Guest contribution by Eric Worrall
The fear of the bad gas is reaching new heights in The Guardian’s offices and at the climate conferences leading up to COP26.
Cut down on methane or face a climate catastrophe, scientists warn
Exclusive: According to the IPCC, gas produced by agriculture, shale gas and oil exploration is playing an increasingly important role in overheating the planet
Fiona Harvey environmental correspondent
Fri Aug 6, 2021 4 p.m. AEST
Reducing carbon dioxide alone is not enough to solve the climate crisis – the world must respond quickly to another powerful greenhouse gas, methane, to stop the rise in global temperatures, experts warn.
Leading climate scientists will issue their strongest warning to date in a landmark report on Monday – that we are on the verge of a climate catastrophe. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will publish its sixth assessment report, a comprehensive overview of the global knowledge of the climate crisis and of how human actions are changing 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 senior consultant for the IPCC, said methane reductions are likely the only way to stave off a temperature rise of 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels, beyond which extreme weather conditions will increase and “tipping points “Can be achieved. “Reducing methane is the greatest opportunity to slow global warming by 2040,” he said. “We have to face this emergency.”
Zaelke said policymakers will need to consider IPCC methane findings ahead of UN climate talks Cop26 in Glasgow in November. “We have to recognize at Cop26 that this problem is recognized, that we have to do something about it.”
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/06/reduce-methan-or-face-climate-catastrophe-scientists-warn
Why do climate activists have such a problem with methane? The answer could be that methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 if, in my opinion, one accepts dubious estimates of the effects of methane on global warming.
But there is another problem with methane.
Methane is the main reason the US is a world leader in climate. Despite all of Europe’s vocal claims of a commitment to climate action, Europe’s efforts to switch to renewable energies have been a pathetic failure. The US, on the other hand, has fared much better thanks to fracking and a widespread, largely market-driven switch from coal to gas.
So how do the Greens keep their government-subsidized fantasy about renewable energy alive in the face of such embarrassment?
One possible solution is to find a way to undermine the achievements of US climate protection by promoting fear of methane leaks.