Game Over for the Climate

The New York Times OP-Ed, Thursday, May 10, 2012

Game Over for the Climate, by James Hanson

Mr. Hanson directs the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.  In this article for the Times on the OP-Ed page, Mr. Goddard states:  “If Canada exploits its tar sands, civilization will be at risk.”  This in response to President Obama’s interview with “Rolling Stone” in which the president said that Canada will do this “regardless of what we do.”

Mr. Hanson, had predicted in 1981 in the journal, “Science,” that global warming would become “louder than the noise of random weather.”  He outlines current warning signs as well as near-term and long-term signs in this article, as well as the underlying science.

“If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.”

Among Mr. Hanson’s ideas for reducing emissions he believes that:  “We should impose a gradually rising carbon fee, collected from fossil fuel companies, then distribute 100 percent of the collections to all Americans on a per-capita basis every month,” without the government getting a penny. “that the reduction in oil use resulting from the carbon price would be nearly six times as great as the oil supply from the proposed pipeline from Canada…”

“But instead of placing a rising fee on carbon emissions to make fossil fuels pay their true costs, leveling the energy playing field, the world’s governments are forcing the public to subsidize fossil fuels with hundreds of  billions of dollars per year.”

Mr. Hanson concludes by urging the political leadership to speak candidly to the American public who, in the past, have shown they can rise to “a challenge.”   “The science of the situation is clear–it’s time for the politics to follow…”

“The cost of acting goes far higher the longer we wait–we can’t wait any longer to avoid the worst and be judged immoral by coming generations.”

The sports idioms in italics in this post are self-explanatory.

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