Although Lowman Henry’s characterization that use of natural gas has reduced America’s carbon dioxide emissions is appropriate (Ambler Gazette 22Sept2019), characterizing energy firms as doing "right by the environment” is quite a stretch. It is true that natural gas generates less carbon dioxide (approximately half that of coal per energy generated). Reducing emissions is certainly positive, yet the rate at which we do it and the final goal have much greater significance.

Burning fossil fuels—all of them—generates heat-trapping carbon dioxide, so much so that the global climate, including Pennsylvania, is already changing. If we do not achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050, the changes to the climate could cause some devastating effects, such as sea level rise, increased disease prevalence and ranges, biodiversity losses, food security and migration effects. The probable dire consequences of continuing to emit greenhouse gases (including methane, aka natural gas) has prompted almost all nations on the earth, many international organizations (economy, insurance), and a large number of international science organizations to consider global warming a crisis. Believing that switching to “cleaner” fuels that generate carbon dioxide is a positive for the earth is ignoring the science.

If we truly want to have energy that does right by the environment, we need to move away from all fossil fuels and invest in renewables.

Richard Kaplan

Fort Washington,

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