Reply To: Climate, the science, politics, economics and anything else

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Michael, now, back to the physical problem, and thus your Oct 26, 13:45 comment. I always write “natural gas” because I think there are some other gases in with the methane.

“I guess, it partly depends on how badly you want the stuff and how much you are willing to pay”. And from your next paragraph: “As less use is made of Methane, the price should come down.”

The first line is exactly right. Sudden reduction in demand can cause a short term drop, but over time the price will always go up and up because the easiest reserves are always tapped and thus depleted first. For the same reason, the amount of energy used in extracting the gas forever goes up and up too – this is what the French scientists called “energy cannibalism”. So the emissions also go up and up, even though it’s the same type of gas.

“Perhaps if Natural Gas was reserved for house holds, Quarry Vehicles, construction vehicles, large HGVs, heavy trains and ships were made to run on Methane, then most smaller vehicles could run on battery power. What is currently being priced out of the market is Methane for electricity production.”

This is roughly what’s going on, except it’s diesel for heavy vehicles (industry and agriculture) because liquid fuel is more convenient than gas; there’s not a huge amount of difference in energy content or emissions, but pressurised tanks are unnecessary. Yes, the vast fleet of private cars can run on batteries, conserving hydrocarbons considerably.

In the UK, households actually burn about twice as much gas as goes to electricity generation. Households too can go over to electricity because houses are stationary and thus can be connected to the grid. This conserves even more, buying us some more time.

“One thing which almost certainly, should happen, is they should imprison the Methane speculators.”

I resent speculation too – in the UK the speculators include the “energy companies” that customers buy gas and electricity from. They neither extract nor distribute gas; they just bid for it from the extraction companies and arrange contracts (fixed or variable “tariffs”) with customers, be they personal or industrial.

But what governments should really do is nationalise the gas reserves, or rather re-nationalise them like they used to be. These reserves rightly belong to humanity, to the whole population, to be shared as needed, and burned frugally to make them last until we have enough solar and to keep emissions down.

But actually, the US and its crony states attack or subvert any sufficiently vulnerable country that nationalises its hydrocarbons. It subverted Iran in 1953:

The 1953 Iranian coup d’état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup d’état (Persian: کودتای ۲۸ مرداد‎), was the overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favour of strengthening the monarchical rule of the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on 19 August 1953. It was orchestrated by the United States (under the name TPAJAX Project or “Operation Ajax”) and the United Kingdom (under the name “Operation Boot”). The clergy also played a considerable role.

– Mosaddegh had sought to audit the documents of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), a British corporation (now part of BP) and to limit the company’s control over Iranian oil reserves. Upon the AIOC’s refusal to co-operate with the Iranian government, the parliament (Majlis) voted to nationalize Iran’s oil industry and to expel foreign corporate representatives from the country.

Iraq was about to set up a nationalised oil market when Bush and Blair overthrew it in 2003. Libya was next. Syria has been under attack from Gulf Monarchy jihadists with NATO support for over a decade, with a view to weakening Iran, again. The US is also currently covertly undermining Venezuela’s elected government, and the Guardian is propagandising for the US-backed “opposition”.

So far from imprisoning the speculators, the “free world” actually overthrows governments to enforce speculation. It’s called the “free market”, or capitalism.