The New York Times’ seemingly objective and forthright piece titled “Climate Change is Complex. We’ve Got Answers to Your Questions” is instantly undermined by its assertion that fracked gas from shale, including for use at power plants, is part of the solution rather than a devastating and growing part of the climate change problem.
Among the climate changing pollution emitting from the extraction and use of fracked shale gas is methane. Methane is a deadly greenhouse gas that over the span of two decades is 86 times more potent at trapping heat in the environment than carbon dioxide. Between 2002 and 2014, the period that fracking has become industry’s fossil fuel focus,we have seen a 30 percent increase in US emissions of methane. As the NYT Climate Change piece notes, it is right now, within the next 2 decades, that count the most when it comes to implementing solutions that will allow us to avoid the most devastating affects of climate change. As I point out in The Green Amendment, relying on work from top scientists like Dr. Bob Howarth and Dr. Anthony Ingraffea,”we can stop emitting carbon dioxide entirely, and it will have no effect for a millennium. But if we stop emitting methane, we can reduce climate change and help save the planet in the near term.”
The extraction and use of fracked shale gas is a major part of the climate change problem, not the solution. Suggesting otherwise advances the lies the fossil fuel industry has spent millions to perpetuate. I have written the NYT and asked that it correct its article, or at least to print the above response, but all I have heard back is silence. If the NYT continues to perpetuate the fracked gas lie when it comes to climate change, then the NYT is part of the problem, not part of the solution.