In an op ed in today's New York Times, James Hansen doubles down. Pointing out that the amount of carbon in Canada's tar sands, if completely exploited are the CO2 equivalent of twice what has been burnt to date Hansen tries to help Barack Obama evolve (Eli knows, this is today's INTERNET tradition) on climate change. Hansen sees the world on a path to Pliocene conditions
That level of heat-trapping gases would assure that the disintegration of the ice sheets would accelerate out of control. Sea levels would rise and destroy coastal cities. Global temperatures would become intolerable. Twenty to 50 percent of the planet’s species would be driven to extinction. Civilization would be at risk.
That is the long-term outlook. But near-term, things will be bad enough. Over the next several decades, the Western United States and the semi-arid region from North Dakota to Texas will develop semi-permanent drought, with rain, when it does come, occurring in extreme events with heavy flooding. Economic losses would be incalculable. More and more of the Midwest would be a dust bowl. California’s Central Valley could no longer be irrigated. Food prices would rise to unprecedented levels.
If this sounds apocalyptic, it is. This is why we need to reduce emissions dramatically.The paragraph where the usual suspects are going to try and wedge out an attack is about recent heat waves
The global warming signal is now louder than the noise of random weather, as I predicted would happen by now in the journal Science in 1981. Extremely hot summers have increased noticeably. We can say with high confidence that the recent heat waves in Texas and Russia, and the one in Europe in 2003, which killed tens of thousands, were not natural events — they were caused by human-induced climate change.Eli's POV on this is rather simple. If you have natural variability on top of a rising base, then the hotter extremes are going to get hotter and you don't need a degree in meteorology or statistics to figure that out, so the Bunny is with Hansen. If you want to argue that it is going to cool like crazy Roy in the next decade, well, good luck with that, but Eli has a slightly used Sky Dragon to sell you complete with its own play time lawyer.
Hansen's policy recommendation with a bit of economic analysis thrown in is
We should impose a gradually rising carbon fee, collected from fossil fuel companies, then distribute 100 percent of the collections to all Americans on a per-capita basis every month. The government would not get a penny. This market-based approach would stimulate innovation, jobs and economic growth, avoid enlarging government or having it pick winners or losers. Most Americans, except the heaviest energy users, would get more back than they paid in increased prices. Not only that, the reduction in oil use resulting from the carbon price would be nearly six times as great as the oil supply from the proposed pipeline from Canada, rendering the pipeline superfluous, according to economic models driven by a slowly rising carbon price.