Fracking ‘as bad for climate as coal’ – UK’s dodgy dossier exposed

Unconventional gas is not a ‘bridge’ to a green future – it’s a treacherous cliff that the Government are asking us all to step off.
Thanks to higher methane emissions and lower production than declared, gas from fracking is as bad for climate as coal. Photo: Fracking the Bakken Formation in North Dakota. Credit: Joshua Doubek / Wikimedia Commons.

A wholesale corruption of science underlies the UK Government’s insistence that gas from fracking offers a ‘low carbon’, low cost route to energy abundance, writes Paul Mobbs. On the contrary: it’s expensive, over-hyped – and just as bad for climate change as coal.

As Charlie Chaplin said, “Wars, conflict, it’s all business … Numbers sanctify.”

That was certainly the case with the UK Government’s approach to shale gas. They hoped that they could whitewash the climate effects of fracking with some fancy formulas.

Instead what they produced was another‘dodgy dossier’ [1] – a straightforward denial of the uncertainties and the likely effects of what unconventional gas will do to the climate.

Fracking climate impacts ‘relatively small’?

In December 2012 the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) commissioned a report on the climate impacts of shale gas. In September 2013 the report [2] – The Potential Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Shale Gas Extraction and Use, byDavid ‘No Hot Air’ MacKay [3] and Timothy Stone – was published.

It said that the greenhouse gas impacts of shale gas would be “relatively small”, and were likely to be no worse than conventional gas [4]. But if we look at the numbers behind that report there’s no proof to backup those claims.

Natural gas is methane – a potent greenhouse gas [5]. On a 100-year time-line, including climate feedbacks, the latest science report from the IPCC [6] says that methane is 34 times worse for the climate than carbon dioxide. Obviously, not the sort of stuff you’d want to be releasing large quantities of [7].

Methane – 86 times more powerful than CO2 over 20 years   READ MORE HERE….



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