fossil fuels

Category archives for fossil fuels

Debating the merits and dangers of fracking shale gas has become a major obession of those who worry about energy and the climate. Yale’s e360′s latest contribution comes in the form a forum that includes a wide variety of perspectives pro and con. For me, the wisest observation, and the one that really trumps all…

The flaws with Wednesday’s anti-renewables op-ed in the New York Times begin with the headline and continue through just about every paragraph. On second thought, perhaps the problems begin with the decision of the New York Times to run “The Gas Is Greener” in the first place. But let’s start with the headline.

OK. Taking on logical flaws in Wall Street Journal op-ed items is about as difficult as shooting fish in a barrel, but I can’t let Matt Ridley’s latest affront to common sense pass without firing off a few rounds for practice if nothing else.

Good news and bad

David Appell at Quark Soup draws our attention (via Stoat) to a graph in the recent America’s Climate Choices report from the NAS/NRC. If the forecasts on which the authors rely come to pass, it’s going to take almost a couple of decades for U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions to return to post-recession levels. Sounds like…

A roadmap to clean living

What if we could avoid hundreds of thousand of deaths, billions of dollars in crop losses and trillions of dollars in healthcare expenditures simply by spreading off-the-shelf technology and industrialized-world regulations to developing nations? Oh, and along the way, we’d mitigate a fair bit of global warming. Sounds like a plan? I’d say such a…

Proponents of shale gas extraction are not particularly pleased with the attention drawn this week to a new study in Climatic Change that found widespread development of Marcellus natural gas may actually accelerate climate change rather than slow it down. Unfortunately for them, their primary argument rests on a lack of hard data on 1)…

Natural gas won’t save us

It was in Bill McKibben’s first, and arguably best, book, The End of Nature, that I first came across the challenge posed by fugitive emissions. Back then — just 20-some years ago — natural gas was touted as a cleaner alternative to coal and oil because the combustion of its primary constituent, methane, results in…

See that black box over on the left-hand side of this blog? The one with the numbers counting down? That’s a little widget I assembled by rejigging one from trillionthtonne.org. The basic idea is that, if our climate can be expected to suffer severe disruption at a certain amount of global warming due to a…

The heart of the problem

No one is more surprised than I to see something worthwhile reading in The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s iPad magazine. You might even be forgiven for suspecting an April Fool. But there it is. It’s an editorial by Shikha Dalmia, a senior policy analyst at frequently misnamed Reason Foundation, exploring the fundamental problem with nuclear power.…

The Fukushima legacy

At one end of the hyperbole scale we have Helen “If you love this planet” Caldicott, who raises the specter of “cancer and genetic diseases” if things get any worse at the growing list of nuclear power reactors crippled or destroyed by last week’s earthquake in Japan. At the other we have Republican congressman Mitch…