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The Newsmaker Memo: An Interview With Pioneering Climate Scientist James Hansen

Memo Pad Politics

The Newsmaker Memo: An Interview With Pioneering Climate Scientist James Hansen


Having directed NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies for most of the past four decades, Dr. James E. Hansen retired this month to devote himself to the scientific activism that has brought both awards and catcalls during his long and distinguished career. On April 24, he will receive the Ridenhour Courage Prize in Washington, D.C., for “bravely and urgently telling the truth about climate change.”

Hansen recently spoke with The National Memo about the dangers of global warming, the benefits of nuclear power, the failures of both Republican and Democratic administrations, the imperatives of scientific advocacy – and how a carbon tax might actually replace “cap and trade,” which seems to be disintegrating in Europe.

Now 72, Hansen is the son of a tenant farmer who studied with the legendary space scientist James Van Allen at the University of Iowa, before going on to postgraduate work in the Netherlands and at Columbia University, where the Goddard Institute is located.  He joined NASA in 1972, planning to study the effect of gas clouds on the climate of Venus, but eventually realized that investigating climate changes on Earth was “probably more important – a planet that is changing before our eyes and has people living on it.”

By 1981, his team at NASA-Goddard published its first major paper on carbon dioxide and climate in the journal Science, which prompted page-one coverage in the New York Times.

“We said we can’t burn all the coal without producing a very different planet,” Hansen recalls. But “it wasn’t until 1988 that I gave testimony which got a lot of attention, and that was because that was the year of a heat wave and tremendous drought in the Midwest United States.” Hansen’s warnings increasingly irked the Republican oilmen in the Reagan and Bush administrations, who tried to silence or fire him, but they never drove him out.

“Being at NASA and having the access to both computing capability and satellite observation capability is kind of the ideal research situation to try to understand global climate change. So of course I preferred to stay in the government — and I was fortunate that [the late] Senator John Heinz, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania, came to my rescue when John Sununu [chief of staff in the first Bush White House] was on the warpath and wanted to have me fired.”

Publicly, he remained quiet for 15 years. “But the message in the science had become clearer and clearer…It was well accepted by [2004] that the planet really was getting warmer and the cause was human-made greenhouse gases. And yet the policies still took no account of that, and the plan was to build more and more coal-fired power plants.”

He finally spoke out again at the University of Iowa – “to make clear that the Bush administration was not taking effective action.” That speech “drew the attention of the Bush administration,” he says, laughing, “and they decided to assign someone to keep track of me and prevent me from speaking out.” (Eventually the Times reported that, too.)

Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers.

Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003).

Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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  1. atc333 April 22, 2013

    It all sounds very persuasive, you know all the credentials, and the agreement of over 96% of all Environmental Scientists that Global Warming is and has been upon us, and that humankind is its cause, and climate change is getting progressively worse, but unfortunately, the Right Wing knows the real truth: “There is no such thing as human caused Global Warming, Sarah Palin tells me so”.

    Reason does not enter into it. It is all about political dogma, and preserving the current carbon based economy no matter what the consequences to this Nation 20 or 40 years from now. The fact that successfully developing alternative sources of energy will open up new industry and jobs as well as slowing or stopping the ongoing changes to our ecological systems in the world does not matter. It is all about winning, maintaining the status quo, and keeping the Faithful in line by putting out the line that there has always been climate change and loss of species over the worlds history.

    What they don’t bother to tell you is that it has never occurred over a matter of years, instead of centuries or thousands of years, and never in a continuing, accelerating manner as we have seen over the past 40 years. Instead, it is much easier to ignore reality, pass out a pamphlet to the Faithful with instructions on how to fill their very own buckets of sand, and how to best go about utilizing them.

    1. CrankyToo April 22, 2013

      Well put, atc333. Even a bird, the largest of which, generally speaking, has a brain about the size of a pea, has enough sense not to foul it’s own nest. And therein lies the difference between your average bird and your typical Republican – the bird’s more intelligent.

      1. Russell Byrd April 22, 2013

        Thanks, that was a real joy and so true. I was nearly, literally rolling on the floor, until I realized you are also SO true! Very sobering.

      2. RobertCHastings April 22, 2013

        OUCH! I doubt, however, that even registered with any Republicans.
        Hansen’s article is right on, regarding at least one researchable and verifiable aspect of the energy equation. Several months ago “Rolling Stone” magazine ran an article by one of their contributors (Thompson, if memory serves) regarding the known available fossil fuel resources and what this planet would look like if all those resources were harvested and utilized. While the coal industry claims that there is enough coal in known reserves to handle the planet’s energy needs for the next two hundred years, that industry fails to reveal what our home will look like when all that coal is spent. Our environment can absorb a finite amount of carbon before there is a tipping point at which (as with all tipping points) there is no turning back, and that point is, at current rates of consumption, sometime within the next thirty years. In the 1990’s, near the end of the Clinton administration, the Kyoto Agreement was assuming center stage, a gathering of virtually all of the energy consuming nations, including the US. The consensus at Kyoto was the reduction of greenhouse emissions significantly. Unfortunately, the US, under George W Bush, refused to sign the eventual treaty, and we have been going on since then as if there is no urgency. Recent drastic swings in weather, well beyond the norm of climate patterns (like Sandy and Irene), demonstrate that our CLIMATE is changing. The fluctuations in the ozone hole, the reduction in polar and glacial ice caps, the frequency and severity of droughts and floods and serious storms all point to a change in climate that should be catching the attention of most reasonable people.

        1. chadke April 22, 2013

          Sandy and Irene were not examples of a changing climate. Sandy was downgraded to storm status when it made landfall. One year in the 1950’s had 3 stronger, actual hurricanes with over 100 mph wind speeds. If alarmists stopped denying the historical hurricane record which shows regular, stronger hurricanes over the past 150 years, they would stop deceiving others about supposed “well beyond the norm of climate patterns” events.

          1. RobertCHastings April 23, 2013

            Please look up the definition of “climate”. It has nothing to do with what is happening NOW, but what is typically EXPECTED to happen now based upon prior WEATHER patterns. “Climate” and “weather” are two entirely different terms. Based upon “climate” patterns, Sandy and Irene, two serious storms in successive years in a place that does not normally get even one hurricane in a five year period, is an aberration. As the frequency of these aberrations increases, it affects”climate”, or what weather patterns we can expect in any given area. The current aberrations in this country are the historic flooding in much of the mid-west, droughts in other areas of the country, blizzards in the upper tier of states and the inter-mountain region, an apparent tropical storm off the southeastern coast this early in the year. If you choose to NOT see these as changes in the climate, wait until next year and the year after, when what is happening now becomes the normal “climate”.

          2. Charles___Darwin April 23, 2013

            Why are you confusing the liberals with facts? Global Warming is a religion to the left, you can’t talk sense to them. You’ll be branded a right-wing non-believer, not that anyone cares what they think.

          3. alumahead April 25, 2013

            There’s a reason only about 4% of scientist identify themselves as republicans. One of them, Richard Alley is a staunch supporter of man-made climate change. Look up Earth: The Operators manual. Alley lays out a very coherent plan to get off the dinosaur tit.

          4. Charles___Darwin April 25, 2013

            He supports man made climate change? So do I. I drive the biggest gas guzzler I can.

            Relax, you’ve validated yourself today by identify with a group in which you don’t belong-scientists. Just follow the party line and you’ll get the sense of belonging you’ve never had.

    2. chadke April 22, 2013

      Is it 96% or 97% of 77 scientists who contributed to a two question survey? Please explain how climate change is getting worse, when a collapse in the rate of warming has occurred for nearly two decades. The rise in temperature has decelerated, not accelerated. Believe it or not there is a difference. I guess alarmists eschew reason based on empirical data, for climate models with a high rate of predictive failure.

      Sorry to continue supplying facts, but according to scientists such as Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia (an alarmist), the warming of the late 1970’s to late 1990’s was similar to the periods of 1860-1880, and 1910 to 1940. Not unprecedented.

      Please stop ignoring reality, just because it does not support your alarmist, and scientifically unsupported claims.

      1. atc333 April 23, 2013

        If you simply bothered to study the changes which are occurring around the world, animal life off, changing ocean currents, rising temperatures in the oceans, coral reef die offs, Islanders having to abandon their homes because of rising ocean levels, shrinking polar ice caps, the increasing violent weather episodes, numerous violent larger tornadoes, excessive rains blizzards, and flooding, These none existent climate changes are also resulting in increasing high altitude wind speeds, which aviation experts are saying will result in increased high altitude turbulence, which pilots will have to fly around, instead of flying directly to their intended destination, increasing flying time, and costs.

        Denial is a wonderful thing, as it make one’s immediate life easier, but denial does have consequences, some of which we are now seeing all around us.

        1. Charles___Darwin April 23, 2013

          “Denial”, used by every religious zealot. Lefties are always looking for the cause-du-jour,

          1. alumahead April 25, 2013

            Tell it to the people in the Maldives who are likely to lose their entire nation due to sea level rises.

          2. Charles___Darwin April 25, 2013

            Please read things like this:

            instead of listening to Robert Redford or however the latest “intellectual” celebrity is this week.

            We are in an interglacial period and the sea level has been rising for 8,000 years (look up Bering Strait land bridge). Find another cause to get hysterical about.

      2. Philip Cohen April 28, 2013

        Sorry to supply facts to contradict your myth, but the earth has been warming at a pretty steady rate the last few decades. See http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm, for example. A brief quote:
        “There’s also a tendency for some people just to concentrate on air
        temperatures when there are other, more useful, indicators that can
        perhaps give us a better idea how rapidly the world is warming. Oceans
        for instance — due to their immense size and heat storing capability
        (called ‘thermal mass’) — tend to give a much more ‘steady’ indication
        of the warming that is happening. Here records show that the Earth has
        been warming at a steady rate before and since 1998 and there’s no signs of it slowing any time soon.”
        Since more than 90% of the warming goes into the oceans, a predominance of La Niña events in the last twenty years (in which cold upwelling water in the eastern Pacific increases the movement of heat into the oceans) considerably reduces the atmospheric warming.

        1. chadke April 28, 2013

          Check Argo then get back to me.

          1. MightyDrunken April 29, 2013

            I have, have you?

            Since 1990 the Earth has accumulated 15*10^22 Joules in the top 2000m of ocean, that is enough heat to warm the atmosphere by 30C.

      3. Philip Cohen April 28, 2013

        As for the Phil Jones comment, see

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/Did-Phil-Jones-really-say-global-warming-ended-in-1995.html, particularly response 96, which I think covers all the misconceptions well. We can explain the earlier periods with things like solar output and lack of volcanic cooling; we cannot do the same for the 1970s-1990s cooling. Moreover, the recent warming has continued, even if you only look at the atmosphere, and the others did not.

  2. howa4x April 22, 2013

    In 20 years if we keep this republican dogma of drill, frack , mine, and burn as the centerpiece of our domestic energy policy we will be a dying planet that is over populated with less and less usable land to grow the crops needed to sustain us as a species. A lot of the low lands will be submerged and populations will be on the move to higher ground. Where will the children and grandchildren of the Palins, Koch’s and other sellers of carbon be? Where will the children of the wall street bankers be? They will be living in a much hotter country, one that will be going to war over resources and one will have a much lower standard of living for everyone.
    The main problem is that all the carbon people live in the here and now and make their wealth on products that will destroy much of the planet. They are selfish, greedy and uncaring people, who think when things get really bad they can somehow buy their way out, leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves. So called religious groups are also no help, between those waiting for the rapture or those making too much money to worry about the future children. What would Jesus do?
    The tea party members will one day wake up to no house because the tornado took it or a wall of water washed it away, or farm fields that dried up years ago. They don’t make enough to move into a sheltered area, like their richer overlords, but their anti science view is now an obstacle to the rest of us figuring out a sustainable solution. Maybe they are just not smart enough to figure out all the connecting pieces. But the rest of us, those with a thinking brain that can figure out abstract concepts like what will the future be, better get active now!
    We can’t let the cynical 1% or the dullards they have manipulated ruin the planet for future generations.
    Who wants to be in a situation when they have to face their children or grandchildren’s question’s about what did you do when this was going on, why didn’t you stop it? Or worse yet why did you let these people ruin the world for me?

    1. Charles___Darwin April 23, 2013

      I guess you live off the grid and don’t use oil? Flying to France,, driving to Starbucks, eating imported food, using an Apple; all the lefty cliches consume oil.

  3. montanabill April 22, 2013

    Wait a minute! On first Earth Day, the scientists were warning about an imminent man-made ice age and world starvation. What happened? We need to take action! Now! Immediately! Quick, everyone run in circles!

    1. chadke April 22, 2013

      Eco-narcissists always need a cause, no matter how ridiculous. I still remember my grandparents stating that politicians would tax the air we breathe if they could. Fortunately the level of intelligence back then prevented politicians from thinking they could implement it. Unfortunately the rise of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming alarmists caused politicians to think these dolts were representative of entire populations.

      1. montanabill April 23, 2013

        Politicians always love a cause that can give them an excuse to raise taxes.

      2. rustacus21 April 24, 2013

        Ok, lets see, ‘head-in-sanders’ vs. ‘eco-narcissists’? Neither makes any sense, hiding from reality or the mis-representation of those trying save a planet. By the way, the expanding threats (see http://grist.org/climate-energy/untitled/ ) from continued, unbridled fossil fuels usage are taking their toll to such a degree that even lies in the press are validating the lies people accept as truth (see http://grist.org/business-technology/what-bp-doesnt-want-you-to-know-about-the-2010-gulf-of-mexico-spill/ ). Marginalizing & ridiculing those trying to influence an affirmative future for YOUR children & grandchildren does U no good & in fact, makes U look rather foolish by accepting that tired line of ‘taxation = BAD’, when, until we create a better way of CONDUCTING civil(ized) society, taxation is the BEST way of doing so. The way our Liberal/Progressive Constitutional Authors designed & INTENDED the nation to EVOLVE towards. But don’t hate please, just b/c conservatives MO is deceit of intent & destruct of nations. The America of this century alone is proof beyond doubt…

    2. DennisRL April 23, 2013

      I always find it humorous when people like you think they know more that the scientists. Whether it’s global warming or the earth not being the center of the universe. Things haven’t changed much in the last 600 years or so. Back then the church decided they knew more that the scientists and those scientists had to pay for it by answering to the inquisition. Today you can no longer be burned at the stake, only derided online in blogs like this one. But I’m sure if you could, you would still want to do away with anyone that says anything that doesn’t fit your narrow idea about how things work. You know let’s just suppose for the sake of argument that the scientists are wrong, what’s the worst that could happen…we pay more for a better climate, or have better air to breath, better water to drink. Now let’s suppose that you’re wrong. We end up destroying this planet. But that’s okay for you since by then you probably won’t be around any longer. But your kids and grandkids will and what a fine legacy you will have left them. You’re pathetic.. not because of your ideas but because you’re too closed minded to think that maybe you don’t have all the answers.

      1. montanabill April 23, 2013

        I just pointed out that the ‘scientists’, at least some, were dead wrong in 1970. Now, for some reason, you believe the group that is supporting man-made global warming. It is a no more universally believed among scientists than the ‘starvation’, ‘global cooling’, ‘out of oil by 2000’ cries from those 1970 ‘scientists’. Your option: what’s the worst that could happen if we believed them. Well, your answer is chock full of naivete. I would guess it is pretty close to an answer you would give about ‘too much government’. “What’s the worse that could happen.”

        By the way, I have advanced degrees in math and science.

        1. DennisRL April 23, 2013

          So, let me get this straight. You’re willing to bet the planet on a small minority of scientists who say global warming is bogus and in most cases these ‘scientists’ are shills for the oil companies. I don’t presume to know what the truth is on global warming without listening to people who do and the vast majority of those people say that if we don’t do something soon, we will pass the tipping point of being able to recover from the damage that’s already been done. If it was me, I wouldn’t be willing to gamble that these people are wrong just to make some political statement or in the case of the political right, backing big business to make more profits in the short term at the expense of the future for our children. It’s sad that so many people on the right are willing to listen to the politcal hacks claiming in this case that global warming is a hoax, while all the while only saying it to further the agenda of the big oil companies and big business.

          1. montanabill April 23, 2013

            So you would be willing to pay much higher taxes, pay more for food, electricity and other essentials just because a few scientists think, on chance, there is man-made global warming, Have these same scientists given us assurances that such efforts would change this global warming? Have these same scientists assured us that the continuing expansion of human population will not affect our assured efforts to stop the warming? Shouldn’t we be glad that is it getting warmer rather than enduring another ice age these same type of scientists assured us in 1970 would already be here in 2013? Why would big oil and big business need more profit if they were assured destruction by global warming? Does Al Gore need a bigger airplane? Just by chance, do you know how many ice ages the earth has had in the past 100,000 years and how frequently? Did global warming end the last ice age and is there a chance it is still on the warming cycle? Are you buying potential beach front property in Denver in case all else fails?

          2. Philip Cohen April 28, 2013

            > So you would be willing to pay much higher taxes

            Lie. Hansen’s argument is for a revenue-neutral solution.

            > just because a few scientists

            Lie. Most of those who know anything about it.

            > think, on chance,

            Lie. On mountains of evidence and an excellent record at predicting the course of AGW.

            > there is man-made global warming, Have these same scientists given us assurances that such efforts would change this global warming?

            Over and over and over.

            >Have these same scientists assured us that the continuing expansion of human population will not affect our assured efforts to stop the warming?

            No. But it will keep population increase from making things still worse.

            > Shouldn’t we be glad that is it getting warmer rather than enduring another ice age these same type of scientists assured us in 1970 would already be here in 2013?

            Bullshit, as explained earlier.

            > Why would big oil and big business need more profit if they were assured destruction by global warming?

            > Short-term thinking, cognitive dissonance, and the illusion of invulnerability.

            > Does Al Gore need a bigger airplane?

            Ad hominem.

            > Just by chance, do you know how many ice ages the earth has had in the past 100,000 years and how frequently?

            Just by chance, yes.

            > Did global warming end the last ice age

            Increase in CO2? Yes.

            > and is there a chance it is still on the warming cycle?


            > Are you buying potential beach front property in Denver in case all else fails?

            No. I’m inland, and at 63 I’ll be dead before the worst effects kick in.

        2. rustacus21 April 24, 2013

          Are we to assume that the science is no better now than it was back then? Even 4th graders know better, per your references. It was around 1970 we began the ‘downslide’ of peak oil; & while carbon emmissions have slowed, the climate continues to warm. Any idea as to why? Well, scientists understand the ‘Greenhouse’ carbon effect much better & in years to come, we’ll understand better, what we don’t 2day. But I still trust scientists who are not compromised by corporations paying them to be climate ‘nay-sayers’ (i.e., http://www.npr.org/2013/04/04/176189205/arkansas-oil-spill-sheds-light-on-aging-pipeline-system ), than those who garner no benefit from advocating we discontinue fossil fuel use immediately. & the alternative? U know that as well, so lets do so now, so we preserve a natural world of wonders that our own progeny will thank us for in 100 years – instead of cursing us for being stupid enuff at have the knowledge but failing to prevent them being condemned to being born to a hell on Earth… They don’t deserve that, just as we should NOT err on the side, yet again, of risk to others unknown!

          1. montanabill April 24, 2013

            If today’s science is so good, why is there not 100% agreement? I know, they are corrupted by big business who want the world to end so they won’t have to show a profit anymore. But could not the other scientists be corrupted by big Al, I mean, big Green? Why those scientists are so good, why did data have to be manufactured? I love your concern for the world we are leaving for our progeny, but not enough, apparently, to want to stop this country from spending itself into oblivion.

          2. Philip Cohen April 28, 2013

            Why is there not 100% agreement? For the same reason that there are still people holding out against evolution. There is no scientific debate any more, but some scientists (and many more pseudoscientists, and a huge number of laymen) dispute it because it conflicts with their fundamentalist religious beliefs. Most of those disputing it don’t even have the background to discuss the issue.

            For the same reason, some scientists (and a lot of pseudoscientists, and a huge number of laymen) dispute global warming because it conflicts with their fundamentalist laissez-faire beliefs. Most of those disputing it don’t even have the background to discuss the issue.

            I think the syllogism goes:
            Laissez-faire capitalism can handle all our problems. (I doubt it.)
            Laissez-faire capitalism can’t handle global warming. (I agree; you can’t privatize the atmosphere.)

            ‘Why those scientists are so good, why did data have to be manufactured?’ Easy one. No data was manufactured. Denialist lying again.

            Therefore global warming doesn’t exist

        3. Philip Cohen April 28, 2013

          Ah, at least you say ‘at least some’ this time. Not as correct as ‘too few to be worth mentioning’, but better. As for ‘It is a no more universally believed among scientists than [blah blah]’, that is another plain LIE, and trivial to disprove. As stated in http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus.htm, ‘There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Not one.’ And they list 27 major scientific organizations and 19 national ones, including the USA’s National Academy of Sciences, that endorse the consensus.

        4. Philip Cohen April 28, 2013

          ‘By the way, I have advanced degrees in math and science.’

          So what?

          If you get all your ‘facts’ by sucking at the teat of Big Energy’s disinformation campaign, you are no more qualified to comment on climate science than Joe the Plumber. Or Nobel Prize winner Ivar Giaever basing his opinions on a piece of bullshit put out by a subcommittee led by Jim Inhofe. Or the pseudoskeptics who wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed consisting solely of already-exploded baloney (see http://www.skepticalscience.com/examining-the-latest-climate-denialist-plea-for-inaction.html). Garbage in, garbage out.

          I see no evidence that you have considered any sources that might disagree with your position.

    3. Philip Cohen April 28, 2013

      What do you mean, ‘the scientists’? If you are claiming there was any significant support for the claim of an imminent ice age, you’re wrong. That is a flat-out LIE, and a favorite of the denialist community. See http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm and particularly the referenced article http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/iceage/ . Even then the few scientific suggestions of cooling were based on a too-low estimate of the sensitivity of the climate to CO2 increases plus a fear that a quadrupling of earth-cooling aerosols from pollution might occur (it has’t), or the belief that natural climate cycles, ignoring human contributions, would bring on an ice age…in the next few thousand to twenty-thousand years.

      1. montanabill April 30, 2013

        Try broadening your search. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present
        trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the
        global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year
        2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
        — Kenneth Watt

        1. Philip Cohen May 3, 2013

          What part of ‘Even then the few scientific suggestions of cooling were based on a too-low estimate of the sensitivity of the climate to CO2 increases plus a fear that a quadrupling of earth-cooling aerosols from pollution might occur’ didn’t you understand?

          Kenneth Watt was a zoologist, not a climate scientist. And even if he had been a climate scientist, he’d still prove my point, since he was worrying about ‘present trends’ in earth-cooling aerosols from pollution. And even if he hadn’t been talking about aerosols, he wouldn’t prove your point. Nobody is saying that nobody was arguing for an imminent ice age in the 1970s, only that saying it was ‘the scientists’ who so argued is so inaccurate a way of saying ‘less than ten percent of scientists who knew something about the subject’ that it amounts to a LIE. (And by 1980 that percentage had fallen to about zero.)

          Try broadening your search to sites that don’t excrete mountains of bullshit that happens to agree with your prejudices. The way Fox Lies does. Start with the ones I cited above.

          1. montanabill May 4, 2013

            So then, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that the incremental change in CO2 is a result of man. The U.S. contributes about 18% of the world’s total. The world’s total adds about 1.8 ppm per year. So our share of the increase is .324 ppm. Our output is about 12% lower over the last decade, even with the addition of 57 million new energy consumers. That is attributable to fracking for natural gas. Not solar. Not wind.
            Regarding fracking, from Slate: “It is tempting to believe that renewable energy sources are responsible for emissions reductions, but the numbers clearly say otherwise. Accounting for a reduction of 50 Mt of CO2 per year, America’s 30,000 wind turbines reduce emissions by just one-10th the amount that natural gas does. Biofuels reduce emissions by only 10 megatons, and solar panels by a paltry three megatons. This flies in the face of conventional thinking, which continues to claim that mandating carbon reductions—through cap-and-trade or a carbon tax—is the only way to combat climate change. But, based on Europe’s experience, such policies are precisely the wrong way to address global warming. Since 1990, the EU has heavily subsidized solar and wind energy at a cost of more than $20 billion annually. Yet its per capita CO2 emissions have fallen by less than half of the reduction achieved in the U.S.—even in percentage terms, the U.S. is now doing better.”
            But environmentalists are against fracking! So, presumably, the only way to 0% of carbon emissions is to tax ourselves to the economic level of Afghanistan, Swaziland, Somalia, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Burundi or other countries that have a 0% level.

  4. ObozoMustGo April 22, 2013

    Earth Day… the most holy of holy days in the leftist freak, enviro wacko religion of environmentalism. A day for all of you drones that have been suckered by the great hoax of the current time to worship your deity (I think you call it Gaia, right?) You can also reflect on your hero Ira Einhorn, the Founder of Earth Day and the convicted murderer that beat his girlfriend to death and then cut her up into pieces to put in a trunk in his home for a year and half before cops caught on. Just another scumbag in the long congo line of leftist freaks that you morons revere. hehehehehehe

    Have a nice day!

    “All leftists, socialists, and DemonRATS should quit breathing if you want to “save” the planet. After all, with every breath you exhale you are poisoning the air. STOP IT!” – ObozoMustGo

  5. Charles___Darwin April 23, 2013

    The liberal cause-du-jour, yawn.

    1. atc333 April 23, 2013

      Hardly a cause-de-jour, but obviously, you have not been paying attention for the past 30 years or so.

      1. Charles___Darwin April 25, 2013

        Yes I have . I remember when the new ice age was approach, according to the climate hysterics.

        1. Mr. Neutron April 27, 2013

          Read a few weekly “news” magazines back then, did you ?

          1. Charles___Darwin April 27, 2013

            As you read “blogs” now. Life in your parents basement is safe, but sad.

          2. Mr. Neutron April 29, 2013

            Good luck with that basement thing, Charlie.
            Cheer up.

  6. rustacus21 April 24, 2013

    … bringing us to the point of why elections are so crucial. Statistically, more regular voters downplay the importance of MidTerm elections for some odd reason. & yet, considering the president has downplayed the urgency of Global Climate Change, we can point directly to the distractions imposed upon him, his administration & the Congress. The most urgent items are: 1)-Jobs & 2)-the Environment. Both are intertwined so tightly, w/the potential to alleviate so many of our current challenges, we’re missing such a great opportunity to do so much long-term good for the nation/planet, by just surrounding the president w/more legislators who actually understand this stuff, as opposed to those being led around by the nose from the scent of money… which, like the gun debate, rules over reason & logic. Our time to act is getting short & we’d better pay heed to the quickening pace of climate events spinning out of control around us…

  7. kat April 25, 2013

    Isn’t it nice to see this man making lots of money as a so called environmentalist when actually he should be simply called a “businessman”!

    1. Mr. Neutron April 27, 2013

      Was Einstein a “businessman” when he won a Nobel Prize worth lots of money?

  8. alumahead April 25, 2013

    …and more deflection.

  9. Mr. Neutron April 27, 2013

    Try again, dead guy.

    Einhorn merely hosted an event in Central Park, NYC.

    The *founder* of Earth Day was United States Senator Nelson – a Democrat from Wisconsin. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of this fact.

    1. Charles___Darwin April 27, 2013

      What an unabashed geek you are, LOL.

      1. Philip Cohen April 28, 2013

        “When the facts are against you, pound the table.”

        1. Charles___Darwin April 28, 2013

          So you should keep pounding..the table, that is.

      2. Mr. Neutron April 29, 2013

        What an abashed dweeb you are – “Ira Einhorn”.


        1. Charles___Darwin April 29, 2013

          “Mr Neutron! The most dangerous and terrifying man in the world! The man with the strength of an army! The wisdom of all the scholars in history! The man who had the power to destroy the world. Mr Neutron. No one knows what strange and distant planet he came from, or where he was going to!… Wherever he went, terror and destruction were sure to follow. Mr Neutron! The man whose incredible power has made him the most feared man of all time… waits for his moment to destroy this little world utterly!”

          Now that is LOL.

          1. Mr. Neutron April 30, 2013

            It’s a Monty Python character – the day I signed up for DISQUS, it seemed an appropriate response to the know-it-alls and Internet-tough-guys I saw commenting. Of course, not much thought was put into it…

            What about you ? Signed up on Charles Darwin Day ?

  10. Mr. Neutron April 27, 2013

    Watching Conservatives try to understand Anthropogenic Global Warming,

    must be like Early Man watching Neanderthals try to understand advanced toolmaking and artwork.


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