About Adriana

Hi, my name is Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu.

Until 2005, I was a full-time mother to five children with a strong commitment to human rights and a growing concern about the lack of appropriate policy to address the looming crises of climate change and energy scarcity.  Then I realized that what my children most needed was a liveable world to inherit.

I joined the Green Party of Canada, revitalized the electoral district association as the CEO from 2005-2007 and started doing outreach.  Since the 2006 election, I’ve been reaching out to the community, raising awareness of the climate crisis and promoting the policies necessary to address it.  In response to the Province’s plan to build a power plant on the waterfront in Toronto-Danforth, I spearheaded the project to write A Realistic Energy Plan for Toronto, the only energy plan that eliminated the need for any new generation from fossil fuels.  I was a founding member of the Toronto Energy Coalition, which fought the Portlands Energy Centre.

I am interested in and increasingly informed of the transformations required in the areas of energy, transportation and buildings.  I initiated fora like Power to Choose in 2007 and Climate Change Conference 2010.  I’ve played a central role in organizing rallies like the Canadians for Kyoto rally in 2007 and the December rallies that coincide with the international COP talks on climate change.  I helped plan The Sunshine Walk for Climate Justice for which I walked to Ottawa in 2008.

I have given talks on carbon pricing, global warming and human rights, and I frequently participate in public consultations and lobbying.  Most of my work is non-partisan and I strongly believe that all parties will have to work together to meet the challenges we face.  I hope to work in Parliament towards greater inter-party cooperation.

Born in Brazil to a Ukrainian refugee mother and a Brazilian/Italian father, I speak fluent Ukrainian, Portuguese and English.  Before motherhood, I studied Anthropology at the University of Toronto, including a year of study with native Kaingang and Guarani in Brazil.  My children attend local French language public schools and speak Portuguese at home.

From 2006-2010, I chaired the Cabbagetown-Riverdale Amnesty International group which meets the first Tuesday evening of each month at St. Barnabas church.  I am an executive member of Post Carbon Toronto, and active with a number of other local Toronto groups, notably JustEarth, the Toronto Climate Campaign and The Next Generation.

I have lived in Riverdale since 2002.  My husband Charlie and I share our home with two children still at home.

I am honoured to be the Green Party candidate in the 2012 Canadian federal by-election and I would be honoured to join Elizabeth May, doubling the Green voice in Parliament.

Contact me at adriana@danforthgreens.ca. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

39 responses to “About Adriana”

  1. Carol Percy writes:

    Hi Adriana,

    I cycled past one of your signs last week and was very excited to see it. It’s been very moving to read the information on this web page. Congratulations (though I realize that there is still much more work to be done).

    I’m sorry I’m not in your riding but wish you all the best.

    Take care,


  2. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Hi Carol

    Great to hear from you after all these years. Drop by our office sometime. I’d love to see you.

  3. solomon writes:

    Hi Adriana,

    I’m voting for you as a representative of the Green Party’s anti-nuclear and anti-public water fluoridation platform. Also because I think I met you here in Riverdale at Ralph Thornton Center years ago and you impressed me as friendly and sincere.

    This is despite your position that “global warming” is man-made. Like a lot of people, I saw Gore’s movie when it came out and was converted. However, since then I’ve done considerable independent research into the matter. This has convinced me that the AGW hypothesis is dubious, and a diversion from far more serious environmental threats. These include: nuclear power plants, depleted uranium, public water fluoridation (the history of which is also tied up with the nuclear industry, see The Fluoride Deception), the spread of genetically modified organisms contaminating our food and crops, mercury in dental amalgam, etc.

    Apparently, in the frenzy to “stop climate change”, a large portion of the environmental movement has been diverted from practically every other environmental cause. Yet the science establishing the harmfulnes of nuclear power plants, depleted uranium, and GMOs, is much clearer than the science on which the AGW hypothesis is based.

    Therefore I cast my vote for you in hope that you will jump off of the bandwagon of AGW, and further your own scientific research into these matters.

    Best wishes,

  4. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Thank you Solomon,

    As the Climate Change critic for the Green Party of Canada, I get weekly emails from skeptics on the climate change file. I dutifully investigate any claims about the inadequacy of the science, and will continue to do so. Nothing I have seen has persuaded me that the science isn’t very frightening. There is a great deal of uncertainty about what exactly the future holds, but please keep in mind that it could as easily be a lot worse as a lot better than the best available science.

    Which is to say that while you’re hoping that I come to my senses, I hope that instead you’ll come to agree with me :-)

    That said, I need to emphasize two things I hope we can both agree on now.

    First that dealing with climate change is likely to have enormous beneficial effects on other environmental issues. For example, eliminating coal will clear our air and improve health outcomes. Dealing with climate change will reduce the impacts of tar sands, fracking, land degradation and so on. It will encourage conservation and reduction of waste.

    Secondly, the Green Party has a holistic approach of reducing harm, and yes, I am concerned about unnecessary fluoridation and nuclear power, among many other things. I’m concerned about the depletion of ancient aquifers and degradation of water sources, the impacts this has on food supply. I’m concerned about the unsustainability of our energy use. I’m concerned about the impacts of all the chemicals, some known and many not, that we routinely ingest.

    And I pledge to you that I will promote policies that take all these issues into account and that promote an economy that is sustainable in the long term.

    Thank you for your support. And thanks most of all for saying you found me sincere. That’s an important part of what I want to be and hope to live up to. I want to be both knowledgeable and humble, always ready to listen, and creative in addressing challenges so that I can meet as many concerns as possible, as economically as possible.

    Best wishes to you too, Adriana

  5. Martin Rison writes:

    I am really surpirsed you continue to reference natural gas as a ‘dwindling resource’ when this is factually wrong. It is common knowledge that North America has an embarassment of riches when it comes to natural gas – to the point where oil companies are actively trying to find ways to export it to China. To continue to fight against natural gas as a low-carbon alternative power source means you are camapigning for continued reliance on coal, which everyone agrees is the absolute worst for our environment. I think you really hurt your credibility by not getting behind this option.


  6. Charles writes:

    Excerpt from my blog just posted: “So yesterday I voted in this unnecessary election at the advanced polls. While I truly appreciate and respect the right and privilege to vote, I have never been so uninspired by the choices presented by the three established parties (outside Quebec). At the same time, I examined the Green party’s platform actually felt quite relieved that there actually was a party that comes very close to focusing on issues that are important to me.”

  7. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Hi Martin,

    Even the natural gas companies do not deny that North American conventional natural gas is in terminal decline. The embarrassment of riches you speak of is in shale gas. Shale gas extracted by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is as emissions intensive as coal, not to mention extremely damaging to water sources. That’s why we need to get off natural gas as conventional sources decline, rather than build infrastructure that will depend on shale gas. Enbridge estimates that shale gas will be the dominant source of North American natural gas before 2020. We can expect “natural gas” to be worse than coal sometime shortly after that. So it makes no sense to build up natural gas infrastructure now that would need to operate for 25 years just to turn a profit unless we’re determined to roast the planet. Hope this helps.


  8. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Thanks Charles,

    I tweeted your blog post. Adriana

  9. Martin Rison writes:

    Adriana, I really think you have your head in the sand on the natural gas issue. Shale gas is no different in composition than conventional natural gas (it’s effectively 97% methane) and to say it is more carbon intensive than coal is outright false. Your comment on water damage is also misleading – hydraulic fracturing has been ubiquitous in the oil and gas industry for 20 years and when done properly is benign to water tables (shale gas production zones and water tables are typically separated by 100s of feet of non-porous rock). Finally, your comments on infrastructure are also incorrect. The vast majority of shale gas basins (Marcellus, Montney, Haynesville, Barnett, Eagle Ford for example) are located in mature hydrocarbon basins with large existing infrastructure. For example: high quality Montney shale gas in northeast BC has 10-18 month return on investment and can be transported to market through existing trunk lines to the US Midwest (Alliance Pipeline) and eastern Canada (TransCanada mainline).
    I am very concerned that Green candidate would be so misinformed and/or misleading on the merits of natural gas – saying it is more dangerous than coal is egregious. As the famous quotation says, “you are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts”.

  10. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Hi Martin,

    Actually, shale gas composition can be somewhat different. In particular, shale gas can have substantially more carbon dioxide trapped with it that conventional natural gas does. This gas is simply vented to the atmosphere. See, for example, this paper from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions:


    In addition, extraction is much more energy intensive than conventional gas, and more methane is lost to the atmosphere in the process. Because methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, it has a considerable effect on the total emissions. The net emissions of shale gas exceed those of conventional coal today, according to a Cornell University study:


    All resources decline over time as the best deposits are explored and more marginal ones pursued. That’s why we’re giving up on conventional gas to pursue shale gas. We can expect the emissions profile of all resources to increase over time as we pursue deposits that are more energy intensive to extract or require more processing. So the fact that by some estimates, shale gas is already worse than coal suggests that the emissions profile of natural gas is headed in a direction we cannot responsibly support.

    In regards to fracking, it it’s no surprise that the natural gas industry believes that it is perfectly benign. The industry’s refusal, for years, to disclose the chemicals they use has made it hard to determine its effects. Still, damage from hydraulic fracturing to drinking water has been clearly demonstrated in a number of cases:



    Just recently a US Congressional report did reveal the chemicals used by 14 companies between 2005 and 2009. Of the 750 chemicals and compounds listed, 29 chemicals are “either known or possible carcinogens or are regulated by the federal government because of other risks to human health”:


    Best, Adriana

  11. Martin Rison writes:

    Adriana this attitude is so disappointing. I never thought I would see the day a “Green” politician would cynically obfuscate on a subject like coal vs. gas. The whole point of my post was to correct your false assertion that natural gas is a ‘dwindling’ resource. You know that this is not true due thanks to unconventional sources from shale and other ‘tight’ reservoirs in North America and that says nothing about the vast resources of conventional gas located throughout the rest of the world that is accessible through the global LNG network.

    To try and make the assertion that conventional gas and shale gas are two different things is dishonest. You are obviously well-versed in the industry so you know that the natural gas is no different – what is ‘unconventional’ is the source rock. Your Horn River reference is misleading for a number of reasons the least of which is that the Horn River shale is a non-material, under-developed play in the current industry. You also overlook the fact that associated CO2 is common with any hydrocarbon and an unfortunate byproduct of production. CCS is a future solution to this problem but it doesn’t seem you are willing to look that far. Methane venting is a much simpler issue to fix and has already been addressed by many responsible operators – oil and gas companies separate solution gas from water every day, all over the world -they just need better regulation to make sure these units are in place. 8% reserve loss on methane venting post-fracking is both unlikely and unacceptable for operators.

    And finally, the water and chemical issues are two of the same issue. You well know that reported water table incursions have happened in a tiny fraction of wells and almost always the result of poor operating practices/bad regulation. The chemical components of frack fluid are becoming more widely disseminated by industry and again are nothing new to the industry – with few exceptions, every well that has ever been drilled in North America passes through one or more water tables and when best practices are used the technology is safe.

    Natural gas is the best non-nuclear option we have as a society today to remove baseload coal power from our cities and towns. Any politician who thinks we can run our economy and enjoy our current standard of living without any hydrocarbons is neither serious nor reputable. I can’t express how disappointed I am that a Green politician would be so inflexible and naive that they would rather see us continue to slice coal out of mountain tops to spew radiation, toxins and filth in the air, rather than take the (much, much) lesser of two evils. Adriana, I do not believe you are a serious politician and I will hold my nose and vote for another party on election day.

  12. Paulo Simas writes:

    Hi Adriana! Nice to see a fellow Green and a fellow Brazilian as a candidate! I have been a Green candidate since 2001, and I am currently running in Mississauga-South for the Greens!

    Anyway, just wanted to say “Oi!” and hope to meet you one day!

    Boa sorte no dia 2 de Maio!


    Paul Simas
    Green Party of Canada

  13. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Hey Paulo,

    The Brazilian language media were thrilled to discover me, believing I was the first Brazilian-Canadian candidate for Parliament. May I forward your info to them?

    Thanks, Adriana

  14. Paulo Simas writes:

    Oh, sure! In fact I wasn’t the first either… I think that my father was…

    He ran in 1999 for the Davenport riding (Ontario Provincial Election) After that, I ran in 2003 as a Green provincial candidate in Mississauga, and in 2004 federally in Mississauga-Brampton South, as a member of the Green party first full 308 candidates slate. Ran provincially again in 2007 and sat out federally in 2008, and now again in Mississauga South!

    In fact I think that there was an NDP candidate as well in Brampton in 2003 and another Brazilian Green candidate in 2007 in a south-western Ontario riding… But I can’t recall who exactly…

    But I’m happy to see another Green Brazilian! I think that is what matters! Way to go!

    Adriana, espero ter o prazer de te conhecer pessoalmente! Acho muito legal que os dois unicos brasileiros nesta eleicao estao unidos na mesma plataforma Verde! Isto sim e’ noticia!

    Boa Sorte!

    Paulo Simas

  15. Matt writes:


    I’m sorry, but you are wrong on the bigger picture w/ nat gas. You keep comparing natural gas to coal. We need to get off both of them. While natural gas will suffice for peaker-plants as a bridge, it simply doesn’t make sense to try substitute nat. gas for coal, mainly from the carbon budget needed to prevent catastrophic climate change, but also because there are economic alternatives that we in Ontario can pursue that are better. That’s not to say that nat gas. doesn’t play a role, but there are much better alternatives for both liquid fuel, base load generation, and general reduction of consumption. While hydrocarbons are needed in the near term, your assessment of nat gas. only compares it against coal use and you’re not doing a stand-alone comparison of the cost/benefits of a massive switch to nat. gas. those cost/benefit analyses are out there, but I fear you won’t like what they say.Finally, your blanket condemnation of any alternative that does not include hydrocarbons reveals that you aren’t aware of these alternatives, nor have calculated the carbon budget in which we need to operate within….

  16. Martin Rison writes:

    You’re missing the point:

    The main thrust of my posts was to counter the deliberate misinformation that zealots in the environmental movement try to put forth about nat gas. The biggest ones being:

    1. Natural gas is a declining resource – an outright lie, natural resources are growing worldwide
    2. Nat gas from shale or tight rocks is different than conventional – totally misleading, same hydrocarbon, differenet geology
    3. Shale gas is worse for the environment than coal – another outright lie which no serious scientist would ever support. It wilts under even the most cursory scrutiny.

    My agenda in all of this is to try and steer the environmental debate in this country away from the demagoguery that too many of its leaders espouse and try and focus on practicality and real-world solutions. More than anything, choices that are based on hard science and above all else economics.

    Although I am positive Adriana and Greens like her feel they are acting in the best interest of the cause, there is a reason they have performed abysmally in past elections. If Greens are going to get a seat at the table making real impact to legislation they have to offer practical solutions and act in an honest and truthful manner. Distorting and making up facts destroys creditibility and thus, electibility.

    Practical solutions are the bridge to solving our environmental issues not frantic doomsaying and irrational hyperbole.

    I always tell environmentalists that they must study economics and business. If they can remove themselves from the Ivory Tower and discover how the world’s economies really works they can discover the real solutions to environemntal problems.

    So the point here and on countless other issues is, yes natural gas is not the perfect solution for weaning Ontario from coal but it is the best of the lot. The sooner people in our movement discover there are no quick fixes or silver bullets, the better.

  17. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Martin, I’ll just go over the three statements you attribute to “climate zealots” (of whom, presumably, I am one), and point out where we agree and disagree.

    1. Natural gas supply

    Here’s the first statement you claim to be from “climate zealots”, along with your rebuttal:

    Natural gas is a declining resource — an outright lie, natural resources are growing worldwide.

    First of all, this statement is far too broad for the discussion we’re having.

    If I were to take the statement above completely literally, “natural gas is a declining resource” would have to be correct. By contrast, your counter that “natural resources are growing worldwide” is obviously wrong.

    We live on a finite planet and we’re using up virtually every resource (fish, wood, land, clean well water, oil, etc.) faster than it’s being replenished. That’s most obvious when we look at the decline of forests worldwide perhaps, but the rate of overuse is actually greater for the fossil fuels, which are rebuilt on geologic time scales. We’re using thousands of years worth of concentrated energy every year.

    It would be more correct to say that the rate of discoveries of natural gas is increasing, and I think this may be what you intended to say. This may be true today, as compared to a year ago, but it’s not a long-term trend. Furthermore, even if it is true today, it is only true because the price of gas now allows us to explore pretty extreme sources of the stuff at unprecedented rates. The general trend is to decline, as you can see by this chart of long-term global natural gas discoveries which peaked in the 1970’s and haven’t been anywhere close for decades.

    [Chart: Global giant gas discoveries by decade]

    As David Hughes (who is certainly not a climate zealot, but rather a senior researcher with the Geological Survey of Canada for 32 years) points out, between 1991 and 2009, the amount of drilling to find new wells in North America increased by 300% for a gain of 15% in production. So we’re drilling more and more feverishly to get piddling production gains.

    Shale gas exacerbates this trend, since shale gas wells have a much faster depletion rate. While conventional gas wells have a depletion rate of about 32% annually, shale gas wells can deplete by up to 80% in the first year.

    What I actually said was that conventional natural gas sources in North America are in deep and irrevocable decline, with no appreciable production gains in spite of tremendous efforts being made to find the stuff. That is an undisputed fact, and the reason why we in North America are turning to shale gas and other exotics.

    So to clarify, what “climate zealots” like me might say is that “Conventional natural gas wells are in decline in North America, unable to keep up alone with demand. So keeping up with future demand, if it continues, will require greater reliance on shale gas”.

    2. Conventional vs shale gas

    Now here’s the second statement you pin on “climate zealots”, again with your correction.

    Nat gas from shale or tight rocks is different than conventional — totally misleading, same hydrocarbon, differenet geology

    Here my problem is that I disagree with your statement that “climate zealots” claim that the gas itself is different. I have never heard any climate activist of any type claim that the gas is fundamentally different if it comes from shale. The problem environmental and climate activists have with shale gas is the production process.

    It’s comparable to a distinction between bottled water imported from France and tap water. No environmentalist is saying “Don’t drink Evian because it’s bad water”. They’re saying “Don’t drink Evian because it’s essentially the same as tap water. France can’t be expected to provide drinking water for the planet and it’s crazy to waste energy moving water around uselessly that way”.

    So I agree with your “correction” but deny that I (or anyone else I know) made the statement you accuse us of.

    3. Shale gas vs coal

    Here’s the third statement you accuse “climate zealots” of making, along with your rebuttal:

    Shale gas is worse for the environment than coal — another outright lie which no serious scientist would ever support. It wilts under even the most cursory scrutiny.

    The production of shale gas releases greenhouse gases equivalent or higher than mountaintop removal coal mining. There are serious analyses that demonstrate this (including peer-reviewed studies), whereas I know of no serious scientific analysis that disputes this. I pointed you to the Howarth study from Cornell. If you have something which disputes that, please point me to it.

    Still, I’m not sure a “climate zealot” would make the above statement, because “shale gas is worse for the environment”, is a much broader statement than a simple analysis of its greenhouse gas impacts. Mountaintop removal, uhm, removes whole mountains, causes flooding, spread of nasty toxins, destruction of wildlife and a complete change of local ecosystems. On the other hand, shale gas production has been known to poison local drinking water supplies. I don’t know if anyone has made an overall comparison of the two, nor do I know how you would, since you can’t compare the value of deer habitat against the value of safe drinking water without a value judgement.

    So I would not say that shale gas is environmentally worse than coal overall. But I would say that if you’re trying to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and moving off coal to do so, then moving onto shale gas is a bogus direction.

    I have never advocated quick fixes or silver bullets. Quite the contrary. It is natural gas advocates who imagine it is a quick fix. I have spent a great deal of time taking a sober look into the pros and cons of every type of path forward out of our unsustainable and polluting addictions. I do not think the answers are going to be easy. But we owe it to our children and grandchildren to offer them a livable world at the end of our lives. And that means we can’t just grasp at straws like natural gas (and ethanol and tree-planting offsets and many other interesting notions) and defend them even when the scientific evidence suggests that they are not any better than what they’re replacing.

    Best, Adriana

  18. Ron Scott writes:

    i have been to your office on Danfoth and meet Heidi
    I will help out were I can

    Thaks Ron

  19. Ron Scott writes:

    I CAN HELP at Danforth office

  20. Pamela writes:

    Great conversation above. Sound, articulate and reasonable points. Largely, in my own education of similar matters, most of the work of envisioning our transition to a sustainable culture, is psychological and spiritual. To dream of something viable (renewable energy, local non-GMO food security, ecologically-based education, place-based architecture, public transportation, etc) which must replace the non-viable, will take courage, insight and support. We all have to be inspired, motivated, and informed….and then act in our communities through our daily choices, AND through our democratic processes.
    Adriana, you bring all these qualities to the public table. What an opportunity – to vote for you!
    All the best!

  21. Terri writes:

    I am not in your riding, or even your province, but I wish you success in the up coming by-election. You are obviously very knowledgeable and committed to Canada and your riding.

  22. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Thank you Pamela!

    I hope I come to represent you well in Parliament.

  23. Marie writes:

    I am not in your riding, but am also glad to finally see sound science and solid reasoning inform policy choices. All the best!

  24. Alvaro Tortora writes:

    Dear Adriana,
    I’ve been a supporter, and now, a new member of the GPC. I’m from Hamilton, if I were in your district I would definitely Vote 4 U – I can only offer a small contribution towards your campaign – pls., have your office contact me. Best of Luck 2 U & Good Luck 2 us all in during these trying times…!

  25. Erin Lumley writes:

    I wish I lived in your riding. Good luck. Elizabeth May needs all the help she can get.

  26. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Dear Terri, Alvaro, Erin and Marie. Thank you so much for your words of support. I’m working very hard to win Toronto-Danforth for the Greens. Adriana

  27. Moira Groeneveld writes:

    Very Interesting Debate. Love that you stayed calm, rational and to the point. While the person disagreeing got more and more irrational and derogatory. If you were in my riding I would vote for you.

    I wish you the very best of luck and hope you get the seat.
    From Canmore Alberta.

  28. BJ Clayden writes:

    Adriana. I wish you the best in the election run, from the wild west coast. I’ll be rooting fro you.
    Just a quick note – you might not want to use the Evian comparison – the Chernobyl residue that came to rest on the North face of the Alps is at the point of being carried through into the source waters of the Evian springs, if it isn’t already there.

  29. Rick Fullerton writes:


    I am delighted to learn about you from your web site. As others have noted above, your well-informed and respectful approach is very refreshing – and a model I wish were followed by other candidates and elected officials. We need more people like you in Parliament. Since I am not in your riding I cannot vote for you but you certainly have my full support.


  30. Garry White writes:

    Hi Adriana, Like so many others on this page I’m not in your riding either, but I’m making a small donation just the same. Maybe we should start thinking about forming Green-minded communities throughout the country so we can get more people like you into office. Best of luck.

  31. Doug MacIntosh writes:

    You have great credentials, including social action, humanity, and caring for the important factors for our and our children’s future. I am not in your riding, but I sincerely hope you become the second Green in our Parliament.

  32. Martin Rison writes:

    I feel like I am banging my head against the wall here but I will try this again. I am not trying to be derogatory and apologize if that is the perception but I am absolutely trying to be not only rational but more importantly pragmatic and truthful. The Greens are great at preaching to the choir but have been weak at winning over the mainstream – I want this to change. Part of the reason is that many cling (often blindly) to ideas that serve their perceived purpose even though they fail to pass even minor scrutiny. We have to be willing to accept both reality to achieve our goals and that sometimes means making compromises.

    I could rebut a number of points in your last post but I will address your references to the Howarth study from Cornell because this perfectly encapsulates my concerns stated above. The Howarth paper (reliance on shale gas is worse for the environment than coal) has been universally panned and debunked by mainstream science since it came out last year – you have to know this. The findings were refuted by the likes of the Sierra Club, the EIA, the University of Maryland, Carnegie Mellon University and perhaps most importantly from Cornell University itself (Cathles et al). You can find their latest paper here:


    The numerous errors and omissions this and others papers point out are embarrassing. Among them, Howarth overstates the impact of Methane on warming (contradicts the IPCC), ignores methane emissions from coal production entirely, attributes all reserve loss to venting while ignoring flaring and on-site power generation, I could go on… And this paper doesn’t even broach the issues of nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide, mercury, lead, heavy metals and radiation emissions that would be greatly reduced or eliminated entirely by replacing coal power with gas!

    I draw this to your attention not just because you challenged me to show a refutation of Howarth’s work but to try and bring some reality back to a very important discussion. My point from the get-go is that there are too many people in the Green movement who are willing to suspend their criticality and common sense in order to find the one voice that will reaffirm a rigid, idealistic view. But even worse, to do so destroys the credibility of the majority who want to deal in facts, win elections and have a seat at the table in order to create compromise, consensus and above all progress.

  33. Kate Sircom writes:

    Adriana and Martin,
    It has been fascinating to read this debate, marked, for both of you, by clear thinking and an attention to facts. From this debate alone, I would conclude that natural gas may perhaps need to be one part of our energy future. But the more important part, which I think Adriana has clearly articulated elsewhere, is that we need to decrease our reliance on all forms of fossil fuels, and that the best way to do this is through conservation. What bothers me is that the current economic model encourages extraction of fossil fuels as quickly as the wells can be drilled. If we work within the Kyoto protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, surely we can find a way to meet our energy needs through extracting natural gas at a much, much lower rate, combined with whole-scale conservation.

    I live in Nova Scotia so I can’t vote in this by-election but I have sent a donation and I do wish you, Adriana, all the best.

  34. Bruce McCulloch writes:

    Adriana and Martin
    I too am most impressed by the tone of your discussion. In particular I want to thank Martin for not giving up, as he so easily could have. This allowed the discussion to develop in a very fruitful way for all to see. I take that as a real sign of engagement in matters that are Green. I believe he is correct that environmentalists need to be cognizant of economic and business realities as new policy decisions are contemplated.

    I live in the firm belief that when all facts are presented, two rational people, such as Adriana and Martin, will ultimately find themselves on common ground.

    I too live in Nova Scotia, so like Kate I am simply wishing you all the best Adriana in this by-election.

  35. Robert Aubery writes:

    Great Adrianna, you blew that Martin guy right to the bottom of a shale gas well. It is a well established fact, around here, that shale gas extraction is very risky to the environment and the water table. That is why it has been banned in many parts of Europe and New York state. Regards.

  36. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Hi Martin,

    I was able to look up some of your sources rebutting the Howarth paper and they are certainly thought-provoking, but they don’t make fracking look very good. Also, a few clarifications need to be made.

    The Sierra Club in the United States had a long history of promoting natural gas and was therefore embarrassed by a report showing that it was as bad as coal. I remember reading their objections, which had a lot to do with criticizing coal mining for things other than greenhouse gas emissions, and worries that Howarth’s paper might be a green light for more mountaintop removal. The Sierra Club even financed the study done by Carnegie Mellon that you refer to. There are now revelations that the Sierra Club took $25 million from the natural gas industry between 2007-2010.

    In Canada, the Sierra Club endorses and promotes Mr. Howarth’s work:

    Excursions Sierra Club Québec Outings: Prof. Robert Howarth (Cornell) Webinar: Shale gas fracking & climate change.

    I haven’t been able to find any reference to critiques from the EIA or the University of Maryland. So, criticizing Mr. Howarth so far are the industry-funded, natural gas-promoting Sierra Club and a paper they commissioned, as well as the critique from Cornell, which is far more serious, and which I’ll address below. I should note though, that the Cornell critique was not available at the time of our last interaction.

    On the other hand, it’s clearly not true as you state that “The Howarth paper… has been universally panned and debunked by mainstream science”. On the contrary, it appears to be frequently cited by very reputable scientists.

    Going over your specific objections, I should note that while Howarth’s original paper did not look at fugitive emissions from coal, his subsequent paper did.

    On the other hand, it was this second paper which used the 20 year time horizon rather than the 100 year time horizon. Rather, it used both, and you’re not right when you say it contradicts the IPCC. The IPCC has both as well, though they often go with the 100 year time horizon when summarizing. Howarth is not the first scientist to suggest that there should be a greater focus on the 20-year time horizon.

    In terms of the venting debate, it’s my understanding that the industry agrees that less than 15% of the gas is flared or otherwise burned. So it’s an important omission, but not big enough to completely alter the general thrust of Howarth’s analysis.

    Your complaint that Howarth didn’t talk about other pollutants that come from coal I will not address. His paper wasn’t about evaluating the two fuels overall, it was about comparing GHG emissions only. Comparing other things would require a difficult value judgement.

    The other complaint that’s brought up in both the Carnegie-Mellon paper and by the Cornell team is that natural gas power plants are more energy efficient than coal plants, so if you look strictly at power generation, the profile for natural gas looks better.

    There are two reasons why Howarth’s choice in this respect may be considered reasonable, even if extreme. First, that if we’re serious about coal elimination through fuel switching, then we need to consider thermal uses of coal as well, like Howarth did. Secondly, the efficiency of natural gas is no better than coal when you move to the more efficient district energy systems, which would be the only sensible way to proceed.

    Howarth has published a rebuttal to the Cornell critique of his paper. It points out, among other things, that seven independent assessments of fugitive emissions have been performed since his paper was written and while his paper is on the high end of the estimates, the estimates of his critics are absurdly too low:

    [And more recent review he did:
    A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas. Energy Science and Engineering 2014; 2(2): 47–60.
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ese3.35 ]

    It’s clear that Howarth is pushing the limits of how we evaluate emissions from fracking. And I’ll agree that honest men may come to different conclusions. But it’s also clear to me that his critics are pushing the limits of interpretation in the opposite direction.

    There are multiple papers and organizations expressing concern about the GHG impacts of fracking, whether or not it’s quite as bad as coal. For example, here’s a paper that indicates that if BC pursues fracking, then it will fail to meet its emissions targets:

    Mark Jaccard and Brad Griffin. Shale Gas and Climate Targets: Can They Be Reconciled?

    Keep in mind that the IEA has pointed out that if we continue building infrastructure to burn fossil fuels of any kind, we will close up all the emissions space within a couple of years. The smarter way to approach coal elimination is not with something that could, if you squint, maybe reduce the emissions by half, but rather to focus on ways to virtually eliminate emissions by going to entirely non-emitting renewable sources.

  37. John KingofthePaupers Turmel writes:

    TURMEL: Time to settle $100 Turmel-Magnutto-Hamu ClimateGate Bet

    Dear Ms. Adriana Magnutto-Hamu adriana@danforthgreens.ca

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdtKw0NhWY8 is my youtube video

    $100 ClimateGate bet “Temperature Went Down” taken by Green Party Adriana Magnuto-Hamu

    I refer you to The Global Warming Lie – John Coleman

    And my discussion about our bet at

    Please notice the graph showing how the actual temperature has gone down since 1998.

    Would you care to have a debate disputing the video calling you and yours liars and frauds or scientific incompetents, or would you rather just pay up the $100 and get on with trying to clean the environment of the real pollutants and not the imaginary ones you forgot plants need for symbiosis with humans?

  38. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    Hi John,

    I’m looking forward to collecting my money.

    Here’s a video from a journalist who has been working with climate scientists to understand exactly what the “Climategate” emails referred to. It’s an easy primer for your audience, and done in a light-hearted way:


    As I pointed out during the debate, no scientist was ever hiding a real increase. On the contrary, they were trying to cover up the fact that the proxy measures they were using were failing to accurately reproduce the real, measured recent heat. If anything this suggests that the interpretation of proxy data is wrong, and that we may be facing more heat than scientists think. What I didn’t have time to point out in the short time allotted to me is that this “cover up” or “trick” was also done openly. That is, in their published work, they wrote clearly that the graphs they were using did not use proxy data for recent temperatures, but substituted in real temperatures instead. That’s why at least 4 committees that looked into allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the scientists all concluded that the scientists had acted reasonably and honourably. Nothing was hidden, no one was tricked, and there was no decline in temperature.

    I can tell you that I have personally read through each and every email released during Climategate. At first there were a few I didn’t understand, but I talked to people who did (not the people who wrote them, by the way) and cleared up the bits that weren’t immediately clear. So I know what they all talk about. Honestly, the most embarassing thing in the whole mess of them was squabbling between scientists and occasional potty words. There were real disagreements about approaches that should be taken and how data should be interpreted. But these were minor. None of the scientists was covering up a perception that climate science was wrong. Not at all.

    As to whether the Earth stopped warming, here’s a simple background primer for your audience. The key is to note that you can’t take a cold day and say “See, warming has stopped”. Similarly, you can’t take a hot day or a hot year and the next day say “see, it’s cooling”. You have to look at long-term trends:


    In terms of real data, here is NASA’s graph of both global measured temperatures and the smoothed trend line. Obviously there are ups and downs, but not many people can look at that graph and wipe their brows with relief that it’s been cooling for 10 years. Especially since the four hottest years on record and 9 of the top 10 have all been within the last 10 years. I’m not quite sure how it is that you can say that it’s been cooling. The data just doesn’t back you up. The closest we can say is that the globe was warming more quickly in the previous decade than in the one that just passed. So the rate of warming may have slowed, but that’s a long way from saying that it’s actually cooling:

    [original location:] nasa dot gov/images/content/616910main_gisstemp_2011_graph_lrg[1].jpg

    Here’s a UNEP report pointing out that 9/10 of the hottest years on record were in the last decade. Even if you choose to quibble about which data set you want to trust, they all agree on that fact:


    And here’s a great visual representation of the global measured temperatures from 1880 to today. It’s constantly being updated with new inputs of real temperature measurements, and again, the effect is to be able to see how much hotter (indicated by red) the world is becoming. There is no recent cooling:


    John Coleman is full of misinformation. I found it hard to watch his video, full of assertions that have been thoroughly discredited. Coleman is not a scientist, he has never published a single peer reviewed paper. He has falsely claimed to be a meteorologist. He states things such as that “average global temperatures have gone up maybe a tenth of a degree” which are absurdly and obviously wrong, as any review of any temperature data will show. He dredges up “experts” like the absurd Christopher Monckton who laughably makes stuff up and is also not a scientist, and Willie Soon, who’s research is paid for by the oil companies, a fact which he tried to hide. But none of it can counter the real data. Temperatures have simply not gone down in the last decade. As I said in the debate, nine of the ten hottest years on record have all been in the last decade.

    Here’s a good rebuttal of Coleman’s claims:


    Basically, you’re trusting the opinions of a ranting, non-scientific joker who has no data to back him up. You should know better, John. Look over the real data. I look forward to meeting up with you to get that $100 bill.


  39. Zacharias Calil Hamu writes:

    Ola Adriana, pesquisando a família Hamu, fiquei feliz em saber sobre você.

    Interessante porque sempre achei que esse sobrenome fosse apenas da nossa família – árabe que reside no Brasil em particular no Centro – Oeste , Goiânia e Brasília.
    Visite o meu site e terá maiores informações sobre nós.

    Grande abraço


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