Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summarizing 4 Studies Debunking Prof. Howarth's Life Cycle Gas Study

The recent flood of scientific studies contradicting professor Howarth's junk science study falsely claiming that gas is dirtier on carbon emissions than coal is so big that it needs summarizing.  Impressively, two of the studies refuting Howarth were either done (Worldwatch Institute) or financed (Sierra Club) by a leading environmental organization.  All the debunking studies reach the same conclusion that coal emits about twice as much heat trapping pollution as does gas or gas emits about 50% less heat trapping pollution than coal on a life cycle basis.

Failing to recognize this fact, this truth, would be a real outrage and an assault on the environment.  Here is your scorecard for studies debunking Howarth.

First to debunk Howarth was the National Energy Technology Laboratory that found essentially that coal is twice as dirty as gas or gas emits about 50% less than coal on a life cycle basis.  See the May 23rd posting on the NETL paper at this blog: http://johnhanger.blogspot.com/2011/05/national-energy-technology-lab-latest.html.

The second debunking came from 6 researchers at Carnegie Mellon University whose work was financed by the Sierra Club.  This study focused on the Marcellus shale gas production, finding that coal emitted twice as much carbon as gas on a life cycle basis and that a Marcellus shale well emitted statistically the same heat trapping pollution as a conventional gas well.  See the August 17th posting.  http://johnhanger.blogspot.com/2011/08/carnegie-mellon-life-cycle-gas-study.html.

Third up was a paper from IHS-CERA charging that Professor Howarth in his study distorted and misused gas well data that IHS-CERA had developed.  See the August 25th posting.  http://johnhanger.blogspot.com/2011/08/top-energy-consultancy-critiques.html.

Fourth, and so far last but not least, is the Worldwatch Institute and Deutsche Bank Climate Advisors study that also found that coal was about twice as dirty as gas in terms of heat trapping pollution.  See the August 29th posting.  http://johnhanger.blogspot.com/2011/08/world-watch-institute-study-finds-coal.html.

This list is actually a partial summary.  The Clean Skies Foundation also issued a study, finding that coal is twice as dirty as gas.

1 comment:

  1. Concerned ScientistSeptember 6, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    I have noticed that anti-shale gas reporters and activists simply say that a new study from Cornell University (they always mention Cornell) finds that shale gas "may" be as bad or worse than coal for global warming, which is accurate. The study did say that so they are not lying. Of course the message people receive is that shale gas "is" as bad or worse than coal. The people who write or say "may" know very well that their readers/listeners hear "is" and that is why they say or write it that way. They don't go into any more detail than that. It's just another line that gets tacked on to a litany of similar charges all of which require some explanation to show why they are wrong. The same thing happens with the deeply flawed Duke study. Once it is out there, it will get misused by people with an agenda. And that very well may have been the intent all along. If it is examined at all it becomes a "he said she said" argument and the credibility of science is the big loser.

    These are the exact same tactics used by people who are trying to undermine the science of global warming and evolution and a well-used strategy of the Bush White House.