Our President is among
the supporters of fossil fuels. Just look up what he means by "All of the
Above". He also regards natural gas as a "bridge fuel". And apparently NOBODY
understands the fact that natural gas is a FOSSIL fuel, and what this
unarguable fact means.
Here's what I recently
e-mailed to a broker who cold-called, trying to get me interested in investing
in natural gas (among his statements was the assertion that natgas is a
Here's the thing I promised you, on the
environmental aspects of the current boom in natural gas:
Natural gas is a made up of almost 100%
methane. The molecular formula of methane is CH4; that is, a molecule of
methane is made up of a single carbon atom and 4 hydrogen atoms. The atomic
mass of carbon is 12 and for hydrogen it's 1, so the total molecular mass is
16. Since 12 of those mass units belong to carbon, carbon is 75% of the mass
of a methane molecule.
This also applies to any mass of methane; a ton
of methane contains 1500 pounds of carbon (75% of 2000 Lb.) When that
ton of methane burns with that pretty blue flame (which looks so clean), it
generates the same mass of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a ton of bituminous
coal with 75% carbon. 75%-carbon bituminous coal is close to the upper limit
of carbon content for bituminous coal; only 7 points higher qualifies it as
anthracite coal, which is considered to be practically pure
Natural gas is also a fossil fuel. That means
that it (like coal and oil) comes from deep inside the crust of the earth,
where it was buried about 100 million years ago by geophysical processes. And
THAT means that ALL fossil fuels, without exception, come to us from the
distant past. There is some uncertainty about just how distant the "distant
past' is, but there is no doubt whatever that fossil fuels got buried tens of
millions of years ago.
The upshot of all this is that EVERY oil well,
EVERY gas well, and EVERY coal mine is a working time machine, transferring
carbon into today's world from the world as it existed some 100 million years
ago. That ancient carbon, when burned, produces CO2, which for all practical
purposes, comes to us from another planet (THIS planet, as it existed tens of
millions of years ago).
Ad that CO2 from the distant past is a
greenhouse gas. That means it traps the heat of the sun in the
atmosphere; most climate scientists have concluded that the results of that
"greenhouse effect" are global warming and global climate change, and
that these effects are being felt NOW. Some (mostly non-scientists) disagree.
But the scientists have a habit (and a long record) of being right; they were
right they told us that the Earth is not the center of the universe, that
infectious diseases are caused by micro-organisms, not God's wrath, that
nothing travels faster than light, and lots of other stuff as well.
By the way, if your kid ever needs a science
fair project, (s)he can perform the experiment that demonstrates this
property of CO2 (heat trapping); the experiment is
quite simple to perform.
CO2 is also TOXIC, in the same sense that water
is toxic to a man on a sinking ship. If you doubt this, just fill up a
dry-cleaning bag with CO2 (from a fire extinguisher, maybe), and try to
breathe from the bag.
Humanity is bringing that toxic, heat-trapping
stuff, CO2, from the distant past, and putting it into the atmosphere in
essentially unlimited amounts; and we show every sign that we intend to keep
doing so into the indefinite future. Environmental disaster from this activity
is absolutely inevitable; we might quibble about the nature and timing of the
disaster that awaits us, but it's coming, we can be sure of THAT.