Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Fear of the evil gas is reaching new peaks in the offices of The Guardian, and in climate conferences leading up to COP26.
Reduce methane or face climate catastrophe, scientists warn
Exclusive: IPCC says gas, produced by farming, shale gas and oil extraction, playing ever-greater role in overheating planet
Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent
Fri 6 Aug 2021 16.00 AEST
Cutting carbon dioxide is not enough to solve the climate crisis – the world must act swiftly on another powerful greenhouse gas, methane, to halt the rise in global temperatures, experts have warned.
Leading climate scientists will give their starkest warning yet – that we are rushing to the brink of climate catastrophe – in a landmark report on Monday. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will publish its sixth assessment report, a comprehensive review of the world’s knowledge of the climate crisis and how human actions are altering the planet. It will show in detail how close the world is to irreversible change.
Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development and a lead reviewer for the IPCC, said methane reductions were probably the only way of staving off temperature rises of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, beyond which extreme weather will increase and “tipping points” could be reached. “Cutting methane is the biggest opportunity to slow warming between now and 2040,” he said. “We need to face this emergency.”
Zaelke said policymakers must heed the IPCC findings on methane before the UN climate talks, Cop26, in Glasgow in November. “We need to see at Cop26 a recognition of this problem, that we need to do something on this.”
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/06/reduce-methane-or-face-climate-catastrophe-scientists-warn
Why do climate activists have such a problem with Methane? The answer might be that methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, if you accept in my opinion dubious estimates of methane’s impact on global warming.
But there is another problem with methane.
Methane is the main reason the USA is a global climate leader. For all Europe’s noisy pretensions of climate commitment, European efforts to switch to renewables have been a pathetic failure. The USA by contrast has done much better, thanks to fracking, and a widespread largely market driven switch from coal to gas.
So how do greens keep their government subsidised renewable energy fantasy alive, in the face of such an embarrassment?
One possible solution is finding a way to belittle US climate achievements, by promoting the methane leak scare.