Natural Gas Leaks from Pipes a Lot, Alters Climate
|February 17, 2014||Posted by Staff under Environmental|
A new mega-analysis of 20 years worth of research suggests that the EPA is underestimating the fossil fuel’s climate impacts by 25 to 75 percent.
The problem with the EPA’s math doesn’t concern the burning of natural gas, which produces less carbon dioxide than other fossil fuels (but way more than solar panels or wind turbines). The problem is in the leaky systems that extract and transport the fuel.
The EPA is severely underestimating the amount of natural gas that leaks into the atmosphere during drilling, processing, and distribution. Atmospheric tests covering the entire country indicate emissions around 50 percent more than EPA estimates. And that’s a moderate estimate.
Natural gas is basically just methane. Methane is responsible for perhaps a fifth of global warming since the 18th century. Levels of methane detected in the atmosphere have been rising rapidly since 2007.
Ed. Notes: A huge hullaballoo is made about the discovery of fire but burning has been too easy for humanity for way too long. These natural gas leaks are just another reason for our species to change how it harnesses energy. We must use
- sunlight for electricity to make artificial light,
- fuel cells for electricity to power motors, thereby
- reducing the need to burn whatever fuel to heat homes to a bare minimum.
Technologically, we could make such a shift today. What’s in the way is not a lack of new gizmos but the presence of political opposition. Government subsidizes the old ways and taxes the new ways, albeit inadvertently by making both labor and entrepreneurship more expensive than they would be sans taxes.
Thus if we shifted our revenue policy we could shift our energy technology and score another one for geonomics.