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85. Saving the Nation’s Oceans and the Big Clathrate Gun Firing Methane Gas

R-CharterRichard Charter, a senior fellow at the Ocean Foundation, talks with Rob.  A House Committee recently passed a measure to boost oil production off of California and leases for drilling off of the U.S. Southeast.  Known for protecting CA shores, Richard also raises concerns for living in Virginia, New England, and the Northwest.  He calls for expanding National Marine Sanctuaries.

Methane gas hydrate is gas locked in an ice-like lattice of water molecules.  There’s more of it to be had than natural gas. Extraction is very risky, as there is evidence that a great release of gas hydrates, called the “clathrate gun hypothesis,” may have been associated with climate warming events such as the end of ice ages.  There is stronger evidence that this methane “gun” is associated with the Permian extinction event 251 million years ago, when 96% of all marine species became extinct.  Despite our destructive tendencies, Richard explains how he still finds hope for humanity.