Feeds

Veteran climate scientist says 'lock up the oil men'

Nasa's Hansen goes DC

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Veteran climate scientist James Hansen is marking the twentieth anniversary of his seminal speech to the US Congress on global warming by calling for oil company execs to be locked up for denying global warming.

Hansen, who heads up Nasa’s Goodard Instritute for Space Studies, is credited with putting climate change squarely on the public agenda in the 1980s, mainly due to a speech to the House energy committee, in which he said: “Global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationships between the greenhouse effect and the observed warming.”

Twenty years on, he did the rounds of the big papers last week ahead of a speech this week in which he will warn US lawmakers that it is almost too late defuse what he calls the global warming timebomb.

According to the New York Times, he will call for the incoming US president to take the lead in battling the problem and weaning the US off fossil fuels. He will call for research on new energy sources, and for a national grid to distribute and store electricity to underpin power generation from wind or solar.

He also bemoaned the “natural skepticism and debates embedded in the scientific process”, which he said had been exploited by the fossil fuel industries to downplay the science world’s confidence that CO2-based global warming is a fact.

However, he went further with The Guardian, claiming that the heads of oil companies have been active in spreading disinformation.

"When you are in that kind of position, as the CEO of one the primary players who have been putting out misinformation even via organisations that affect what gets into school textbooks, then I think that's a crime," he told the paper.

He said such execs, should be put on trial for high crimes against humanity, and pointed the finger at their lobbyists and paid pols into the bargain, saying that their actions had undermined democracy.

Hansen’s scientific approach twenty years ago has resulted in virtually no change to the fossil fuel industry’s hegemony in Washington. Congress is as wedded to fossil fuel cash as Americans are to their cars. In the meantime, an embattled Bill Clinton was sandwiched between two Bushes who were both inextricably tied into the oil industry.

Will Hansen's more uncompromising stance finally make congress sit up and take notice? Unlikely. Will $200 a barrel oil make a difference? Perhaps. But it’s debatable. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?