Natural Gas: The Best Of The Worst Solutions

Photo by KWON JUNHO on Unsplash

Some in our ecosystem want to blame Big Oil and its executives for global warming.

And while those accusations have merit, a more comprehensive story holds true too. A story which lets the industry and its executives off the hook. The same story puts instead every human using the industry’s products on the hook.

That’s right. Every one of us owns responsibility for climate problems wreaking havoc worldwide. We also own responsibility for solutions.

Yet we keep driving internal combustion (ICE) powered cars . People just like us don’t recycle. We keep eating meat. We keep powering our houses extra warm in winter and freezing in winter. Very few of us significantly change our lives and in not doing so we create more of the problem.

Meanwhile, many in the energy industry already do things making significant differences around the world. One of those people is energy tycoon Charif Souki.

Souki once owned the distinction of being the highest paid CEO in the world. In 2013 his firm paid him neary $150 million in one year. The Lebanese immigrant began as a banker before founding Hollywood restaurants. Then, seeing both opportunity and a way to help the planet, he single-handedly moved some of the biggest coal consuming countries onto a better energy fuel: natural gas.

From food to energy fuel

Now before you blather on about how bad natural gas is, you might want to do your research. As an energy fuel it reduces CO2 emissions by half when used in place of coal. While it compares poorly to renewables, it’s a fantastic bridging technology. Many countries committed to reducing climate change remain stuck with coal for economic reasons. Economies in India and China, for example, can’t afford a leap straight to renewable energy. It costs too much.

Natural gas offers a bridge. It allows such countries cleaner, affordable fuel options. It not only reduces CO2 emissions, natural gas directly reduces national healthcare costs too. As Souki described it in a recent New York Times article:

“People in Africa die from indoor pollution because they use wood and cardboard to prepare their meals. There are people in India that die of outdoor pollution. So if you restrain or restrict energy to the people who need it, you’re killing them.”

Indeed, NYT journalist Jake Bittle reported that in India, dozens of coal-fired plants operate all day, every day. They literally blacken skies over India’s largest cities. Such pollution, he writes, kills over 80,000 people prematurely every year.

China and smaller countries in Europe face similar problems. Natural gas offers a relatively easy and less expensive way to turn off the coal and turn on more environmentally friendly infrastructures.

As a result, Bittle writes: “Natural gas has emerged as a kind of Goldilocks fuel for power generation: less polluting than coal and less disruptive than switching to renewables. In other words, it’s the best of the worst.”

That brown layer behind the palace? Yeah, that’s pollution. A major cause of poor Indian air quality and tens of thousands of premature deaths is Indian coal-fired power plants. (Photo by Tiago Rosado on Unsplash)

One man did it all

Souki is this sole person responsible for moving countries like China and India onto natural gas. Every country mentioned in the NYT article is switching to the cleaner fuel. And all of them will benefit, thanks to Souki’s innovation. So will the planet. The US already burns less coal and more natural gas. Souki had a role in this too. His two companies, like Elon Musk’s Tesla moved the worldwide auto industry into the electric era, helped inspire more domestic investments in natural gas production.

For sure, many problems stem from burning natural gas. A major component of the gas – methane – is itself a powerful greenhouse substance. Methane leaks during extraction processes are problems. Such leaks almost make it better to leave natural gas in the ground and instead use coal. Unless you can stop leaks. That’s something the industry is working hard on. Not successfully all the time, but nothing is 100 percent perfect.

Souki’s story itself is as impressive as his energy achievements. He went from not knowing anything about the energy industry to founding two companies leading the post-coal global transition. Yes, he’s become immensely wealthy as a result. But he deserves it.

In Net Benefit Value terms, Souki’s results not only are changing the global energy picture. They’re making cities more livable. They’re reducing premature deaths. And entire countries are improving their national energy infrastructures.

How many ordinary, non billionaires complaining about global warming can say the same? Any solutions coming from consumers railing on capitalism? Where are their plans to use capitalism, as Souki has, to change the world for the better?

Natural gas increasingly is replacing coal worldwide. It’s not the best thing. But it is the best of bad things. (Photo by Doris Morgan on Unsplash)

Parallels to Copiosis?

Not only has the energy tycoon prompted this tremendous global shift, he generated billions of dollars for those supporting his endeavors through investment. That’s a stupendous feet for someone who knew nothing about the energy industry. Or the chemical and industrial challenges of getting the gas out of the ground. Let alone moving it around the planet.

What I find especially cool about Souki’s solution is this: It offers distinct parallels with the bridging technology that is Copiosis.

Souki was literally years ahead of the gas industry. No one thought about doing what he did. At the time he started, US natural gas companies focused on domestic markets. Souki saw a new world in exporting domestic gas to the world. Now he enjoys a near global monopoly.

A perfect convergence of domestic and global events conspired with his foresight and intuition. They prompted him to “risk it all” to export US gas to other countries, something unheard of at the time. Not only did his far out plan work. It made the world better. And it made Souki and his investors rich.

Copiosis was far ahead of its time when it started nearly 10 years ago. External circumstances are catching up with it. They’re creating a perfect storm of events. Those events are catalyzing human awareness. Humanity increasingly realizes something better must replace our current civilization. Everything needed for Copiosis exists. The only thing we await is the money. And that’s coming. Soon we’ll do for civilization what Souki is doing for global energy.

Our general three-phase plan for implementing Copiosis. More detail can be found here.

Practical steps forward

Souki’s plan happened incrementally. Our global picture must continue evolving towards renewables. Meanwhile, capitalism and our politics adds friction to that forward progress. Still, from the standpoint of working with what you have, Souki created extremely positive net beneficial results.

As a staunch climate change supporter, Souki knows we must do something to avert disaster in 40 years. But he’s also practical. He understands that in the meantime, people must warm their homes in winter and cook their food. And it’s better that they do that with natural gas rather than coal, wood, or some other subpar heating fuel.

The same holds for implementing Copiosis. For while we are extremely aspirational, with goals that are seemingly impossible (they’re not), we’re also practical. We recognize what’s really going on and who is responsible. As a result, we give credit where credit is due.

Some think our transition pie-in-the-sky. But we know our approach sits on a strong foundation built on knowing how things happen across All That Is. That’s why we’re confident in our New World Order. And especially confident the money is coming.

People complain about billionaires and industries, many of which created better worlds from their then status quo. Copiosis is doing the same, in its own practical, incremental way. And while some sit impatient and critical about our approach, they’re in the stands while we’re on the playing field. We’re doing. They’re complaining.

Examples like Souki reinforce confidence in our plan. So do other recent global developments. We’re more than ever excited by the future we’re creating. A future that will transform the world. Just like Souki has.

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