Hansen’s Declaration of Stewardship

NASA’s James Hansen has posted his “Declaration of Stewardship for the Earth and all Creation“:

1. Moratorium on Dirty Coal: I will support a moratorium on coal-fired power plants that do not capture and sequester CO2.

2. Price on Carbon Emissions: I will support a fair, gradually rising, price on carbon emissions, reflecting costs to the environment. Mechanisms to adjust price should be apolitical and economically sound.

3. Energy Efficiency & Conservation Incentives: I will support measures to improve energy efficiency, e.g., rewarding utilities and others based on energy and carbon efficiencies, rather than on the amount of energy sold.

Hansen wants to keep this as simple as possible. He argues “every
candidate in 2008 should be asked whether they will sign onto each of the three items.” Who can disagree?

3 Responses to Hansen’s Declaration of Stewardship

  1. Lou Grinzo says:

    I have mixed feelings about this, simply because it would be insanely easy for a candidate to sign up for such action and then do practically nothing but still claim to be in compliance. Part 1 is pretty crisp, but parts 2 and 3 are so easily fudged they’re meaningless.

    Yes, moving the Overton Window to include such concepts in our national debate would be a big plus, but in terms of actually doing something meaningful, I’m less optimistic. (Call it The Dingell Disgust Effect.)

    I would like to see Hansen use his high profile and sterling reputation to start a cross-disciplinary effort to define what is needed in steps 2 and 3. That would really kick start the discussion as the deniers scream like banshees.

  2. I agree, which is why the youth climate movement is engaging James Hansen to kick start this effort. At It’s Getting Hot in Here we are launching our Coal Campaign to bring in view points from all over and take the next step.

    James Hansen will be marching in solidarity with us in Iowa and we will ask him to answer our questions and if he will stand with us if we answer his call. Come join us as we take this on!

  3. Joe says:

    You are right that parts two and three should be quantitative, say for #2 endorsing what California is committing to, returning to 1990 levels by 2020, and then an 80% cut by 2050. As for #3, it should, as in my book, call for 3% of electric utilities revenues be diverted to efficiency, and a 4% per annum increase in automobile fuel economy.