James Hansen Talks About Climate Change


"World Watch: Often the more you know about the hard realities of climate change, the more depressing it becomes. What inspires you to be hopeful? James Hansen: It becomes readily solvable if we do just a few things that make enormous sense for other reasons. By far the most important is a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants (unless they capture CO2) and a phase-out over the next two decades of existing ones. We will also need a high enough price on carbon emissions to avert substantial use of unconventional fossil fuels (tar shale, tar sands). Moving beyond fossil fuels sooner (we would have to do it within several decades anyhow) makes enormous sense for many reasons (cleaner air and water, energy independence, et cetera) for everybody except a handful of fossil fuel executives, but, unfortunately, they wield enormous power in our governments, and not just in the United States. I still believe that our democracy can work, but it requires overcoming the undue influence of money in politics."

Ben Block. "James Hansen Talks About Climate Change," World Watch. July/August 2008, 29.

#environment #climatechange