09 Sep '11, 5pm

Switching from coal to natural gas would accelerate climate change, say scientists

Here is a terrifying, crazy-making truth: Getting off coal will accelerate climate change , at least in the short term. This isn't an argument for maintaining our coal addiction -- because if we stick with coal, we are, frankly, dead as a species, plus more immediately dead or at least very wheezy as individuals. (And there's no chance we’ll run out of coal before completely screwing everything up -- there’s enough coal in the U.S. and Russia alone to put us past any reasonable chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.) But according to a new analysis from the National Center for Atmospheric Research , through 2050 a switch from coal to natural gas would actually accelerate climate change. Even though natural gas leads to fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal , the "problem" is that natural gas is cleaner in another sense, too: Burning it leads to fewer aerosols i...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-09-09-switching-from-coal-...

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