For those of you who missed Meet the Press yesterday, the interview by Tom Brokaw with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi largely revolved around energy. Watch the clip HERE (last I heard, we can't embed them here yet). The juicy bits to which I refer begin about 15 minutes in.
Brokaw seemed to have a bone to pick about the Dem's reversal on offshore drilling in response to the public in general supporting it in current polling. Overall, Pelosi did a decent job addressing Brokaw's repeated attacks on this issue.
However, when the topic shifted to natural gas, that's when Pelosi blew it as she repeatedly referred to natural gas as "a good alternative to fossil fuels."
This NY Times article highlights the non-renewable, carbon-based aspect of natural gas in its 2nd paragraph:
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel, releasing less of the emissions that cause global warming than coal or oil.
What I'm sure Speaker Pelosi meant to say when she repeatedly called it "alternative to fossil fuels" was an alternative to coal and oil. But the fact that she, at least unconsciously, has blurred the reality that natural gas is also a limited fossil fuel source that leads to global warming is problematic. The fact that Brokaw didn't find the need to correct her repeated misspeakings makes the issue more disturbing.
Call this youthful angst (I am only 37 years old), but simple gaffes like this illustrate the fact that these relative geezers don't seem to fully grasp the enormity of the problems we must face with dire urgency.
Using non-renewable fuels is killing the planet.
And not simply because they add carbon to our atmosphere.
Granted, any sensible energy plan must include an increase in natural gas. But this shift is beginning to look like getting a heroin junkie to switch to "safer" crack cocaine.
There are many risks involved with natural gas too.
"We see natural gas as potentially a very important transitional fuel, but we can’t use it at the expense of our natural resources," said Kate Sinding, a senior lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, who warned that water-intensive drilling in shale could threaten local water supplies and aquifers.
Much of the geopolitical strife facing the world in the 21st century is often pinned on the battles over these various types of fossil fuel. Despite that Afghanistan is utterly devoid of oil, its importance as being merely a potential transit route for natural gas is often cited as the reason war has raged there for most of the past 3 decades.
Any long term energy plan which relies heavily on natural gas will merely slow our demise. Sure, a slower destruction of the planet is better in the big picture. But the goal is to reverse the effects of global warming, not postpone them by a decade or two.