Rupert Murdoch needs some schooling on shale gas and climate change (perhaps not surprisingly). A couple days ago he tweeted:
Climate change very slow but real.So far all cures worse than disease. Shale gas huge breakthrough for US. Half carbon of coal and oil.— Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) July 11, 2012
Backing into this:
There's a big difference in terms of carbon emissions between shale gas and conventional natural gas sources. While it's true that conventionally-sourced natural gas has a significantly lower carbon footprint than coal and oil—not quite half the emissions, in the latest assessments—due to the greater difficultly in obtaining shale gas the emissions are considerably higher. Depending on who's done the calculations, shale gas has similar emissions to coal or even higher. While that may lessen over time, due to future technological changes, it's not the case today or in the near future. Shale gas simply isn't a climate-friendly fuel, even compared to coal and oil. And that doesn't even go into other potential threats to communities, water supplies, etc. from fracking.
Suffice it to say that characterizing every climate cure as worse than the disease is equally boneheaded (even just on the basic of logic alone), as is the notion that climate change is occurring very slowly. While on a daily human timescale climate change may appear slow, viewed in an appropriately distanced perspective current human-influenced climate change is happening incredibly quickly.
As at least one follow up tweeter said, Murdoch apparently has been reading his own papers too much.
@rupertmurdoch reading your own papers too much: climate change happening fast and cures are obvious: pick renewables and stop deforestation— Paddy Manning (@gpaddymanning) July 14, 2012