Analysis: The Shale Revolution Is Slaying Green Extremism: ‘The fact that greens can’t see in environmental benefits of shale gas means that they will continue to be forced to sit out serious energy policy debates’
The Shale Revolution Is Slaying Green Extremism
The fact that greens can’t see in environmental benefits of shale gas means that they will continue to be forced to sit out serious energy policy debates.
Ask a green what he or she thinks about fracking, and you’re likely to get an earful of criticism about methane leaks, poisoned groundwater, and climate change disaster. But a new report from the ecologically minded Breakthrough Institute (BI) makes the case that shale gas actually has a net environmental benefit. Nevermind the boosts to our energy security, and economy that fracking provides; the controversial drilling process is worth embracing on green merits alone.
Natural gas’s biggest green qualification is the extent to which it displaces coal as an energy source. Burning coal emits roughly twice as much greenhouse gas into the air as natural gas. Thanks to the shale boom, we’re getting less of our electricity from coal-fired power plants and more from natural gas. The BI notes, “From 2008 to 2012, annual coal consumption for US electric power declined, on average, by 50 million tons.” That’s something greens should be cheering, and it’s mostly thanks to fracking.
But natural gas doesn’t just beat coal on carbon emissions. The BI explains why, at the local level, shale gas does less harm than coal:
The environmental and community impacts of shale fracking are reliably far more modest than those created by coal mining and production. Whereas coal mining removes entire mountains and contaminates streams with hazardous waste, natural gas drill pads occupy only a few hundred square feet, and there are only a handful of cases of groundwater contamination by fracking chemicals. Whereas innovation in coal mining resulted in greater landscape degradation, innovation in gas fracking has resulted in less-toxic fracking chemicals, fewer drill pads, and better drilling practices.
It seems pretty straightforward at this point: the more natural gas we burn, the less coal we burn. That leads to lower carbon emissions and less harm to the environment and local communities.
Many greens have one final quibble: that the increased share of shale gas in our energy mix will come at the expense of the fledgling solar and wind industries.
Breakthrough has an answer for that as well. Gas plants are a lot cheaper to build than coal plants, and cheaper to scale up if needed. Surprisingly, this is actually good news for solar …
1816 Shock News : 18,000 Square Miles Of Ice Broke Away From Greenland
http://books.google.com/ In 2010, our friends got hysterical over a 100 square mile block of ice which calved off the Petermann Glacier.…
A NASA GISS scientist has left a public comment warning skeptics he will “shoot you dead.”
Perlwitz is employed as a modeler at NASA GISS. He can be found in the NASA directory here: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/staff/jperlwitz.html
Jan P Perlwitz says:
July 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm
Allencic had a wet dream in http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/08/professor-critical-of-agw-theory-being-disenfranchised-exiled-from-academia-in-australia/#comment-1359319 — God help us from these fools who claim to be climate scientists. When this finally blows up and the public realizes how badly they’ve been had you might want to invest in pitchforks and torches and tar and feathers.
[NASA’s Perlwitz]: “If you are dreaming about pitchforks and torches, tar and feathers against climate scientists, bring it on. I shoot you dead.”
End Perlwitz comment
Perlwitz made his comments in reaction to a skeptical scientist being disenfranchised.
Background info: Professor Murry Salby who is critical of AGW theory, is being disenfranchised, exiled, from academia in Australia | Watts Up With That?
The Climate Mafia Strikes Again: The Curious Case of Murry Salby | Power Line http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/07/the-climate-mafia-strikes-again-the-curious-case-of-murry-salby.php…
Macquarie ‘University’ sabotages, exiles, blackbans, strands and abandons skeptical scientist Murry Salby
Macquarie “University” sabotages, exiles, blackbans, strands and abandons Murry Salby
Short of sending Murry Salby to Siberia, Macquarie University have done everything they could to sabotage and silence him and his PhD student. His research is so dangerous to the cash cow that is “global warming” that it had to be stopped. It threatens the religion. But the truth will out, and the reputation of Macquarie will not recover until those responsible are sacked. If this is true, Macquarie no longer deserve to be called a “university”, and do not deserve taxpayer dollars. The Science Minister, (Senator Kim Carr, the fourth person to do the job this year), needs to state his position on this, does he support this? [email protected]. Until this is rectified, why should this corrupt institution receive any funding from the ARC? The good scientists, indeed the good staff of any department there, must be appalled. Will they speak out against it, or are they too afraid? Does Tim Flannery, also at Macquarie University, support this? Did he have anything to do with it? Does he cares about the scientific method and academic freedom. Under the facade of caring about the planet lies a very ugly self serving greed. The CO2 theory, and the power and money […]Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)…