Richard Muller: Why every serious environmentalist should favour fracking
“This opinion should create quite a stir amongst enviros.” – Anthony
Air pollution is a far more pressing problem – particularly for emerging economies such as China and India – than the challenges posed by greenhouse warming.
A deadly pollution known as PM2.5 is currently killing over three million people each year, primarily in the developing world, demonstrates Richard Muller (Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley since 1980) in Why Every Serious Environmentalist should favour Fracking. His co-author, Elizabeth Muller, is his daughter and co-founder (with him) of Berkeley Earth, a non-profit working on environmental issues.
As such, air pollution is currently harming far more people than the more distant challenge of global warming – particularly for emerging economies such as China and India. They state:
“The Health Effects Institute estimated that air pollution in 2010 led to 3.2 million deaths that year [across the world], including 1.2 million in China and 620,000 in India. And the pollution is getting worse as global use of coal continues to grow…
The Mullers argues that both global warming and air pollution can be mitigated by the responsible development and utilisation of shale gas:
“China not only has the greatest yearly death toll from air pollution, but is also key for mitigating global warming. China surpassed the US in CO2 production in 2006; growth was so rapid that by late 2013, China’s CO2 emissions are nearly twice those of the US. If its growth continues at this rate (and China has averaged 10% GDP growth per year for the past 20 years) China will be producing more CO2 per person than the US by 2023. If the US were to disappear tomorrow, Chinese growth alone would bring worldwide emissions back to the same level in four years. To mitigate global warming, it is essential to slow worldwide emissions, not just those in the developed countries. And we feel this must be done without slowing the economic growth of the emerging world…”
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