Methane Madness!
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Politics and Activism

Methane Madness!

Atmospheric methane levels are rising - triggering debate on why it's happening and how we can reduce emission levels.

Methane Madness!

In 2019, according to an article published by the New York Times, the Trump administration laid out a plan to cut back on the regulation of methane emissions; a major contributor to climate change.

Today, writers and researchers for the NY Times are saying that the environmental threat cause by the burning of fossil fuels, like oil and gas, may have been sharply underestimated.

According to a 2020 article written by Hiroko Tabuchi, "oil and gas production may be responsible for a far larger share of the soaring levels of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, in the earth's atmosphere than previously thought.."

Last year, the NY Times also revealed an investigation into sites considered "super emitters" where vast quantities of methane were found being released from oil wells and other energy facilities instead of being contained.

It has long been a matter of scientific debate whether rising methane levels have been a result of human activity or natural sources.

The loosely regulated chemical compound is not only difficult to detect, but through thorough research, Times muckrakers were able to show how the energy industry is "seeking and winning looser federal regulations on methane."

Through examining lobbying activities by company sites and political administrations, researchers found that these very companies, either directly or through trade organizations, lobbied the Trump administration.

It's crucial to crack down on these companies that are against rules that would force them to fix the emission leaks and regulate their burning of fossil fuels.

In the global warming cycle, although carbon dioxide gets blamed for most of global warming, the spike in methane levels in the atmosphere only contributes to global warming and it's important that we do everything possible to reduce emissions.

As stated in an article published on by correspondent Richard Harris, "And the good thing about methane is that it stays in the air for only about a decade, so if you can reduce emissions, you can see quick results."

According to Times article written last year, it was predicted that "next year, the administration could move forward with a plan that would effectively eliminate requirements that oil companies install technology to detect and fix methane leaks from oil and gas facilities. By the E.P.A.'s own calculations, the rollback would increase methane emissions by 370,000 tons through 2025, enough to power more than a million homes for a year."

Today, we see the results of climate change occurring now, such as longer and accelerated sea level rise, longer and more intense heat waves, loss of see ice, and many other environmental impacts global warming has had that scientists predicted in the past.

We mustn't be oblivious to the signs of mankind's destructive presence on the earth and, as our home, organizations need to come together and develop ways to protect nature against the inevitable corporate ignorance and greed that increases the uncertainty of the earth's future.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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