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NASA’s Hansen on Live Earth, Gore, and Coal

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"NASA’s Hansen on Live Earth, Gore, and Coal"

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More from James Hansen’s email:

I was invited to go on stage at “Live Earth” at the Meadowlands, between Jon Bon Jovi and Smashing Pumpkins performances. I agreed to this, on the condition that I could bring my grandchildren, Sophie and Connor. I assumed it would be like last year when I appeared with Al Gore before a young audience, with a rather impromptu discussion of global warming. Bad assumption. When I asked “Where’s Al?”, I was told that I would be going out alone, and didn’t I have something to put on the teleprompter? Hmm.

Well, with someone standing beside me, I wrote something, but I had a hard time reading the teleprompter. I had told Sophie the day before that I may ask her about saving animals from global warming (see “Trains of Death”). But we couldn’t all fit in one car, so no chance to talk with her on the way to the concert. Once there, the volume was too deafening. But Sophie said we should save “all of them” and 3-year old Connor concurred with her assessment (“me too”). I didn’t realize Sophie was nervous — she did great — but it was clearly draining; she slept till 11:30 the next morning, which she had never done. Now she is very happy about the experience and has something to talk about in 3rd grade “show & tell” this fall.

The point I made with the audience is the overwhelming importance of a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants. Without that, the “101 things” that citizens can do to reduce their emissions do not amount to a hill of beans; all savings of emissions would be blown away by a utility building a new coal-fired power plant. Conversely, a successful moratorium is the main action needed to achieve a stabilization of climate.

A fundamental issue arose, because the “Live Earth” pledge had a waffle-worded statement about coal plants, which implied new coal-fired power plants were o.k. if it was claimed that sometime in the future they would be fitted out for carbon capture and sequestration ["To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2"]. Gore’s people confirmed that this was the intended statement of their “energy experts”. When I explained the distinction to Al Gore, he immediately agreed that, by a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants, he meant the same thing that I did: a real moratorium. This is a case where such leadership is essential.

“Energy experts” are just like those who caved in to the automobile manufacturers a decade ago (see “Who Killed the Electric Car”), destroying the chances to slow vehicle emissions. Now the planet is at a far more critical point, and, for reasons explained above, coal is the central issue. Leadership is essential, but it can only lead in a direction that it is being pushed. Young people, who will be affected most, must provide most of that push.

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3 Responses to NASA’s Hansen on Live Earth, Gore, and Coal

  1. Lou Grinzo says:

    It can’t be said enough: Coal-based electricity is THE front line in the battle against global warming.

    How do we spread this notion beyond the self-selected inner circle of people who read this and similar web sites?

  2. Joe says:

    Good question. Right now, everyone just needs to speak out and write about these issues as much as they can. The 2008 election will be the best chance to have our voices heard.

  3. Ursut Iosif says:

    About my invention solve climate crisis.
    I expect answer thanks READ CAREFULY
    The new Combustion process to obtain a complete combustion of hydrocarbons, gaseous, liquids and solids coal, for the first time in the world. From complete combustiom obtaine H2O+CO2+N2, = (H2CO3+N2) which is drinkable and will be collected and recycled as fertilizer, With my invetion Application No/Patent No.08015134.3-1266/2107303 The application will be published on 07.10.09 with the European search report.The publication will be mentioned in European Patent Buletin number 2009/41 (http://bulletin.european-patent-office.org)
    With my invention with new technology are create complete combustion. as the chemistry, all fosilele, oil, coal, natural gas are burned, are burnt complete and remove only water + CO2 + N2 to gather and scraps of they, CO2 by fotosinteza obtain oxygen and disappear oxides. With my invention stops greenhauseeffet in same years forever so easy is it, you most beliees it. CO2 is the raw material for oxygen and food for plants,
    You must understand that greenhause gas are oxides CO, HO, N2O, SiO, SO, and they will be stopped only by to complete burning for all hydrocarbons +coals + wood.Today in the world all fosilele, oil, coal, natural gas which are burned, are burnt incomplete and remove only oxides CO, HO, N2O, SiO, SO, ect, which create global warming (greenhauseffect). Read in the wikipedia enciclopedi about complete combustion and believes. (It should be noted that complete combustion is almost impossible to achieve) CO2 was the product only to people and animals in world today.
    1,)With my invetion will be manufactured a ecologic engine with half price and half consumption , which will be exhaust only H2CO3+N2 which is collected and is drinkable from all kind of hydrocarbons Efficiency it is η = 99, 98%. .
    2,)Reactor will be used in a closed circuit to produce the heat water up to 100° C or vapour up to 300°C or more, for turbins, houses and not existed exhaust Efficiency it is η = 99, 98%.for warming an apartamet is need 40 cents / day. are used in place instalation of warm water
    PRICES INDICATED BELOW, annually, and on for 50 years.
    The Price list I would like to have:
    1, For each injector fig 2 that equips new engines —– 25 euro/each piece.
    2, For each compressor fig 2 that equips new engines 100 euro/each piece.
    3, For each Reactor fig 9,10 for turbine and apartment———————————————————————————-1 000 000 euro/each piece.
    4, For each Reactor for single-family homes fig 11–1 000 euro/each piece 5, For each injector fig 3———————————-500 euro/each piece 6, For each injector fig 8 ———————————500 euro/each piece 7, For each ton of H2CO3 + N2 that obtained from engines, combustion installations, reactors,etc. ——————————-10 euro/ton.
    8) For labyrint fig 6,7 ———————————10 000 euro/Esch piece 9, For outlet handling fig. 5 ——————————–10 euro/ Esch piece
    Regard, Thanks Ursut Iosif help to be written in the newspaper.