Monday, December 12, 2016

Government: needed to set up markets, & CH4 in the air

Great post today by a top environmental economist on how government is needed to let marketplace solutions work out. In other words, even libertarian economic theory doesn't suggest that destroying the EPA is a good idea.

In other news, environmental monitoring has revealed that although carbon dioxide emissions are declining, methane is actually up. This is really bad: methane does much more damage than CO2 once it's out there. The question now is where all that methane is coming from: some say it might be from emissions related to fracking, while others blame increased agriculture and increased livestock production. Undoubtedly both matter, and the question is how to make things better. Here in the US a good place to start would be by being a little more careful in our fracking: using natural gas is supposed to be less environmentally damaging than coal, but if we don't capture all the emissions done when we frack for gas, we could end up making things worse.

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