As to Mann's article, your takeaway is very different from mine. You think it's all about hydrates and the miracle of fracking; my take is that Mann's worry is that it will allow us to remain complacent about AGCC for years yet, and may well lead to increased instability in various countries around the world. Same story, different parsing.
Not the same story at all! This piece start with the suggestion that a "little-known energy source" exists and that "fossil fuels may not be finite." The author then proceeds to interweave a bit of history with info on fracking and hydrates while doing little more than brushing aside the negative impact of fracking on water (and completely ignoring the rest of the problems that include surface water and land contamination, emissions from the drilling/fracking process, and effects on human health). Then he does a what-if as if to suggest that we can recover enough methane from hydrates to completely upset the world's geopolitical power.
Natural gas isn't that clean... (Toss a small bone...) But man, o man look at how much of this stuff we have and how fast it's growing and how much money it's creating and... Wait - WHAT?! "...natural resources cannot be used up..." ??!!!
This article is using many of the same tactics used to create any other controversy - peak oilers VS non-peak-oilers, economists VS. geologists, ASPO VS. OPEC...
He talks about the tar sands (at least he calls them tar...) and describes in situ mining (as if to suggest it's just like regular oil drilling) but ignores the whole 'open pit mine' and 'cutting all the trees' and 'poisoning complete downstream environments' things... He suggests that tar sands dilbit will be conveyed to its "biggest potential markets, in the United States" - that in itself is incorrect - and the truth of it is well documented. And those pipeline protesters - not citizens concerned about their land and water - no - they're "vituperative" - bitter and abusive. Seriously? It's bitter and abusive when landowners work to stop corporations from condemning their land without permission in order to build a pipeline? The State Department's process to approve or deny the pipeline is "stalling"?
Renewables aren't ready for prime time? "Natural gas, both from fracking and in methane hydrate, gives us a way to cut back on carbon emissions while w work toward a more complete solution."
If Mann wanted anyone to consider him to be a serious journalist, rather an an opportunist writer profiting from the "greenies VS oilies" debate, then we would have published only his conflict of interest statement and left it at that.