Gas for Electricity is Like Smoking “Light” Cigarettes

In my last post about the “vile and evil” American shale gas revolution I forgot to mention that firing gas instead of coal reduces greenhouse gas emissions only if methane leakage is under control, as Joe Romm points out in detail here.

There is no guarantee that that is actually happening.

Joe Romm, being interested in rhetoric, uses the metaphor of a “bridge to nowhere” for gas.

I came up with another one. Using gas is like smoking a “light” cigarette. It may contain slightly less harmful substances, but it will still kill you. That’s why the European Union has a ban in place on using words like “light” or “mild” in connection with cigarettes since 10 years ago:

With effect from 30 September 2003, and without prejudice to Article 5(1), texts, names, trade marks and figurative or other signs suggesting that a particular tobacco product is less harmful than others shall not be used on the packaging of tobacco products.

In exactly the same way, anybody suggesting that any particular type of fossil fuel is less harmful than others (and therefore acceptable) should be called out on that.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

2 thoughts on “Gas for Electricity is Like Smoking “Light” Cigarettes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: