The Associated Press (AP) recently ran the title story under the heading of CLIMATE CHANGE. Apparently, AP subscribes to the political belief in climate change because there is precious little scientific evidence. Nevertheless, the story goes on commit serious flaws and potentially misleading conclusions.
For instance, the story states that carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere in the U.S. is at the lowest level in 20 years. It cites unnamed “government officials” who “say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has lead many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.” AP offers not a shred of proof of how coal is “dirtier-burning.”
There are many other things wrong, some completely wrong withthis story. One is that no attempt is made to equate the CO2 produced per net unit of energy derived. AP would better serve the reader by learning more about physics rather than promoting political beliefs. Coal is a very rich fuel in terms of Btu/$, six times greater than natural gas. I would gladly send the AP writer(s) a copy of my book to help them out if they contact me with a request.
If meddlesome government got out of the way and let market forces such as finance, engineering and technology work, we would be surprised by logical consequences.
To its credit, AP points out in another referenced to anonymous sources, that “Many of the world’s leading climate scientists didn’t see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide…” In this instance, AP would better serve its readers if it learned a little about economics. AP also failed to assign blame to government for its incompetent and regulation because this fact does not match its politics.
AP does cite an academician, Michael Mann of Penn State University who claims that “the shift away from coal is reason for cautious optimism about potential ways to deal with climate change.” Another academic source, Roger Pielke, Jr. a so called climate expert from the University of Colorado states an economic fact. “…if you make cleaner energy sources cheaper, it will displace dirtier sources”. No, duh!
Natural gas has fallen more than 50% in price over the past three to four years as exploration makes it more available. Yet the EPA is on the blockading fracking policies that bring us cheap domestic fuel.
Incredibly, the story closes with another citation of Pielke who is quoted as, “Natural gas is not the long term solution to the CO2 problem.” Does the question, “Huh” come to mind?