, and Gold Standard Foundation that continued use of
WBT and irrelevant "performance metrics' are crimes against humanity?

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nikhil Desai
(US +1) 202 568 5831
*Skype: nikhildesai888*


On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 9:54 PM, Crispin Pemberton-Pigott <
crispinpigott at outlook.com> wrote:

> Dear Xavier
>
> Your last question is thought provoking. What can one protocol do that
> others cannot is an important question to address.
>
> It is agreed by everyone that I can find that the WBT does not predict
> performance in use. If any other protocol can do a better job, even if
> imperfectly, then it's use is a better choice because the purpose of
> testing and rating is to predict performance.
>
> The protocol used to test NO emissions in diesels was 'gamed' rather
> easily. Adopting a protocol that is difficult to game would be a better
> option.
>
> It is pretty obvious that Ron wants to have the unscientific WBT 'fuel
> consumption' metric applied to stoves that produce any amount of char. He
> has said so many times so don't expect a different answer.
>
> Nikhil: it is important that yo raised the same concern I had about the
> so-called 'Lime Consensus' which was advertised by Mitchell at the IWA
> meeting as the guide to the content of the IWA, which was written to
> contain a pre-stamped acceptance of the WBT as 'valid'. Fifteen or so
> people signed the document representing nearly none of the people using the
> stoves affected‎ - on the entire planet. If taken seriously, the Lima
> document is an abrogation of the right to be consulted of nearly every poor
> person on the planet who cooks - quite a large number, according to
> reports.
>
> I propose a parallel way forward: we create a spreadsheet that can accept
> as inputs the numbers generated for WBTs that makes valid calculations and
> normalizations ‎in order to 'do the best we can' salvaging something useful
> from the work done to date.
>
> We could start with my proposed corrections from 2008 and later points
> raised about the PEMS spreadsheet. The invalid metrics for low power
> obviously have to be corrected, for example by removing the last step of
> dividing by the number of liters of water (which is the stap that
> invalidates the result).
>
> The result would not be predictive, but it would significantly shift the
> positions of stoves on a 'stove performance comparison ‎chart'. That alone
> has value as there are those using the chart as a general guide to stove
> selection, unaware of the misconceptions underlying it.
>
> As for Kirk Smith's opinion of all WBT's from v3.1 on to v4.2.3 is, and I
> quote, "I cannot use a test method that has not been
> peer-reviewed."[January 2008, Seattle Washington meeting sponsored by PCIA
> hosting concerned parties from Africa (me), Europe (GTZ, Philips) and about
> 20 from the US including a dozen from Aprovecho including Peter Scott, Dean
> and Nordica]
>
> When was the WBT peer-reviewed since then? It wasn't. That's why students
> of Kirk and the Berkeley team like Kathy Lask used the WBT 3.0 for their
> published research. Actions speak loudly in this case.
>
> In case this needs verification I refer readers to a series of papers
> written by Kathy (three I think) on charcoal stove performance in Haiti.
>
> Whatever happened to the protocol between v3.0 and 3.1 it has not met the
> minimum of Kirk's requirements. Now, we have multiple peer-reviewed
> articles criticising the WBT on numerous grounds. At a minimum that should
> provoke a recalculation based on current understanding of the validity of
> metrics and methods.
>
> Regards
> Crispin
>
>
> Xavier:
>
> Private agents may do anything that is not prohibited. The trouble with
> WBT is that its use is not sanctioned (in both meanings of the term; isn't
> English wonderful?)
>
> Perhaps WBT is critical for some kind of "stove improvement" the way some
> people like it. The alternative is to designate a protocol that a
> government or an independent standard-setting agency can stand by.
>
> That is the real danger here - the self-proclaimed, self-styled "standards
> body" that is Gold Standard Foundation. They have no competence or interest
> in stove improvement of any kind; they just want to make merry as middlemen
> - first in the trendsetters of "voluntary carbon" and then for marketing
> snake oil called aDALYs.
>
> In fact, the only country I could locate that accepted - or plans to
> accept, I forget - the current WBT as its "standard" is Rwanda.
>
> There is some lethargy in continuing to use WBT for efficiency. Some
> vested interests maybe. Efficiency and PM2.5 hourly average emission rates
> do not achieve anything quantifiable when used as cardinal measures.
> Perhaps as ordinal measures during field testing.
>
> It is lethargy - combined with the dishonesty in offering ISO Tier
> Certificates - that you are up against. Real stove designers know that
> ratings can be gamed.
>
> And the powers-that-be behind the WHO PM2.5 ERTs were well aware that
> setting a PM2.5 Tier 4 emission target at such a level that ordinary solid
> fuel stoves cannot meet anytime soon was key to getting rid of solid fuels,
> those that poor people depend on.
>
> I don't know what PM2.5 measurements are available for the same fuel and
> stove by different protocols, especially ones used for field testing. Can
> you tell me whether WBT produces biased estimates for average hourly PM2.5
> emission rate as *compared to other protocols when used in the field*?
>
> That may be a clue to the EPA/GACC support for WBT - an ideology of "truly
> health protective" stoves based on PM2.5 emission rates. We know from the
> January 2017 paper on "implementation science" where Sumi Mehta and Kirk
> Smith were co-authors that "Tier 4 stoves"  - meaning LPG and electricity -
> is their holy grail. Since "solid fuels use" was the proxy for pollutant
> exposure in WHO methodology for GBD, the logical conclusion is that solid
> fuels must be regulated out of existence.
>
> I submit that is the practical effect of WHO HFC Guidelines, no matter
> what supporters of WBT admit to.
>
> EPA had no authority to officially approve WBT or any other protocol for
> that matter. So it started the secretive route of IWA - which you too
> signed off on, I suppose; Mohsin had signed off on the Lima Consensus, I
> think - and TC-285.
>
> Just who had any official authority to sign off on the Lima Consensus or
> the IWA? Just because they claimed to  have a stake doesn't mean their
> claims are valid. Authority goes together with responsibility; all I see is
> that the power was concentrated in the US delegation, while USG had no
> legal authority to do anything for standards it would not adopt in the US.
>
> So it all boils down to John Mitchell. Michael Johnson and Dean Still are
> EPA contractors and have an understandable affinity to WBT; they are
> entitled to their views and interests, if only in protecting the historical
> legacy of WBT results.
>
> Just what authority John Mitchell had or has in sanctioning the use of WBT
> escapes me. He apparently did have an authority to contract, and needed
> some default protocol which WBT  has been for a lot of helpless or lazy
> authorities.
>
> Why, CDM, Gold Standard, even ISO TC-285 (whose first DIS I bought and
> commented on this List; I can give you or others the details) are all going
> with the flow, the path of least resistance.
>
> I don't fault private persons and private adventures like Gold Standard
> for their interests and incentives. I see more of the same here -
> http://www.thestoveauction.org/catalogue-of-products.html
> <https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thestoveauction.org%2Fcatalogue-of-products.html&data=02%7C01%7C%7C66c1c9ac7c624e78955e08d53cfa738a%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636481968730708905&sdata=JFO51pkBEB5FWUTDcNCg%2BDsFr5DQO3qlDxth5JmWvgk%3D&reserved=0>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 4:02 PM, Xavier Brandao <xav.brandao at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Dear Ron,
>>
>>
>>
>> *« I see no reason to slam those of us who believe that the WBT is
>> critical to stove improvement. »*
>>
>> Some conversations are seasonal. They appear, vanish, and reappear after
>> some time.
>>
>> We are here because we want to discuss some important questions, explore
>> them thoroughly, and try to shed light rather than cast shadow. I think we
>> need to be clear and specific about what we claim.
>>
>>
>>
>> Ron, how about we continue the conversation where we left it? Because a
>> few things remain unclear to me.
>>
>> Last time we were discussing, I was asking you some questions in my email
>> of the 02/09, and you were not answering.
>>
>>
>>
>> Back in August, you were saying :
>>
>> *« « The WBT IS valuable »*
>>
>> And I was asking you:
>>
>> « Can you explain what is valuable about the WBT? »
>>
>> And if I understood well your answers, you said that the WBT is valuable
>> because:
>>
>> 1.      the TLUDs shine at it
>>
>> 2.      it has tier rankings, who are the right way to proceed with
>> stove improvement
>>
>>
>>
>> What if tier rankings are not scientifically valid?
>>
>> Lombardi and al. say in their paper of February 2017: *« An important
>> consequence of these considerations is that the Tier of Performance of a
>> given stove, assigned based on the results from WBT or similar protocols,
>> may result in a not reliable performance indicator for technology
>> selection. »*
>>
>> http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096195341730065X
>> <https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sciencedirect.com%2Fscience%2Farticle%2Fpii%2FS096195341730065X&data=02%7C01%7C%7C66c1c9ac7c624e78955e08d53cfa738a%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636481968730708905&sdata=rNeJHrdeb2mR0xPNsuE%2F5rGtd2oY3gkWrh%2BEW8M7Ozg%3D&reserved=0>
>>
>>
>>
>> You listed the experts that were, according to you, currently, still
>> advocating continued use of the WBT:
>>
>> ·         Jim Jetter
>>
>> ·         Ranyee Chiang
>>
>> ·         John Mitchell
>>
>> ·         Tami Bond
>>
>> ·         Michael Johnson
>>
>> ·         Kirk Smith
>>
>> ·         Tom Miles
>>
>> ·         Andrew Heggie
>>
>> ·         Dean Still
>>
>>
>>
>> I told you Ranyee Chiang said we were beyond the WBT.
>>
>> I talked to Jim Jetter and he did not come accross to me as, currently, a
>> strong supporter of the WBT anymore.
>>
>> I talked to Tami Bond, and she said that the WBT had things to be
>> criticized, and that we needed to move forward, and not look backward (the
>> WBT). I don’t think she strongly supports the WBT.
>>
>> I talked to Kirk Smith in Delhi, and he didn’t seem to have an opinion,
>> neither for nor against the WBT.
>>
>> Dean Still is strongly supporting the WBT and its use.
>>
>>
>>
>> Then Andrew reacted on the list and said he neither approved nor
>> disapproved the WBT.
>>
>>
>>
>> Which would leave as WBT supporters, according to you:
>>
>> ·         John Mitchell
>>
>> ·         Michael Johnson
>>
>> ·         Tom Miles
>>
>> ·         Dean Still
>>
>>
>>
>> Not even you are a supporter of the WBT, because you said you were no
>> expert and had no opinion about it.
>>
>>
>>
>> I sent you this link with alternative protocols
>>
>> https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B5rmmRmIsdlnQlRQX3A1
>> cXVOQ3M?usp=sharing
>> <https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fdrive.google.com%2Fdrive%2Ffolders%2F0B5rmmRmIsdlnQlRQX3A1cXVOQ3M%3Fusp%3Dsharing&data=02%7C01%7C%7C66c1c9ac7c624e78955e08d53cfa738a%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636481968730708905&sdata=kfrDlpI1np7WtdWfbIe5S%2FBJqPY3HD6qCvYNiBoH%2BUo%3D&reserved=0>
>>
>> and asked you what was so unique about the WBT that cannot be done by the
>> CSI nor HTP.
>>
>>
>>
>> You didn’t even deign to read them, and brushed them off altogether,
>> pretending they were basically WBTs.
>>
>> Boiling water in a protocol doesn’t mean the protocol is a Water Boiling
>> Test.
>>
>>
>>
>> So, could you please answer or try to answer my questions, recapitulated
>> below:
>>
>> 1.      Is the WBT valuable to you because the TLUD shine at it and it
>> has tier rankings, who are the right way to proceed with stove improvement?
>>
>> 2.      What do you think of Lombardi and al. analysis that tier
>> rankings may not be reliable?
>>
>> 3.      Who are the ”experts” advocating continued use of the WBT?
>>
>> 4.      Who are the ”experts” who believe that the WBT is critical to
>> stove improvement?
>>
>> 5.      What is so unique about the WBT that cannot be done by the CSI
>> nor HTP?
>>
>>
>>
>> Thank you,
>>
>>
>> Xavier
>>
>>
>>
>
>
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