@69: "20 years is the time scale of interest when climate change will cross thresholds of no return for key climate impacts like the melting of unstable icesheets"
20 years is not the only timescale of interest. If we're hitting a tipping point where we're talking about deglaciating Greenland and Antarctica, methane emissions are going to be the LEAST of our worries. I'm concerned about reducing the effects of sustained warming and ocean acidification in the long term; focusing ONLY on the short term will screw us down the road. (I notice you're also not interested in addressing the massive amounts of heavy metals and nitrogen and sulfur oxides that coal power plants spew out. Are you some kind of big fan of acid rain?)
"Fugitive emissions are NOT reported by the EPA (doh!) but several studies have shown that fugitive methane emissions were real and significant, and concentration of methane in the atmosphere have abruptly started to rise again since the onset of fracking"
ONE, your link doesn't make any claims about the trend in methane emissions. TWO, the EPA ACTUALLY DOES TRACK FUGITIVE METHANE, YOU LYING SCRUB. (source
, see Fig. 3-2 for the summary.) What, you couldn't click through to the source material you were so eager to dismiss? Including fugitive methane, both petroleum-related and total methane emissions are falling slightly DESPITE the rise of hydrofracturing.
You want to talk about BASIC FACTUAL ACCURACY? You just built your whole argument on an entirely false claim, one which you'd have known was false if you just took a quick look at the sources I linked.
As for Dr. Howarth, he makes a decent point that methane emissions from natural gas exploitation cause problems. (I'll forgive his repeated reference to a previous paper of his and his use of emissions estimates from that paper that are significantly higher than other estimates, under the assumption that he might very well be right.) However, said paper
raises the promising possibility of advanced retention techniques being used to reduce methane losses at well sites, with a reduction estimated at 40% with the adoption of best practices. A 40% reduction of methane losses would make natural gas far more efficient than coal at minimizing warming, but this is tantalizing possibility is entirely ignored in the 2014 paper. When planning future energy policy, shouldn't we base our decisions on what can be done, not what is currently being done?
But to reiterate: you made entirely unsupported claims, completely dismissed the evidence I cited against them, and attempted to explain away the evidence by telling a baldfaced and imbecilic lie. And then YOU had the nerve to lecture ME on basic factual accuracy? Chutzpah!
And I'm talking big game on this issue not because I'm a graduate student, but because I am a geoscientist who actually studies this sort of shit instead of reading somebody's tinfoil blog all day. You don't even know what you're talking about, but you're determined to advance your own political opinions.