Why the Global Methane Pledge Is a Big Deal for the Climate

The fundamental Principle of life that explains everything in nature and the sciences is The Law of Cause & Effect. Change the Cause and the Effect changes accordingly. Likewise, all Effects can be traced to a Cause. 

It is also the Principle that underlies the concepts of Karma and today’s way of expressing the same idea, namely “What Goes Around Comes Around.” It applies to individuals, groups of individuals, companies large and small, religions, regions, countries and even planets, including notably the earth.New Review for What Goes Around Comes Around

The UN climate summit currently in session highlights an example applicable to the latter, as it relates to efforts by certain humans tout limits on the emision of Methane gas. Why should anyone care?

Perhaps because it is scientifically known that Methane traps more that 80 times the heat that the same amount of carbon dioxide does! Meaning that the enormous amount of methane released by oil and gas drilling is a big contributor to “global warming.” The question is do Nations of the world at large outlaw the release of methane by enacting laws and rules to restrict it…or not?

It is a clear case of “cause & effect” in action. What Goes Around, will like night follows day, Come Around. If the cause is not adjusted, the effect will be life changing in the worst way for future generations. Does anyone care? It remains to be seen.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-01/why-the-low-key-methane-pledge-is-a-big-deal-for-the-climate?sref=gM6jgoKs

Why the Global Methane Pledge Is a Big Deal for the Climate

As leaders at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, thrash out how to rein in catastrophic levels of global warming, one of the most important deals is taking place on the sidelines.

The Global Methane Pledge — a collective commitment to cut emissions of the potent greenhouse gas 30% by 2030 -– is signed by more than 80 countries so far, representing more than two-thirds of the global economy. It’s perhaps the biggest single thing governments can do to keep alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Methane’s Power

The methane pledge could help shave 0.2°C from global warming

Source: Drew Shindell at Duke University, Bloomberg

Methane traps more than 80 times the heat that the same amount of carbon dioxide does in its first two decades in the atmosphere. But it degrades rapidly, meaning that action taken now can have an almost-immediate cooling effect on the Earth’s temperature.

The pledge, put forward by the U.S. and the European Union, targets a 30% reduction relative to 2020 levels. U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to mention the pledge Monday when he speaks before other heads of state at the COP26 summit. Fulfilling that goal could shave 0.2°C off global warming by mid-century. That may sound small, but it could make a huge difference in the severity and frequency of extreme weather events.

Heating Up

Methane’s impact on the amount of heat retained by Earth is soaring

Source: Martin Manning, NOAA ESRL, Bloomberg

NOTE: Differences between observed CO2, methane and nitrous oxide radiative forcing of the climate system from the IPCC scenario to keep below 2 degrees

Methane, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, accounts for about a quarter of all the heat trapped in the atmosphere since the pre-industrial era. That makes reducing its emission an essential component of energy sector decarbonization.

Atmospheric levels of methane have risen 150% during the past two centuries. By comparison, global CO2 levels have risen about 50% in the same period. The pace of increase for methane has quickened in the past 50 years, with the oil and gas industry making the biggest contributions.

“Greenhouse gas measurements are like skidding into a car crash: the disaster gets closer and closer but you can’t stop it,” said Euan Nisbet, a professor of earth sciences at the Royal Holloway University in the U.K. “Especially worrying is the extreme growth of methane – the strongest growth in the measurement record.”

Methane Absentees

The world needs big emitters to commit to methane reduction

Source: WRI CAIT, BloombergNEF NOTE: Includes land use and forestry

NOTE: The 35 countries that have been named so far as signatories to the Global Methane Pledge cover a third of all methane emissions

Dozens of key countries and regions signed the pledge, yet many of the top emitters haven’t. The U.S. and the EU represent the two largest consumers of natural gas, so any efforts they make to curb leaks domestically and within their supply chains can have a huge knock-on effect.

The EU is set to propose legislation this year that likely will address methane emissions generated by suppliers. It estimates that only a quarter of those are released within the bloc’s borders. The U.S. is working on regulations that will levy a methane fee on oil and gas producers of as much as $1,500 per ton.

But holdouts include China, Russia and India, which combined generate about a third of methane emissions. Russia has shown some interest in a global effort to address the methane issue, according to the U.S., and it emphasized that the new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany will be one of the cleanest ever.

 

relates to Why the Global Methane Pledge Is a Big Deal for the Climate
Source: Bloomberg

Committing to a noble goal is one thing, but sticking to it is another, especially when methane is notoriously difficult to detect and measure. In recent years, satellite imagery has become a key pillar in detecting large-scale expulsions from pipes, landfills and storage stations. Super-emitting events were identified in Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan and Australia — countries that haven’t signed the pledge.

Still, those mega-releases only account for about 10% to 15% of the methane pollution from the fossil-fuel industry, according to geoanalytics firm Kayrros SAS. Satellites are less adept at capturing smaller leaks due to the higher resolutions required, and it’s harder for them to detect emissions on windy days. There also are significant gaps in the data for equatorial regions, where cloud cover is higher. In Russia, there are voids during the winter, when days are shorter, and close to the North Pole, where light reflection from snow can obscure the imagery, BloombergNEF said.

That should change by 2030. A new class of satellites is planned for launch to expand coverage and improve precision in measuring emissions.

Methane also can be spotted at ground level by an industry-standard infrared camera. It’s found continuous leaks from facilities across the continent, such as in Romania and the U.K., but cannot reliably calculate the amount expelled into the skies.

Warming Impact

Change in global average temperature from different climate variables

Source: IPCC

Note: The figures used are median values.

Methane is one of the easiest and cheapest climate problems to solve since fixing leaks doesn’t require huge advances in technology. It’s also a gas that can be captured or stored underground — and sold as the primary component of natural gas, which has soared in price in recent months.

One key finding of the IPCC’s landmark report in August was that humans already have pumped enough greenhouse gases into the air to warm the planet by about 1.5° C, even though the observed warming is about 1.1° C. That’s because fine-particulate pollution released by the burning of fossil fuels is actually having a cooling effect. Thus, phasing out the use of coal, oil and gas could have a short-term warming effect — something that cutting methane can mitigate if reductions are made simultaneously.

Unlike COP21 in Paris in 2015, world leaders aren’t meeting at COP26 in Glasgow to sign a major accord. Instead, they’re trying to ensure that the agreement signed in Paris is put into practice, setting the world on course to limit global warming ideally below 1.5° C. That’s why the headline-grabbing outcomes from Glasgow likely will be unflashy compacts such as the Global Methane Pledge.


Kirkus Reviews, the gold-standard for independent & accurate reviews, has this to say about

What Goes Around Comes Around:

A stable, positive, non preachy, objective voice makes the book stand apart from others in the genre. A successful guide that uses anecdotes to reveal powerful truths about life.

~ Kirkus Reviews

“The author gives readers not just points or principles to ponder, but real human experiences that demonstrate them!
Kirkus Reviews
Buy What Goes Around at Amazon

“I’ve read a number of books that focus on sharing a similar message, including “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “The Answer” by John Assaraf & Murray Smith, “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill, and I must say that I find Rob’s to be my favorite. – Sheryl Woodhouse, founder of Livelihood Matters LLC

Why the Global Methane Pledge Is a Big Deal for the Climate

Why the Global Methane Pledge Is a Big Deal for the Climate

The fundamental Principle of life that explains everything in nature and the sciences is The Law of Cause & Effect. Change the Cause and the Effect changes accordingly. Likewise, all Effects can be traced to a Cause. 

It is also the Principle that underlies the concepts of Karma and today’s way of expressing the same idea, namely “What Goes Around Comes Around.” It applies to individuals, groups of individuals, companies large and small, religions, regions, countries and even planets, including notably the earth.

The UN climate summit currently in session highlights an example applicable to the latter, as it relates to efforts by certain humans tout limits on the emission of Methane gas. Why should anyone care?

Perhaps because it is scientifically known that Methane traps more that 80 times the heat that the same amount of carbon dioxide does! Meaning that the enormous amount of methane released by oil and gas drilling is a big contributor to “global warming.” The question is do Nations of the world at large outlaw the release of methane by enacting laws and rules to restrict it…or not?

It is a clear case of “cause & effect” in action. What Goes Around, will like night follows day, Come Around. If the cause is not adjusted, the effect will be life changing in the worst way for future generations. Does anyone care? It remains to be seen.

 

Colombo Family Crime Boss and 12 Others Are Arrested, Prosecutors Say

An indictment unsealed on Tuesday accuses the organization of orchestrating a two-decade scheme to extort a labor union.

Credit…Jesse Ward

 

For two decades, the leadership of the Colombo crime family extorted a Queens labor union, federal prosecutors said — an effort that continued unabated even as members of the mob clan cycled through prison, the family’s notorious longtime boss died, and as federal law enforcement closed in.

Over time, what began as a Colombo captain’s shakedown of a union leader, complete with expletive-laced threats of violence, expanded into a cottage industry, prosecutors said, as the Colombo organization assumed control of contracting and union business, with side operations in phony construction certificates, marijuana trafficking and loan-sharking.

On Tuesday, 11 reputed members and associates of the Colombo crime family, including the mob clan’s entire leadership, were charged in a labor racketeering case brought by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn.

All but two of the men were arrested Tuesday morning across New York and New Jersey, prosecutors said. Another was surrendered to the authorities on Tuesday; another defendant, identified as the family consigliere, remained at large, prosecutors said.

The indictment accuses the Colombo family of orchestrating a two-decade scheme to extort an unnamed labor union that represented construction workers, using threats of violence to secure payments and arrange contracts that would benefit the crime family.

The charges are an ambitious effort by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take down one of the city’s five Mafia families. In addition to the union extortion scheme, which is the heart of the racketeering charge, the indictment charges several misdeeds often associated with the mob, including drug trafficking, money laundering, loan-sharking and falsifying federal labor safety paperwork.

Detention hearings for the defendants in Brooklyn federal court continued into the evening Tuesday, as they entered not-guilty pleas to the charges; prosecutors had asked the court to keep 10 of the defendants in custody.

“Everything we allege in this investigation proves history does indeed repeat itself,” Michael J. Driscoll, F.B.I. assistant director-in-charge, said in a statement. “The underbelly of the crime families in New York City is alive and well.”

Around 2001, prosecutors said, Vincent Ricciardo — a reported captain in the family, also known as “Vinny Unions” — began to demand a portion of a senior labor union official’s salary. When Mr. Ricciardo was convicted and imprisoned on federal racketeering charges in the mid-2000s, prosecutors said, his cousin continued to collect those payments.

Starting in late 2019, prosecutors said, the senior leadership of the Colombo family became directly involved in the shakedown, which extended to broader efforts to siphon money from the union: for example, manipulating the selection of union health fund vendors to contract with entities connected to the family, and diverting more than $10,000 each month from the fund to the family.

Sign up for the New York Today Newsletter  Each morning, get the latest on New York businesses, arts, sports, dining, style and more. 

Andrew Russo, 87, who prosecutors describe as the family boss, is accused of taking part in those efforts, as well as a money-laundering scheme to send the proceeds of the union extortion through intermediaries to Colombo associates. He was among nine defendants charged with racketeering.

Mr. Russo appeared in court virtually from the hospital Tuesday; he is set to be detained upon his release, pending a future bail hearing.

The family’s infamous longtime boss, Carmine J. Persico, died in federal custody in North Carolina in March 2019.

Federal law enforcement learned of the extortion scheme about a year ago, prosecutors wrote in a court filing Tuesday; investigators gathered thousands of hours of wiretapped calls and conversations recorded by a confidential witness, wrote the prosecutors, who also described law-enforcement surveillance of meetings among the accused conspirators.

The authorities said they repeatedly captured Mr. Ricciardo and his associates threatening to kill the union official. “I’ll put him in the ground right in front of his wife and kids,” Mr. Ricciardo was recorded saying in June.

On another occasion cited by prosecutors in the memo seeking his detention, Mr. Ricciardo directed the union official to hire a consultant selected by the Colombo family, saying: “It’s my union and that’s it.” Prosecutors said his activities were overseen by a Colombo soldier and the consigliere who remains at large.

Much of the activity outlined in the indictment took place while the defendants were either in prison or on supervised release for prior federal mob-related convictions. Theodore Persico Jr., described as a family captain and soldier, was released from federal prison in 2020 and, despite a directive not to associate with members of organized crime, “directed much of the labor racketeering scheme,” prosecutors said.

Mr. Persico, 58, is set to inherit the role of boss after Mr. Russo, prosecutors wrote.

Several of the defendants were named in what prosecutors described as a fraudulent safety training scheme, in which they falsified state and federal paperwork that is required for construction workers to show they have completed safety training courses.

One of the defendants, John Ragano — whom prosecutors say is a soldier in the Bonanno crime family — is accused of setting up phony occupational safety training schools in New York, which prosecutors said were “mills” that provided fraudulent safety training certificates to hundreds of people.

In October 2020, prosecutors said, an undercover law enforcement officer visited one of the schools in Ozone Park, Queens, and received, from Mr. Ricciardo’s cousin, a blank test form and an answer sheet; weeks later, the agent returned to pick up his federal safety card and paid $500.

The purported schools were also used for meetings with members of La Cosa Nostra — the group of crime families commonly known as the Mafia — and to store illegal drugs and fireworks, according to the indictment.

Mr. Ragano wasn’t charged on the racketeering count, although prosecutors also sought his detention pending trial. In addition to the racketeering count, several defendants, including Mr. Ricciardo and his cousin, were charged with extortion, conspiracy, fraud and conspiracy to make false statements.

William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting.

Correction: 

An earlier version of this article misstated the number of people identified in an indictment as members of the Colombo crime family. It is 11, not more than a dozen.