John Vaughan just doesn’t get it. US CO2 emissions might be down, but what about methane emissions? The only real measure is the level of methane in the atmosphere, and after the rate of increase slowed in the 1990s and stopped in the early 2000s, it is again rising rapidly since the mid-2000s. Is it coincidence that this is when fracking got going on a large scale?
As for the IPCC, they do identify natural gas as a potential transitional fuel, ‘provided… the fugitive emissions associated with extraction and supply are low or mitigated’. There is no evidence that this is the case – many estimates of leakage are several times higher than the level needed to allow gas to be a better fuel than coal.
The IPCC also say that ‘renewable energy accounted for just over half of the new electricity-generating capacity added globally in 2012’. That’s not hollow rhetoric, John, that’s real progress towards a sustainable future. I know which side of history I would prefer to be on.
Matthew Lambourne, Mullumbimby