Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Environmental Science: reduced carbon emissions are actually increased carbon emissions

One of the benefits of fracking has been a substantial reduction in the cost of natural gas.  This has caused a lot of coal fired electric generating plants to shift to natural gas which has substantially reduced carbon emissions.  Now I don't much buy into the whole ZOMG Greenhouse Gasses are killing teh childrenz thing, but you'd think that people who do believe this would think that this shift would be A Very Good Thing Indeed.

Alas, no.  Because cheaper energy leads to increased energy use which leads to increased greenhouse gas emissions.  Because Science!
A new study published in Nature has revealed that switching to cheap Natural Gas will not reduce CO2 significantly, because all that cheap energy will stimulate the economy so much that we will all use more energy.

According to the abstract;
If these advanced gas production technologies were to be deployed globally, the energy market could see a large influx of economically competitive unconventional gas resources. The climate implications of such abundant natural gas have been hotly debated. ... Here we show that market-driven increases in global supplies of unconventional natural gas do not discernibly reduce the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions or climate forcing. Our results, based on simulations from five state-of-the-art integrated assessment models of energy–economy–climate systems independently forced by an abundant gas scenario, project large additional natural gas consumption of up to +170 per cent by 2050.
Because computer models say so. 

And so we see that the Environment Science establishment is not interested in reducing impacts, it is interested in ending economic growth.  OK, then. How many children and elderly must freeze in the dark to satisfy the computer models?  The World wonders ...

10 comments:

Unknown said...

the rate of increase in US CO2 output was accelerating all though the years up through the Clinton Administration, and then in the GWB years, the rate of increase slowed to zero in spite of GDP continuing to increase. I looked all over to figure out how the US could achieve such a kyoto-style turnaround without anyone noticing, and finally discovered this massive shift to natural gas that was a thing even before "fracking" started to get into the news cycle.

So I call BS. The evidence since 2000 shows that cheap gas from fracking has reduced CO2 output in the US. Anyone looking at the data could see this.

Tony Tsquared said...

I have a niece getting an Environmental Science Engineering degree from a Colorado university. She is in her last semester and during her summer internship job she came to the realization that her "green" degree was worth less than horse dung. There are a precious few jobs in the government arena but most of her classmates have aspirations of getting into law school because the realization has set in there are not any real jobs out there for their degree.

Ken said...

How many? About 95% in round numbers, quod erat demonstrandum.

3boxesofbs said...

...because all that cheap energy will stimulate the economy so much that we will all use more energy.

And here we have an example of the confluence behind liberal thinking. Can't have anything that actually improves the economy because that would reduce the need for income re-distribution.

Old NFO said...

Agree with all of the above... sigh... And follow the $$

Wolfman said...

Another thing that goes to support my suspicion that it has never been about saving the environment, it has always been about increasing control of the populus and decreasing the opportunities available to groups they don't like.

lelnet said...

To a person who actually cares about helping the natural environment and reducing pollution, there is no conceivable sense in which substituting natural gas for coal in power plants is not a good thing. Even if you use more of it.

Burning coal produces all kinds of dangerous toxic byproducts. Natural gas doesn't.

The most annoying thing about the whole AGW hoax is the way it's taken attention away from _real_ problems in order to focus all the effort on fighting a _fake_ problem. Byproducts of coal power are a real problem. So are heavy metals from the batteries that those oh-so-beloved electric and hybrid cars run on. But no...we just ignore all that, and focus on CO2, because that provides the most leverage to control people's lives.

Goober said...

part of me thinks they don't care about a bit about co2 emissions. I'm starting to think that they're just Luddites who don't want people to use energy. Except for them of course.

Ken said...

Goober, all of me thinks that. We are deep into "Are you paranoid enough?" country.

Mark Philip Alger said...

Finally! Leftists who use dynamic scoring!

M