James Hansen is a great man, and a great example of the power and ubiquity of Varki’s MORT theory.
Despite working harder than any scientist on the planet to bring reality to government climate policies, Hansen himself is also in denial about one aspect of climate change, namely the implications of reducing CO2 emissions.
Wealth is proportional to energy consumption. Over 90% of energy comes from burning carbon. Most “renewable energy” is dependent on burning carbon for manufacture, installation, and maintenance. Basic physics dictates that reducing CO2 emissions must also shrink the economy.
Notice that in this and almost every other article on climate change there is never an honest acknowledgement of the implications of reducing CO2 emissions.
The reality is that one way or the other we are going to have fewer and poorer people soon.
A carbon tax is one way. Raising interest rates is another. A one-child-policy is another. Starvation, forced migrations, disease, and war are another.
We get to choose. Doing nothing is also a choice.
“All we’ve done is agree there’s a problem,” Hansen told the Guardian. “We agreed that in 1992 [at the Earth summit in Rio] and re-agreed it again in Paris [at the 2015 climate accord]. We haven’t acknowledged what is required to solve it. Promises like Paris don’t mean much, it’s wishful thinking. It’s a hoax that governments have played on us since the 1990s.”
Hansen’s long list of culprits for this inertia are both familiar – the nefarious lobbying of the fossil fuel industry – and surprising. Jerry Brown, the progressive governor of California, and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, are “both pretending to be solving the problem” while being unambitious and shunning low-carbon nuclear power, Hansen argues.
There is particular scorn for Barack Obama. Hansen says in a scathing upcoming book that the former president “failed miserably” on climate change and oversaw policies that were “late, ineffectual and partisan”.
“The solution isn’t complicated, it’s not rocket science,” Hansen said. “Emissions aren’t going to go down if the cost of fossil fuels isn’t honest. Economists are very clear on this. We need a steadily increasing fee that is then distributed to the public.”
“It’s not too late,” Hansen stressed. “There is a rate of reduction that’s feasible to stay well below 2C. But you just need that price on carbon.”
4 thoughts on “James Hansen On and In Denial”
hansen continues to say it is not too late? really? hopium sure is a seductive drug… and < +2c is not safe or even doable.
let’s be honest, no one cares about the future (no matter how dire the science details it to be) if caring means changing massive consumption, non-negotiable lifestyles… so enjoy the gift of these remaining amazing moments, because they are what we get.
MORT is so powerful that it prevents scientists from crunching numbers.
Yes, and accepting the laws of thermodynamics.
I’m tired of rubes who keep bashing Al (“inventor” of global warming) Gore, but he’s similar to Hansen in claiming we can continue economic growth while “fixing this thing” with IWT-ravaged landscapes and other quasi-green chattel. It’s hard to understand why either can’t see it’s all business-as-usual. Maybe they’d both talk differently in private?
Gore is also big on the carbon credit delusion (“100% renewable energy” fails the laws of physics except on a small scale). Right-wingers have some good points on his hypocrisy, but their combined consumption is far worse than any group of celebrities.
Also, Gore cranked out four kids, which is symbolically not great. I question him as a fully legit environmentalist, but on balance he did good by introducing AGW to the masses in 2006. His 2017 sequel was too keen on the Green Industrial Complex for me to stomach after seeing previews.