The Answer To Carbon Emissions May Reside In The Thing The Environmentalists Hate The Most

On November 11th, Natural Gas Now posted an article about the decreasing CO2 emissions in the United States. Oddly enough the decrease is largely due to the change from coal-generated electricity to natural gas-generated electricity. The availability and low price of natural gas is due to the practice of fracking. So the thing that the environmentalists hate the most (fracking) is the thing that is getting the result the environmentalists are seeking. Irony at its best.

The article reports:

  • After rising by 3% in 2018, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell 3% in the United States in 2019. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2019 analysis, total energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 were about 150 million metric tons (MMmt) lower than their 2018 level. EIA attributes nearly all (96%) of this decline to the changing mix of fuels used to generate electricity.
  • The electric power sector accounted for nearly one-third of U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019; only the transportation sector emitted more CO2. Within the electric power sector, emissions from coal fell by 15% (177 MMmt) in 2019.
  • U.S. electric power sector emissions have fallen 33% from their peak in 2007 because less electricity has been generated from coal and more electricity has been generated from natural gas (which emits less CO2 when combusted) and non-carbon sources. U.S. total energy-related CO2 emissions have fallen 15% since their 2007 peak.
  • Changes in the composition of electricity generation, as well as improvements in energy efficiency, have led to a decrease in the total carbon intensity of electricity, which has fallen from 619 metric tons per megawatthour (mt/MWh) in 2005 to 408 mt/MWh in 2019.

The article also notes:

Yes, there have been other factors, including growth in solar and wind generation, but the big gorilla when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions has been the substitution of natural gas for coal. And, that’s happened thanks to fracking, which is something fractivists are eager to avoid, deny and trash. Now, just imagine what will happen as carbon-capture comes on line. It’s real, it’s coming fast and it will make natural gas far superior to any renewable energy source, rendering the latter as a silly failed experiment.

I honestly do not believe that man is important enough to be a major influence on the earth’s climate. However, I do believe we have a responsibility to keep the environment as clean as possible while balancing the economic needs of civilization. It does seem that natural gas is one way to achieve that balance.

Somehow This Didn’t Make The News

WattsUpWithThat posted an article today about temperature records set during the past two years. The records were not what was expected.

The article reports:

NASA data show that global temperatures dropped sharply over the past two years. Not that you’d know it, since that wasn’t deemed news. Does that make NASA a global warming denier?

Writing in Real Clear Markets, Aaron Brown looked at the official NASA global temperature data and noticed something surprising. From February 2016 to February 2018, “global average temperatures dropped by 0.56 degrees Celsius.” That, he notes, is the biggest two-year drop in the past century.

The article also includes some other climate news that the major media seemed to overlook:

There was the study published in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate showing that climate models exaggerate global warming from CO2 emissions by as much as 45%. It was ignored.

Then there was the study in the journal Nature Geoscience that found that climate models were faulty, and that, as one of the authors put it, “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models.”

Nor did the press see fit to report on findings from the University of Alabama-Huntsville showing that the Earth’s atmosphere appears to be less sensitive to changing CO2 levels than previously assumed.

How about the fact that the U.S. has cut CO2 emissions over the past 13 years faster than any other industrialized nation? Or that polar bear populations are increasing? Or that we haven’t seen any increase in violent weather in decades?

This is not to say that we shouldn’t do what we can to limit air pollution, protect clean water, and keep our planet clean. We need to do that because we are responsible human beings. However, we don’t have to run around with our hair on fire about something we can’t change.