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Dr James Hansen: Assessing Dangerous Climate Change

2013/12/09

“If we go another decade or two just charging ahead business as usual, then we leave people a possibly unsolvable problem.”

-James Hansen

Graphic: Climate Central

Graphic: Climate Central

 

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Retired NASA scientist Dr James Hansen published a new paper this week, entitled Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature. Climate Central says:

The globally agreed upon political goal of limiting global warming to 3.6°F (2°C) above preindustrial levels would bring “potentially disastrous impacts,” and a far more ambitious plan to slash emissions of global warming gases is needed, according to a new study by an interdisciplinary group of scientists and economists. 

The study, published Tuesday in PLOS One, amounts to a rebuttal of a key finding from a recent U.N. climate report, that laid out a cumulative “carbon budget” for the world to follow in order to have at least a 66 percent chance of meeting the 3.6°F target. Read full article here.

Read Hansen’s full article here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 2013/12/09 4:05 pm

    James Hansen is right to highlight these trends and facts and make the world aware of the significant issues that it faces; unfortunately for us and future generations little is being done. We all need to act now, not wait for governments and others to act: they may eventually act but it will be too late.

    • 2013/12/10 5:16 am

      Dr Hansen is one of the many, many people all around the world who is doing everything in his/her power to bring about the changes that are needed. One of the groups that he recommends joining is Citizens Climate Lobby: “Everyone who wishes to preserve our planet and its life should consider joining and supporting Citizens Climate Lobby. Their advocacy on a simple rising carbon fee, with 100% distributed to the public, nothing to make government bigger, is just what is needed to incentivize the transition to clean energy. Their respectful but thoughtful demeanor is perfect.”

      CCL started in the U.S. in 2007, and then to Canada in 2010. This year, it’s gone international, with chapters starting in Sweden, in Bangladesh, and interest across the globe. If you are in the U.k., and want to put your time and effort into making a difference, get in touch with CCL. But don’t do it if you really believe that anything we do will be too little too late. Then just stay home.
      The fact is, it has gotten this far because we – all of us, you and me – have allowed it to get this way. “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” (Professor David Orr). Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, those British suffragettes who agitated for women’s right to vote, could have said the same thing, that nothing will ever change, the problem is too big, we are too powerless, etc.
      The fact is, we don’t know how this is going to end, and the odds are that it will end badly. But at the end of my life, I want to be able to say that I did every I could to ensure my daughters, and all future generations, had a stable climate. That’s the only way I can live with myself. So my climate work is helping me as much as the planet.
      Climate trauma is a very real condition. If that’s what you’re feeling, you might want to read Daphne Wysham’s article on just that. What she says is “I have discovered a new sixth stage, beyond acceptance of the truly depressing climate science: doing The Work.” http://otherwords.org/the_six_stages_of_climate_grief/
      The good news is, you recognize the seriousness of our situation. The question is, are you willing to do The Work?

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