Sunday Times, 19 February 2012:
Your eulogy about the benefits of shale gas (“Gas find is enough to last 70 years”, News, last week) neglects to make clear that the problem with methane is not just that It can get into the water supply, but is a powerful greenhouse gas with about 7 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide when measured over a 20-year timeframe.
A study by Professor Tom Wigley, with whom I co-edited a book in 1989 on zone depletion, showed that unless the release of methane from shale gas can be kept below 2%, the switch to this resource would have a negative effect on climate change. The answer to Britain’s energy needs is a combination of conservation and renewables – not yet another fossil fuel.
Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Help Rescue the Planet,
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire