### Grant McDermott

Assistant Professor
Dept. of Economics
University of Oregon

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# Energy Collective post - Natural gas and long-term climate goals

I should perhaps have mentioned this last Friday when it was published, but my new post for The Energy Collective is up: Bridging the Gap? Natural gas and long-term climate change goals.

As the title suggests, my aim is to explore whether the scientific evidence supports the much-touted notion of gas as a "bridge fuel" (i.e. towards a low-carbon economy). This a hotly debated topic, with a lot of excited rhetoric and dubious assertion clouding the issue. Luckily, I've read it all so that you don't have to! A snippet:
However, even this is not to say that natural gas lacks credibility as the most viable, climate-friendly alternative to coal. Unpalatable as it will be for some people, the unavoidable conclusion from my perspective is that achieving very stringent emissions targets will always depend on a hefty slice of fortune… It is certainly no accident that studies which demonstrate hypothetical pathways towards achieving such targets must inevitably make fairly heroic assumptions – whether that be in the form of changes to economic behaviour and institutional reform, or in the presumption of substantial technology breakthroughs. In that light, it is not entirely obvious to me why CCS-enabled gas plants should be regarded as more unlikely than, say, thorium nuclear. And it certainly isn’t obvious to me that climate activists are best serving their cause by demonizing the one fuel source that has provably shaken coal’s grip on the global energy system.

PS - My post on Hugo Chavez and Margaret Thatcher has also been reposted at TEC $$-$$ with an updated intro in light of recent events.