Now Forget Natural Gas Too!

There is no energy shortage. What we have is a shortage of energy that we are ALLOWED to be used.

The list of energies we are allowed to use just keeps getting shorter. Techno-politico elitists are busily crossing out everything on the list, like coal, nuclear, all petroleum products, wood, and biofuels. The latest to join that list is the hope of the future: natural gas, this according to the The Hill blogsite here.

Recently there has been a flurry of reports of huge natural gas reserves in shale formations that are abundant enough to supply the world’s energy needs for decades, read here.

The Hill has posted a draft of a new study from scientists at Cornell University that concludes that natural gas mined by using hydraulic fracturing is even more dangerous than burning coal due to high fugitive methane emissions. The study will appear in the Climatic Change Letters.

Natural gas-fired power plants were once viewed as the ideal supplement to balance out the irregular supply of wind and solar energy. Coal and nuclear power plants are unable to react quickly enough to fluctuations in supply and demand. The Hill has posted the entire paper – here’s the abstract:

We evaluate the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas obtained by high-volume hydraulic fracturing from shale formations, focusing on methane emissions. Natural gas is composed largely of methane, and 3.6% to 7.9% of the methane from shale-gas production escapes to the atmosphere in venting and leaks over the life-time of a well. These methane emissions are at least 30% more than and perhaps more than twice as great as those from conventional gas. The higher emissions from shale gas occur at the time wells are hydraulically fractured — as methane escapes from flow-back return fluids — and during drill out following the fracturing. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential that is far greater than that of carbon dioxide, particularly over the time horizon of the first few decades following emission. Methane contributes substantially to the greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas on shorter time scales, dominating it on a 20-year time horizon. The footprint for shale gas is greater than that for conventional gas or oil when viewed on any time horizon, but particularly so over 20 years. Compared to coal, the footprint of shale gas is at least 20% greater and perhaps more than twice as great on the 20-year horizon and is comparable when compared over 100 years.”

No problem, let’s just set up more windmills, enviro-nutjobs and kooks may say. But these plants, aside from their technical problems, are now facing grassroots opposition as well.

This is where we stand today. We are literally standing on huge reserves of cheap natural energies, just waiting to be taken, yet some zealot, power-mad earth-nannies, armed with nothing more than climate change wive tales, are telling us we have to go without.

23 responses to “Now Forget Natural Gas Too!”

  1. mindert eiting

    Can you imagine my amazement? I only have some high school physics at my disposal, and an article in which I cannot find an error. Can somebody tell me what’s wrong with ‘Understanding the Thermodynamic Atmosphere Effect’, written on March 2011 by the astrophysicist Joseph E. Postma.
    A short citation:

    ‘The conclusion of this article is very simple: there is no such thing as a radiative Theory of the Greenhouse Effect, not in real greenhouses, and certainly not in any planetary atmosphere known to man. The true role of the atmosphere, on Earth, is that it cools the ground, not warms it. Therefore, there is no such thing as Anthropogenic Global Warming or anthropogenic-CO2 induced climate change, because that supposition is based on the false Theory of the Greenhouse Effect’.

    1. Harry Dale Huffman

      It is true that there is no greenhouse effect, of increased temperature with an increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. But Postma’s article doesn’t prove this, it only presents physical theory as he understands it, and he makes mistakes as everyone else has done, which I won’t go into here. The bottom line is, there is definitive evidence — not theory, but simple, direct, overwhelming evidence — that there is no greenhouse effect:

      Venus: No Greenhouse Effect

      Evidence trumps theory, even a theory that indicates there is no greenhouse effect, but which has its own problems with that evidence. The Venus/Earth data — the comparison of two detailed planetary atmospheres — makes it obvious there is no carbon dioxide greenhouse effect; there is no need to theorize about that fact, and hasn’t been for nearly 20 years, since the data was taken by the Magellan spacecraft. Too many critics of the climate “consensus” argue on the basis of complex (and equally flawed) theory, when they should simply point out the obvious truth as shown by the Venus/Earth data (for the sake of non-scientists who don’t want to learn such theory, and for scientists who have been miseducated to believe the false dogma of the greenhouse effect).

    2. DirkH

      Mindert, the way i understand Postma is: The atmosphere transports heat upwards / cools the surface via three mechanisms, conduction, convection and radiation; of which only radiation is slightly affected by rising CO2 levels. And should this lead to a higher vertical temperature gradient, it would lead to increased convection; partially compensating for the effect.

      The temperature difference between the surface and the atmosphere in 7.5 km height (the famous 33 deg C difference) is thus not a result of downwelling LWIR, but it is simply the temperature gradient that this cooling machine maintains due to its thermodynamical properties (vertical pressure gradient, lapse rate).

      1. DirkH

        And he’s not the first to have said that; see
        William C. Gilbert

        1. mindert eiting

          Thanks, Dirk. This fits nicely to my level of knowledge. Perhaps we should have a modest library with this kind of article. Would also be useful for politicians.

  2. DirkH

    “The higher emissions from shale gas occur at the time wells are hydraulically fractured — as methane escapes from flow-back return fluids — and during drill out following the fracturing. ”

    Sounds to me like a solvable problem; if one really wants to catch the escaping Methane (and if it is as much as the authors say) one could surely do so.

    But the well funded AGW funding mill never stops.
    “Reaktive Stickstoffverbindungen aus Landwirtschaft, Verkehr und Industrie führen zu erhöhten Emissionen des Treibhausgases Lachgas (N2O) aus den Wäldern Europas. Die Lachgasemission aus dem Waldboden ist mindestens doppelt so hoch wie der Weltklimarat (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC) bisher angenommen hatte. ”

    “Nitrogen compounds from agriculture, traffic and industry lead to increased laughing gas (N2O) emissions from Europe’s forests. N2O emissions are at least twice as high as assumed by the IPCC.”

  3. Ed Caryl

    Not only is methane escape from hydraulic fracturing a solvable problem (and some engineers say it is already solved), but there is another method, using propane as the fracking fluid, that doesn’t produce the problem in the first place. Propane also has the advantage of being fully recoverable, and eliminates the waste water ponds that hydraulic fracking requires.

  4. speake

    Got to love this little snippet from the study:

    “However, we note that the data used in Table 1 are not well documented, with many values based on PowerPoint slides from EPA-sponsored workshops. For this paper, we therefore choose to represent gas losses from flow-back fluids as the mean value from Table 1: 1.6%.”

  5. Edward

    This report is a crock Pierre.

  6. Edward
  7. Francis Massen

    The French timidly tried to plan some test drilling in the Larzac (horribili est dictu: the home of all the post 1968 people who see salvation in raising sheep and making a frugal living from the RMI (revenu minimum garanti)). Now all political parties jumped the bandwagon of indignation, and shale gas seems to be a dead end.
    Read this article “Le gaz de schiste – un explosif politique” in today’s Le Figaro here

  8. Francis Massen
  9. R. de Haan

    Start connecting the dots.
    We have an elite that is convinced we have to curb population growth, consumption and energy us because they think the planet’s resources are limited.

    The truth is that we have sufficient resources to provide high living standards and prosperity to all people on the planet.

    So if we want to change things, get rid of the current elite.

    1. Edward

      Can’t fault your logic.

  10. DirkH

    I think the motive is far less sinister.

    The renewable energy proponents have become players on the energy market; as they own win turbines, solar panels or have investments in that sector. And like any other energy market player they are interested in high prizes. High prizes in general, but especially they try to force the prizes up that the competition must take to stay in business.

    And of course, try to erect barriers to entry into the market; for instance, with Gasland-style scare stories.

    And in this way, the economy-hating Malthusians become a part of the market forces themselves… a kind of inevitable built-in self-destruction of their ethical values.

  11. R. de Haan

    mindert eiting 13. April 2011 at 11:32 | Permalink | Reply
    “Can you imagine my amazement?”
    Please read the documents available at:

    Also read about the history of CO2 and AGW at

    1. mindert eiting

      Thanks, Ron. With all respects to the owner, this is not what I consider a library.

  12. DirkH

    Dr. Thühne urges an immediate stop to all climate research funding. He points out that there is no correlation between CO2 level and temperature time series; and that billions of AGW research money have thus failed to deliver proof of AGW.

  13. Bernd Felsche

    Worried about power outages?

    “Diebe lassen tonnenschweren Generator mitgehen”

    Thieves make off with a generator weighing a ton.

    Neubrandenburg (dpa/mv) – This booty wasn’t light: Unknown offenders made off with a generator weighing about a tonne. Police reported on Wednesdaythat the thieves presumably struck on the weekend as the generator’s absence wasn’t noted until Tuesday morning.

  14. Bernd Felsche

    Vattenfall stops German green fund payments

    Vattenfall, E-on, and two other energy companies will stop payments to a German environmental fund due to the German government’s plans to review its nuclear policy following Japan’s Fukushima crisis.

    The energy companies Vattenfall, E-on and RWE told the AFP news agency that they have stopped their payments after the government backed away from last year’s deal to extend the life of 17 nuclear power plants.

    According to the German magazine Der Spiegel a fourth company, EnBW, also decided to stop its contribution.

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