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Methane matters.
But natural gas still beats coal.

The latest from Zeke Hausfather

Last week, Bill McKibben (of wrote a piece in the New Yorker: "The Literal Gaslighting That Helps America Avoid Acting on the Climate Crisis." He argued that the US has not, in fact, made much progress in the way of greenhouse gases, and that the methane leaks from natural gas outweigh their emissions advantage over coal.

The latest analysis from Zeke Hausfather, however, counters this claim. Natural gas is responsible for only around half of the CO2 emissions per unit of electricity as coal, and its methane leaks aren't enough to offset that ⁠— especially since methane has a very short atmospheric lifetime.

That's not to say that natural gas is the end-all-be-all for climate. For deep decarbonization, we'll need to replace natural gas with zero-carbon alternatives or equip them with carbon capture and storage technologies. But fossil fuels are hard to replace, and natural gas has provided a bridge away from coal that's hard to undervalue.

Deep decarbonization, inch by inch >>>
New Research Staff
We are very excited to announce that our research team is growing. Today, we are pleased to welcome Seaver Wang to our climate and energy team.
  Seaver Wang on joining Breakthrough  

It has been a joy to jump straight into my work at Breakthrough as a Climate and Energy analyst. While completing my PhD in Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University, I had increasingly felt a desire to apply my skills and expertise toward becoming a more proactive voice on climate change and climate solutions. I am consequently thrilled to be working on several important initial projects with Breakthrough, including investigating climate tipping points, exploring decarbonization solutions, and evaluating climate and emissions scenarios.

I bring diverse qualities to my new role at Breakthrough, from my knowledge base as an earth and ocean scientist to my experience advocating on energy and transportation issues as a grassroots organizer in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Our Climate and Energy program is moving in interesting, exciting new directions, and I’m eager to help shape the trajectory of our work moving forwards.

Your questions, answered
Environmental problems run deep: they’re about home, identity, lifestyle, and everything beyond and in between. That’s where any productive climate conversation should begin. In the spirit of better listening and more inclusive conversations, our latest podcast episode is a little different. We’ve been collecting questions from you over the past few weeks, and today, Breakthrough’s Tali Perelman and Alex Trembath dive into them. We cover everything from electric scooters to climate denial. Enjoy!
You asked, we answered >>>
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