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Intro: "When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988, I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind's use of fossil fuels. But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic."

A study finds a 'stunning' rise in the frequency of extremely hot summers. (photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images)
A study finds a 'stunning' rise in the frequency of extremely hot summers. (photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Climate Change Worse Than We Thought

By James E. Hansen, The Washington Post

06 August 12


hen I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988, I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind's use of fossil fuels.

But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.

My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true. But I failed to fully explore how quickly that average rise would drive an increase in extreme weather.

In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.

This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened. Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.

The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks' time, it's likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.

These weather events are not simply an example of what climate change could bring. They are caused by climate change. The odds that natural variability created these extremes are minuscule, vanishingly small. To count on those odds would be like quitting your job and playing the lottery every morning to pay the bills.

Twenty-four years ago, I introduced the concept of "climate dice" to help distinguish the long-term trend of climate change from the natural variability of day-to-day weather. Some summers are hot, some cool. Some winters brutal, some mild. That's natural variability.

But as the climate warms, natural variability is altered, too. In a normal climate without global warming, two sides of the die would represent cooler-than-normal weather, two sides would be normal weather, and two sides would be warmer-than-normal weather. Rolling the die again and again, or season after season, you would get an equal variation of weather over time.

But loading the die with a warming climate changes the odds. You end up with only one side cooler than normal, one side average, and four sides warmer than normal. Even with climate change, you will occasionally see cooler-than-normal summers or a typically cold winter. Don't let that fool you.

Our new peer-reviewed study, published by the National Academy of Sciences, makes clear that while average global temperature has been steadily rising due to a warming climate (up about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century), the extremes are actually becoming much more frequent and more intense worldwide.

When we plotted the world's changing temperatures on a bell curve, the extremes of unusually cool and, even more, the extremes of unusually hot are being altered so they are becoming both more common and more severe.

The change is so dramatic that one face of the die must now represent extreme weather to illustrate the greater frequency of extremely hot weather events.

Such events used to be exceedingly rare. Extremely hot temperatures covered about 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of the globe in the base period of our study, from 1951 to 1980. In the last three decades, while the average temperature has slowly risen, the extremes have soared and now cover about 10percent of the globe.

This is the world we have changed, and now we have to live in it - the world that caused the 2003 heat wave in Europe that killed more than 50,000 people and the 2011 drought in Texas that caused more than $5 billion in damage. Such events, our data show, will become even more frequent and more severe.

There is still time to act and avoid a worsening climate, but we are wasting precious time. We can solve the challenge of climate change with a gradually rising fee on carbon collected from fossil-fuel companies, with 100percent of the money rebated to all legal residents on a per capita basis. This would stimulate innovations and create a robust clean-energy economy with millions of new jobs. It is a simple, honest and effective solution.

The future is now. And it is hot. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+109 # Small Family Farmer 2012-08-06 09:42
When we started farming at 3000 ft elevation people thought we were nuts. Cold temperatures, shorter growing season, and such. Now the people in the valley who laughed at us are seeing their crops fry in the ground and we're about where they were 20 years ago.

I really, really wanted to believe I was wrong back when we bought this place in the 90s but for me the writing was on the wall. It was only a matter of how bad it would be. Like Hansen, I'm afraid I underestimated.

We are in some seriously deep doodoo and I'm not talking sheep manure. I hope people will heed Hansen's warning and take his suggestions seriously otherwise I fear our children will curse us for the wasteland we will leave them.
+102 # HowardMH 2012-08-06 10:31
Farmer, totally agree with you.

As one Idiot Senator said how can there be global warming when we can build a snow man and igloo on the mall in Wash DC, which his kids actually did a couple years ago. However, the real problem is the millions of idiots that voted for these morons. Until food prices doubles or triples these stupid people will not get it – and by then it just might be too late to stop global warming.

As long as the oil and coal companies continue to own the politicians, nothing is going to change on Capital Hill. Until there are two hundred thousand really, really pissed off people on Capital Hill (all at the same time) raising some serious hell absolutely nothing is ever, ever going to happen to these totally bought and paid for by the richest 50 people in the world that are becoming more and more powerful with each passing rigged election thanks to the stupid people.
+47 # mdhome 2012-08-06 09:58
Hang on, we are in for one hell of a ride!
+6 # Michael Lee Bugg 2012-08-06 13:21
We may get to dine on Soylent Green in our lifetimes! Yum yum!
+5 # indian weaver 2012-08-07 05:48
We are in for a hell of a death. I wish it were only to be a ride, but it'll be a ride into the most cruel hell imagineable, for all living things, and will eventually rid our incredibly beautiful planet of rainbows, rain and sun and snow. We are causing the most horrible of all cosmic tragedies, our government and culture. To what planet can we reincarnate after it is gone, or what will be required of The People to save our Great Mother? Yes, millions attacking our killers, our planet and life killers.
-52 # 2012-08-06 10:09
Rather than spending our time arguing about whether it is happening, why not just accept the fact that we will never get our act together enough to stop it and work on adaptations to deal with it.

And, as I have been preaching for a long time: There are much more urgent problems that should be on our radar--my favorite is the 26,000 children who will die TODAY of preventable causes.

Anyone want to put that ahead of sea level rising in 50 to 75 years??

John Miller
Corydon, IN
+40 # Small Family Farmer 2012-08-06 11:11
I'm not sure why you're getting the "thumbs down" PJ15. Even if we were to change everything today, getting the climate to change direction suddenly is like trying to a super freighter, it isn't going to happen in a short time. Whatever efforts we make know, we're going to pay for the atmospheric emissions and population explosion associated with industrial revolution.

That's the fact Jack.

I recommend you all look into a process called aquaponices. Allows you to grow fish, vegetables, fruits in a contained system. Uses a fraction of the water soil based growing systems need, is not dependent on soil fertility and is not subject to sudden changes in weather.

We're building two 50'x 20' structures on our farm and bringing all but our root crops indoors.

That said, we do have to stop what we're doin PJ15. If we don't, what's happening to those 26k children a day is going to be multiplied by orders of magnitude.

We can do it, but we've got to put enormous amounts of pressure on the Powers That Be or we are all screwed (even the PTB though they're too arrogant and self-centered to know it.)
-7 # 2012-08-06 12:52
I don't think we can do it. And I think by trying we are not planning for reality--and that might be more dangerous than climate change.

26,000. Today. Under 5 years old. Mostly from malnutrition, diarrhea and malaria.
+22 # pbbrodie 2012-08-06 11:12
Didn't you read the article? It is much, much more than just rising seas and it is something that affects everyone, not just 26,000 children but billions of people. You sound like a CEO at a corporation who is only concerned with this quarter's profits and the future be damned.
I'm sorry. I feel for the 26,000 children but damned if I am going to mortgage the future of the planet to save them.
-5 # 2012-08-06 12:47
You surely aren't saying let the children die, are you?

I'm not saying we shouldn't be planning for climate change, only that absent a huge change in the decision makers, we are going to need to do much more adapting to the change rather than hoping to fix it.

But we could save the kids. You know we could save the kids.
+11 # susan lea 2012-08-06 13:18
No, we can't save the kids. The world is over-populated; there are more persons to feed than there is food. The food there is goes to the persons who can pay for the food; despite this, the poor keep having children, more and more children, and they will starve.
+1 # 2012-08-06 14:00

1. There is enough food and capacity to produce food, by far, to support the population.

2. A big part of the problem is clean water and cheap medicine.

3. Who are we to decide who gets the food & medicine? Can we say because they are poor and we are not, they die?
+30 # Small Family Farmer 2012-08-06 16:34
As to statement 3. That's what we've been saying since WWII.

As to your first statement, I'm sorry but you're dead wrong. What we've been doing since the Green Revolution was started to make lots of money for the chemical companies, has been the equivalent of staying warm by burning down the house. The tiny percent of the earth's surface that has tillable soil has had it's fertility steadily depleted and we are reaching a tipping point there as well. Just call it a perfect storm; climate change, exponential population growth and overdrawing the fertility of our soils without rebuilding them. Nasty scenario.

Statement 2. You may not have noticed it but we are currently poisoning some of our largest remaining aquifers to extract "cheap" natural gas.

Trust me, no water, no crops so even if we weren't farming like there's no tomorrow water limitations will not allow us to keep up with the growing demand for food.

Your heart may be in the right place but your facts are seriously flawed.
+20 # Holmes 2012-08-06 19:33
With the attention on peak oil we have forgotten about peak phosphorus. Where I have worked, we have an absolute P deficiency and that P must be added to keep our crops growing.

A response to this would be to trap the P as well as the N and K from our sewage and then put it back with other useful nutrients onto our farmlands. That would also reduce the problems triggering dead zones in lakes and the oceans from eutrophication.

Just a 'small wheel on the ground', but time to stop using the planet as an endless frontier. We need to grow up. See the recent article in New Scientist re the collapse of civilizations.
+2 # dkonstruction 2012-08-08 14:13
Small Family Farmer,

You make some excellent points, and I am
no expert on the subject but my understanding from reading those that do work on the issue is that PappaJohn15 is absolutely right that CURRENTLY (and this is key) there is enough food to feed everyone. This is not to say that population, environmental degredation, etc., are not critical issues we need to address but the problem is also how we produce and distribute. To deny this is to let those responsible off the hook for the needless death of the 10-15 million children from hunger (at least these are the estimates i have seen).

Absent from the piece and the overall discussion is the role of capital (finance) and giant agribusiness in destroying traditional methods of agriculture and forcing people who have been self-sufficient (even at what we would consider a low standard of living) into the money economy (in Africa, currently through the same kind of "enclosure" laws that were first put in place in England and which were necessary to create a mass of wage-laborers). ..not to mention their role in pushing genetically modified seeds on people who have traditionally collected (and traded) their own from year to year in order to maintain their ability to feed themselves and their family or countries that have been forced to destroy their food reserves as part of the IMF "structural adjustment" programs.
+10 # brux 2012-08-06 16:39
#3 - that is exactly the question.

When food, energy, and all the normal things associated with normal life are in short supply the fact is that the market mentality is an outrage to human rights.

Since everything in this age is being recorded we are a species acting for the planet had better grow up and NOT do something that we will forever look back on in history with horrible regret, many times worse than how we look at the holocaust, Fukushima, WWII, the Killing Fields.

We need to worry more about everyone getting enough to sustain themselves in a non-destructive /productive mode than we do about the 1% being able to lord their assumed superiority over everyone else.
0 # 2012-08-06 19:38
No, no, no. I totally disagree.

The 1% WANTS us to think there is a shortage, a finite resource, to keep us in competition for it.

Americans THROW AWAY enough food to feed the world--and our technology hasn't even scratched the surface of the potential.

The philosophy of scarcity and fear is what keeps the elite in control.
+10 # Small Family Farmer 2012-08-07 13:04
Well PJ15, you can disagree until the cows come home but it won't change the facts.

1. Americans are terribly wasteful but to say that 300 million people throw away enough food to feed 6 billion is just plain ignorant unless you've got a reliable source to back up your claim.

2. We've been saying "technology" will save us for the past 70 years. Try looking at our soil as a bank. To be sustainable we have to live on the "interest" the soil creates. Instead "technology" has been burning through the "principal" for the past 70 years.

The only that's going to save us is rebuilding our soil, eating lower on the food chain, and preserving our fresh water sources.

If we don't start doing those things it won't be long before your 26k children dying a day is going to seem like the good old days.
0 # 2012-08-07 14:17
I'll find my source for that.

But as long as we are allowing the 1% to keep us in this climate* (get it?) of austerity and finite resources, we will never be able to "afford" to fix the planet.

Or the starving, dying children.

*minor humor, sorry.
-1 # dkonstruction 2012-08-08 16:29
Quoting pappajohn15:
No, no, no. I totally disagree.

The 1% WANTS us to think there is a shortage, a finite resource, to keep us in competition for it.

Americans THROW AWAY enough food to feed the world--and our technology hasn't even scratched the surface of the potential.

The philosophy of scarcity and fear is what keeps the elite in control.

Quoting pappajohn15:
I'll find my source for that.

But as long as we are allowing the 1% to keep us in this climate* (get it?) of austerity and finite resources, we will never be able to "afford" to fix the planet.

Or the starving, dying children.

*minor humor, sorry.

Pappajohn15, great comments.

Below are a couple of things i found re there being currently enough food to feed everyone on the planet (which doesn't mean population and other environmental issues aren't important and have to be addressed).
+4 # dkonstruction 2012-08-08 17:22
Quoting pappajohn15:
I'll find my source for that.

But as long as we are allowing the 1% to keep us in this climate* (get it?) of austerity and finite resources, we will never be able to "afford" to fix the planet.

Or the starving, dying children.

*minor humor, sorry.

I agree with you completely that for the most part "scarcity" is a human-made weapon of social control (as debt has also become).

It's all around us.

We have more vacant homes than we have homeless people yet we talk about an oversupply of housing or a shortage of renters/buyers. We spend trillions on unnecessary wars and a national security state but then say there is a deficit problem and a shortage of funds for social needs. High tech firms say they have to outsource as there is a shortage of skilled workers here after we gut our public education system; we have an energy shortage after we gut public transit systems and promote suburban sprawl that fuels the oil and gas industries; our infrastructure is crumbling but we say we have no money and a shortage of skilled workers after we cut "shop" classes and dismantle a network of trade schools that prepared people for skilled jobs with decent pay and benefits...we are sold a bill of goods and we buy into it hook line and sinker to the point of accepting that millions must die needlessly because there really isn't enough for all....don't believe the hype
+5 # brianf 2012-08-06 20:48
There are thousands of children starving right now because of the effects of global warming. The U.N. estimated 2 or 3 years ago that about 100,000 people were dying per year from the effects of global warming. Many of those are children.

This suffering and death was preventable, but because people were too short-sighted, they would only focus on much less serious shorter term problems. Now you are doing the same thing. When millions are dying of starvation, will you still be trying to feed them all? You may save some lives, but many more will be needlessly lost if people keep ignoring our biggest threat.

No matter how hopeless it looks, it can always get worse. It is never too late to make the situation better than it would have been. Stopping global warming must be our top priority. We don't have to let children starve in order to stop global warming. But if we don't stop global warming, there is no way we can prevent all the starvation that will come.
0 # Tigre1 2012-08-07 01:50
She certainly can, didn't you read her comment?
0 # Radial1971 2012-08-07 22:18
What you seem to be suggesting then is that we de-populate "poor" people. Jesus gave many uplifting messages about caring for the poor. Children are also a treasure from the Lord. The issue is not over population. The issue is - where are our hearts? We can't legislate someone to be greedy or not. We can, however, motivate and encourage more compassion on those who have less and see that all of us are as poor as the next.
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-08-08 14:04
Quoting susan lea:
No, we can't save the kids. The world is over-populated; there are more persons to feed than there is food. The food there is goes to the persons who can pay for the food; despite this, the poor keep having children, more and more children, and they will starve.

We can't save the kids? It is simply not true that there is currently not enough food to feed everyone on the planet. I'm not saying that population is not a problem, it is but to say that today there is not enough food to feed everyone is simply justifying the needless deaths of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands or more) from needless starvation much of it caused not by population but by the destruction of tradional forms of agriculture practiced by indigenous people's for thousands of years and the destruction of small family farms and the domination of our global food supply by giant agribusiness corporations (not to mention speculators in the agricultural futures markets that are responsible for the huge increases in food, mainly grain, prices around the world). Don't buy into the hype that there is not enough food and that it is all due to "natural disasters." Most so-called "natural disasters" are human-made at this point and are also the result of serving those in search of profits instead of taking care of the basic needs of the most vulnerable people aroudn the world.
-85 # Robt Eagle 2012-08-06 12:48
First thing we need to do is get Obama out of the White House so we don't piss money down the drain on green BS like Solyndra. Next thing needed is to straighten out our economy and start to wean folks off of the entitlements that they now expect and teach everyone NOTHING is for free. You bet we are paying the price for the fossil fuel usage, but right now it is cheaper to use oil and gas than going green. Next let's get folks who do really great things, business owners to realize that there is profit in making alternative fuels work. Lastly, let's toughen up America and educate everyone in this country that they are responsible for their own actions and inactions. If they eat like pigs, they pay for the diabetes out of pocket and no government bails them out for their bad choices. If they smoke cigarettes and get sick, they pay for the care themselves, not on the backs of others. If they choose to be alcoholics, never knew one who had a friend or relative FORCE it down their throats, then they get to wallow in the street in their own excement...if they so choose. Personal responsibility needs to be the creedo of America, and help your family and friends, neighbors, etc. out of your own good heart. Do NOT tax us for those who have made bad decisions!
+44 # 2012-08-06 13:00
Wow. All really bad ideas.

Government is practically the only answer to improving the common good. Business is the answer to making profits, however it can be done. Rarely, if ever, does that help the general welfare.
+30 # 2012-08-06 13:28
Wow. Wrong on all counts.

Government is for the common good--taking care of those that need it.

Society encouraged the junk food, the cigarettes, the alcohol--societ y ought to help with the social cost and the real cost.

We can afford it. We really can.
+31 # Small Family Farmer 2012-08-06 14:53
Wow you really seem to be clueless. You're so stuck in your ideology I suspect you'd have been standing on the deck of the Titanic spouting your talking points as the ship sunk.

By the way RE, who was it that swore up and down for years that cigarettes didn't cause cancer and other diseases? Seems to me they were some of those business owners who you claim are the "folks who do really great things."

Let me see if I understand one of your other points correctly. Is the only reason for doing the "right" thing profits? So if it's profitable to do something that might be ruining the planet for human habitation your "folks who do really great things" are perfectly justified to keep on making those profits.

Pretty twisted RE, pretty twisted.
+17 # Texas Aggie 2012-08-06 16:16
RE had a marvelous future as a pretzel maker being as twisted as he is in his logic and his values. Unfortunately he decided to go into something else.
+28 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-08-06 16:29
Wake up, Robt!
Ayn Rand was a moron.
Greed is good - yeah, right!
+2 # poosta7 2012-08-09 11:35
Quoting Granny Weatherwax:
Wake up, Robt!
Ayn Rand was a moron.
Greed is good - yeah, right!

But...even though a prophet of the right wing she said (correctly) "you can deny reality but you cannot deny the consequences of denying reality"...why don't the right wing wingnuts understand this when it comes to effects of climate change.
+15 # brux 2012-08-06 16:45
> Next thing needed is to straighten out our economy and start to wean folks off of the entitlements that they now expect and teach everyone NOTHING is for free

This is such a meaningless phrase that so far has never been used to actually find and stop the exploitation of government and private wealth by those who are really the problem.

All the arguments we get like this in favor of the "hard line" and so-called "austerity" are not supported by any facts, or qualified against the real problems we face.

Trying to use these boldface lies to tip the scales away from the survival and prosperity of the majority of Americans and people on the planet and towards the continued abuse and exploitation of the planet and its people by those who have pretty much caused all of the bit problem we face by their relentless greed and psychopathy will increasingly not fly in the next years and the next elections.

People are not stupid no matter how much the media is permeated with stupidity to make them think everyone else is stupid - they will eventually grimace at just how disgusting you people have been and ignore your nonsense.
+17 # brux 2012-08-06 16:50
> Do NOT tax us for those who have made bad decisions!

It is the middle class and below that are increasingly being taxed, and the reason is that the bad decision they made was to trust the bullshit of the 1% ... now ain't that ironic?

The cure is to stop blaming the victims and start focusing attention where the problems are - with the 1% and those in authority who distort the system so much for their own gain there is nothing left and then call that the free market and genuflect to the dollar.

Science and facts do not belong to the voice that can spend the most money to shout down or lie to everyone else, science and fact should belong the least person who can prove what they see or challenge the festering nonsense that the 1% churns out with the money they steal - calling in free market investment - can capitalism. It is neither.
+12 # Tigre1 2012-08-07 01:53
Bob Jones University gets 496 million per year in government subsidies. Every year those supercilious holier-than-tho u pups get
mal-educated costs us as much as Solyndra did ONCE.
-2 # 2012-08-06 14:08
Rather disappointed that 19 (at this writing) would have the gall to vote against dying children.

I mean, I could see skipping this, ignoring it, whatever. But Thumbs Down? Really??
+22 # Texas Aggie 2012-08-06 16:17
No one is voting against saving the children. They are voting against ignoring a bigger problem while saving them.
-13 # 2012-08-06 19:30
But I'd argue that they ARE the bigger problem, being ignored!
+5 # Small Family Farmer 2012-08-07 14:20
Your thinking is like being on a boat that's sprung a leak and is sinking. Children on the boat are getting cold and wet. You think the main problem is getting them something warm to eat and some dry clothes. The rest of us would like to plug the hole, pump out the water, and get the boat to not sink.

It would be nice to fix and boat and warm up the children but I know which one has priority as far as I'm concerned.
+8 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-08-06 16:33
I didn't thumb you down but I would like to point out that saving children, although the obvious right thing to do, is not in and of itself enough.
When there is a famine in Africa, we rush and feed them (more or less) without condition, and the next generation grows to be larger and more difficult to feed.
I elieve this planet is overpopulated and I don't see a nice way to resolve this aspect of things.
Not with cultures and religions developed over the centuries to grow the population and overtake the neighbors.

Any idea out there?
0 # 2012-08-06 19:16
But we don't rush in...
+6 # brianf 2012-08-06 20:43
There are many thousands of children starving right now because of the effects of global warming. Why don't you preach about that? What about the diseases already being spread to new locations because of warmer weather, why don't you preach about that? The U.N. estimated 2 or 3 years ago that about 100,000 people were dying per year from the effects of global warming.

All these deaths and all this suffering was preventable, but because people were too short-sighted, they would only focus on much less serious shorter term problems. Now you are doing the same thing. When millions are dying of starvation, will that finally be enough for you? You may save some lives, but many more will be needlessly lost if people keep ignoring our biggest threat.

No matter how hopeless it looks, it can always get worse. It is never too late to make the situation better than it would have been. Stopping global warming must be our top priority, NOW!
-1 # 2012-08-07 04:12
Here it is a matter of degrees and practicality: If 100,000 are suspected of dying annually due to climate change, that is only 4 days worth of children due to easily preventable causes.

Don't stop working on global warming, but open your eyes to more urgent and doable issues...
+11 # soularddave 2012-08-06 21:52
One of the biggest threats to the climate and health is those damn Canadian tar sands. If we let them mine, process, and market that as fuel, it will be devistating.

That can only be stopped NOW, before they get the infrastructure in place. I'm afraid we have a LOT of urgencies to work on NOW, before it's too late. Meanwhile, insulate, insulate, insulate! Cutting each of OUR OWN carbon footprints is imperative - NOW.
0 # LizR 2012-08-11 00:16
Quoting pappajohn15:
There are much more urgent problems that should be on our radar--my favorite is the 26,000 children who will die TODAY of preventable causes.

Anyone want to put that ahead of sea level rising in 50 to 75 years??

John Miller
Corydon, IN

I'm not sure why you think these are mutually exclusive. We should be trying to improve the living conditions for all the poor people of the world *as well as* trying to reduce the impact our "free lunch" attitude to the environment is having.

If we want the human race to carry on operating at something above subsistence level - reaching for the stars, rather than returning to lives that are nasty, brutish, short and steeped in superstition - this is our one chance to do it. Because if we screw up this time it won't just be Easter Island or a patch of jungle that goes down with our civilisation, it'll be the whole planet.
+39 # noitall 2012-08-06 10:28
write the apology on a gold disk, maybe someday something will read it. Nature works slowly until it reaches a critical point and then it explodes. Like Bukowski said, "the bacon is burning".

What is amazing is, like the monkey clutching the nut in the bottle, greed keeps him hanging, on to his peril. The greedy in this country are hanging on to the idea that there is a technological solution to their sins. This hope/trust is the 'nut' that keeps them sawing on their perch and moving ever more rapidly to the precipice.
+25 # George Baggett 2012-08-06 10:28
As a result of the backlash of personal criticisms first seen by the public with Rachel Carson's work and written about in Ibsen's play "An Enemy of the People," environmental scientists have been cautious not be accused of over-stating the ramifications of pollutants. By understating it is considered appropriate and moderate, not alarmist, and we thought our work would less likely be impeached. However, in recent years these concerns are out-the-window in that contrary science funded by vested interests have never intended to be empirical. And, if Hansen is the man I think he is, I'm sure another secret thought for him is the quiet hope we might be wrong, and in this case there is little joy when proven correct.
+36 # wantrealdemocracy 2012-08-06 10:38
Climate change is blamed on our over use of fossil fuels. We believe that putting all this carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the cause of our rising temperatures--b ut I believe the real cause is deforestation. We are clear cutting world wide. Nearly all of our forests are being destroyed and the loss of the trees is the loss of good air. Trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. Trees are the filter system of our planet. Redwood trees are especially efficient filters and they are nearly all gone. It it imperative that we stop chopping down the trees and begin immediately to plant more trees! We do need to cut down on the burning of fossil fuels but we also MUST PLANT TREES!
+31 # wrknight 2012-08-06 11:13
Absolutely right, but incomplete. We continue denuding our forests because the population continues to increase and humans need the land for food. So the problem is the product of two factors: 1) each person is consuming more and more energy and 2) there are more and more humans on this small planet that need food and energy.

Until we address the issue of population growth, any other approach is simply addressing the symptoms of the problem. Human population growth cannot be sustained forever and it won't be. Something will stop it. If we don't stop it ourselves, something else will; and that's likely to be very, very bad.
+7 # Michael Lee Bugg 2012-08-06 14:34
Wantreal: I think you are right except that I have read that phytoplankton in the ocean produces more oxygen than all land plants and the carbon dioxide we are producing is killing this plankton by making the oceans more acidic. Planting trees will help, but only to a point. I'm not religious, but the Bible said, after The Flood, that God would not ever send a flood again, so apparently it's going to be drought and fire this time. It's a shame that we will take so many other species with us!
+1 # indian weaver 2012-08-07 06:03
We will take all living things with us: plants and animals, as well as the other animated and "inanimate" remainder of the planet: rocks, water, air, etc. This coming denudation of our planet, of OUR GREAT MOTHER, of all things, incinerating the rest, is a bit more than "we will take so many other species with us!". We're taking it all down and out.
+2 # noitall 2012-08-07 10:30
On the bright side, it is humans that will perish. Granted, damage will be done to life in general but Mother Earth will heal and travel through time until the next catastrophe. Nature will be what it will be and it will outlast the 250,000 year half-lives of our carelessness and disrespect. The Earth will boil and churn like his has for millions of years and again have a crust covering our sins. A new garden will be provided. Man will have been permanently excluded from existence but hopefully a new and more wise species will live in common with Nature. Us Dirt Worshipers will rise out of the dirt.
+16 # 1bimbi 2012-08-06 10:45
My thought has always been, "what is the harm to being pro-active" Having a supply of food isn't foolish, because the worst that can happen is I eat it! Changing from fossil fuel to solar or can the rich-cats not figure out a way to make buckets of money in alternative energy? This authoritarian thought process baffles me. I feel doomed.
-1 # indian weaver 2012-08-07 06:05
You are doomed, and so am I, and all of us. Face it, take out these mortal enemies of all, or die like everything will otherwise.
+26 # jwb110 2012-08-06 10:54
I don't mind if the Execs in the Petro Industry cut their own necks but I am damned tired of them cutting mine!
+27 # 2012-08-06 10:57
a major cause of this catastrophe is nuclear power. greenhouse gas releases are substantial in the mining, milling and enrichment of fuel, plus in the impossible attempt to manage the wastes. nuclear power converts inert uranium into huge quantities of direct heat. and explosions & melt-downs like chernobyl & fukushima also emit huge quantities of heat.

we need to take the billions being wasted on this insane, failed technology and put them into the wind, solar, efficiency etc that will bring us to Solartopia & end this climate chaos nightmare.

no nukes/4 solartopia...ha rvey wasserman
+8 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-08-06 16:39
I don't like nuclear either but I can't let that pass without a comment.
The problem is not the heat generated by the nuclear power plants - this is a one off occurrence per unit of energy produced.
The problem is the piling on of blankets on the planet, which traps solar energy on it by reflecting it down when it radiates.
The CO2 released when burning fossile fuels stays in the atmosphere and continuously heats the planet.

I agree that the nuclear waste or safety are major problems but let's not confuse matters.
0 # handmjones 2012-08-08 20:27
You're correct that there is a small but significant amount of CO2 associated with nuclear but it is much higher with solar, wind and biofuels.
+31 # fredboy 2012-08-06 10:58
Yes, and this is nothing. Wait until the real drought hits. And the super tornadoes. And super hurricanes. And blizzards.

Hell is coming. But money and ignorance rule.
-63 # brycenuc 2012-08-06 11:00
The World's most strident global-warming claimant, James Hansen, links current weather extremes to global warming. James is using the hot summer of the contiguous 48 states that are East of the Rockies to augment his claim. This is approximately one percent of the world's area. The remaining ninety nine percent has not been warming. In fact, many large swatches of the globe, each of which is at least as large as the warm part of the U. S., have been unusually cool this summer. The average temperature of the hot part of the U.S. would have to have been one hundred degrees hotter than normal for his claim to be valid.
+32 # Small Family Farmer 2012-08-06 11:17
Geez you'd think they wouldn't let a "strident global-warming claimant" run something like the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, a position he's held since 1981.

How about you share with all of us how you came up with your last statement. Show us your data and then maybe you'll have some credibility. Until then be sure to put some sunscreen on your butt. With your head so deeply buried in the sand your little tush is sure to get burnt.
-18 # MidwestTom 2012-08-06 16:00
We are unusually dry, and Europe is unusually wet. However, we are a long way from the 1930's dust bowl conditions. They must have had a lot of greein house gases back then, and then they went away for 75 years.
+6 # dovelane1 2012-08-07 03:05
What the people living in the Dust Bowl era had were really bad land management practices. The only reason we are holding our own at present is that we have much better land managment practices. However, we also have 200 million more people to feed now than they did during the Dust Bowl.

Also, as I understand it, global warming is affecting the ocean currents. I read somewhere that the only reason much of Europe was in a temperate climate was due to the ocean currents. When they change, they affect the temperatures in europe. that's why Europe supposedly had such a cold winter last year, and why it continues to go in that direction.
+6 # Holmes 2012-08-06 19:45
I would suggest that any reports that 99% of the world is not warming has been exaggerated greatly. It is warming quite nicely as well This is also causing problems with rainfall. Where I live we have lost 20% of our winter rainfall since 1970.

Time to do some reading of dull reports like the annual reports of at least the 1st world countries meter logical organizations. They keep the records. If it was only USA exceptionalism all would question it, but it is global.
+10 # brianf 2012-08-06 21:03
As is usual for deniers, you either didn't read the article or didn't understand it. Hansen didn't even include this year's weather in the paper he was writing about. He used worldwide weather patterns over the last six decades! He only mentioned this year's weather to say it is "likely" it fits the same pattern.

If you are going to criticize someone or make a point, you will get much more respect if you make an attempt to understand the subject you are writing about. What Hansen wrote above is pretty simple. It should not be that difficult to read and understand it before you write a comment.
+27 # Eliza D 2012-08-06 11:03
How long before we get the courage to throw these greedy,bickerin g,blowhard, do- nothings out of Congress and elect independent representatives who are not beholden to special interests? In my estimation, only Bernie Sanders,Barbara Boxer and my gosh, I can't think of anyone else! (apologies to anyone I've missed) who are worthy of being called public servants. This has been a disastrous year for farmers and will affect food prices for those who can least afford it, bringing us closer to a serf-baron society. Look around your community for courageous,inde pendent pols and give them $5 or whatever you can afford to enable them to run for higher office.Our children are already cursing us. It's just a matter of for how long.
+39 # jackson47 2012-08-06 11:14
NASA believes in Climate Change
The CIA believes in Climate Change
The Pentagon believes in Climate Change
These federal agencies are working on strategic planning to cope with world wide food/water shortages and migration due to a warming planet. If these agencies can see it coming, why are our elected officials holding back or denying that Climate Change is real.
+10 # happycamper690 2012-08-06 11:18
Seems a lot of folks didn't like PappaJohns comments above. Look, it doesn't matter what the origins are of global warming, it is happening and our energies must now be put into figuring out how we can survive, not just get by, but actually think about surviving. Yes, we need to worry about reducing our carbon footprint and increasing non-fossil fuel energy sources, but even more important, if our great grandchildren will be alive in 2100, we need right now to figure out how to do this. Populations need to be relocated and reduced through draconian measures. Since I have no real expectations of this actually happening, I see a very bleak future for humanity, one characterized by hunger, thirst and war. The one hope is that the insurance industry backed by the global finances will trump the fossil fuel guys and force us to reform our ways.
+2 # 2012-08-06 13:36
Mr. Camper:

"Populations need to be relocated and reduced through draconian measures."

Whoa! You really said this??

Do progressives really think this way??
+1 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-08-06 16:40
I am not advocating that, but what do you propose?
+1 # 2012-08-06 19:21
Curing desease, saving the kids, helping the 3rd world to develop into self-sufficient societies instead of sources for cheap resources and cheap labor.

It's called the American System--where you buy local, use your own resources to develop your economy, and keep your financial system simple and supportive of the general welfare.

See Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK among others...
+4 # brianf 2012-08-07 08:25
And just ignore the much bigger problem of global warming until its effects overwhelm every good thing you are trying to do. That doesn't make any sense. And why turn it into a competition? We can provide help to the needy at the same time as we transform our energy system. But if we wait much longer, we won't be able to do either, because we will be overwhelmed by our own disasters.
0 # 2012-08-07 14:14
Of course we could do both.

But when I told a progressive college audience during my campaign for congress this spring that global warming might be only as important as millions of kids dying right now, I got run out of town.

(I also think the climate change publicity hubub might be a wedge issue distraction to keep us from noticing that the 'banksters' have stolen all our equity and retirement savings. We have plenty of food, medicine, technology to fix all these problems--but the 1% want us to grovel in the spirit of austerity and finite resources.)
+24 # bobby t. 2012-08-06 11:47
Sorry, trees, which I have always loved, do not produce the oxygen we breathe. 70 to 80 percent of our oxygen is produced by marine animals and plants on the continental shelf. That is what Carson was saying when she wanted DDT banned. It was killing birds, etc. but mostly the runoff into the oceans where killing the plants that produce the air we breathe.
Question: In a world facing this horrible event, do you have children? Is it not cruel to do so, or blindly optimistic? I am a teacher and love kids. Throughout mankind's history we have always suffered in one way or another. And we survived. I understand the countries of the world, including America, are storing drought resisting seeds in Norway's northern caves.
If we know this, as jackson47 states and I believe he is correct, why are we allowing corporations lie to the people. Seems we must arrest them as terrorists because they will be responsible for the deaths of five or six billion people. Only a few may, just may, survive the oncoming horror. Will we live in the surf during the day, and how how will the oceans be? Will the oceans produce the air we will need? I am 75 and will not see this. I fear for my kids and their kids.
+8 # handmjones 2012-08-06 12:42
You've got it bobby. Carbon emerges from volcanic vents, circulates through the biosphere a few times and finally is absorbed into the sea and eventually sealed in bottom sediments. With the warmer climate the residence time in rotting trees and resultant soils is reduced with an abnormal amount of this carbon returning to the atmosphere especially from the tundra but also from the tropical rainforests. Not only is this contributing to the overall amount of carbon in the atmosphere but anomalous amounts are being released as methane rather than carbon dioxide. (methane is over twenty times as potent a GHG)
+22 # fredboy 2012-08-06 11:50
Jackson 47: Answer--Because elected officials are for the most part corporate whores. Amazing that most can't see this.

Let's all remember the inevitable truth in all of this: Nature bats last.
+15 # Biosci 2012-08-06 11:55
I always get a kick out of the respondents who state, "In my opinion..." and then go on to indicate global warming isn't caused by human activity; or banning automatic weapons won't control mass murders; or Obama is a Muslim; or cigarette smoking doesn't cause cancer; and on ad infinitum, never cite any facts or data to back up their opinions. Such are always based on wishful thinking and selfish motivation.
+7 # Philothustra 2012-08-06 11:57
There is nothing left to argue or debate,
but common sense adaptations are rarely
being discussed. For example, the outcry
about rising ocean levels flooding NYC or San Francisco. There is a country called the Netherlands that has lived below sea level for five centuries.
Forecasts are for the carry capacity of the planet to be reduced from 8 billion to about 2 billion (up around the arctic circle).
Remember, hundreds of millions of years ago, the world was a hot soupy bath and
huge crocs and giant dragonflies lived in warm arctic seas. It can happen again.
0 # indian weaver 2012-08-07 06:13
No it cannot happen again. Those adaptations took millions of years. We have only a few years left, not long enough to put on your sunscreen, let alone morph all living things into a survival of raging hells. Not even rocks are going to survive our self created extinction. How laughable aren't we.
+16 # gtigerclaw 2012-08-06 12:08
Personally, I don't believe there's any stopping the the mega oil tanker or even slowing it down.

I also think that man has too high an opinion of himself and somehow, delusionally, thinks humanity isn't an expendable specie existing on this planet.

The truth is that life on earth will continue to evolve and adapt as it has for billions of years quite easily with a single human present.

Maybe Mother Earth thinks it time to get rid of the human infestation and come up with a new plan.
+12 # Glen 2012-08-06 12:49
Trouble is, gtigerclaw, all life will be affected, not just human beings. If the atmosphere is destroyed, and it is definitely being seriously damaged, there will be little left but rocks and sand. We will be another Mars. Life will not evolve without something to nurture it, no matter what form it takes.

Warming and UVs from the sun will wreck all life. All life is suffering right now.
+2 # dovelane1 2012-08-07 03:19
I'm thinking the earth will become another Venus, not another Mars. Mars is cold, and the earth will be hot, with the heat being kept in by the GHG's.

Planting trees might helpo some, if the wather doesn't tear them down, as it does in tornadoes, cyclones, straight-line winds, and hurricanes. And, as I understand it, young trees do not absorb nearly as much CO2 as the older trees do.

Here's a small thought. Raise less corn, and more grains. Corn is extremely water intensive, and for the amount of water used to raise corn, you can get 16 times the amount of edible grains. And tornadoes on't knock them down so easily.

But first, we must get out of the ethanol and beef cattle industries. How do convince corn and beef farmers that it is in their best interests to stop doing the things that make them money.

If we as people were able to look at everything from a long run point of view, things would change. Keep people worrying about survival, and all they can focus on is the short-term symptoms of what is going on around them.
+1 # Holmes 2012-08-07 08:49
With respect, check you data sources re the relative efficacy of C4 plants such as corn and other tropical grasses versus most broadleaved crops and cereals with C3 photosynthetic systems. One gets about 3-4 times the amount of production out of a C4 plant as a C3 plant per mm of water. Also that system is much more tolerant of higher temperatures and light intensities. However few plants do well with no water.

Issues for the plant breeders.
+1 # Glen 2012-08-07 14:43
Using Mars as an example, dovelane1, is merely a symbol of what the environment on Earth could be. We don't really know what will come if the atmosphere is destroyed. Pollution is another subject altogether, relative to terra firma.

There have been many suggestions concerning what could be done, but we all know these projects will more than likely not be realized. Increased radiation stimulates some plants and trees but destroys others. Where I live, trees are dying as much from the drought as from what appears to be radiation. Leaves and entire plants being burned, literally, in spite of receiving water. There has been no rain, so one could not mark it up to acid rain, which I have witnessed in the past.

We shall see. Things do not look good for the future. Prepare for the worst, and be glad if it doesn't pan out.
0 # indian weaver 2012-08-07 06:16
Ebola is a likely savior of our planet and many living things, unfortunately. It has no cure. Once spread, whether by emigrations / immigrations, vacation travelers, whatever, this is the kind of human based catastrophe that can save my planet by ridding it of most humans. I pray for the extinction of humans so the beauty of plant and animal life has a chance. Ebola is only one likely suspect to saving my planet and most living things. Others may be waiting in the wings as deteriorating conditions give rise to other calamities like Ebola. And Ebola is killing again right now. We cannot contain it forever I'm betting.
+12 # xflowers 2012-08-06 13:10
I just visited one of the solutions this weekend, a wind farm in Van Wert County, Ohio. If I could post photos on this site I would. The wind mills stretched 17 miles through corn fields on route 30, and they are beautiful to behold. Each one produces enough energy to power 500 homes, and when Ohio has built all of its 572 already approved windmills, they will generate 1,051 megawatts of energy, more than the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant.
+5 # dovelane1 2012-08-07 03:33
Maybe ten or so years ago, I read in a wind technology magazine that if you put the optimum number of wind gerators in just five counties in N. Dakota, and you had the transmission lines available, you could power the entire U.S. from those five counties. That's how much and how strong the wind is there. Having been in N. Dakota a few times, I can attest to that.

So what are they doing in the northern par of N. Dakota? Why they are drilling for oil, and using semis to ransport it all over the place. Duh-h-h.

Money talks to those who have learned to listen. A local auto mechanic closed up his shop in the next town down the road, because he wanted to make $200,000 a year in the oil fields, rather than the $50,000 a year he made as an auto mechanic.

I live in N. Minnesota. We have lots of trees, and 1,000 lakes in our county alone. People here are blissful in their ignorance. They are so preoccupied with their tiny little lives, they don't know how to see the big picture. As I learned in my human relations classes some 20 years ago, we need to think globally, and act locally. Trouble is, the bull isn't in our china shop yet. By the time it gets to N. Minnesota, it may be too late for all of us.
+13 # Vern Radul 2012-08-06 13:19
Billmon in September of [2006] posted a story about British scientist James Lovelock and his warning that catastrophic global climate change is both imminent and unstoppable:

Within the next decade or two, Lovelock forecasts, Gaia will hike her thermostat by at least 10 degrees. Earth, he predicts, will be hotter than at any time since the Eocene Age 55 million years ago, when crocodiles swam in the Arctic Ocean.

"There's no realization of how quickly and irreversibly the planet is changing," Lovelock says. "Maybe 200 million people will migrate close to the Arctic and survive this. Even if we took extraordinary steps, it would take the world 1,000 years to recover."

It would be easy to view this as just another kooky end-of-the-worl d theory, if it weren't for the history of some of Lovelock's other kooky theories -- like the time in the late '70s when he hypothesized that chlorofluorocar bons wafted high into the stratosphere would eat great big holes in the ozone layer, exposing first the polar regions and then the rest of the earth's surface to increasingly harmful ultraviolet radiation. What a nut.

+15 # Illana Naylor 2012-08-06 13:21
Thank you James Hansen for your research and your courage in speaking out again and again. I hope we all are able to 'hear' and to change.

I am a Pediatric nurse. In 2004 I wrote my Nursing Graduate paper on the Health Effects of Global Warming. Between changing vectors, the increase in asthma, the increasing severity and frequency of storms and natural disasters, rising sea levels and the destruction of multiple ecosystems I was stunned to realize that global warming/climate change had become a political football. We play this 'game' at our peril.

And to the equation fracking; extracting oil from tar sands; declining availability of water; all of us driving too much in; and inadequate research into and development of renewable energy sources, we could indeed destroy our earthly home at a much more alarming rate than previously predicted.

From a health perspective, CO2 toxicity or hypercarbia, results in respiratory distress, decreased level of consciousness, increased acidity in the blood and hypoxia. These symptoms are life threatening and adversely affect our young and our elders, let alone the rest of us. It is time to call a Code.
+2 # cordleycoit 2012-08-06 13:28
It is not a personal problem, until the food runs out. That is becoming a probability due to allowing politicians to guide us . They are crooks and fools, they ought to be put on display in zoos. I live in the Great American Desert, where the dust bowl came from. It has been getting hotter every year but no one cares except the cows.
And where is the President on this mess still counting up the money he gives the Main Stream Media to lie about the fact it getting hotter.
+4 # Vern Radul 2012-08-06 13:41
This is not a problem. It's an opportunity.

When the poles melt we can drill, baby.

And since it will be so warm we won't need it for heating homes, we'll have a huge surplus of oil we can turn into gasoline to burn in cars.

It's a blessing in disguise!

And then we can use the cars to travel to all kinds of exotic and interesting places.

Especially to all the new beaches created by rising sea levels.

Named features on maps of Death Valley National Park include the Funeral Mountains, Coffin Peak, Hell's Gate, Starvation Canyon and Dead Man Pass.


+11 # Vern Radul 2012-08-06 13:42
The Climate Change Hoax Conspiracy Theorists have been staying up late at night working in the dark and leaving their taps running all night long, and have so far managed to raise sea levels of the Pacific Ocean enough now to flood out the entire island nation of Kiribati in the South Pacific, forcing the country's leaders to continue their quest to by land from Fiji to move their entire population to before their entire country sinks beneath the waves.

I'm telling you, these people will stop at nothing to perpetrate their hoax on an unsuspecting world.

The extreme hyperbolic fearmongering rhetoric and obviously photoshopped pictures are worse than anything even a Santorum could come up with.

"This is the last resort, there's no way out of this one" Kiribati President Anote Tong said.

"Our people will have to move as the tides have reached our homes and villages."
+5 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-08-06 16:43
I don't know why people would thumb you down - this is obviously tong-in-cheek.
+5 # Vern Radul 2012-08-06 17:44
Well, climate change deniers need some way to be able to deny denying climate change, don't they?
+5 # redrider 2012-08-06 15:35
I remember the movie "The Matrix" and one of the villains said to Keanu Reeves character that we, the human race, multiply like a virus. Just like the people of Haiti stripped every living thing from their soil, we take we consume every natural resource. A virus has more sense than it's human host. It will survive but we will not.
+5 # Holmes 2012-08-06 19:52
If we look at Haiti and the other half of the island where rules were observed re preservation of forests etc, one sees a very different place. I would suggest that the problem is US, and our inability to treat each other with dignity and respect. "Winner takes all" just promotes extreme exploitation as the rest have to survive.
+2 # noitall 2012-08-07 10:38
I agree, "winner takes all" and use it or lose it. How does one preserve if use it or lose it is the guiding principal? That's what the "new world order" is pushing. Eat the last piece of cake in spite of the fact that your stomach will burst and you will die. Its no wonder that GREED is a sin in their bible (and yet it is the Christians who are leading the race to the leap).
+4 # ericlipps 2012-08-06 16:19

Do you seriously believe that every man, woman anc child in America should take full responsibility for his or her life? And that no one bears any responsibility for how their actions--as, say, investment bankers or oil company executives--mig ht affect others?
+5 # wfalco 2012-08-06 17:36
Mr Hansen explains the immediacy of the issue well. But the comments by PJ15 should not be disregarded as illogical.
I think PJ's philosophy is, essentially,cor rect.Whatever one's favorite issue-be it saving children from disease or protesting U.S. empire and its dreaded ramifications.O r take your pick from voting rights to increase of alternative fuels. Seems to me the point is take action...any action...on something you can actually do something about.
It is more than apparent that climate change can not be reversed. I will not attempt to cast dissent or doubt on scientific studies that many here are more well versed on than me.
The evidence is clear. The best we could do at this point is slow down the eventual doom of our plant. But be assured the inevitability of our extinction due to over population will be the world's future. Perhaps in 100 years..certainl y no more than 150. So do something...any thing to help our fellow humanity-and do it now!
-8 # 2012-08-06 19:46
Well, sort of.

But more that 26,000 kids dying today has got to outrank, on anyone's priorities, working on a climate change that we cannot possibly fix, and is many, many years off in the distance.

I mean, how do you look yourself in the mirror and say I've worked to save my great grandchildren, when millions of babies are dead at your feet?
-3 # 2012-08-06 20:11
Also, do not discount the ingenuity of mankind to solve these problems down the road. My problem is condemning third world children and people to death in the abject fear of a problem decades off that we might be able to solve in the interim.

It's like the house is burning down (with kids inside), but we have decided that working on designing a new fire hydrant is more important.
+4 # dovelane1 2012-08-07 03:49
Some thoughts. In order to get food to those 26,000 children, what do we do? We ship it to them, whcih creates more CO2. If the droughts continue as the have in the U.S., we will probably end up not having the food to send to other countries. What do we do then - starve our own kids?

Because of the power structures that now exists, we have kids going hungry in the U.S.. What do we do about our own?

On the Alternative Radio program broadcast Sunday night on our local community radio station, Michael Bernardi said the the super-rich would rather protect their fortunes than protect the earth. They don't want to simply make a profit, they want to continue to make a killing. They are not only homicidal, they are suicidal as well.

But who can tell them anything. Because they happen to be rich, they can't ever believe they might be wrong about anything.
-1 # 2012-08-07 08:47
Food, cheap medicine, clean water. Not expensive, plentiful supply (at present), easy to ship. No measurable effect on CO2 release.

Versus death for 9-10 million kids under 5.

Small price to pay.
+2 # noitall 2012-08-07 10:47
But where's the profit and who is willing to be taxed for it? What impact will it have on next quarter's profits?
0 # 2012-08-07 14:05
-2 # noitall 2012-08-07 10:45
It is probably too late to be concerned about climate change. Changing Nature is a trillion times slower than changing the course of a loaded super tanker. Once global warming was noticed it was probably too late. PPJ15's assumption that there will be a big technological break through that will save us is the only hope that we have. The only problem is that there is no profit in THAT to be realized by next quarter. There is no technological fix to this one. The bacon is burning and the rats won't own up to it until we're have a daily count of spontaneous human combustion events.
+5 # brianf 2012-08-06 21:21
Whatever one's favorite issue is, it is not more important or more urgent than global warming. Why? Because when global warming gets to a certain point, every other issue will either be much worse or will be irrelevant.

If your child was hungry, would you quit your job so that you could buy him something to eat? That is what it seems to me you are advocating. You don't have to quit your job to get your child something to eat, and if you do, the situation will get much, much worse later on.

Of course I know the situation will get much worse before it gets better. But why in the world would you want it to get any worse than it has to? We still have the capability of preventing a world-wide famine. But we won't prevent it with so many people denying the problem or giving up already. We could still prevent the next mass extinction, but not if we don't even try!

So yes, feed the hungry children. But don't give up on life. No matter how bad things are, they can always get worse. And whoever doesn't do his part, for whatever reason, is helping it get worse.
0 # nirmalandhas 2012-08-06 22:21
I do not see how the tax and rebate will help...
+2 # brianf 2012-08-07 08:36
The gradually rising tax will help by making other sources of energy cheaper by comparison to fossil fuels. It's just like a tariff that makes local products cheaper than products from other countries. The rebate will help by making the transition easier to afford. People who transition to green energy will make a profit, while those who choose not to will have to pay more.
+5 # seeuingoa 2012-08-06 23:45
sorry to say, the "best" for the planet
would be a birdflu that eradicates us
back to 2 billion people (like in 1920)
with the same knowledge and technology
as we have today.
that would give us some "breathing space"
to act more wisely than hitherto.
+3 # wrknight 2012-08-07 08:17
Something like that is likely to happen if we don't self destruct first. Or maybe climate change is how we will self destruct. Between war, crime, racism, debauchery, disease, pestilence and climate change, the future doesn't look good.
0 # John Escher 2015-11-24 21:30
Debauchery looks good.
+2 # indian weaver 2012-08-07 10:33
I agree, some pathogen is necessary to take out humans and leave everything else alive, even so, to struggle for eons to recover genetically and evolve into well adapted organisms to live in the hell we leave behind. See my remark above regarding Ebola, a perfect example of the pathogen with no cure that is 100% deadly once you've got it. It'll be ebola, something like it I hope that affects only humans. I once hoped for another huge meteor such as the one that took out the dinosaurs, but I want nothing disappeared except us destroyers of all - the greedy, arrogant stupid short sighted amerikans and all like us. And, not all humans are like us - the native peoples honored and respected The Great Mother Earth, and never harmed her fatally, only themselves thru warfare. Native Peoples know an undamaged Mother is required for survival. We europeans etc. (Chinese, East Indians, all of our tech culture) do not understand that, obviously. Even disease was rare among the native americans until europeans arrived.
+2 # noitall 2012-08-07 10:49
The problem with that is that the ones that started the problem will be the ones with the antibody. Our only hope for the world is an early demise. The Earth would be a much better place.
-2 # seeuingoa 2012-08-08 03:17
Quoting seeuingoa:
sorry to say, the "best" for the planet
would be a birdflu that eradicates us
back to 2 billion people (like in 1920)
with the same knowledge and technology
as we have today.
that would give us some "breathing space"
to act more wisely than hitherto.

could you imagine the following plot:

year 2030, America is going down the drains, Iran has nuclear weapons, climate chaos, drought, wildfires, wars, nuclear catastrophies,
terrorist attacks, poverty, civil unrest,
plus a couple of billion more people!
In secret CIA has found a vaccine against a lethal birdflu or Ebola and vaccinates the ones they want to survive:

republicans, newborn evangelicals, jewish
people, the superrich, corporations and
the rest can go!
Chinese, Iranians, muslims, 99% !!

You will probably be able to see this blockbuster movie in a cinema nearby
next year.
+1 # Charles3000 2012-08-07 00:08
A technical point: temperature is not really "hot" and "cold" but rather it is a distribution as the author discovered. Basic physics. When a system gets "hotter" the distribution of energies gets broader; when it gets colder the distribution gets more narrow and confined.
+1 # Charles3000 2012-08-07 00:12
I have to comment on the "nothing is free" statement made above. What about money? The US Treasure prints it and gives it to the Fed almost free. The Fed does get charged some 4 cents for each bill be it a "one" or a "hundred". Almost free anyway...
0 # DaveM 2012-08-07 00:21
A fellow named Robert Huke designed a closed system greenhouse/fish farm unit during the 1970s. His prototype "greenhouses" could feed a family of four using a unit that could fit into the average back yard several times over.

Oddly, apart from a 1975 article in Science Digest, a 1979 piece in Harrowsmith, and a quite obscure book, Huke's work has received little attention. With advances in technology since the 1970s, it could undoubtedly be improved upon--the possibilities may. well be endless. The neat thing about Huke's designs is that they produced their own oxygen and absorbed any carbon dioxide produced, effectively being carbon-neutral long before the term was invented.

I would VERY much like to see this man's work revived and put into wide use. Our lives may well depend on something of the sort.
+1 # Glen 2012-08-07 14:54
My decision was made a long time ago, DaveM. I am not going to live in a fragile dome, nor am I going to live underground. Having experienced the wonder of the Earth, there is no way to accept containment living.

Future generations, if there should be, will no doubt adapt. Most of us living today would go mad living in such an environment.
+1 # Electricrailwaygod 2012-08-07 02:48
As an advocate for railway electrification (and the 'green' (responsible) production of electricity to power such, this is definitely an 'I told you so' situation!

As indeed good progress has been made in the area of Elektroautos, extremely tiny amount of effort has been made to electrify the country's (uh, correction: North America's) intercity railway infrastructure. (Con't...)
+3 # Electricrailwaygod 2012-08-07 02:49
The railways in America are indeed a gross EMBARRASSMENT! Even Amtrak is an embarrassment! I am Japanese-Swiss, both of these countries have an excellent railway infrastructure, the SBB and the JR -- especially Japan! The JR in my most humble opinion, is second to none, and as I see it, Japan IS the railway capital of planet Earth! (The States is an unmittigated EMBARRASSMENT to the rest of the world! With outdated rolling stock, and a mentality that has not changed one iota since the 1940's, and this hangup in still using all this diesel nonsense in this day and age (Yes 'diesel-electri c' hybrid, but to me nonetheless still DIESEL!), America Canada and México inclusive have done extremely little to upgrade the railway infrastructure to the 21st Century standards!

Even CHINA is beating would records! In fact they have been going so fast that due to an engineering design error on a curve on an elevated section of track in Gwenghou, they actually placed a 'speed limit' on their high-speed trains!

France is currently holding the world record on speed with their new V-150 series TGV trains at 574.8 km/h! (2001-4-3). (Amtrak's ACELA on the other hand, currently the fastest trains in America, is only holding at a mere 200 km/h)! This is a disgrace!

Let's get crackin'! let's get these trains here ELECTRIFIED -- and NOW!

Thank you!
+4 # gtigerclaw 2012-08-07 08:31
As I said earlier, humans have to high an opinion of themselves.

What I find amusing is humans have an inherent delusional arrogance to believe the Earth won't get rid of them before they do too much damage.

The earth will continue creating new forms of life long after we're nothing but fossilised bones.

Eventually, the Earth will end up like Mars or Venus as it's inevitable. Nothing lasts forever.
+3 # wrknight 2012-08-07 08:33
You can thank both the railroad barons and Republicans for the sorry state of American railway system. The railroad barons took all the profits, failed to invest in infrastructure maintenance and finally sold the remnants to the government (at an outrageous price). And then the President and Congress, both believing that it should be self sustaining and shouldn't cost taxpayers any money, failed to rebuild it. It was, after all, Ronald Regan who claimed that the U.S. shouldn't invest in such an arcane way to travel. Instead, he promoted the airline industry and then deregulated it and that's what we have today.
-2 # Radial1971 2012-08-07 22:02
First of all, if people evaluate "climate change" from a scientific perspective, it does not hold true. First of all, if we are to fret about "climate change", then what of all the climate change that has occurred over the last thousands of years. Furthermore, I am assuming that most people believe in an old earth theory (I believe in a young earth) and an ice age. What, then, contributed to ice melting in the past, etc. Climate change has and always will exist as long as God so chooses to keep us on the planet. The question is: 1. Are we in control of climate change? and 2. Can we stop the climate from changing?
Also, many people point to carbon as the root cause - a gas which is neither created nor is it destroyed. We are to be steward's of the earth. Unfortunately for the masses, climate change and climate change legislation is one up for the very wealthy - a mass marketing slogan used so that those who have little will cater to the those who want to have power over the masses. It will be promoted and of grave concern for this generation, but barring the Lord's return, another 100 years from now there will be new fears and concerns generated by people who are not in control of the universe
-1 # seeuingoa 2012-08-09 15:52
read the first book of Samuel chapter
15th, genocide of the Amaleks!

God belongs in the Hague besides
Karadsic, Mladic and others accused of
+3 # suzam 2012-08-08 10:43
Lots of big issues are being tossed around. Starving children . . . whose biggest obstacles are the dictator-leader s of their countries who sometimes won't let aid in. Causes of climate change, the end of the world . . .

In fact, we all, especially we Americans, use too many resources. Why is nobody uttering the dreaded "C"-word? You know the one I mean--conservat ion. Can we make a commitment to drive cars less (or not at all)? Buy only what we need, keeping away from the things the 1% has foisted on us, like sugar, guns, cheap electronics, throwaway consumer goods? We Americans are ruining the planet almost on our own!

If there is to be change, let it begin with me.
+1 # Lyn Adamson 2012-08-08 11:01
Hi everyone. James Hansen is right to warn us of the urgency. But he doesn't list the solutions. They exist, and they need our support. Joanna Macy calls our actions at this time in the planet's history 'Active Hope'. There are lots of local actions through Transition Towns and greening and gardening and cycling... and we also need national and international action. Citizens Climate Lobby organizes people to lobby their congressional reps (or members of parliament in Canada) to work for a fee on carbon, with a dividend back to consumers. A steadily increasing price on carbon would signal support for the renewable sector and conservation in a very meaningful way. We have to slow down our release of carbon emissions and so far they are still growing. If you are interested, check out: in the US, or .ca in Canada. We need people in each state and province. People make the change - so let's do it!
0 # Electricrailwaygod 2012-08-11 16:19
Thank you 'wrknight'! You are so correct! This is one reason that I have evolved to become an 'anti-capitalis t'! Under a DEMOCRATIC Socialist system, these disgusting capitalist 'railroad barons' would have no place! The former Soviet Union (CCCP) has indeed invested quite heavily in their railway infrastructure (sad though that after 1991 after the dismantling of the Soviet Republic, that most of this enorm railway system had been systematically dismanteled)! China (another socialst state) has invested quite dearly in a high-speed railway systen, and albeit with some problems, it is still proving to be very viable!

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