Saturday, February 16, 2013

You Can't Frack Your Way out of Global Warming

In his State of the Union address, President Obama said a lot of things - some outright contradictory, including: we need to take steps to address climate change, followed later by exhorting us to exploit US oil and gas.

We can't have it both ways. Yes, yes, burning gas creates fewer climate impacts than burning coal or oil. We've heard it over and over and over and over.... and it's not correct. Because getting that gas out of the ground, shattering it out of the rock, extracting if from tarry sands - those things put more emissions into the air. And all those leaky pipelines and compressor stations - they're emitting methane which is a potent greenhouse gas. Flaring alone produces 400 million tons of greenhouse gases. It's not just affecting our climate, it's harming our health.

Despite the hundreds of articles in newspapers and magazines, despite the thousands of letters to state and local officials, despite stockholder resolutions ... no one seems to be listening. Well, at least until this week. On Thursday Senators Bernie Sanders (Senate energy committee) and Barbara Boxer (chair of Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works) submitted the Climate Protection Act that, they hope, will reverse climate change.  (It's short - only 25 pages)

Introducing this act, Bernie Sanders said:

I fear very much that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are going to look back on this period in history and ask a very simple question: Where were they? Why didn’t the United States of America, the most powerful nation on earth, lead the international community in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and preventing the devastating damage that the scientific community was sure would come?
Tomorrow thousands of citizens will march from the Washington Monument to the White House in a huge climate rally. They're sincerely hoping that the president, who promised climate action earlier this week, is listening.

In case you have forgotten why it's important to reduce our carbon footprint:


  1. Leave it to you, Sue, to have the spot-on title and the excellent timely posts! Thank you, Sue. And thank you, Bill Huston, for this beautiful, heart-wrenching film.