Τρίτη, 2 Απριλίου 2013

Climate Change Researcher James Hansen Becomes a Full-Time Activist


James HansenClimate change researcher James Hansen, the
long-time head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is
retiring from government employment to campaign for policies that
he believes must be adopted to avoid impending catastrophic global
warming, reports the New York Times. Back in 1988, on a
blistering hot DC day in June, Hansen testimony at a Congressional
hearing brought man-made global warming to the broader public's
attention. Skeptics have questioned just how
accurate
Hansen's 1988 predictions have turned out to be:



Not so fast



On the other hand, the Times reports:



Since the day he spoke, not a single month’s temperatures have
fallen below the 20th-century average for that month. Half the
world’s population is now too young to have lived through the last
colder-than-average month, February 1985.


In worldwide temperature records going back to 1880, the 19
hottest years have all occurred since his testimony.



To his credit, Hansen does not see man-made global warming as an
excuse for growing the size and scope of government. As the
Times notes:



For all his battles with conservatives, however, he has also
been hard on environmentalists. He was a harsh
critic
of a failed climate
bill
they supported in 2009, on the grounds that it would have
sent billions into the federal government’s coffers without
limiting emissions effectively.


Dr. Hansen agrees that a price is needed on carbon dioxide
emissions, but he wants the money returned to the
public
in the form of rebates on tax bills. “It needs to be
done on the basis of conservative principles — not one dime
to make the government bigger
,” said Dr. Hansen, who is
registered as a political independent.



More recently, Hansen has
admitted that increases in global average temperatures have been
halted
for the last sixteen years. He argues that the rise must
resume, but we shall see. In the meantime, other climate
researchers are suggesting that the
sensitivity of the climate
to loading up the atmosphere with
more carbon dioxide is somewhat less than many climate models have
assumed.

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