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Top US Climate Problem

Cornell University’s Dr. Robert Howarth says methane leakage from the natural gas industry — and from fracking in particular — is the top driver of US greenhouse gas emissions. Videos, written testimony and a PowerPoint from Howarth are available at ncwarn.org/methane-events. Howarth gives an excellent 3-minute summary in this video.

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N.C. solar can replace fossil fuels, save billions – and ease the climate crisis — News & Observer

Op-ed by Jim Warren. With countless challenges buffeting our society, I regret to report that the global climate crisis is storming ahead as if it were the only demand for our wisdom and collective action. Fortunately, two practical opportunities are available, and North Carolina has a pressing duty to start making good decisions.

California energy interests set to square off over Puente natural gas plant — Utility Dive

A battle is brewing in southern California between a utility planning to build a new natural gas plant and clean energy advocates who say solar and storage facilities could provide the power for cheaper.

July Heat was Unprecedented, NASA Scientists Say — Note to Editors from NC WARN

NASA reports that July 2017 edged out last year’s July as the hottest month ever recorded... The world’s leading scientists say the recent surge of super-potent methane is a key factor in the unexpected rate of warming.

Switching from coal to natural gas will not save our planet — Seattle Times

Op-Ed by Bill McKibben. Most magic tricks and confidence games mostly work the same way — a little bit of misdirection to get the audience looking in the wrong direction. And some of the finest magicians at large in America today are its natural-gas salesmen, who have worked hard to reassure us that they’re part of the solution to the global warming crisis. To understand why that’s a ploy — to understand why they’re in fact helping drive the heating of the planet — you have to pay close attention.

Natural gas building boom fuels climate worries, enrages landowners – Center for Public Integrity

But Robert Howarth, an environmental biology professor at Cornell University, estimates that methane emissions produced by shale gas from wellhead to delivery could add up to a 12-percent leak rate — causing substantially more warming in the short term than coal. Howarth sees the rapid rise in gas development as a contributor to the recent spike in global temperatures, including record-breaking heat waves in 2015 and 2016. “The buildout of pipelines,” he said, “is a true climate disaster.”

Focus should be on methane emissions — Letter to the Editor of the Charlotte Observer

By Ron Bryant. I appreciate the Observer’s reporting on the climate treaty but want to add some important facts from Cornell University’s Methane Project. Natural gas is not a “cleaner” option to coal, as methane, including that leaked/vented from natural gas operations, is 100 times worse than CO2.

Please Tell the People: Global Heat Wave Continues in 2017; Methane from Fracking is Major Cause – Note to News Editors from NC WARN

The nation’s largest carbon-polluting utility is trying to build up to 20 fracked gas-fired power plants in the Carolinas alone, plus the $5.6 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline to supply those plants with fracked gas. Thus Duke Energy is responsible for much of the methane emissions that are now driving the climate crisis.

How Reliable Is Natural Gas? — WUNC

Last year Duke Energy acquired Piedmont Natural Gas ... a marker of the energy industry’s shift toward using natural gas to produce electricity. Supporters of natural gas say it is cheaper and burns cleaner than coal. But critics argue that methane leaks during storage and transportation, which can accelerate global warming.

Young People’s Burden: Requirement of Negative CO2 Emissions — Earth System Dynamics

By James Hansen. Continued high fossil fuel emissions unarguably sentences young people to either a massive, possibly implausible cleanup or growing deleterious climate impacts or both, scenarios that should provide both incentive and obligation for governments to alter energy policies without further delay.

Natural gas vs coal: It’s all in the leak rate — The News & Observer

Op-ed by William Schlesinger. Leakage of natural gas, which is predominately methane, has another drawback. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that exerts about 86 times the global warming potential in the atmosphere compared with CO2 during the first 20 years after emission. Leakage from oil and gas fields makes a significant contribution to the annual emissions of methane to the atmosphere.

Emergency Methane Action

Watch press conference at the Governor's office in Raleigh on June 15, 2017 featuring Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the NC NAACP.
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blackburn-homeThe John O. Blackburn Award
Read the inspiring stories of Dr. Steve Wing, Joyce and Rev. Nelson Johnson, and other recipients of NC WARN's Blackburn Award.

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