Newswise — Robert Howarth, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University and faculty fellow in the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, has studied global warming for 40 years, particularly the impact of methane gas emissions on the environment. He says as Environmental Protection Agency administrator,Scott Pruitt must discontinue his promotion of fossil fuel use, and take proactive steps to avoid irreversible, catastrophic global warming that would place the food supply of the world at some risk, potentially leading to unprecedented wars.
Howarth says:“Ironically, the EPA was started under a Republican, President Richard Nixon. Nixon recognized that appropriate regulation is critical not only to protecting the environment and our planet but also, in the long run, to business interests. “It is shocking that President-elect Trump is appointing individuals who are so uninformed about global climate change and who seem likely to blindly promote and increase use of fossil fuels such as shale gas.
“It is particularly important to reduce methane emissions, since the Earth’s climate system responds so much more quickly to methane than to carbon dioxide. In fact, the only feasible way to reach the climate targets set by all of the nations of the world a year ago at the COP21 negotiations, is to reduce methane emissions.
“The major source of methane emissions in the U.S. is the oil and gas industry, and these have soared as a result of fracking and shale gas development in recent years. Increased methane emissions from shale gas are the leading culprit for the unprecedented global warming of the past half dozen years. Unfortunately, Scott Pruitt has proven he does not understand this, and has vigorously opposed efforts by the EPA to regulate methane emissions in the past.
"The planet is warming at an alarming and accelerating rate. Without urgent reductions in greenhouse gases, the Earth will reach temperatures within just the next one to two decades that pose risk of irreversible, catastrophic warming. This would place the food supply of the world at some risk, potentially leading to unprecedented wars, a fact long acknowledged by the top military leaders of the U.S. To prevent these risks, the world needs to be completely free of fossil fuels by 2050, which will require leadership from the United States.”
Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.- 30 -