Tag Archives: Methane

Oops, We’re Doomed!

By Michael Collins

We don’t have a substantial cushion between today’s climate and dangerous warming. James E. Hanson

The head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James E. Hansen, announced the results of break through global warming research last week. The earth’s temperature is rising at a much quicker pace than previously anticipated according to research by the nation’s preeminent climate scientist. We have little time to reverse the trend. (Image)

An example of the dangerous pace of change is emerging on Russia’s Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf. Long-frozen permafrost is beginning to melt due to global warming. This threat was identified years ago due to the potential for highly toxic releases of heat-trapping methane gas. Recent changes are both a surprise and a cause for alarm. There is more methane gas released from the Russian cauldron “than the CH4 emissions estimate for the entire world ocean.” Methane is a “far more potent GHG [greenhouse gas] than CO2″ with a greater potential to cause “abrupt climate change.”
Continue reading

BP, geoengineering and GM

Dr. Steve E. Koonin, Under Secretary for Science at the US Department of Energy

By Jim Thomas
The Ecologist

BUZZ THIS

BP won’t stop at dangerous deep water drilling: the company is bent on still more dangerous projects, including genetic modification and hacking the planet’s atmosphere…

Sometimes you have to notice the silences. Where has Dr. Steve Koonin, Under Secretary for Science at the US Department of Energy, been since the Gulf disaster happened?

Koonin was intimately acquainted with the very technologies that have failed so spectacularly on the Deepwater Horizon rig in his former job as BP’s chief scientist. While his current employer, Barack Obama is trying to figure out ‘whose ass to kick’ over the spill, he might find it instructive to zip back to a presentation by Koonin at MIT in 2005, in which we see Koonin-as-oilman boasting of his company’s technological prowess in taking oil exploration and production into the ultra deep waters of the gulf.

Continue reading

Film Challenges Safety Of U.S. Shale Gas Drilling

Edith Honan   Reuters June 18. 2010

A new documentary purporting to expose the hazards of onshore natural gas drilling illustrates its point with startling images of people setting fire to water flowing from faucets in their homes.

“GasLand,” which premiers on cable’s HBO on June 21, fuels the debate over shale gas and the extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, which involves blasting millions of gallons of water, sand and diluted chemicals into shale rock, breaking it apart to free the gas.

It comes at a time of heightened environmental awareness and scrutiny of the energy industry due to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Advocates promote shale gas as an abundant and relatively clean source of energy within the United States but critics including “GasLand” director Josh Fox assert there are environmental and health risks.

Fox, a Pennsylvania playwright, calls the industry’s contention that such drilling is harmless too good to be true. He started asking questions about when his family was offered $100,000 plus royalties to allow hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” on their property.

“I don’t think it’s a gold mine. I think it’s a trap,” Fox said. He turned down the offer but many neighbors took the money.

Continue reading