Hillary Clinton of the vampy new hairdo is, as she has a habit of doing, poking her nose into places where it is not welcome and this time, homing in so to speak, on other women's kitchens where she is liable to get her manicured fingers well and truly burnt. This arrogant female, no doubt with an army of cooks at home wielding every expensive modern kitchen convenience available to cater to her and hubbies every whim, is making much ado about a global partnership to wipe out the scourge of smoke from indoor cooking fires. Under the banner of The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, this is a partnership between the American government plus some un-named nations and charities, this army of highly paid do-gooders is all set to banish things like angeetis and tandoors from the face of the earth - just imagine life without steaming hot tandoori naan with winter approaching at a gallop Armed not with scouring pads, but with a veritable mountain of ubiquitous reports, Clinton is set on convincing an estimated three billion poor people + 1, as I cook on wood too, to switch over to far more environmentally friendly, to say nothing of healthy, methods of cooking their daily bread such as low-pollution stoves designed to burn biomass, or gas or even solar power. Is the woman completely bonkers? Okay. Don't bother answering that, I'll do it for you...she is mad, mad, mad Let's start in reverse order with solar power: Basic solar powered cooking stoves do not work inside the kitchen, do not work at all in bad weather, are hellishly time consuming to use as the cook has to keep racing between the kitchen and the outdoor stove brandishing various ingredients, masalas and stirring implements whilst keeping one eye fixed firmly on the angle of the sun and the other on angling the stove for maximum effect. Having tried it, they don't come cheap - I vote a great big 'NO' As for gas most poor people, along with an increasing number of slightly better off, can't afford it, particularly the dubious kind that comes in exploding cylinders which are all that is on sale in remote parts of the Asian subcontinent where she is currently attempting to interfere with social and culinary traditions. This leaves stoves to burn biomass which is the biggest bug bear of all: The silly former first female currently Secretary of State no less, merrily points out how much time women and children would save if they didn't have to gather firewood, but where is the necessary biomass supposed to come from please? Does it just float down from the heavens or what? It will take the poor women and children much longer to harvest biomass, basically green plant material, than to collect firewood unless, that is, they use whatever little land they grow subsistence crops on to grow fuel instead of food, and this takes endless hours of time too. In cutting fuel wood, they actually do less harm than willy-nilly scything the nearest greenery that comes to hand which could well include species of endangered plants not to mention the habitats of birds, bees and other useful insects. One the one hand, Clinton is shouting "save the environment" and, on the other, screaming "go chop it to bits as fast as you can" This ridiculous 'Global Alliance' would also have us believe that poor women cooking on wood burning stoves and open fires are responsible for 20 percent of global emissions of black carbon which some scientists consider to be the second largest contributor to climate change, Co2 being top of the list. Come on guys - talk about passing the buck Alliance members attending meetings here and there, flying, driving, and staying in air-conditioned or superheated rooms, will pump out far more greenhouse gas emissions than village women can ever do in cooking dinner. Adding insult to injury, this 'Alliance' coordinated by the UN Foundation, is set to gobble up $60 million in the initial stages and is looking for more which makes one wonder the mind games they are yodelling about Pakistan being corrupt. Undoubtedly, our politicians and lots of non-politicians are corrupt, but for Clinton to make such a song and dance about this is simply the pot calling the kettle black. Why the sudden concern about humble methods of cooking and the associated effects on human health and well being from being exposed to wood smoke? Poor women are not the ones minting money through massive deforestation around the planet, neither are they, no matter who claims otherwise, responsible for an incredible percentage of global warming as their carbon footprint is invisible when placed next to the gigantic ones of people like Clinton and her ilk with their smoke belching factories and fuel guzzling modes of transport to name, but two major environmental pollutants and, if these money grubbing imbeciles are honestly set on protecting rural women from the ill effect of wood smoke then someone should tell them that it doesn't cost an initial $60 million to teach them how to open a window or door The writer is a Murree-based freelance columnist.