Claim: Cheap energy stimulates the economy too much – Natural Gas will not reduce CO2


Eric Worrall writes: 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;

“The most important energy development of the past decade has been the wide deployment of hydraulic fracturing technologies that enable the production of previously uneconomic shale gas resources in North America1. 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. Some researchers have observed that abundant natural gas substituting for coal could reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Others have reported that the non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions associated with shale gas production make its lifecycle emissions higher than those of coal. Assessment of the full impact of abundant gas on climate change requires an integrated approach to the global energy–economy–climate systems, but the literature has been limited in either its geographic scope9, 10 or its coverage of greenhouse gases. 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.

The impact on CO2 emissions, however, is found to be much smaller (from −2 per cent to +11 per cent), and a majority of the models reported a small increase in climate forcing (from −0.3 per cent to +7 per cent) associated with the increased use of abundant gas. Our results show that although market penetration of globally abundant gas may substantially change the future energy system, it is not necessarily an effective substitute for climate change mitigation policy.”


Some people might be concerned that we are passing up an opportunity if we follow the  advice of the study, but we don’t really need cheap energy to help grow the economy. After all, if the economy sags, our politicians can stimulate the economy by printing new money.


159 thoughts on “Claim: Cheap energy stimulates the economy too much – Natural Gas will not reduce CO2

    • To the rich Leftist elites: what a shame… college tuition rates would plummet from the royalties and taxes and we would have FAR too many millennials with degrees and no loans….. those negative outcomes hurt everyone {snark off}

  1. Wow…It now becomes obvious that the only goal of leftist Warmists is to destroy the economy of the US, decimate the middle class, and install socialism. The true objective of the left is to turn America into a third-world banana republic. They are insane.

      • And these people certainly don’t care for the biosphere!
        Too much CO2? I say “Power to the Biosphere!”
        True environmentalists understand but those who push “climate change mitigation” never will.

      • I recall when the Soviet Union (now known as “Russia”, for the low-information readers) collapsed (26 December, 1991), there didn’t seem to be much public wailing or gnashing of teeth from the Left, not more than a whimper. So where did all of that powerful “revolutionary spirit” and activism go?
        Is it possible that the plan was to continue on a very low profile, internalize within the enemy (‘capitalist’) countries and continue the struggle from the “grass roots” within? Would be important that not many would know about the plan. But there were enough leftist fellow travelers (Stalin called them ‘useful idiots’) to help carry out the plan unknowingly. The ‘Holy Grail’ would have been to get a President elected from the loyal cadre to help expedite the direction of change within the U.S.
        Nah, I don’t think so. That could never happen in the U.S.A. The idea is too crazy, even for a movie plot.

    • Spot on, Angel, except that this fifth column of saboteurs is not insane. It’s ever clearer that the word “researcher” has been appropriated by commies who do no research into physical phenomena. Shame on the hard sciences for not coming down loudly and publicly on the side of the sceptics.

    • Not just the US.
      Then want to cap nuclear at some arbitrary capacity level.
      32 % of “renewables” in term of “final” energy.
      Mandatory energy saving enhancements by buildings owners
      “Positive energy buildings” (= produce electricity in summer, consume energy in winter)
      Up to 10 000 € for people buying “clean” cars
      More help for those who can’t pay the energy bills because of (all of the above, including this item)
      I can’t even READ it to the end, it’s so lame.
      They also want energy consumption to be divided by 2 in France in 2050!!!!
      And all of those with other people, free, money.

    • +1Billion. Ain’t no way a plus one does justice to your post !!!!! 😤😤😤😤
      Only one small point…Warmists should be changed to WARMI-A-NISTAS. I think that gives those libs the appellation that they deserve!!!😈😈

      • True. My thought was it is the preemptive excuse and blame when the three big Obamanomic bubbles pop in the next few years.

  2. So, peer reviewed science that fracking is net carbon neutral but will lift GDP by 170% (if energy is a proxy)? Yum!

    • Yes, this is the simple summary of what the author is COMPLAINING about.
      Also food crops worldwide will grow more food without the need for additional water or land.

      • I guess this could delay the restricted energy and food shortage part of their plan for reduction of the “surplus population” . Perhaps they are worried the potential victims might catch on in time to resist implementation?.

  3. It is now becoming clear to me that the left is rooting for Ebola to rid the world of the virus of humanity. I had a leftist roommate in college who seriously said that he wished he were the only human left on Earth.

    • Your roommate wasn’t Tom Frieden, was it? He acts like stopping Ebola from spreading beyond Africa is his last priority.

    • That’s very selfish – surely the Earth would be better without him as well. Perhaps he should set an example.

    • angelartiste1 October 18, 2014 at 10:42
      “I had a leftist roommate in college who seriously said that he wished he were the only human left on Earth.”
      Doesn’t that say it all. And notice that, like all liberals, he is not including himself in his plan to sacrifice others to his vision of ‘improvement’.

    • Do you have some evidence to back up your assertion about Ebola? I don’t mean fringe individuals (those exist on both sides), I mean mainstream commentators and politicians.

  4. This reveals what we already know about what really motivates the people behind the CAGW movement. CAGW is not a movement. It is a Trojan horse being used to to deliver statism into a society founded on the principle of the sovereign individual.

  5. An article which is just more CO2-Alarmism driven economic drivel. As far as they are concerned the poor of the World can just creep away and freeze to death in the darkness. It all, in their minds, done for the sake of the ‘Environment”, whatever that is. The road to Hell is lined with Green intentions.

  6. They used a computer model so we know the results are accurate. I’m sure they used the output of other models as input to their model so what could possibly go wrong.

  7. “The most important energy development of the past decade has been the wide deployment of hydraulic fracturing technologies…”
    Wrong. Hydraulic fracturing has been used for many years. What has allowed the shale gas boom is horizontal drilling. When I see a story start like this, then I know that it is politics, not science.

    • 100% correct. When I was in the patch in the early ’70s, super-fracking was already being deployed to supersede standard fracking.

  8. This war on capitalism will prove dramatically less successful than the war on drugs or poverty. Ironically, it will do more to create poverty than any other human initiative to date.
    I find no solace in the fact it’s being executed with oh so many good intentions.

    • The “war on drugs” is quite successful, if you consider that it is a war on the competition. Government black ops and mega banks run the drug trade. For example “Iran-contra”, or notice how well the opium is doing in Afghanistan since USA invaded. Or notice how banks laundering drug money get minor fines and no perp walks. Likewise the true intent of the war on poverty is to create more of it. Good intentions are PR, the ultimate goal is population reduction.

  9. “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.
    The impact on CO2 emissions, however, is found to be much smaller (from −2 per cent to +11 per cent), and a majority of the models reported a small increase in climate forcing (from −0.3 per cent to +7 per cent) associated with the increased use of abundant gas.”
    So, widespread use fracking is projected to increase consumption of natural gas by up to 170%, with a corresponding increase of human caused CO2 emissions by a max of 11 percent. And this increased CO2 emission is projected to increase climate forcing by a max of 7%.
    Even if all the projections of increased CO2 emissions come to be, exactly how is that a problem? Over the last 18 or so years, CO2 emissions from whatever source have grown by Approx.10%, resulting in 0% increase average global temps. Are human caused emissions of CO2 somehow especially effective at climate forcing?

  10. Quoted from the above abstract;
    “Our results show that although market penetration of globally abundant gas may substantially change the future energy system, it is not necessarily an effective substitute for climate change mitigation policy.”
    Could the authors of this modeled piece of pure utter banality please give just one instance where despite close to a trillion dollars of global wealth already being expended on mitigating “dangerous” climate change, climate change “mitigation” such as it is, has been seen to actually made an observable, measurable and proven change at any level to the global climate or even a local climate?
    On a personal level, mankind needs three things to survive
    Mankind needs water.
    Mankind needs food
    Mankind needs shelter which includes clothing and etc
    The fourth essential is the dividing line between man and beast.
    Mankind needs ENERGY.
    The control and deliberate use of Energy is the mark of Mankind,
    Even the possibly lowest form of energy used by mankind, a cow pat fire, differentiates Mankind from the animals.
    An advanced Civilisation such as ours needs vast amounts of energy, energy that is always theres, always available, is cheap and is available to all at a cost they can afford when and where they want it.
    Our civilisation like all past civilisations is based around energy, human, animal and fire and water in past civilisations and now immense amounts of electricity, oil, coal and fossil fuels along with nuclear power are the driving forces of our totally energy reliant civilisation of today.
    The level of ignorance and the mind boggling hypocrisy displayed so often by these so called climate scientists is astounding in that they continue to advocate and promote all these nostrums to solve a problem that is increasingly accepted does not and never has existed. But which if ever implemented along with their total lack of realism and their level of hypocrisy is such that they seem to assume that their own lives will continue right on in the style to which they have become accustomed while everybody else pays the price.
    The climastrologists with their blatantly open Messiah complex regularly promote and advocate the destruction of our modern civilisation by taking seven billion people back to a stone age existence with little or no energy outside of human and animal labour, all to supposedly “save the planet”
    They advocate all of this without ever seemingly understanding that they along with billions of others without any survival skills along with themselves, who having been totally dependent on others all their academic lives, would likely be amongst the first to perish.
    Probably their main and last science paper in such a retrogressive existence as advocated by these scientific climastrologists before they died from the lack of survival abilities in a world without vast amounts of fossil fueled energy would amount to a one stone tablet history and a dozen baked clay tablets deeply regretting their mistake in demanding mankind give up so much to solve a problem which nobody has ever “proven” to actually exist.

    • A quote from Paul Ehrlich.
      “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
      The lauded and feted Ehrlich, the wrongest wrong man in the history of wrongness.

      • He was right, though, in the sense that giving a machine gun to a child is like giving a man like him a megaphone.

      • If energy isn’t the limiting factor, something else will be. It is in the nature of humans to expand until life is to miserable to survive.
        Greenism is just a step forward in misery.

      • It’s not in Ehrlich’s quote, but you could add the word “clean” and not change his intent. If we should in fact discover cheap clean energy, via improved nuclear fission, or perhaps fusion, many an environmentalist would view the discovery as a disaster, because it would allow mankind to flourish instead of regressing closer to something like the economics of the Stone Age.

      • Leo Smith
        October 19, 2014 at 6:43 am
        “If energy isn’t the limiting factor, something else will be. It is in the nature of humans to expand until life is to miserable to survive.”
        BS. When survival of children was uncertain people had lots of them. Now they don’t because they’re pretty sure that all children will survive. You should look into ‘s data about fertility.

      • And giving leftists control of the energy supply is equivalent of giving an idiot child an armed nuclear weapon.

  11. How about a huge, rousing cheer for for all those who work in big oil and gas? It is their ingenuity, tenacity, initiative, engineering and scientific skills, and sheer effort in the face of difficult and sometimes hostile conditions – both physical and political, that is responsible for so many of the good things we in the comfortable west take for granted. Credit where credit is due. As for the present ‘numbers we first thought of’ effort? I don’t think I will bother to read it. I hope the suppliers of the grant were well satisfied.

      • I just paid $2.67/gal. Did I fill the tank? No. Prices are likely to be even lower, when I need to buy more fuel.

      • Wait a second. If you’re calling it “petrol” shouldn’t they be charging you some sort of import tariff before you pump it into your car?

  12. This is just an extension of Jevons Paradox redone with Natural Gas. (BTW, the wiki on Jevons Paradox has been completely garbaged up by AGW true believers. It now paints a picture of it as not being real; when in fact Jevons was descriptive of what actually happened.)
    The Paradox is that greater efficiency of fuel use drops the cost per use enough that you get more uses, and the end effect is more total use than less. So efficiency does not reduce total fuel use, just fuel used per use… So the more efficient steam engines of the 1800’s resulted in more coal burned, not less.
    Now in the natural gas context, more efficient production of natural gas has lowered the price so much that we get more total uses (coal plants swapping to nat gas, trucks converting to nat gas, etc.) In the end, lower costs results in more uses and net increase of fuel burned.
    We saw the same effect after the Arab Oil Embargo of the ’70s. Loads of folks swapped to small efficient cars. Then promptly moved further from work for better / bigger / cheaper houses. Net effect was just a brief drop in oil consumption during the embargo and shortly after, then a move back to increased oil consumption.
    Similarly, I now have some lights I leave on 24 x 7 since the more efficient light bulbs makes it important to extend bulb life ( limited by on / off cycles for CFLs and some electronics) than conserve electrons. I also run brighter overall lighting…
    So the effect is real, just not one that really matters in the long run flow of advancement.

    • But in this case it’s not that they are using more fuel, but that it is cost effective to switch from a ‘dirtier’ fuel to a cheaper cleaner fuel. The use of Natural gas increases greatly, but at the reduction in use of other fuels. So even though we burn much more natural gas, the evil CO2, sarc, is still reduced overall.

    • Yes you did a good post on this at your excellent site. I would amend the last sentence however to; “So the effect is real, and a positive one that really matters in the long run flow of advancement.”

    • E.M.Smith October 18, 2014 at 11:55 pm
      You beast me to it – this is absolutely correct.
      “Cheap gas stimulates more demand so in the end does not save energy”.
      EXACTLY the same is true of energy efficiency measures. They make energy go further, stimulating more demand (and a wider more innovative range of demands) and the end result is the same – no reduction in use.
      For the warmists first to trash Jevons then plagiarise him is absolutely typical of their criminal mentality.

      • In the spirit of Humpty Dumpty, Jevons paradox means what they want it to mean in each individual case, nothing more, and nothing less. Just as the Queen of Hearts’ trial standards are appropriate for the conviction of humankind for the crime of destroying the environment. Lewis Carroll wasn’t writing children’s stories, he was writing a handbook.

      • Saving energy is not the goal. Not wasting energy should certainly be one of the goals.
        Making affordable energy available to more people, and at higher production efficiencies, will make the world a better place for everybody.
        In most cases, improving efficiency, eliminates jobs. Manual labor, is one of the lowest efficiency energy sources.
        When politicians say they are going to create jobs, it’s a sure bet, that they are going to lower efficiencies.
        The ONLY way that government can create jobs, is to use its energies to get itself out of the way, and stop plugging up they system.

  13. This is the classic chestnut, whereby if you make something more easily available then people will use it more – and we can’t have that so we have to price it out of the market. Yet history shows that this sort of pricing mechanism aimed at the general populace rarely works. There is an minimum energy requirement below which people cannot drop without being punitive. Though I suspect that the socialists and communists so hate humanity that they don’t care if they are punished.
    I really enjoy the Western Australian approach where they try to convince people to reduce energy when you get home by turning off the air conditioner and the telly. In effect they are telling us that we are not working to live but so that we can go home and live in a sweltering hovel. Some incentive that!

  14. “The climate implications of such abundant natural gas have been hotly debated.”
    “…could reduce carbon dioxide…”
    “…full impact of abundant gas on climate change requires an integrated approach to the global energy–economy–climate systems, but the literature has been limited…”
    “Our results, based on simulations from five state-of-the-art integrated assessment models …”
    “The impact on CO2 emissions….” – spans ‘0’.
    “…it is not necessarily an effective substitute for climate change mitigation policy.”
    The last line is holds the ‘truth’ of this article, the balance is pure unmitigated baloney of “climate science.” Nothing matters or is of any consequence except the ‘policies’, perfectly captured by the last sentence. Little but the undisguised green clarion call to a new world order characterised this week by the comment from the NIH that had they had the funding, they would have likely had a tested response for ebola years ago. Instead, billions are pumped into models that are no more than pimps for policy mongering.

  15. “Our results show that although market penetration of globally abundant gas may substantially change the future energy system, it is not necessarily an effective substitute for climate change mitigation policy.”
    Apart from being self-evident drivel, it brings up the question of: is there any need for a ‘climate change mitigation policy’? In what weird and wacky world is anyone supposed to be able to fix climate, thereby ensuring there is no more change?
    Climate change is natural and has been for many hundreds of millions of years. Some alarmists are reluctantly starting to admit this, but they cannot wean themselves off their most basic and holy belief, which is: All natural climate change ceased around 1950 and since then the activities of man have been the only factors affecting our climate.

  16. What I find really Odd and maybe someone here can explain it is the author affiliations for this study.
    Here are the authors:
    Haewon McJeon, Jae Edmonds, Nico Bauer, Leon Clarke, Brian Fisher, Brian P. Flannery, Jérôme Hilaire, Volker Krey, Giacomo Marangoni, Raymond Mi, Keywan Riahi, Holger Rogner & Massimo Tavoni
    Here are their affiliations:
    -Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, JGCRI, 5825 University Research Court, Suite 3500, College Park, Maryland 20740, USA
    Haewon McJeon, Jae Edmonds & Leon Clarke
    -Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, PO Box 60 12 03, D-14412 Potsdam, Germany
    Nico Bauer & Jérôme Hilaire
    -BAEconomics, PO Box 5447, Kingston, Australian Capital Territory 2604, Australia
    Brian Fisher & Raymond Mi
    -Resources for the Future, 1616 P Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20036, USA
    Brian P. Flannery
    -International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
    Volker Krey, Keywan Riahi & Holger Rogner
    -Centro Euromediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici and Politecnico di Milano, Via Lambruschini 4b, 20156 Milan, Italy
    Giacomo Marangoni & Massimo Tavoni
    PNNL website says this: PNNL is one among ten U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories managed by DOE’s Office of Science.
    RFF website says this: RFF neither lobbies nor takes positions on specific legislative or regulatory proposals, although individual researchers, speaking for themselves and not for RFF, do formulate specific policy recommendations based on the findings in their work. RFF eagerly shares the results of its work with policymakers in government at all levels, environmental and business organizations, academicians, the media, and the interested public.
    In fiscal year 2013, RFF’s operating revenue was $12.9 million, 72.1 percent of which came from individual contributions, foundation grants, corporate contributions, and government grants. The President of RFF is Phil Sharp, PhD. He was Democratic Congressman from Indiana from 1975-1995. US govt grants and contracts represented about 20% of RFF operating budget in 2012 ($2.5M) and 2013 ($2.0M).
    BAEconomics: Dr Brian Fisher, President. Brian is one of Australia’s most respected advisers on climate change, emissions trading and the economic impact of current and future climate and energy policies. He played an integral role in the international climate change negotiations as economic adviser to Australia’s negotiating team in the lead up to, and at, the third Conference of the Parties in Kyoto.
    International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis: Approx Euro 8M of their Euro 18M annual operating budget comes from contracts, grants, and donations from governments, international organizations, academia, business, and individuals.
    Centro Euromediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici and Politecnico di Milano: their website was in Italian and might as well have been Sanskrit as I was NOT going to try and use Google Translate on it.
    So what I see here in this report, are 13 men who all have reputations and vested institutional financial interests in promoting the IPCC agenda and thus demonizing CO2. These are not academicians with academic credentials on the line. Pure BS propaganda from the Climate Change establishment.

    • I wish papers with multiple “authors” would specifically state exactly what part of the paper was produced solely by each of the named purported authors.
      When I see a paper that names 13 alleged authors, I get mental images of my Wife’s first grade class where she sits 4 kids at a desk to jointly work on a “project.”
      Three of them goof off, while the smart kid does the work, and then they all copy, in some group think way, and they all get the same grade on the paper or test.
      On a US patent application; the only peer reviewed papers that I am allowed to write, each named “inventor” must be the “sole” originator of at least one required named element, in a least one allowed claim, in the patent. Anybody else named will invalidate the patent on fraudulent authorship grounds.
      Any opposition lawyers, will apply that filter very early in a patent challenge, as it is the easiest way to invalidate patents.
      And note that I said “allowed” claim. If any claim is held to be invalid, the named inventors, who contributed only that claim, must be removed.

  17. The United Nations is determined to undermine Capitalism and break western economies. This is all in the Agenda 21 documents.
    The UN wants this to happen for reasons of its own which are quite separate from “Anthropogenic Global Warming”.
    AGW is failing but it was originally designed to manufacture a crisis as a means to an end as devised by this bureaucracy.
    My blog at touches on this. Try googling ICLEI or Agenda 21 as well.

  18. So now it is official. climate change is about keeping the plebs in their place and to know their station in life.
    Ideally we can to this the situation that making transport expensive will facilitate the return to a feudal society where the plebs cannot afford to go to another feudal lord..

  19. All 5 models used in this study use MAGICC 6.0 Climate Model. The GCAM physical atmosphere and climate are represented by the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse-Gas Induced Climate Change (MAGICC).
    So CO2 really is a magic gas!!!
    Further, the authors’ bias really shows when they write this in their report:
    “Second, lower natural gas prices accelerate economic activity, reduce the incentive to invest in energy-saving technologies, and lead to an aggregate expansion of the total energy system: a scale effect. ”
    Obviously they hate that “scale effect” where accelerating economic growth is bad. The only conclusion can be that the Liberals hate cheap energy.
    If anyone would like a copy of this Nature Letter report: email me at:
    joel(dot)obryan(at)gmail(dot)com. I will reply with the pdf attached.

  20. First they came for coal, and I did not speak out—Because I did not use coal.
    Then they came for natural gas, and I did not speak out—Because I did not use natural gas.
    Then they came for solar and windpower —and there was no one left to speak for me.
    [Attacking solar and windpower would be easy for environmentalists – see the toxic chemicals released during extraction of rare Earth metals]

    Rare-earth mining in China comes at a heavy cost for local villages
    Daily Mail
    Pollution on a disastrous scale
    “It is what’s left behind after making the magnets for Britain’s latest wind turbines….”
    Yale Environment360
    A Scarcity of Rare Metals Is Hindering Green Technologies

    • And, don’t forget all the airborne critters sacrificed on the altar of Green advocacy. The altar covered in blood red gore. Forget the watermelon analogy – the red is right out in the open for all to see who will open their eyes.

    • Obviously, new fangled gizmos that require “rare earths”, which aren’t at all rare, are clearly not green technologies, since they create so much pollution in extracting those minerals.

  21. But then again, there is the Bentek report: The Wind Power Paradox. This study didn’t use a model but tediously analysed data from practically all of the USA’s thermal and wind plants between 2003 and 3009 and tried to determine the emissions savings introduced by wind power, and the introduction of gas firing. It included boring distractions such as plany cycling to accommodate the intermittancy of wind. Just one of the many conclusions from mthis study is perhaps apt here:
    “The same CO2 benefits that wind generation currently achieves also can be met by re-firing coal facilities with natural gas. Thedifference in the CO2 emissions rate between coal- and gas-fired facilities is the same as the actual emissions savings from currently installed wind power across the nation, or about 0.6 tons/MWh CO2.
    The economics and reliability of natural gasfired generation suggest that achieving CO2 emissions reductions through re-firing coal plants with natural gas is more favorable than using wind generation.
    Switching to gas avoids many of the costs associated with wind, including transmission, billions of dollars in tax credits, maintenance costs due to cycling and other variables mentioned above..”

  22. As others have complained in the past -studies like this are paid for by our taxes but we can’t read them without paying the publisher.
    They apparently rely on 5 models of “energy-economy-climate systems” to reach their conclusion.
    First reaction is that as all climate models have shown themselves time and time again to wildly inaccurate and so extending these to include “energy and economy” is a pointless and meaning less exercise unless the intention is to produce Propaganda. I suspect that it the prime reason, although the funds received to produce these will also be a significant factor.
    Second reaction is that without being able to read the pay walled article I can’t identify or see the underlying “energy-economy-climate system” models. Without that there is no way of knowing if any of the economic input into the (failed) climate models has any validity at all.
    I would like to know what that amounted too and the parameters. Did they for example review the economic and health benefits of cheap energy for those in the Third World? Did they review the economic and climate benefits of the massive conservation of the natural world that is only made possible in developed economies? In short did the economic input have any more understanding of economics than the weak , inconsistent and failed climate models do of the world’s climate.
    It is clear to me that this is aimed at being a criticism of fracking and is attempting to take it away from the ‘extreme’ end of green activism that has had its wild claims of dangers of fracking comprehensively debunked.
    In the UK ex-government Environment Secretary Owen Patterson has suggested using small scale conventional nuclear reactors which can be run locally to serve local communities or daisy-chained together to serve cities.
    Having seen these in action where I live in Berkshire in the early 1990s (Silwood Park and also at Aldermaston) where they have been used for research this a very practical and pragmatic approach. I looked at these when I put together a project for the remote-monitoring and training of personnel in Eastern European nuclear reactors post-Chernobyl and post the break up of the USSR. It did, by the way, become a fully approved and funded project of the European space agency – but was then canned following representations from the IAEA that the knowledge leaks on reactor safety from the remote monitoring would kill the nuclear industry.
    These very small nuclear reactors are suitable for ‘mass production’ at low cost per GW compared to conventional large scale reactors. Another aspect of potential energy mixes which needs urgent development along with other possibilities such as Thorium.
    Predictably Green Activists and scientivists will, I have no doubt, oppose these ….. but no surprise there …… Climate Change / Global Warming has never been about climate, it has always been about Marxism under a different guise and supported by those who were / are in a position to profit wildly from it but able to remain insulated from the political effects.

    • First of all, yes to Thorium. All of this “CO2 = end of the world” goes away with LFTRs. Thank Tricky Dicky that we don’t have it already, and under American control.
      As to the dangers of fracking, I live in Mexico, and they are already spreading ill-informed b.s. down here, even before fracking has gone beyond the test site stage. They are claiming that 10 test wells are causing scores of earthquakes up in the state Nuevo León in 2014, even though the very same gas fleld in TX, right across the border – and with hundreds of production wells – has not caused ONE quake in TX.
      But all they have to do with the (apparently willingly) uninformed public is make claims and immediately those claims are treated as facts. Same old same old, in other words.
      When LFTRs come online, I wonder what they will focus on for alarmism then?

  23. But you could also take this research to mean that by using fracking we can provide much more benefit to the population without significantly increasing the adverse impact of greenhouse gases (if there are any adverse impacts that is)

  24. How is this a scientific study? This is a white paper, at best. The degradation of Nature as a science journal continues…

  25. So the basic sin here is to stimulate the economy “too much”, did they specify what, in their view, the right level of stimulation is? Or do they prefer the economy not to grow at all?
    This looks like a rather stupid rear-guard action in the old struggle against fracking, a battle long lost. What is their alternative? Will they run more Hansenian death trains and call back the freighters that carry US coal to Europe?
    One thing is reasonable clear; if they want and achieve economic stagnation in order to save the world, their jobs will be a luxury society no longer can afford.

    • The perfect level of stimulation is 0%. Ask them.
      Actually, they would prefer -100% stimulation. ANY economic activity is bad. Ask them.
      To them, all technology is evil, all industry is double evil, and all efforts to get products and goods to the buying public are demonized. They think they wnat to take us back to 1790 levels of technology, before the Industrial revolution, when every one worked on farms and sang Kumbaya every evening around the farmer’s campfire.
      They don’t care that that world could barely support 1 billion people, nor that China tried to move hundreds of millions of people onto farms in the 1960s and that that cost millions of lives. Their aim would do the same thing, only at a more extreme level. 7 billion people cannot live on farms and prance around meadows and sing with the singing animals and birds, ala “Bambi”.

  26. Reblogged this on CraigM350 and commented:
    “Our latest preprogrammed simulations, with a predetermined outcome that co2 is pollution and controls all, has told us once again poor people must still die but it’s perfectly fine if the priesthood and their government overlords continue to reap all the benefits
    The Climate Science Eugenists.

  27. As has been pointed out earlier, we are now seeing the true colours of environmentalism – it is to halt and reverse the development of humanity.
    So the question is: ‘What is the correct amount of energy for an average human to use in a day? Let’s work in HorsePower/Hour, because that produces an easy comparison with history.
    5? (a typical ploughed field with 1 horse)
    500? (a decent car journey)
    5000? ( a flight in an airliner)
    5m? (rather arbitrary figure for a space rocket)
    5bn? (completely arbitrary figure for a fusion-powered teleporter, yet to be invented)
    5tn? (?)
    In other words, where is it correct for humanity to stop?

  28. So inflicting poverty on the population is the best way to fight Climate Change.?
    So the Editors of Nature Magazine will they publish their Tax Returns online and lets all see how much salary they are happy to pay themselves.

    • The Schengen treaty and the Maastricht treaty are ignored all across the EU, and constantly broken by dozens of EU member states.
      Nobody would bat an eyelid if the same happened to the Copenhagen accord.
      Looking at how the EU upholds its own rules, I tend to think the EU has already ceased to exist.

  29. 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.

    This should be taken one step further, stating the observed obvious. As people’s standards of living improved during the late 20th and early 21st centuries global fertility rates have dropped, and continue to drop. Some say the world’s population will stabilize before 2075 and drop thereafter.

    • Excellent point. Thus cheaper energy eventually lowers the population as well as enriching it, which prevents wars as well.

  30. As usual the models are wrong again. Look at the data. CO2 emissions in the US dropped from 6 billion tons in 2005 to 5 billion tons in 2012 due to fracking. When reality is against you, use models to create fantasy.

  31. Ah, life is funny at times. The Germans stimulated their economy with money printing (see ) and scroll down to the photo of a housewife cooking with cash, so to speak. One would think the climate “cry wolfers” would demand the world stop printing money since using the “biomass” directly would be more enviro friendly.
    Obtw, October 19 is the date in 1781 where the Brits surrendered at Yorktown ending the Revolutionary War. You can play this:

    the lyrics are somehow appropriate but we’re the Brits this time around.

    • cedarhill
      October 19, 2014 at 3:48 am
      “Ah, life is funny at times. The Germans stimulated their economy with money printing”
      The Papiermark was used to pay for imports, as Germany was running low on Gold due to the Versailles treaty shackles. The Reichsbank collapsed the currency on purpose.
      The collapse of a paper currency used to pay for imports does only happen once the trust of the exporters vanishes and they do not accept the currency anymore.
      That’s why the USD is still strong.

  32. Electricity from coal is quite cheap at present and, other than EPA regulations, there are no forces present or predicted in the future other than normal inflation that would make it notably more expensive. How is it that cheap coal can’t cause the business increases predicted for cheap gas? How can the use of gas alone be the issue? It is the regulation of coal that is the issue.

    • There’s a fictitious “War on Women” and a very real “War on Coal”. The first is publicized while the second is not, for obvious reasons.

  33. Its deeply disappointing to see Nature publishing this political drivel masquerading as science. Shame on them.

    • Nature is owned by the German Holtzbrinck group. I don’t know about their policies, but they are in Stuttgart, in Baden-Wuerttemberg, which is currently ruled by the Greens.

  34. My electricity bill in France is 87% nuclear.They export electricity to their neighbours at a premium. The socialist idiot in charge wants to switch to wind and other renewables at immense cost to a failing economy. We are truly led by imbeciles.

  35. Not believing in the CO2 myth and so not concerned about emissions, to me it is a shame that gas is being used to generate electricity when coal is available. Gas is best suited for domestic use and industrial heating processes while coal can be burnt in a reduced number of locations where any pollution can be controlled.

    • Excellent point. Coal can be and is often burned cleanly and safely.
      The climate obsessed have fibbed about coal so much that too few people realize this is the case.

    • Natural gas is also an important chemical feedstock from everything from methanol to industrial diamonds. Exxon and Gigamethanol together have developed a process to turn natural gas into gasoline. In addition there are two GTL plants in the planning stages to be built in Louisiana that will turn natural gas into diesel, jet fuel, and lubricants.

  36. One outcome of the fact that the climate obsessed dominate the public square so much is that they talk to themselves a lot.
    And in doing so reveal themselves for who they are.

  37. “Our results show that although market penetration of globally abundant gas may substantially change the future energy system, it is not necessarily an effective substitute for climate change mitigation policy.”
    Whoever said it was?
    Are they proposing that a world wide depression is the best ‘climate change mitigation policy’?

    • I forgot to add that the Shell website says:

      “The Prelude FLNG development in Australia will be Shell’s first deployment of its FLNG technology.”

      Key word:


      • I am currently working on the second …. Abadi FLNG offshore Indonesia. Based on the Prelude design but adapted for the leaner gas composition. It will be the largest manmade structure to move acrosss the face of the earth.

    • And here in Australia we’ve just been informed that gas prices for domestic use will increase by several hundred $’s in the next few years all the while we have these massive resourses just off our shores.

    • That’s incredible. See the number of stairs hanging off the side in front and two tower cranes on the other.

  38. Jeez, it will increase GDP. We wouldn’t want that, would we? Imagine what the proletariat would do with all that wealth! We can’t let them get rich; only the illuminati should be allowed to possess capital. Everyone else must be dependent on the largess of the noble classes for their very existence. Otherwise, they can’t be controlled, and who knows what they might do! They might think things that their superiors don’t like!

  39. At least the truth is out … Reduced CÒ2 or a growing economy … But there is a simpler way to achieve their goals ….. Just increase interest rates……

  40. With sufficient funding I’d like to do a new study for publication in Nature which will show how lack of stimulation of the economy will actually increase, not decrease, greenhouse gases. Using state of the art press releases and news coverage (um, I’m stretching the term ‘state of the art’ in reference to news coverage but please bear with me) I have developed a model that demonstrates the correlation between the increase in the number of greenhouse gas producing incumbent fund raising trips prior to an election, and the poor economic performance produced by said incumbent and his party. My model will show how these fundraising trips [which comprise of at least two jumbo jets (essentially to transport one person), backup fighter jets, cargo jets (to transport additional vehicular accommodations), additional jet flights for an advance guard, a 20-40 vehicle motorcade (which consists of armored luxury vehicles well in excess of the weight of the largest SUV on the planet) to transport essentially one person from the airport to the multi-billionaire’s mansion (wherein the fundraising activity will be commenced)], along with the disruption and increase in congestion for all the unfortunate commuters who happen to be in the path of this juggernaut, will actually increase greenhouse gas emissions far beyond any decrease accompanied by poor economic performance. My model will not show the increase in greenhouse gases resultant from the other billionaires travel to the meeting of the aforementioned incumbent at the aforementioned billionaire’s mansion for $30,000 a plate dinners since the number for the incumbent alone is already almost too large to compute.

  41. All climatologists are created equal, however some climatologists (clebrity warmists) are created more equal than others. (adapted from Orwells Animal Farm)

  42. Are these idiots seriously trying to tell us that burning wood or dung to provide light and cooking heat is more efficient than providing modern energy such as natural gas or electricity. Are they really that blinkered.
    In all the blogs/posts/media reports nobody ever states the total carbon footprint of manufacturing, installing and maintaining a wind farm and how many years it will take to ‘repay’ all that carbon. I wouldnt be surprised to hear the word ‘never’ in that conversation, especially if clearing up environmental disasters in China (see the mails article reference above) are also properly taken into account

  43. As usual, the French lead the way in dumb, this time from fear of nuclear, despite having produced almost all their electricity using that technology for many decades, without any problems. and with new designs that are 1000s of times safer than the completely safe nuclear plants they have been running all these years.
    People can’t really be this stupid, now can they? Oh, yeah, I forgot …. we’re talking Frenchies – the guys who shipped all their Jews to the gas ovens and whose Arab masters are now forcing Jews to emigrate to Israel, a war zone, rather than stay in France. A pleasure to see their energy costs go up and guarantee what’s already happening – the state going bankrupt, along with like-minded union-controlled Italy and Greece. These countries are old, and some say senile.

  44. Heaven forbid that the rest of us enjoy the elevated standard of living and freedom to travel that lower energy costs provide. That is reserved for our ruling elite and the wealthy like DiCaprio. These people are bringing back the feudal system, instead of land it’s energy. They can’t help themselves, it’s their nature.

  45. What’s really ironic is the world has been on the path to real environmentalists’ nirvana. With technology advances, as in first world countries, humans have been moving into larger population areas freeing up land area that can now be put aside as nature reserves. Our population numbers have also stabilized. We can also produce more and more food on smaller amounts of land thus freeing up even more land. By moving the rest of the world into the same levels of technology they would also see the same changes.
    But, what has the environmental movement done? They’ve pushed for ethanol which now requires much more land to produce the oil. They’ve pushed wind technology that also requires more land while killing millions of bats and birds. They’ve pushed for slower development in 3rd world countries which increases global population and the human footprint. They’ve demonized fossil fuels which increases the CO2 levels that also reduces the need for land to grow crops. The list goes on and on.
    It seems people who call themselves environmentalists are doing more to harm the environment than any other group in the world.

  46. Nature has alerted us to but one of the horrible effects of people having more money. And it gets worse : higher life expectancy, better health,better food, more leisure time. etc.
    Is there no end to the horrors?

  47. This was essentially the same argument made to claim that oil from the Alberta oil sands was “dirtier” than a straightforward technical analysis would suggest — that this oil would reduce oil prices, thus increasing the use of oil and increasing CO2 emissions.

    • “Poverty porn”
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Poverty porn, also known as development porn or famine porn, has been defined as ‘any type of media, be it written, photographed or filmed, which exploits the poor’s condition in order to generate the necessary sympathy for selling newspapers or increasing charitable donations or support for a given cause.'[1]
      It is a term also used to explain when media is created not in order to generate sympathy, but to cause anger or outrage
      And add to that also fashionably promote sustainable living and fighting climate change.
      Im sure the Eco warriors would love to work 16 hours per day everyday in bare feet with no protective clothing in the baking sun without adequate water and food provision in the Dharavi slum outside the city of Mumbai municipal rubbish tip sorting through detritus to recycle plastic bags for less than 3 dollars per day.Nothing honorable about living in Squalor even if it is to save planet.

  48. The US is on the verge of independence from offshore oil. This is news that I never thought I would hear. The doomers were out strong all through the 70’s when I was growing up. Oil wars were imminent. Economic stimulus is good news. Nature and their ‘useful Idiots” can’t change that. The future is bright but for the pall of the enviro-communists. They must be stopped!

  49. “…effective substitute for climate change mitigation policy.”
    An effective substitute is available. People call it “adaptation.”

  50. It is interesting that so many of the commenters here have completely bought into the spin presented here that “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.”
    I see nothing in the abstract of the paper that supports this spin whatsoever. Where are the comparisons of economic growth rates? Are they somewhere in the pay-walled paper that Eric Worrall has seen? Interesting that we have 132 comments on a website whose viewers characterize themselves as “skeptics” and nobody has questioned this spin (unless I missed one)!

    • Then, you missed my comments above.
      Authors of this Nature Letter are completely biased to produce garbage out from their models.
      I read through the Nature Letter in its entirety. It’s crap propaganda.
      Joel in Tucson

    • Maybe only 131 Joel.
      Please don’t include me, in any list of skeptics. I’m NOT a skeptic.
      I’m quite sure they are wrong; as sure as I am that the sun will rise in the East tomorrow.

  51. No one ever votes for anything which reduces his/her prosperity. Greens seem to ignore this with their bizarre efforts to return us to pre-industrial times. I very much doubt any of them would ask their parents to do the same, but they want everyone they don’t know to do this, which no human in the history of the world excepting H. David Thoreau has ever done…

  52. joelshore says:
    It is interesting that so many of the commenters here have completely bought into the spin presented here that “Natural Gas will not reduce CO2 significantly…&etc.
    But who cares if CO2 is reduced or not? All available evidence supports the conjecture that ‘CO2 is a net benefit’. Scientific evidence supports it so thoroughly that it is now a testable hypothesis, and one which has never been falsified.
    The whole debate is over CO2. But now it turns out that the rise in CO2 has not caused any global warming; because global warming stopped many years ago.
    It turns out that the rise in CO2 is completely harmless, and it is beneficial for the biosphere. The planet is measurably greening as a direct result of more CO2.
    So now what? Do we spend piles of tax money to ‘fix’ something which, it turns out, is completely harmless? And which also benefits us — and that is free of charge? Or do we acknowledge that the facts have changed, and therefore we must adapt to those facts?
    Rational people will do the latter, while those working the system — the rent-seekers — promote the former approach. They want that money to spend. Scientific evidence does not matter to them in the least.
    I wonder which side Joel supports? The rational folks? Or the scoundrels?

    • When the “rational folks” mean the CATO Institute, Heartland, Heritage, etc. and the “scoundrels” mean the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences [and analogous bodies in all the G8+5 nations], the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the councils of most major scientific societies like AGU, AMS, …, then I prefer the “scoundrels”. [For one thing, the “scoundrels” understand the difference between a long-term trend and short-term fluctuations.]

    • After ignoring the fact that CO2 is harmless and beneficial to the biosphere, the old Appeal to Authority logical fallacy is trotted out.
      No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority.
      ― Robert A. Heinlein

      The only Authority worth listening to is Planet Earth, and she says global warming has stopped.
      That’s good enough for me.

      • The “I am the only arbiter of what the data is saying” fallacy is trotted out, whereby any science that doesn’t confirm with one’s ideological preference is dismissed by appealing to oneself as the sole authority and dismissing any actual authorities on the subject that disagree with you.

  53. They hate NG because it competes with “green” energy, which is only competing in the first place because it is being given an unfair advantage by governments out of an idiotic ideology. Oh yes, and the fact it is relatively cheap means it is good for economies, which raises living standards and lifespans and decreases infant mortality, all of which raises the dreaded CO2. Oh, the horror.

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