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Re: A Look at Shale Gas and Climate Destabilization

Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:10 am

Agreed. And I would add that, once a person has developed an opinion on an issue, they tend to more easily accept information from people who or groups that share that opinion.
AndyH wrote:Where do we get our information?

We tend to more easily accept information from people or groups we trust. The first answer we get tends to be our 'truth' - even if it's incorrect. This is used by salespeople - the good ones start to create trust from the start, and then get you to say 'yes' - knowing that once you've said yes six times they can almost lead you where they want you to.


Agreed again. (And, I sense that you and I are likely to trade this accusation!)
AndyH wrote:We tend to automatically give 'expert' status to people or groups too easily.
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Re: A Look at Shale Gas and Climate Destabilization

Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:25 am

General observation - the more expensive something is, the more careful people and organizations are going to be with their use, or misuse, of it.

In the case of natural gas, indeed a lot of gas is flared at oil fields where it is a byproduct of the oil production. It's a lot more difficult and expensive to transport the gas than the oil, and simply not worth it. At oil refineries offgas from the refining process may also be flared if it cannot be economically captured, but refineries do capture and productively burn the byproducts of the refining process to generate the heat and electricity required to run the refinery, sometimes with exess to sell.

When natural gas is the product of interest, not a byproduct, the means of production will be limited by what the product can be sold for as compared to the cost of production.

Given the right price for natural gas, oil and gas producers of various methods will become a lot more concerned about how much gas they lose in their operations. As long as the cost of preventing or capturing losses is more than what a producer could get for the gas, there is no incentive other than government regulation to not just let it go.
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Re: A Look at Shale Gas and Climate Destabilization

Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:21 am

From today's New York Times (27 Sept 2011):

Gas Flaring in North Dakota
Every day across the western half of North Dakota 100 million cubic feet of natural gas is deliberately burned by oil companies rushing to extract oil from the Bakken shale field and take advantage of the high price of crude. The gas bubbles up alongside the oil, and with less economic incentive to capture it, the drillers treat the gas as waste and simply burn it.
(the underline is mine)
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Re: A Look at Shale Gas and Climate Destabilization

Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:52 am

...a worldwide, partial shift from coal to natural gas would slightly accelerate climate change through at least 2050, even if no methane leaked from natural gas operations, and through as late as 2140 if there were substantial leaks. After that, the greater reliance on natural gas would begin to slow down the increase in global average temperature, but only by a few tenths of a degree.

Image
Coal, natural gas, and climate: Shifting from coal to natural gas would have limited impacts on climate, new research indicates. If methane leaks from natural gas operations could be kept to 2.5% or less, the increase in global temperatures would be reduced by about 0.1 degree Celsius by 2100. Note this is a figure of temperature change relative to baseline warming of roughly 3°C (5.4°F) in 2100. Click to Enlarge.

“Relying more on natural gas would reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, but it would do little to help solve the climate problem,” says Wigley, who is also an adjunct professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia. “It would be many decades before it would slow down global warming at all, and even then it would just be making a difference around the edges.”

The study will appear next month in the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change Letters.

Article:
http://www2.ucar.edu/news/5292/switching-coal-natural-gas-would-do-little-global-climate-study-indicates
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Re: A Look at Shale Gas and Climate Destabilization

Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:13 pm

November 21st, 2011: Save the Delaware River Watershed




Dear friends-

We've come a long way in the fight against fracking. The flaming faucets in GASLAND has been seen by upwards of 40 million people in 20 countries. A recent study shows that 4 out of 5 Americans say that they are concerned about the effect of fracking on drinking water.

But our most crucial stand is less than two weeks away.

On November 21st the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) will vote to approve a plan that will allow for 20,000 or more fracked gas wells in the Delaware River Basin. We need you to come out and protest the vote in huge numbers.

Because this moment is so important, I made a new video, my first video addressing fracking since GASLAND. You can watch it HERE.

The crucial decision to frack or not to frack the Delaware is in the hands of President Obama and the Governors of Delaware and New York. We need you to take charge and push them to do the right thing.

I have travelled all over this world, in over 30 states in the USA, to Africa, to Europe, Asia and Australia and one thing is clear: Fracking is not only one of the most destructive forms of extreme energy development, creating water contamination, horrific and hazardous air pollution and a health crisis, it is a world wide scourge that pushes us farther away from the renewable energy future that we need.

Now the fight comes back to my home, the Delaware River Basin, where it started for me. But this fight isn't about me. It's about the drinking water for 16 million people that the Delaware River provides.

If enough of us get out there, we can save the Delaware River and we can win a huge battle in the fight against fracking nationwide and worldwide. We can inspire the nation and the world to rid ourselves of this dirty form of energy.

THE CRUCIAL VOTE:
The Delaware River Basin Commission is an interstate body with five voting members, the Governors of New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey and the Obama Administration as represented by the Army Corps of Engineers. Three out of five votes will either pass or reject the plan to frack the Delaware River.

It seems clear that the Governors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania will vote to allow fracking on a huge scale in the River Basin, which is why we need all three remaining votes in order to prevail.

Like the massive actions these past few months against Tar Sands development and the Keystone XL pipeline, this decision will be a "watershed" moment for President Obama and a must win for us fighting against extreme energy development.

Not only is the Delaware River the source of drinking water for 16 million people (or 5% of Americans), it is a designated Wild and Scenic river, a tourist destination for 5.4 million people a year and a national treasure. The proposed plan to frack the Delaware would forever industrialize and contaminate this precious and currently pristine watershed. We can work together now to protect our water.

We are asking you to do two things:

1) Make calls. 2) Come join us in an amazing protest effort on November 21st.

MAKE CALLS RIGHT NOW:
Call the Army Corps of Engineers to urge them to vote no fracking in the Delaware River Basin. Tell them you will hold President Obama accountable for the vote and make it clear that you know that it is his decision. 703 697 4672 Leave a message for Jo Ellen Darcy, Obama's rep on the DRBC

Call Governor Jack Markell of Delaware. Delaware has been sitting on the fence on fracking. We need them clearly and unequivocally voting no. Tell him to vote no fracking on the upcoming DRBC vote.
302-577-3210

Call Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York. Tell him to oppose fracking in the Delaware River Basin watershed, just as he has in the New York city and Syracuse watersheds. 518-474-8390

PROTEST on NOVEMBER 21st in Trenton, N.J.

When: November 21, 8 am
Where: Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive Trenton, N.J.
Coming from another location? Bus sign up HERE.
Sign up for email updates HERE.

Delaware Riverkeeper Network will host a training session in lawful, peaceful, first amendment activity on November 2oth in New York City and Trenton.
NYC, Sign up HERE.
Trenton, Sign up HERE.
Questions: savethedelawareriver@gmail.com and/or continue to check back.
AND just for a shot in the arm, here is a special statement from our friend, Bill McKibben:

"We're obviously deep in the trenches in Keystone XL pipeline fight, which has galvanized the whole country. But it's not just the pipe we're fighting, it's the carbon it carries. And that carbon--that extreme energy, the second round of fossil fuels now that the easy stuff is gone--doesn't just come from tarsands. It also comes from removing mountaintops for coal, and from drilling deep under the ocean--and, urgently, from fracking. We've simply got to somehow slow the rush to this new and dangerous technology, which promises to overwhelm the atmosphere with global warming gases. "

I've never had more resolve, I've never been more challenged and yet I've never felt more proud of us and our strength that I do right now. I know we can win. Please join us and act quickly.
For more info go to http://www.savethedelawareriver.com.

Thank you,
Josh Fox
Director, GASLAND
Milanville, PA
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Re: A Look at Shale Gas and Climate Destabilization

Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:51 pm

http://www.cnbc.com/id/45208498

CNBC has obtained audiotapes of the event, on which one presenter can be heard recommending that his colleagues download a copy of the Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency manual. (Click below to hear the audio.) That’s because, he said, the opposition facing the industry is an “insurgency.”

Another told attendees that his company has several former military psychological operations, or “psy ops” specialists on staff, applying their skills in Pennsylvania. (Click below to hear.)
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Re: A Look at Shale Gas and Climate Destabilization

Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:08 pm

Natural Gas and Transportation - a view from 1995

http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/1995/october/aoct95.html

Natural Gas and Transportation

Albert A. Bartlett and Robert A. Ristinen

A recent article entitled "The Emergence of Natural Gas as a Transportation Fuel" (1) suggested that there would be great advantages if we in the U.S. would use natural gas instead of petroleum as the fuel for our vehicles. In support of this thesis the article gave a very optimistic picture of U.S. reserves of natural gas relative to our needs for fuel for transportation. The implication is that the gas reserves of the U.S. are sufficiently large to allow us to continue the conventional use of natural gas and also to supply the needs of U.S. transportation for an unspecified but long time. When we do the calculations, using data from a standard source, we find a very different picture.

Calculations

We take our data from a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) publication (2). DOE gives four estimates of U.S. natural gas reserves, where the "low" estimate is the quantity for which there is a 95% probability that there is at least this amount, and the "high" estimate is the quantity with a 5& probability that there is at least this amount.

The estimates of the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) and the National Petroleum Council (NPC) are described in a footnote in these words:

There are a number of recent non-government-generated natural gas resource estimates that are large, in part because (a) they include natural gas from sources such as coal beds and light sands, beyond the conventionally producible reservoirs that were included in the 1987 Department of the Interior estimate, and (b) they reflect larger estimates of ultimate recovery appreciation. For example, the PGC published in "Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United States, December 31, 1992" is 1,001 trillion cubic feet. NPC's one-time, 1992 mean estimate, published in "The Potential for Natural Gas in the United States: Source and Supply," a was 1,065 trillion cubic feet.

It is important to note that the industry estimates are larger than the DOE estimates by about a factor of three, and the estimate in Physics and Society (1) is about 60% larger than the largest industry estimate.

In order to answer the question of the substitution of natural gas for petroleum, we need to make an estimate of the quantity of natural gas that has the same energy content as the petroleum consumed as motor fuel in the U.S. In (2) we find (pg. 161) that in 1993 the consumption of motor gasoline was 7.48 Mb/d (million barrels per day), of jet fuel 1.47 x 106 Mb/d, and of distillate 3.03 Mb/d. Some of the distillate is used for heating, so we made a guess that half is used for diesel trucks. This gives an estimate of the total transportation consumption of 10 Mb/d or 3800 Mb per year.

We now calculate the quantity of natural gas that has the same energy content as 3800 Mb of petroleum. In (2, p. 161) we find that one barrel of petroleum has the energy content of 5600 ft3 of natural gas (159 m3). The energy content of the motor fuel used in the U.S. in 1993 could be supplied by 60 x 1010 m3 of natural gas. The conventional use of natural gas in the U.S. in 1993 was 57 x 1010 m3. Thus, the annual energy consumption of liquid petroleum by vehicles in the U.S. is about the same as the present annual energy consumption of natural gas. So, if all U.S. vehicles shifted from liquid petroleum to natural gas, the shift would approximately double the rate of consumption of natural gas in the U.S.

Table 1 shows the results of simple calculations using each of the estimates of natural gas reserves. Column 4 gives the life in years of each of the estimates of U.S. reserves of natural gas at present rates of consumption, i.e. the number of years to consume the stated reserves of natural gas if the rate of consumption does not change from its 1993 value. Column 5 gives the life in years of each of the estimates, at present rates of consumption, if natural gas is supplying both the 1993 conventional needs plus the 1993 vehicle needs with no growth in demand in either category.

Table 1. Life Expectancies of U.S. Natural Gas

Five estimates of the reserves of natural gas in the U.S. and their life expectancies, at present rates of consumption. Column 3 shows the life expectancies in years for the present uses of natural gas. Column 4 shows the life expectancies in years if natural gas supplies the present needs plus the energy needs of U.S. motor vehicles.

Estimate Reserves, Reserves, Present Life* with
10^14 ft^3 10^12 m^3 Life*,y vehicles, y
Low(2) 3.068 8.688 14 7
High(2) 5.072 14.36 24 12
PGC(2) 10.01 28.35 47 24
NPC(2) 10.65 30.16 50 26
Ingersoll** 17.7 50.0 83 42
Notes:
* At present rates of consumption.
** Includes "unconventional recoverable resources" not included in the DOE/PGC/NPC reserves.
The effect of growth

The economic expectations are for growth in the resource consumption rates, and growth obviously shortens life expectancies to values smaller than those shown in Table 1 (3). For the decade 1983-1993, the average growth rate of consumption of Rmotor gasolineS was about 1.5 %/yr (2, p. 161), which indicates that, although great improvements in vehicle efficiency have been made, the annual increase in total vehicle miles more than offsets the savings from the increases in efficiency of vehicles.

Reflections

The calculated life expectancies shown in Table 1 should give pause. Would it be wise to make the enormous capital investment in shifting the fueling of even a fraction of the U.S. vehicle fleet over to natural gas when the effect would be to hasten the expiration of the resource upon which we currently depend for much of our home heating and industrial process heat? What would our children and our grandchildren use to heat their homes and operate their industries?

The estimates of natural gas reserves vary by about a factor of six from the lowest estimate cited by the DOE to the high estimate that is used in (1). When this range of uncertainty is present, and when the corresponding life expectancies are as short as those shown in Table 1, we must face the question of prudent behavior. Should we take steps to approximately double our rate of consumption of natural gas with no thought for the future, or should we reduce our rate of consumption so as to leave some of this wonderful fossil fuel for future generations?

Which path should we follow?

Some people argue that we can use resources as fast as we want because science and technology will always take care of our needs in the future. Others argue that we should reduce our rates of fossil fuel energy use, by what is popularly called "conservation," so that some of these resources will be available for our children and grandchildren. Given the enormous uncertainties in the amount of natural gas remaining, which path should we choose?

People are puzzled by the conflicting claims of scientists, some of whom say there are plenty of resources and that we need not worry, while others urge that we reduce rates of resource consumption. How does the average person choose between conflicting paths when there are "experts" advocating each path?

Fortunately there is a sound way to make the choice. Of the two conflicting paths, we suggest choosing the path that will leave society in the less precarious position in case we find later that we have chosen the wrong path. We can illustrate this by asking which of the following two positions is the less precarious: (a) We reduce rates of consumption of resources in the belief that resources are finite, and then, in 30 years we find that resources are really infinite and there was no need for our reduction of consumption. (b) We go on increasing rates of consumption in the belief that resources are infinite because scientists will always find substitutes for anything that runs out, and then in 30 years we find that resources are not infinite, the promised substitutes are not available, and/or they are too costly to be widely available.

Sustainability

"Sustainability" has become a popular term. It is used in all manner of planning at all levels from the local to the international. The definition of sustainability was given in the Brundtland Report (4): "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Because "sustainable" implies "for a time long compared to a human lifetime," and because the arithmetic of growth leads to large numbers in modest time periods, it is possible to write laws of sustainability (5). The First Law of Sustainability is: "Population growth and/or growth in the rates of consumption of resources can not be sustained." Although this law is absolute, it is ignored by many who speak of "sustainability."

The term "sustainable growth" is an oxymoron

We must help our students to learn to be extremely thoughtful and thorough in their evaluation of promises of great gifts when the gifts carry no indication of the range of uncertainty that goes with them.

1. J.G. Ingersoll, Physics and Society April 1995, 5-7.
2. Annual Energy Review 1993; U.S. Department of Energy,
DOE/EIA-0384(93), July 1994
3. A.A. Bartlett, American Journal of Physics Vol. 46 (1978), 876-888.
4. G.H. Brundtland, Our Common Future, World Commission on Environment
and Development, Oxford Univ. Press, New York (1987), 43.
5. A.A. Bartlett, Population and Environments Vol. 16, September 1994,
5-35.
The authors are at the Department of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0390
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Re: A Look at Shale Gas and Climate Destabilization

Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:49 pm

Seems like a best fit here:

HyperSolar files patent for the production of renewable natural gas using solar, water and CO2

This is the kind of thing that lets me promote natural gas as a fuel without much guilt, though I usually talk about biomethane from agricultural waste or purpose-grown feedstock as a source. This method seems more direct but might not scale as well. Every little bit helps, though, and environmental impact is reduced using renewable methane instead of fossil methane. Still have a problem with leaked methane though...
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Re: A Look at Shale Gas and Climate Destabilization

Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:14 pm

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Re: A Look at Shale Gas and Climate Destabilization

Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:20 am

The controversy is now in the able hands of those we depend on to solve all Scientific questions for our kleptocracy, the Lobbyists.

ALBANY — Energy companies have been pouring millions of dollars into television advertising, lobbying and campaign contributions as the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo enters the final phase of deciding when and where to allow a controversial form of natural gas extraction that is opposed by environmental groups.
Companies that drill for natural gas have spent more than $3.2 million lobbying state government since the beginning of last year, according to a review of public records. The broader natural gas industry has been giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign accounts of lawmakers and the governor. And national energy companies are advertising heavily in an effort to convince the public that the extraction method, commonly known as hydrofracking, is safe and economically beneficial...

The lobbying push in New York follows similar efforts by the energy industry to influence lawmakers and regulators in Washington and in other parts of the country that are rich in shale formations. Several other states, including Texas, Pennsylvania and Ohio, have also seen millions of dollars in spending in recent years by drilling companies on lobbying, campaign contributions or both...

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/26/nyreg ... gewanted=2
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