A study from the University of Texas-Austin, one of the most comprehensive on methane leakage from shale gas emissions to date, found that 99 percent of the greenhouse gas escaping from wells being prepared for production could be captured by state of the art equipment.
The study’s findings were celebrated by environmentalists, but immediately criticized by two Cornell University scientists, Robert Howarth and Anthony Ingraffea, whose 2011 study found fracking operations responsible for catastrophic levels of methane. Howarth claimed fracking could push the world over a tipping point and send world temperatures irreversibly higher, though many independent researchers have discredited his conclusions.
Howarth’s projections were deemed “absurd” by Michael Levi, director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council of Foreign Relations, who explained that most methane gas is either “delivered to sales” with no leakage or burnt off through flaring, diminishing its greenhouse impact.
Cornell geologist Lawrence Cathles also argued that Howarth appeared to have deliberately used 2007 data in his study, increasing his estimates by at least 10-20 times. The US Energy Department, University of Maryland, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University and the Worldwatch Institute rejected Howarth’s findings as greatly inflated.
According to Forbes contributor Jon Entine, Howarth’s opinions may have been influenced by the Park Foundation, an organization said to have poured millions of dollars into anti-fracking ventures in recent years:
“It’s more than likely Park money is funding organizations behind the coordinated response campaign to the Texas study and the attempt to smear the Environmental Defense Fund. Howarth has established money ties to Park.
Two years ago in an interview for an investigative story on Park and Howarth for Ethical Corporation, the Cornell professor blurted out to me that he was recruited by a Park Foundation family member who thought a university study criticizing fracking and challenging the ‘green credentials’ of shale gas would advance the cause… He pocketed $35,000 of Park’s money—before beginning his research.”
In light of the controversy surrounding Howarth’s opinions, climate scientists are stressing the importance of keeping political views private. Tamsin Edwards, a climate scientist at the University of Bristol, in a statement to the Breakthrough Institute said:
“I believe advocacy by climate scientists has damaged trust in the science. We risk our credibility, our reputation for objectivity, if we are not absolutely neutral. At the very least, it leaves us open to criticism. I find much climate skepticism is driven by a belief that environmental activism has influenced how scientists gather and interpret evidence.”
Emphasizing the importance of retaining a distinction between science and politics, she explained, “In this highly politicized arena, climate scientists have a moral obligation to strive for impartiality. We have a platform we must not abuse…. Science doesn’t tell us the answer to our problems. Neither should scientists.”
Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.
It's not the advocacy and politics that damage the credibility, it's the lying. Don't lie to yourselves, don't lie to others. Credibility will take care of itself.
When you make comments like this it kind of proves the point that most "Global Warming" (not true) followers don't want anyone to have an opinion. David is right. A lot of it is a big fat lie...you response is to shut up? And the reason we should value your opinion is?
Because they're using my money and their yard stick is flawed. It doesn't take a scientist to figure out many things that we can use our common sense to figure out...Like the rain forest is not really depleting and it only provides about 5% of the world's oxygen. Common sense proves this by simply flying over the areas. I don't know what they're teaching kids in school now but I recall plankton being the major supplier of oxygen...Ever wonder why we breath better near the ocean ? Add deliberate fraud to the misinformation and you have those, not me, whose opinions should not be counted. Get up in a plane and fly around. For the most part the air looks clean. The biggest problem I've noticed as far as man made climate change is concerned lies in overcrowded cities but even those in comparison to the whole globe are like dots and the climate change is only there temporarily and dissipates into thin air before it gets 5 miles high. What lies in overcrowded cities is not reason enough to lie to the world about. They're just part of a larger scheme for world power...just puppets on the world stage.
If you went to college then you know what I said is true. They do teach nothing is conclusive and subject to further research. Evidently you have been smoking some bad stuff.
That's conspiracy theory nonsense, and I give no credence to anything people like you say. If what you said were true, then we wouldn't have so many vaccines which have essentially eradicated numerous debilitating diseases.
When you make comments like this, it proves you don't have even a basic grasp of how science works and should probably STFU about the topic.
This is especially since these same scientist tell us nothing is conclusive and is open to further study. They are masters of everything is relative which is a big fat lie.
Couldn't disagree more. Perhaps the reason the environment is in such poor shape is because there's not enough advocacy by scientists. Shouldn't the ones who have the most knowledge of a certain topic be the biggest advocates? Ideally, politicians would accept the findings of science on their own and implement policies that attempt to address the findings of science, but that's rarely the case, so there's a need for scientists to speak up.
The climate has been changing since time began. It's Universal. It's preposterous to suggest that we can adversely change the climate in the first place. Paying scientists to study our effects on it is wasted time and money. Believe it or not that is steam coming out of those smoke stacks. I'm putting my money on Volcanoes and Asteroids...Now there's climate change waiting to happen.
I agree on political impartiality on the part of scientists - just so long as all the facts about the horrors of climate change and all the facts about what is causing it get talked about. Then its up to us readers/listeners to make our politicians listen & act!!
Environmentalism became the New Communism of the Liberal Left, simply reapportionment of Wealth, to further a Bogus Cause!!
Everybody wants to be famous these days and scientists are no different. The doomsday predictions and getting too close to political candidates has hurt their credibility
It's hilarious how you guys keep talking about how much money the scientists are trying to make from the state through grants, yet never acknowledge that if it was money they're after, the oil industry would make them RICH overnight to release convincing research contradicting the rest of climate science. Yet, still, 99% of climate scientists agree about the human element of global warming. Amazing.
Climate change has been going on since the beginning of time and will keep going on long after we are dead!!!
There is no impartiality on this issue; there never has been. I've listened to one doomsday prediction after another, none of which has happened. When you've staked your career on something, you don't want to find out it's incorrect. There's also grant money and even more importantly, your reputation. For politicians, there's money that they can use to buy votes.
Conservationists and environmentalists aren't trying to save the world. They're trying to save life as we know it - including our own. Climate change will result in a break in the food chain and a billion people will perish.
There will always be climate change, In fact the World has been cooling the last 10 years and will continue its cycle like it has for millions of years. Now lets get some idiots to tax people for green energy companies to fight something that don't exist because idiots will believe the sky is falling because their kING has told them so
Those idiot pols have agendas and are the ones funding the scientists' research. Scientists aren't stupid; they know who butters their bread.
No, but the vast majority are beholden to those politicians for Federal grants which fund not only their research, but also their high standard of living.
The research of climate scientists is completely suspect because they are all vying for funding from the State. This is an obvious conflict of interest.
Many problems come from science and the press. As pointed out in the article using data from one area may not be correct for another. Also years the data was collected may be wrong. This is a common problem, but the answer is usually recognized by reading the actual work. As an example the work was stating a locaion not the whole industry as described. But that was a problem caused by the press and not stating the who objection of the papers in question. This can been seen in an older climate report from the UN. They said the glaciers would disappear by 2035. It was origionally supposed to say these 7 or 10 named glaciers would go. A problem with punctuation followed by a group trying to do damage control followed by a few in the press that ran with it.
Thomas proposes the grant money steers science and scientists and that overall science has its own agenda. What's Thomas really saying here? He's saying scientists and their consensus views are not provable. Facts are actually that grant money has also helped the oil industry in the past and oil gets large subsidies makIng It profItable to disinform people at great external costs while the oil industry and their private high paid witch doctors tell Republican zombies their fairy tales to keep their margins up.
You're lost in the paradox Thomas. If you read this you know its still worth changing without all the evidence that scientifically supports man made/ induced global climate change.
Here is the "warming" where I live.... http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=weather+Winter+Haven+1995+to+2013
Modern science as we know it today is not about truth or the scientific method, but is much like a religion. Its based on faith and worship.
That is not the point he is making Matt Gables. Either you don't understand his comments or don't want to listen. He is simply stating the obvious: science ceases to be science the moment it becomes politicized. Ask yourself a question about "climate science". The only scientific endeavor more politicized than climate is human origins and racial differences.
Oh and Matt, that 95% consensus is b.s. They doctored that. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/05/30/global-warming-alarmists-caught-doctoring-97-percent-consensus-claims/
Science and politics need to be separate, just like religion and politics. Governments are influencing the so-called science of so-called man-made global warming (or they've changed that, haven't they...man-made climate change). "Scientists" are receiving grants and respectable positions based on coming up with the 'correct' results. This lady is right. The science is not settled, and their credibility has been seriously jeopardized.
To bad that money seems to sway partiality. To bad that people we trust (Congressmen, Scientist, Doctors, Bankers, etc.) all have a price and some are really really cheap.
I agree. Politics has no place in real science, and these people should know what they are talking about. They don't need a politician to tell them their business.
Hey Republicans, don't believe in climate change? Here's an idea - go get your studies peer reviewed by other experts and published...then you can have an opinion on the matter. Until then, spare us your idiocy.
@David Gerald This particular case raises an interesting argument that we should be critical of what we see and that we should stay vigilant about what people say is true. I'm definitely not trying to make claims about climate change, modern science itself, or policymaking. I'm just saying that it's just that this was a pretty interesting story which, while not serving as an example of an ordinary occurrence, made me question a few of my beliefs. I don't fully agree with the statement that scientists should be politically impartial - I think that, if their science is solid and something needs to be said about it, they should speak up. However, those looking to get "famous," like you said, should be exposed for it.
@Edythe L Hathcock-Caraway Very true. The only concern we have about this climate change is that it might indeed kill us.