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





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