A private individual speaks
Jim Hansen talked at the National Press Club on Feb 26. You can find the video on CSpan and the presentation graphics on his web site at Columbia.
Hansen stated that discussions of climate change must inevitably have a policy component, and that he therefore spoke as a private individual and not for NASA or the administration. Ice sheet collapse clearly scares him. He sees this as now probable, and certainly possible.
Hansen outlined a five point program to meet the threat imposed by humans altering the atmosphere, indeed he calls it a threat to creation, a threat which will alter the planet in nasty ways (at least if you are a bunny, worse for you humans).
- Moratorium on coal fired power plants: Sequestration technology is decades away
All plants w/o sequestration must eventually be bulldozed (before mid-century)
Efficiency can handle needs during interim (and is necessary on the long run)
This should be done by Congress. In the interim Citizens must accomplish it
- Carbon tax and technology investments: Gradually rising price on emissions drives innovation & efficiency
- Energy efficiency standards
- National Academy of Sciences should urgently organize a study of ice sheet stability
- Effective campaign finance reform: Climate problems cannot be solved as long as special interests are calling the tune.
Towards the end a question was raised about the current US government. Hansen replied:
I have had a chance to advise during this administration. My impression is that they are much less interested in facts that don't support the policies that are in place than they are in counterfacts. For example my suggestions that we try to reduce some of the non-CO2 pollutants were welcomed but not suggestions that we also have to make dramatic reductions in the growth rates of CO2. It's very discouraging that just a few days ago the Vice-President still made statements that said well yeah the world is getting warmer and we are not sure just how much of that is just natural and how much of that is human....Further
I think its more of listening to people who are saying things that are comfortable. So they listen to a science fiction writer, I forget his name.... Michael Crichton, I think we have scientists who have been studying this problem and know what they are talking about and it would be worthwhile to spend a little more time paying attention to them.But enough of the depressing, who made an appearance in the Q&A at the end, but a member of the LaRouche press core, Christopher Jones from 21st Century Science, home of Zbigniew Jaworowski pointing to the semonlinal (and not even wrong) study of the Good Diplom Beck. Translating Hansen into Rabettese the answer was an inquiry about what the questioner was smoking. Yet, the fact that he let the questioner go on forever, points to the fact that anyone speaking on climate change had better be familiar with the crap of the day and prepared to call it out.