Feeds

Veteran climate scientist says 'lock up the oil men'

Nasa's Hansen goes DC

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality
Life had just begun, code error means Russia's gone and thrown it all away
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
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.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.