by William Teach | July 29, 2013 9:03 am
Obviously, this means that all production of natural gas, especially when it requires hydraulic fracturing, should be stopped immediately
Gangplank to a Warm Future
It should be noted that Mankind has done best in warmer climates. Heck, one of the previous cool period was called “The Dark Ages”.
MANY concerned about climate change, including President Obama, have embraced hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. In his recent climate speech, the president went so far as to lump gas with renewables as “clean energy.”
First, if you call it “climate change”, you’re interested in politics, not science. Second, mentioning a guy with the largest “carbon footprint” in the world to push your un-scientific notions might not be the best idea.
As a longtime oil and gas engineer who helped develop shale fracking techniques for the Energy Department, I can assure you that this gas is not “clean.” Because of leaks of methane, the main component of natural gas, the gas extracted from shale deposits is not a “bridge” to a renewable energy future – it’s a gangplank to more warming and away from clean energy investments.
Methane is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, though it doesn’t last nearly as long in the atmosphere. Still, over a 20-year period, one pound of it traps as much heat as at least 72 pounds of carbon dioxide. Its potency declines, but even after a century, it is at least 25 times as powerful as carbon dioxide. When burned, natural gas emits half the carbon dioxide of coal, but methane leakage eviscerates this advantage because of its heat-trapping power.
I’ll admit, Mr. Ingraffea has a point: methane is a considerably more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, though it’s atmospheric lifespan is shorter. What we’ve seen in actual science reports, and even in UN IPCC reports, is that the two biggest contributors from Mankind for GHGs are landfills and agriculture. Which are mostly about methane. Yes, we do need to be careful as to leaking methane into the atmosphere, and, remember, every time I mention that a small part of this warm period can be blamed on Mankind, part of that revolves are methane. The other part of that small part is the urban heat island effect/land usage.
The scientific community has been waiting for better data from the E.P.A. to assess the extent of the water contamination problem. That is why it is so discouraging that, in the face of industry complaints, the E.P.A. reportedly has closed or backed away from several investigations into the problem. Perhaps a full E.P.A. study of hydraulic fracturing and drinking water, due in 2014, will be more forthcoming.
Mr. Ingraffea jump from methane to notions that fracking is bad for the environment, especially ground water, yet, every EPA and other study says “nope, no issues with fracking”. But, every “climate change” issue must be magnified, spun, hid, massaged, and turned into doom.
We have renewable wind, water, solar and energy-efficiency technology options now. We can scale these quickly and affordably, creating economic growth, jobs and a truly clean energy future to address climate change. Political will is the missing ingredient. Meaningful carbon reduction is impossible so long as the fossil fuel industry is allowed so much influence over our energy policies and regulatory agencies. Policy makers need to listen to the voices of independent scientists while there is still time.
So, let me get this straight: we’re supposed to listen to Ingraffea, who made lots of money working in the oil and natural gas business, now he no longer wants anyone else to have that benefit. We’re supposed to listen to him? No thanks. Carbon reduction? Perhaps we should kill most people, heck, most animals, since our bodies contain vast amounts of carbon. We are called “carbon based life forms”. Yet, Ingraffea is referring to CO2, so, again, he avoids scientific correctness. Wind and solar cheap? BS. And after all the money dumped into Obama’s “green” projects, where are the jobs? Water? Warmists and enviroweenies say they are for hydro-electric, but only on paper. They not only refuse to allow new dams to be built, they want existing ones torn down.
As for time, perhaps Ingraffea missed where there has been a statistically significant pause in warming over the past 15+ years. Methane could be a real issue, yet, instead of offering wise solutions to deal with it (such as capture and usage, as more and more landfills and farms are doing), he just wants it gone.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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