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Temperature Tantrum: James Hansen Speaks Out, Gets Busted, and Now Sues to Stop Global Warming

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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What more can a scientist trying to save us do?

You’re on a train and you receive information that leads you to believe that a flood has weakened the scaffolding of a rail bridge ahead. If the train doesn’t stop, it may plunge into a ravine. What do you do? The train won’t reach the bridge for awhile, so you don’t panic yet. You find the conductor and calmly share your information with him, but he shrugs and says his job is to keep the train on schedule. So you walk through the aisles sharing your information with the passengers to see if they can pressure the conductor. Most don’t even glance up from their smart phones and magazines. You get desperate, because time is running out. You start yelling that if the train doesn’t stop, everyone is doomed, but even those who seemed sympathetic before scowl at you like you’re nuts.

Meanwhile, the train keeps barreling toward the bridge.

James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the world’s foremost atmospheric scientists, is the man on the train. Hansen, who just gave a terrific update on global warming research at my school, which we recorded and posted, is at heart a shy Midwesterner; he is much more comfortable doing research than being in the spotlight.

In the 1980s, however, he became so worried about global warming that he started speaking out. At a 1988 Senate hearing on climate change, he made headlines when he asserted with 99 percent certainty that greenhouse gases from human activities were causing global warming. Since then the correlated surge in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures has borne out his assertion.

Hansen has continued to do research on climate change and to speak out, even when his candor threatened his career. Officials of the Bush administration repeatedly warned Hansen to curb his tongue—a NASA lawyer even threatened the scientist with prosecution—but he refused to be censored. His growing desperation is evident in his recent book, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity (Bloomsbury USA, 2009). The book lays out the evidence for human-induced global warming, addresses the doubts of skeptics, and spells out what we should do to avert the worst consequences.

Like its author, Storms is earnest and wonky, especially when discussing the details of global warming research and proposed solutions—notably cap and trade, which Hansen loathes, and fee and dividend, which he likes. As the book’s subtitle indicates, Hansen’s rhetoric can be strident, for example when he refered to rail cars bearing coal as "death trains." (Hansen has apologized for that language, which has previously been used to describe the trains that carried Jews to Nazi concentration camps.)

But Hansen’s lack of polish and tact lends his book force. He criticizes not only global warming skeptics but also environmentalists who oppose nuclear power, which Hansen views as our best hope for replacing fossil fuels. He whacks not only Bush officials but also Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Barack Obama for not acting more aggressively to curb carbon emissions. "Our planet, with its remarkable array of life, is in imminent danger of crashing," he wrote. "Yet our politicians are not dashing forward. They hesitate; they hang back."

Hansen advocates civil disobedience to block fossil-fuel operations; in 2009 he was arrested along with other protestors allegedly obstructing traffic into a coal-mining operation in West Virginia. Now he is trying another tactic: suing the government. Hansen serves as a scientific advisor for Our Children’s Trust, an Oregon-based nonprofit formed "to protect Earth’s natural systems for current and future generations." The group has organized a lawsuit that a coalition of environmental groups filed last week against the U.S. and other nations in attempt to force them to take measures to cut fossil-fuel emissions.

The suit includes Hansen’s claim that it is not enough to keep atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at their current level of 390 parts per million; to avoid damaging the planet, we must roll levels back to 350 parts per million, which is still 70 parts higher than the pre-industrial level. First filed on May 4 in a U.S. district court in California (pdf), the suit claims that U.S. has failed to fulfill its "fiduciary obligation to control atmospheric contamination that causes catastrophic and irreparable damage to our lands, our businesses, our national security and our health."

For reasons that are probably more emotional than rational, I resist Hansen’s alarming assertion that if we don’t take immediate steps to slash fossil-fuel consumption, we may be doomed. But I respect and admire Hansen as a scientist and an activist. Read his book, listen to his lecture, and decide for yourself if humanity is in danger of going off the rails.

Photo of Hansen by Columbia University

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  1. 1. JamesDavis 7:39 am 05/9/2011

    I think Hansen is right on target. I even think Nuclear reactors are great if the government doesn’t take short cuts to save money and end up creating a bomb that will wipe us all out…like that is happening now in Japan. Learn from our mistakes and take steps to make sure it doesn’t ever happen again and you are on your way to recovery.

    Electric transportation and geothermal, hydro -both ocean and wave – and solar would probably cut green house gases by over 70%, and in a short while, probably 100%. Why use fossil fuels when we don’t have to, and why are they building a coal burning power plant in P.R. when that island is rich in solar and geothermal?

    Link to this
  2. 2. stormn55 8:02 am 05/9/2011

    hooray for James Hansen, a courageous man indeed. I’d like to join that lawsuit. I want to sue USA too. Insurance companies ruling the workplaces, bankers running the government, polluters in charge of our water and air safety. We are doomed from our own self-serving citizens who are in charge. "If those who know how and why neglect to act then those who do not know will act and the world will continue to flounder."

    Link to this
  3. 3. stormn55 8:09 am 05/9/2011

    Nuclear? Radiation poisoning is radiation poisoning. The Earth, corrupt forever as far as life is concerned. Bad karma humanity. Look into the LIGHT.

    Link to this
  4. 4. brucewilson 10:26 am 05/9/2011

    John, At least you admit your resistance to Nanson’s views is emotional. As you yourself would say, don’t let your feelings cloud your thinking.

    Link to this
  5. 5. geojellyroll 10:48 am 05/9/2011

    Global warming is akin to any other cult with it’s self-righteous, self-annointed groupies.

    ‘The end is near. Accept ‘the Truth’ or else…!"

    Science and agenda do not mix.

    Link to this
  6. 6. Trent1492 11:22 am 05/9/2011

    Geojellyroll Says: Gobal warming is akin to any other cult with it’s self-righteous, self-annointed groupies.

    Trent Says: I think it is pretty pitiful that all the science ignorati have only to offer is a set of oft repeated insults.

    Link to this
  7. 7. relikx 12:22 pm 05/9/2011

    I don’t deny climate change, or even man-made client change at that. My issue (or question rather) is what can humanity practically due to balance economic concerns with the need to change? Mind you, humanity includes skeptics and believers, those in a position of power and the masses who must be compelled or enticed to change. James Hansen is super serial, I’ll give you that much, but if someone told you the sky is falling and everyone has to just stop breathing, you’ll probably take your chances with the sky.

    Link to this
  8. 8. Trent1492 12:53 pm 05/9/2011

    Relikix: James Hansen is super serial, I’ll give you that much, but if someone told you the sky is falling and everyone has to just stop breathing, you’ll probably take your chances with the sky.

    Trent Says: Since no one is proposing anything of the sort I have a question for you. Why do you and other inactivist insist upon distorting the science and proposed solutions out of all recognition?

    Link to this
  9. 9. relikx 1:20 pm 05/9/2011

    Most assessments I have seen show a continued increase in CO2 levels unless drastic measures are immediately taken. I’ve also heard Kyoto would still be insufficient, etc. so I am simply making the point that society will not respond without knowing what a measure of success looks like. If your "proposed solutions" don’t even match up with some of the dire warnings of some climatologists, shouldn’t we deserve a conversation on what that practically means?

    Link to this
  10. 10. Chris G 1:23 pm 05/9/2011

    The world’s agricultural systems are optimized for the climate that has existed for thousands of years. Fossil fuel consumption will continue to push the climate into new patterns for as long as we continue to consume it, and for some decades beyond. There many more reasons to believe that the changes will do harm than there are that they will do good. So, just factor together a population that continues to increase and a destabilized or declining food productivity, and think for yourself what is likely to happen.

    The fossil fuel gravy train will come to a halt eventually; it is just question of if that will be before or after a crash, or, if a crash occurs, how fast we are going it happens.

    Cost estimates of getting off our fossil fuel addiction range from 1% of GDP to WWII-like effort. So, weigh that against the world that will exist when there are 6-9 billion people and enough food to feed a billion or two less than that.

    Link to this
  11. 11. manyfaucets 1:58 pm 05/9/2011

    Looking into the light? How will that help? How about visualizing world peace. Unless it will galvanize your intent into action, looking, visualizing, praying or any other such mental activity will do nothing.

    Link to this
  12. 12. dieselpop1 2:43 pm 05/9/2011

    BTW, have those 50,000,000 people displace by global warming by 2010 been resettled yet? And could anyone provide me with a link where any warmist scare-mongering prediction has come true?

    Link to this
  13. 13. Cramer 3:06 pm 05/9/2011

    relikx comments on what to do "to balance economic concerns."

    Nymex crude Oil prices per bbl:

    11 Jul 2008 $147.27
    21 Dec 2008 $ 33.87
    02 May 2011 $113.93

    Is quadrupling of crude oil prices good for our economy? The negative impact of cap and trade or fee and dividend laws on our economy is way overblown. It amounts to transfer payments. The money does not leave our economy. However, when buying crude from Saudi Arabia, the money does leave our economy. Cap and trade was a Republican idea. Even John McCain and Sarah Palin supported it in 2008. The opposition since then is purely due to politics.

    Link to this
  14. 14. Cramer 3:08 pm 05/9/2011

    geojellyroll said, "Global warming is akin to any other cult with it’s self-righteous, self-annointed groupies. …Science and agenda do not mix."

    Which is more of a cult: people who believe AGW is real or people who believe in the ideology of Ayn Rand?

    Both groups are likely to be mutually exclusive.

    One group believes the large majority of climatologists (97% by one survey). The other group believes a pseudo-scientist who had no respect as an economist or a philosopher; and most of her ideas are communicated through her novels.

    Link to this
  15. 15. ronallarson 3:43 pm 05/9/2011

    1. Re "Diesel@12: Try .

    2. I like John Horgan’s report and analysis and thank him for covering an important topic. As one update, Dr. Hansen has a new paper out for his subscribers’ review/comments along these same "support for children" lines.

    3. In this new paper, he also calls for 100 GtC of new standing biomass. I think a lot cheaper than nuclear. The trees can be used (annually as well as standing) for bioenergy and Biochar – and do some almost permanent CDR (carbon dioxide removal).

    Link to this
  16. 16. 4:16 pm 05/9/2011

    I have set up a library of success stories solving problems in the basic life support systems of air, water, food, and energy. All have positive cash flow.

    please visit

    suggestions for new additions are welcome.

    Link to this
  17. 17. Trent1492 5:09 pm 05/9/2011

    Relix Says: I am simply making the point that society will not respond without knowing what a measure of success looks like.

    Trent Says: No, now you are being disingenuous. You held that breathing was causing climate change and that the scientist want to cut down on breathing. To hold such views elevates you up into the spotlight for merciless and just ridicule.

    Relix Says: Mind you, humanity includes skeptics and believers,…

    Trent Says: You know when you try to couch thing in terms of critical thinking believers and religious like believers it only serves to highlight the fact that you are a ideologue. Why are you in denial of the science? What has lead you to believe that people from as diverse discipline as wildlife biology, solar physicist, glaciologists, forest and agriculture agronomist, and oceanographers have been in cahoots to deceive the world for a century?

    Relix Says: so I am simply making the point that society will not respond without knowing what a measure of success looks like

    Trent Says: A measure of success would be keeping our sea side cities above sea level. A measure of success would be not degrading our agriculture system because of AGW induced changes in precipitation patterns, invasive species, moving in with increased temperatures, and ground water contamination by salt water. How does that sound to you?

    Relix Says: If your "proposed solutions" don’t even match up with some of the dire warnings of some climatologists, shouldn’t we deserve a conversation on what that practically means?

    Trent Says: Here is the IPCC report:

    Please point out the various projection and then go take a look at the various solution offered by the IPCC. Let us talk about the discrepancies.

    Link to this
  18. 18. Trent1492 5:12 pm 05/9/2011

    Diesel Pop Says: BTW, have those 50,000,000 people displace by global warming by 2010 been resettled yet?

    Trent Says: You know what question I have not seen yet answered from you yet? The primary source for your claim. It is like you know you are lying and think that if you repeat it long and loud enough people will believe you. I wonder why you refuse to answer? I wonder….

    Link to this
  19. 19. Chris G 5:13 pm 05/9/2011

    I’m leery of government sponsored alternatives to fossil fuel because I think that creates too great a risk that something that isn’t an effective will be implemented. First and foremost, to start stabilizing the environment, we have to start reducing the use of CO2 producing fossil fuels. It won’t do a lot of good to work on sequestering CO2 while we continue to increase the rate at which we produce it.

    The simplest way to do that is to phase in a tax on the carbon in the fuels. That will increase the costs of those fuels relative to their less climate impacting competitors. Let the market sort out which combination of alternatives is the most cost effective. If you let the utilities know what the rules are, and will be in the future, they can adjust where they invest infrastructure. By all means, return the tax as a dividend, but the important thing is to quit digging this hole.

    Link to this
  20. 20. Trent1492 5:35 pm 05/9/2011

    @Chris G,

    "By all means, return the tax as a dividend, but the important thing is to quit digging this hole."


    Link to this
  21. 21. eco-steve 5:36 pm 05/9/2011

    So CO2 levels need to be brought down. There is an economical way to do this. Biomass captures CO2. Pyrolyse biomass to produce charcoal and hydrogen. The ground up charcoal can be incorporated into light sandy soils or heavy clay soils to increase their water retention and thus fertility. The charcoal will remain there for tens of thousands of years. See (home page). Geoengineering made cheap and simple….

    Link to this
  22. 22. mbschro 5:38 pm 05/9/2011

    Hanson and his pompous AGW bunch have been thrown away as whackoes long ago.
    Scientific American stop the scam of AGW

    Link to this
  23. 23. Chris G 5:39 pm 05/9/2011

    Trent, DieselPop1,

    The topic has been hammered out before here

    (where there is just as much info in the comments as there is in the post)

    and here

    In short, there was no such "prediction", and there are refugees, but they are difficult to count. The desert regions of Africa are expanding; how many of the African immigrants in southern Europe do you count? What about the Mexican immigrants in the US; are any of those a result of changing climate? Pakistani or Australian flood victims, how many to attribute to changing climate or just rare, but normally occurring weather patterns?

    Does it really matter what the exact count is? Changing climate is having an impact in the present and the impact will only grow in the future.

    OK, yes, I’ve blurred a distinction between immigrant and refugee. What is the difference? A refugee becomes an immigrant when they find a place to live and a job.

    Link to this
  24. 24. Trent1492 6:03 pm 05/9/2011

    Shorter mbschro: Scientist want to eat our babies!

    Link to this
  25. 25. relikx 6:33 pm 05/9/2011

    RE: Trent – My first post uses a common phrase of alarm, "the sky is falling," and makes an analogy of holding breath to make a point. I’m aware of the "argument" of breathing, etc. on emissions but wasn’t trying to connect the 2, apologies for any confusion.

    I also think you misunderstand where I’m coming from. For what it’s worth, I do believe in man-made climate change as almost all scientists would describe it now. What I haven’t seen is a discussion on the increasingly widening gap between warnings/projections and proposals/solutions.

    The IPCC info is interesting, but it’s sort of making my point for me. If collective humanity doesn’t understand the stakes, good luck convincing them to do anything different. The problem is (and I don’t mean this to discredit the science), no one knows exactly when or what the point of no return looks like, only that it won’t be good…is it already too late? In the words of Bender, are we "boned"? If so, I hate to be so fatalistic but I hardly see the point of these "small" changes if the end will look the same anyway. 2’11 1/2" vs. 3′ of sea level rise, I realize there’s a difference but good luck selling that.

    Link to this
  26. 26. Chris G 6:42 pm 05/9/2011

    That’s kind of the point, we are driving in a fog and just getting an idea that there is a cliff ahead, but we don’t know exactly where it is or how deep/steep the drop-off is. Prudence would indicate it would be best to take our foot off the gas at the very least.

    Tipping points aside, conditions will continue to change for some decades after CO2 emissions stop. So, waiting until we collectively say, "OK, this is as bad as I want it to get." is a loosing proposition. There is no upper limit to a GHG effect; it isn’t as though we can point at any set of conditions and say, that’s as bad as it can possibly get.

    Well, you could look at an anoxic ocean event and say, that’s as bad as we care about, because beyond that, it won’t really matter to us.

    Link to this
  27. 27. Trent1492 6:47 pm 05/9/2011

    Relilikx: I do believe in man-made climate change as almost all scientists would describe it now. What I haven’t seen is a discussion on the increasingly widening gap between warnings/projections and proposals/solutions.

    Trent Says: Here are some discussions for you:

    How reliable are climate models?

    Does model uncertainty exagerate global warming projections?

    IPCC overestimate temperature rise

    Relikx: The IPCC info is interesting but it’s sort of making my point for me. IPCC info is interesting, but it’s sort of making my point for me. If collective humanity doesn’t understand the stakes, good luck convincing them to do anything different.

    Trent Says: You did not answer the question. You claimed that projections are not in line with solutions. I then linked to the IPCC reports for you to substantiate that position. You have failed to do so.

    Link to this
  28. 28. Trent1492 6:52 pm 05/9/2011

    @ Chris,

    Than you for the info. I was aware of the post some time ago. I come from the stand point that does who make a claim have the burden to provide evidence. If they fail to do so then we can safely discard the claim till new data says other wise. In other words, I try not to go around debunking every suspected lie I see but demand evidence. It saves time and does not let them off the hook. Thanks for the effort.

    Link to this
  29. 29. rrocklin 6:53 pm 05/9/2011

    Why do the deniers spew the rhetoric and latch on to any sliver of doubt but are incapable of discussing the data and models? Because, like religion, they prefer to deal with science as if it was a simplistic belief system.

    Link to this
  30. 30. Trent1492 7:06 pm 05/9/2011

    Sigh. This sentence: I come from the stand point that does who make a claim have the burden to provide evidence.

    Should read as: .I come from the stand point that those who make a claim have the burden to provide evidence.

    Link to this
  31. 31. relikx 7:17 pm 05/9/2011

    Trent, point well taken. However I continue to dwell on this: the political implications will keep muddying the waters. People will put their short-term economic interests ahead of their long-term well being. If IPCC were being implemented in the largest industrial nations (specifically China / US) then you could point to real progress. I don’t mean to diminish the work so many do on the subject, but on paper is much different than in practice and that’s what I mean on the gap between projections and solutions. The burden at that point is not on the pro/anti argument but on society to do something, or at least recognize the seriousness of doing something.

    With that said, Chris G your attitude is absolutely the correct one. We "should" take our foot off the gas, but we aren’t. My take on things is we’ll have to see the increasingly calamitous situation over another decade or so before it really sets in that this is because of "us". Hopefully, alternate energy solutions will parallel if not surpass the fossil-fuel demands one day but in my opinion, real "meaningful" change won’t happen prior to the convergence of alternate energy that can make a dent in the overall grid.

    Link to this
  32. 32. 7:21 am 05/10/2011

    Climate audit Link < >
    OK, not everyone loves to crunch numbers like I do. And not everyone can understand the `tricks’ of including or excluding data that helps or hurts the global warming argument BUT everyone who professes to have an opinion or cares about the topic should be familiar with what has happened.

    To intentionally mislead through inclusion or omission is the very essence of FRAUD. So ask your self if data was removed or added does that affect your opinion? Does the claim gee we did not even check to see if the data we took out and the proxy data we included helped or hurt, tended to support or refute the claim? If the shoe were on the other foot would you claim something is rotten in Denmark or smells fishy? Be honest

    Now, ask your favorite the sky is falling Global Warming model to substitute the excluded data and remove the added proxy data. What happens? If the model is so sensitive to these insertions or deletions then maybe they should have 1) at minimum been disclosed 2) discussed and 3) be available for critics and supporters to review and debate.

    As for me 8/10 of one degree in 200 years is not a sky is falling change.

    No need to fear!
    Read about the Eemian 130,000 – 114,000 before present
    Maybe the Holocene climatic optimum 9,000 – 5,000 Before Present
    and let us not forget the medieval warm period about 1,000 years ago!
    If you think you were hoaxed or hoodwinked by CO2 fear-mongers!
    Forget about it! Move on. That’s right move on–

    Temperatures and sea levels have been higher and have been lower.
    It has happened before and it will happen again.
    By the way when was the sea level and temperature perfect?
    What year, what decade? what century?

    Remember Ben Franklin told us that a person convinced against their will was as if not convinced at all so==== MOVE ON
    Lesson learned about Hoax and fear-mongers!
    Unless you attribute the Eemian, Holocene, Medieval warm period, and the period from 1940 to 1970 when CO2 went up and temperatures dropped etcetera etcetera to a vast right wing conspiracy to test your belief and faith in Al and the AGW model of the universe!

    Link to this
  33. 33. Trent1492 11:50 am 05/10/2011


    You claiming fraud is not the same as fraud having been committed. The site you linked too, Climate Audit, is infamous for, how should I says it? Misinformation.

    Eric Says: Temperatures and sea levels have been higher and have been lower.

    Trent Says: Yes, and how does that disprove that humans are causing a warming trend now?

    Link to this
  34. 34. Desert Navy 9:54 am 05/11/2011

    1) Scientists need to stop focusing on global warming being human-induced and just work on "reduction of atmospheric CO2 levels to avert catastrophic global warming." Nobody argues with the astronomers when they warn that N.E.O.’s pose a significant risk life on Earth. I think that’s because the astronomers don’t blame humans for rocks the size of Manhattan floating around the solar system.

    2) Anyone who argues that global warming is an insignificant threat because Earth has gone through similar cycles previously, is pretty damned ignorant and needs to excuse themselves from the discussion. The issue isn’t the survival of Earth, it’s the survival of humanity. People weren’t around during those previous cycles. And the creatures that were around didn’t have nuclear arms to assist them in taking more habitable real estate from other creatures occupying it.
    If the Ganges started drying up do you think that India would continue allowing it to flow into Bangladesh? Pakistan and India would heat up their claims to Kashmir to control the massive glaciers it contains, and China is right there as well.
    Global warming IS happening, the cause is irrelevant, but man-kind needs to intervene to survive. Planet Earth will be just fine in the long run, but there are no assurances for people.

    3) A better analogy would be that the bridge is out, the train is a juggernaut, and Hansen is the guy trying to convince people to jump off the speeding train instead of plunging to certain death. To liken it to being as simple as stopping a train makes it seem like people don’t want to be inconvenienced by being late for dinner to see if the bridge is indeed weakened.
    No. The process will be bloody and painful, and the people who have to jump off have to act on faith. Even people that believed Hansen would have a difficult time bringing themselves to jump from a moving train. It will be a political, economic, lifestyle changing, armed-conflict inducing bloodbath. So there needs to be a little more sympathy for the people who aren’t willing to "jump" unless they’ve been convinced beyond all doubt.

    Link to this
  35. 35. Bill Crofut 10:33 am 05/11/2011

    If the current atmospheric carbon dioxide level of 390 parts per million is going to cause Earth to crash, what is the explanation for the following?:

    …[o]ne of the reasons paleontologists today believe one of the reasons dinosaurs grew so large, was that they weren’t cold-blooded like today’s lizards; they were lukewarm-blooded….But another reason for their size may have been the sweltering oxygen-rich environment that came to dominate the dinosaur era; an environment triggered by volcanism….It was global warming gone wild; CO2 levels increased over 500 percent and temperatures soared. In the greenhouse conditions this created, huge tropical forests spread over many of the continents….Many scientists believe that evolving for millions of years, in this warm, oxygen-rich world, allowed the lukewarm-blooded dinosaurs to reach their enormous sizes. Huge dinosaurs may have been a biological response to a volcanically over-active planet….65 million years ago. The planet was lush. Vegetation was thick on the surface. Living things were prospering like never before."

    [2007 DVD. How the Earth was Made. London: Pioneer Productions for the History Channel, 55 min., ff., 1 hr., 3 min.]

    Link to this
  36. 36. 2008RealityCheck 6:57 pm 05/11/2011

    I can prove with 99% certainty that global warming correlates with the increase of lawyers in the US. Doubt me? How many lawyers were there before the industrial revolution, and how many do we have now. It is cataclysmic! And we all know lawyers spout hot air.

    Link to this
  37. 37. 2008RealityCheck 7:03 pm 05/11/2011

    I’d like to sue the US too and make beaucoup bucks. Government forced ethanol into the fuel supply, causing me hundreds of dollars of damage to my car, open cycle engines, boat motor, and threaten my safety by increasing the RPMs in my chainsaw to clutch engaging speeds when it should be idling.

    My lawsuit also will be class action because of the government forcing the violation of the EPA Ozone Attainment Levels. I was told directly by an official of the Washington State Department of Ecology in 2008 that any more than 2% ethanol in the fuel, and Seattle exceeds the ozone levels. Ground level ozone causes respiratory illness and death.

    Further, government policies, according to the UN and IMF, is causing hundreds of millions in the third world into starvation.

    Further, I want to sue wind farms for causing radioactive thorium to be dumped into our food supply. You got that right! Every 2.5MW turbine has about 4000 pounds of rare earth elements 97% monopolized by China. The manner in which they mine and refine REEs causes considerable pollution and radioactive thorium to be dumped into the Yellow River, which flows into the Pacific.

    Someone’s got to pay! And I could use the vacation money.

    Link to this
  38. 38. deike 10:29 am 05/12/2011

    After the dark ages and decimation by the black plague, humanity emerged into the Renaissance.

    With any luck, climate change will produce the same effect.

    Perhaps the next strain of h.sapiens will do a better job of managing their profligate, selfish and vain impulses.

    If not, on behalf of the planet, good riddance.

    Evolution will quickly fill the niche we leave behind.

    Link to this
  39. 39. bucketofsquid 12:34 pm 05/13/2011

    People have been predicting the end of the world as long as there have been people. They have always been wrong with the exception of the rare few that qualify it with "our way of life" in front of the doom. This gargantuan failure rate leads to a healthy and logical skepticism. The climate is changing just like it should. With any luck a few billion of us will die. As long as we can maintain the high technology level while enduring a population crash we should come out fine as a species. This is likely because the largest food producers also have the best technology base.

    The area this debate breaks down in is the all or nothing extremism of both sides. There are no real sides. There is only fact and conjecture. What has happened is fact. What may happen is conjecture. I postulate that large populations will experience unrest as food production does not continue to grow at the same rate as the population. Current events are giving me facts to back my conjecture but at the end of the day it is still conjecture.

    Link to this
  40. 40. settyp 8:44 pm 05/13/2011

    Spot on. This report accuses our government of "standing back" on the issue. Simply look at the green moratoriams put in place for every industry in the country. The government is doing to much to be "green", and it’s going to bankrupt us.

    Link to this
  41. 41. LoboSolo 12:13 pm 05/16/2011

    More non-science propaganda by non-Scientific American.

    I can remember at least two times that Hansen has been caught with his hands in the cookie jar. He should have been fired after the second time.

    UnScientific American should change the name of its magazine. It’s not a reliable source of science information with such pronouncements as: "Since then the correlated surge in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures has borne out his assertion." … HELLO … Where have you been is 1998 when temperatures have been flat or in decline even CO2 levels continue to rise. So much for "science" in this magazine.

    One of the things that people should remember is that the rise in CO2 lags the rise in temperature … not the other way around.

    CO2 is a TRACE gas (0.038% of the atmosphere) and humans have caused about 0.003% of the CO2. So NO we aren’t causing climate change and we can’t stop it … either way … up or down.

    Link to this

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