Columnist confused on greenhouse gas claims

The only greenhouse gas emissions that must be eliminated are those from non-renewable sources

Tom Fletcher, in his climate change charade column, quotes an article by Nic Rivers that reports that we must completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Fletcher uses this result to claim that in 2050 airplanes will have to be battery powered.

For a longtime commentator on energy policy, in particular LNG in B.C., Mr. Fletcher should understand that his conclusion is not supported by the quote.

To clarify, the only greenhouse gas emissions that must be eliminated are those from non-renewable sources – in particular fossil fuels.

Emissions from fuels made from renewable resources – likely cellulose – don’t count toward the total. Using renewable sources involves recirculating existing atmospheric CO2. Emissions from renewables do not increase atmospheric CO2. Fletcher should understand that.

We have over 30 years to perfect the technology that turns trees into jet fuel. I am confident that is an achievable goal.

Once we are able to turn away from pessimists like Fletcher, who speak only of the certainty of the complete failure of any attempt to move off fossil fuels, to optimists who champion positive research into renewables of all types, progress will be rapid.

In the last months, a high school student from Vancouver won an Intel award for his invention of a microbial fuel cell that converts organic waste into electricity. I can only assume that Han Jie Wang did not read Fletcher’s articles about the centrality of fossil fuels in our past, present and future, and just went off and moved us a bit closer to an all-renewable energy future.

We have to reach zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Weekly columns from Fletcher incorrectly claiming that is impossible are not helping us reach that target.

Brent Beach





Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Area residents concerned about aftermath of McKenzie interchange construction

Ministry says neighbours’ concerns being heard, will be addressed

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Saanich council seeks more information after hearing Uptown-Douglas plan

Council asks for further reports on economic, housing, transportation plans for corridor

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension allowing up to five days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

West Shore’s 10 worst intersections for crashes in 2019

Millstream Road, Veterans Memorial Parkway area continues to be a hotspot

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Pitt Meadows woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

VIDEO: B.C. community rallies to save snared eagle

Revelstoke climber scales tree to save the raptor

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Most Read