Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

NASA climate scientist pens personal appeal to Obama

(Read article summary)


(Read caption) Handout image from NASA of ice conditions at the end of the 2007 melt season in the Arctic. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, sea ice extent that year dropped to 38 percent below average and 24 percent below the 2005 record.

About these ads

James Hansen, one of the world's most eminent climate scientists, and his wife, Anniek, have written an open letter to Barack and Michelle Obama on the urgency of the need to halt global warming.

The four-page letter [PDF], which Hansen has asked Mr. Obama's science adviser, John Holdren, to forward to the president-elect, warns of the "profound disconnect between actions that policy circles are considering and what the science demands for preservation of the planet."

Mr. Hansen, who heads NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and is an adjunct professor in earth sciences at Columbia University, testified before the Senate in 1988 about the dangers of greenhouse gases and is largely responsible for first introducing the concept of global warming to the American public.

"Factories of Death"
The Hansens propose a three-pronged approach to tackling the climate crisis. First, they call for a moratorium on all new coal-fired power plants that do not effectively capture carbon dioxide emissions (a technology that has yet to be proven reliable). Burning coal, they point out, releases more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than all other fossil fuels combined. Phasing out coal, they say, "is the sine qua non for solving the climate problem."


Page:   1   |   2   |   3

Subscribe to Recharge
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.