Coal is dangerous, but shale gas is no answer

Independent, 11 August 2015:

Obama may have finally woken up to the dangers of using coal as an energy source, but he seems to think that shale gas is the solution (Obama ignites war on coal to hit climate change targets August 3).

In his State of the Union message in 2012 Obamasaid os fracking: “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly one hundred years, and my Administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy source” 

The problem of course, is that shale gas is still a fossil fuel and it is now 25 years since it was first proposed as a “bridge technology”, a metaphor implying that the bridge will lead us to the promised land of  renewable energy. In reality annual emissions of carbon dioxide have risen by 60 per cent over this period, and the bridge is taking the world in the wrong direction.  Renewable energy (excluding hydro) accounts for just 2 per cent of global primary energy production, whilst in the UK,  fracking is being subsidised at the expense of renewables. 

There is little hope for civilisation until our political leaders wake up to the dangers of all fossil fuels, and not just coal.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire

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