Episode 28 — Cow Farts — Methane is a Natural Gas — Unintended Consequences — Chapter 9 part 5
Number 4 — Methane [aka “Natural Gas”]
Because windmills generate just 1/3 of their rated capacity, the rest is supplied by plants that primarily burn coal or natural gas — which is 90% methane, which makes more CO2. I repeat: methane, over its lifetime, is 20 times worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, but during its youth, it is 80 times worse — and the next ten to twenty years are years of deep concern. Gas companies love “renewables”.
“…methane, over its lifetime, is 20 times worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas…” — Dr. George Erickson
Cows and bogs release methane into the atmosphere, but it’s by far mostly human activity that’s driving up levels of this destructive greenhouse gas. — Alejandra Borunda
Fossil fuel firms accused of renewable lobby takeover to push gas, Arthur Neslen, Brussels, 22 January 2015
Gas Explosions Not Uncommon, Pia Malbran, 10 September 2010
Ground and satellite surveys reveal that huge volumes of “fugitive” methane are leaking from our wells and distribution system. According to WSJ and the pre-Trump EPA, “Natural gas explosions cause death and/or property damage every other day, and U S ”leakage” is equivalent to the emissions from 70 million cars.” (CNN 9–13–18: “1 dead, 24 injured in 30 natural gas explosions in three Boston area towns.”)
In Boston, ground-based measurements reveal profuse methane leaks.
Tree lovers are hunting down the cause of arboreal deaths — and may remake the regional energy system in the process. — Jenessa Duncombe
A survey of oil and gas facilities in Texas and New Mexico revealed 30 so-called “super-emitters,” which are leaking as much heat-trapping pollution as roughly half a million cars. New Report Carbon Mapper and the Environmental Defense Fund
The US natural gas industry is leaking way more methane than previously thought. Here’s why that matters, by Anthony J. Marchese and Dan Zimmerle, 6 July 2018
While we pollute our aquifers by fracking for methane in Texas and elsewhere to assist inefficient wind and solar farms, we are simultaneously flaring (burning) huge volumes of natural gas across much of the Bakken “field” in North Dakota because it’s “too costly” to pipe it to market.
Study Finds EPA Underestimates Methane Emissions, by Sarah Feldman, 3 August 2018
Climate crisis: ‘Fracking is over’ in UK, energy minister says, by Harry Cockburn, 19 June 2020
“The Bakken field is flaring enough gas to power Chicago AND Washington, DC.” — London Daily Mail
“Women living within 0.6 miles [1,000 meters] of active oil and gas wells were 40% more likely to have babies with low birth weight than those not near active wells.” — California Air Resource Board April 2020
Windmills are, in effect, glorified, heavily subsidized carbon-burners that needlessly create more of the carbon dioxide that we seek to avoid. Were it not for our misguided passion for inefficient renewables, we’d have less need for fracking and less of the environmental damage they cause.
Satellite images of oil and gas basins reveal staggering 9–10% leakage rates of heat-trapping methane. Because of these leaks, fracking accelerates climate change even before the methane it extracts is turned into CO2.
The fatal consequences of high atmospheric methane levels in Climate Change, by Dr Andrew Glikson, 22 January 2021
“In the Permian Basin, operators are wasting enough gas to heat 2 million homes a year.” — EDF, 2021
In 2015, thanks to a “discovered” email message from Lenny Bernstein, a thirty-year oil industry veteran and ExxonMobil’s former in-house climate expert, we learned that Exxon accepted the reality of climate change in 1981, long before it became a public issue — but then, Exxon spent at least $30 million on decades of Climate Change denial.
Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, email says — but it funded deniers for 27 more years, by Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent 8 July 2015
In addition, despite studies from Johns Hopkins that reveal an associate fracking and premature births and asthma, Pennsylvania health workers were told by their Department of Health to ignore inquiries that used fracking “buzzwords.”
And according to a 2014 UN report, atmospheric methane levels have never exceeded 700 parts per billion in the last 400,000 years, but they reached 1850 ppb by 2013.
In 2015, a Duke University study reported: “Thousands of oil and gas industry wastewater spills in North Dakota have caused “widespread” contamination by radioactive materials, heavy metals and corrosive salts, putting the health of people and wildlife at risk.”
Twenty-One Bad Things About Wind Energy — and Three Reasons Why, By John Droz, Jr. — March 22, 2018
Coming up next week, Episode 29 — Methane Blows Up Winds Gains
Links and References
- Next Episode — Episode 29 — Methane Blows Up Winds Gains
- Previous Episode — Episode 27 — Fake and Vulgar — The Truth Paid Bare
- Launching the Unintended Consequences Series
- Dr. George Erickson on LinkedIn
- Dr. George Erickson’s Website, Tundracub.com
- The full pdf version of Unintended Consequences
#UnintendedConsequences #GeorgeErickson #FissionEnergy #NuclearEnergy #TheThoriumNetwork #Fission4All #RadiationIsGood4U #GetYourRadiation2Day #Methane #NaturalGas #Flaring #Fracking #Bakken