The methane – electricity link offers a doable chance – probably the only one – to avert climate tipping point
NASA reported this week that the ongoing, three-year record global heatwave continues, with August tying July as the hottest month ever recorded.
This is particularly disturbing because scientists thought the soaring global heat would subside as El Nino ended in June. The 2016 global average temperature is pressing quite near the climate tipping point as explained by NASA and AP.
There still remains a feasible avenue for quick changes that can avert a disastrous future. Please consider the following trail of bread crumbs:
- Soaring methane emissions from the US fracking boom are probably the key factor in the ongoing 2014-2016 global heatwave.
- Routine methane leakage and venting now make the natural gas industry the leading source of US greenhouse gases, according to Cornell’s Robert Howarth and others.
- The fracking boom is being driven by the electric power industry’s mad dash to burn shale gas.
- “The climate responds very quickly to methane,” as Dr. Howarth emphasizes. So curbing industry’s emissions of that super-potent heat-trapping gas is the quickest – and only – way to slow global warming in time to avert runaway climate chaos.
- The EPA’s efforts to begin cutting methane are in slow-motion – too little, too late – because the gas and power industries oppose requirements that they reduce leakage and venting.
Humanity desperately needs leadership and discussion about the electric power industry’s massive shift to natural gas, and a new level of cooperation on how major decisions are made. NC WARN urges the news media to foster public debate on the gas and power industries’ roles in driving the climate crisis.