June 14, 2010

(James Hansen - shouldering the somewhat weighty burden of Grandfather of Global Warming)

I ran across this interview, conducted last week by Radio France International for their overseas English program Voices. Dr. James Hansen discusses the issue of Global Warming and why there are so many who dispute it and why (I can think of a few). The fact of the matter is, Global Warming is very real and very much upon us and we are heading straight towards catastrophe if we don't change the way we are living and consuming. That some dispute it means they have been listening an awful lot to information being doled out by Big Oil or they think Global Warming is akin to Science Fiction and the stuff of really terrible movies.

Dr. James Hansen: “I thought initially it was so logical . . . that the science was so logical that once we made this story clear that governments would take the right actions. But what I found is that government will say the right words; The Planet in Peril. But their actions don’t correspond to that. And I think in part it is due to the fact that the fossil fuel industry has a tremendous influence on governments world wide. So that’s why I try to get the public involved because, unless the public begins to put pressure, a lot of pressure on governments, it’s just not going to happen. So getting arrested at a mountaintop removal site was an example of trying to draw attention. It doesn’t make sense to cut off the top of mountains to get at the last shards of coal because we’re going to have to get that Co2 out of the atmosphere somehow. So it just doesn’t make sense.”

As our society is enthralled with the concept of "Instant", it's difficult to convince people that any gradual change the earth is going through can be anything but catastrophic because we only respond to cataclysm and not much else.

But by the time it gets cataclysmic it will certainly be too late.

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