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NASA's Leading Climate Scientist Says Corrupt Politics is Covering Up the Truth About Global Warming

Refinery_2 James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, is widely respected as one of the world's leading climate scientists. He says the public is being lied to and duped by special interest groups about the severity of the threat that global warming poses. He also claims that policy makers and big oil executives are sacrificing public interest to line their own pockets.

"The problem is not political will, it's the alligator shoes - the lobbyists. It's the fact that money talks in Washington, and that democracy is not working the way it's intended to work," says Hansen.

Hansen told US Congress earlier this week that CO2 is already almost certainly at unsafe levels, and the situation will only become more dangerous the longer we continue to largely ignore the problem. Currently, CO2 concentration is 385 parts per million and is rising by 2ppm a year.

Hansen called on a moratorium for any new coal-fired power plants. He also advocated the creation of a huge grid of low-loss electric power lines buried under ground and spread across America. Such a move would give clean energy like wind and solar power a chance to compete with polluting energy like coal and oil. He believes that in order for this to happen it has to be made a national priority in the next presidency.

"The new U.S. president would have to take the initiative analogous to Kennedy's decision to go to the moon."

Hansen also caused a stir by calling on chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for “high crimes against humanity”. Hansen says their agenda to cause public confusion about very real and legitimate science is nothing less than criminal. He likens the current situation to how tobacco companies once intentionally blurred the links between smoking and cancer—even when they knew full well that the link was strong and credible.

Hansen is no stranger to controversy. The Bush administration has attacked Hansen on several fronts, but the most frustrating attack is perhaps its outright attempt to silence scientific reports like the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. This multi-volume assessment, mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990, included a decade of thorough scientific study. Shortly after George W Bush became president, the White House barred government scientists from using its contents or even referring to it. In a severe “conflict of interest” move that has defined the Bush administration, oil industry lobbyist Philip Cooney was appointed chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Cooney resigned from the CEQ when he was caught changing data and deleting scientific information from reports in 2005. Immediately after his resignation he was hired by ExxonMobil.

Hansen says chief executive officers of companies such as ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy are fully aware of the disinformation about climate change they are intentionally spreading. It’s time, he says, for them to be held accountable for their propaganda. The oil lobby, driven by millions of dollars spent on sophisticated misinformation campaigns and organizations created solely to dissuade the public with anti-global warming rhetoric is endangering the public, he says.

Hansen says the oil industry is intentionally spreading doubt about a subject they know full well is a real and serious concern, and that it’s a crime that can no longer go unchallenged.

Posted by Rebecca Sato

Related Daily Galaxy posts:

The End of Oil?
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2007/11/the-end-of-oil.html

Exponential Technologies: Cheer Up World—We Are On the Verge of Great Things
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/06/exponential-tec.html

Are Global Warming Models Accurately Predicting Our Future? New Study Reveals the Answer—A Galaxy Interview
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/04/are-global-warm.html

A Bright New Perspective: Sunshine Could Power the U.S.
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2007/09/a-bright-new-pe.html

The Renewable Revolution: World's Biggest Solar Farm Is About to Open—Is the End of Oil Near?
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/06/the-renewable-r.html

Related articles:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jun/23/fossilfuels.climatechange

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/1/14/32422/5770

Comments

Well duh. Of course the oil industry is spreading lies and propaganda. The truth would put them out of business. The oil lobby even hires people to comment on media sites and popular blogs about how Global warming isn't real, so anytime you read a particularly stupid comment that sounds incredibly like the person commenting is in denial, consider that they may not just be in total denial--they may actually be getting paid to be ignorant and biased.

I love how particularly ignorant people will even claim that global warming is just a money making hoax. Lets see, we have well over 95% of all climate scientists who's research confirms that rising greenhouse gas levels pose a serious threat to humanity--the vast majority of which are government or university funded and will get the same lousy pay regardless of what conclusions they find. On the other hand you have the most powerful and profitable industry on Earth. Hmmm, which one is most likely going to lie to us in order to protect their interests? I wonder...

Well, now the scientists feel what the ufo believers have felt for years, hey, maybe they could ask for help or consultory with the ufoers about how to fight and find the truth (well not finding the truth but getting the truth to the general public) on the government "politics". In other idea, it's interesting that you find one case of .... (food poisoned, beef sickened, toys plumbered, cars bad doned) and retire in some cases millions of items and hundreds of scientists alert about something that we see already happening (in my country 50 celsius in some cities) and they do just explain it with "temporal changes in climate".

the title doesn't match the article. the article says that global warming is worse than thought but the title suggests that global warming is a lie.

the title doesn't match the article. the article says that global warming is worse than thought but the title suggests that global warming is a lie.

Agree with jigga.
I thought, "Ooh, finally a high profile scientist is coming out against all the Global Warming propaganda"... guess I was wrong. I don't know about the US, but here in Australia, we hear very little of this "Oil Industry popaganda". All we hear about is how bad global warming is etc, etc, etc.
It's funny too that many scientists are fearing that we're on the brink of another ice age... So which is it? Global Warming, or Global Cooling?

Everything Hansen says is true, but in reverse of his claims. The propaganda comes from the AGW shills and he's the worst of the lot. He's a bigger media whore than Bono.

The Global Warming/Green industry is getting huge and many companies are jumping on the bandwagon. They have lots of lobbyists and they have google bombed the subject and taken over so called Science magazines and sites spreading what amounts to religious cant.

The tenants of this ideological faith is not based in fact, but disproved theories. And Hansen, seeing himself as some kind of Pope of the movement is calling for trials of non believers.

Already we're seeing all kinds of absurd laws being passed, like in Canada they want to ban drive thrus. Incandescent light bulbs are being banned even though florescent are more toxic to the environment.

We're living in insane times. Forget about Bush, the real anti-science people are those who propagate this hysteria.

David:

Regarding Global Warming/Global Cooling ...

Consider the Earth's climate to be a "system" (in engineering terms) that has been relatively stable over the past few millennia. When you disturb a system that was previously in equilibrium, you often get a pendulum effect where the system oscillates (sometimes wildly) back and forth until it settles into a new equilibrium.

With regards to global warming, we're pretty certain that pumping huge amounts of CO2 into the air is going to warm things up over the long term. In the short term however, we could see our climate system oscillate as we approach the point of no return. So yes, global warming could lead to short-term global cooling. It's not necessarily common sense, but that's how small and large scale systems work. Ask any engineer - it's a required topic in engineering and many physics programs.

What we're afraid is happening now is that we have already hit the point where the climate system begins to oscillate. We're seeing wacky weather all over the planet, and we keep pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere, which is only going to increase the amplitude of the oscillations.

Assuming we get our act together and make an appreciable dent in our CO2 emissions, those oscillations are still going to continue for awhile, until they settle down around a new (higher) global mean temperature. How much higher depends on how quickly we can smarten up.

(disclaimer: I'm a physicist)

(oh and James Hudnall: no drive-thrus have been banned in my neck of the woods here in Canada. Here's an article on the subject: http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/story.html?id=7240472a-ba6b-44f1-a115-1586a384d824 ... and what's wrong with keeping people from idling their vehicles when they don't need to?)

look david,
the last ice age was predated by an era of rapid heating thats their concern. and it doesnt' take a genius to realise that substancially changing the chemistry of the atmosphere will change wheather patterns and hence the climate. and to be honest, i allways stick with the people who have spent years trying to understand the climate. not morons who remain indignant to the fact their actions have real consequences. my chemistry teacher once talked to me about the simplicity of nature in how adding one substance can change the formula in a predictible pattern, "thats what i love about this buisness, it works."

@jigga
I haven't heard of one credible scientific organization that actually thinks we are on the verge of an ice age. The AAAS and NAS have both come out with very strong statements confirming human impacted global climate change. Ever heard of the strawman fallacy?

Sorry. Last post should have been @david

Hansen has been ranting on the same topic for too long without putting any meaningful science forward... and NO FOLKS, a rise in temperature does NOT mean it is because of CO2 - that is a theory, and despite all the hand waving, I have not seen any credible evidence proving a causal link. In fact, the only good science on the topic shows that CO2 levels FOLLOW a rise in temperature.

People are being duped alright, by their own lazy desire to follow false gods and authority figures and not do their own research.

Hansen is the one with the agenda. And this nonsense about everyone who disagrees being a pawn of big oil is as irritating as it is arrogant and stupid.

I mean, he works for NASA for god's sake. Someone said "credible" scientific organization - and that ain't one of them.

Hansen has been ranting on the same topic for too long without putting any meaningful science forward... and NO FOLKS, a rise in temperature does NOT mean it is because of CO2 - that is a theory, and despite all the hand waving, I have not seen any credible evidence proving a causal link. In fact, the only good science on the topic shows that CO2 levels FOLLOW a rise in temperature.

People are being duped alright, by their own lazy desire to follow false gods and authority figures and not do their own research.

Hansen is the one with the agenda. And this nonsense about everyone who disagrees being a pawn of big oil is as irritating as it is arrogant and stupid.

I mean, he works for NASA for god's sake. Someone said "credible" scientific organization - and that ain't one of them.

For earth's sake, folks - the weather has changed in MY living memory (and I'm NOT ancient) - droughts where there used to be rain, rain in non-rainy seasons, weird temperatures totally out of whack with historical records.....
Maybe it's living in Africa and being much closer to the realities of our utter dependence on living ecosystems to keep us alive, that fuels my ire.
When I was living in NYC, the whole corporate / city system is so overwhelming, the feeling of just being a number, the pressure of rampant consumerism (& its consequent by-products - waste & pollution) so pervasive & numbing, that it's easy to not think about the important stuff, like preserving a planet to keep us alive!

Stop sticking your head in the ground, David, wake up and smell the smoke! The USA has 20% of the world's population and consumes 60% of power generated - time to start being accountable for your lifestyles, lemming-like mass-consumerism, appalling lack of political leadership and refusal to even match China's figures on fuel emissions 'cos 'it might affect American lifestyles'.
With 75% of the world's population living in poverty (yes, there are billions of other people in the world who are NOT American!) it's high-time 'American lifestyles' WERE affected - after all - you're buggering it up for everyone else!

OK, back to science class again.

If petrochemicals are the leading source of CO2 emissions, where did they come from? Well, I presume that they are the result of organic decay over millions of years. Or to oversimplify, dinosaur and forests and animals over time.

If this is true, then wasn't all this CO2 we are spewing into the atmosphere once part of the environment. I believe it is called the carbon cycle. We are not creating these greenhouse gases, we are merely re-introducing them back into the active carbon cycle.

Earth to Geezer:
You don't realize what you just confirmed. The co2 required millions of years to build up and we are releasing it in less than 100. What don't you understand? You are either in denial or stupid or both. I hope you don't have children.
W

Hoju.
We are all responsible. Get off your high horse.
W

Hoju.
We are all responsible. Get off your high horse.
W

You know I understand people's predilection for shouting about logical fallacies and point out the weak points of someone's argument, especially on the internet. A favorite to point is is 'appeal to authority'. This seems especially strong in debates about climate warming/change. But come on people. I'm not a climatologist. I don't understand the data and could never fully grasp the complexity of the this science unless I went back to school and put in many years of study and research. So when groups like NAS, AAAS, NASA, & IPCC (comprising the smartest people on the planet in regards to science and climate) all make strong statements about how warming is occurring, it is causing a climate change/destabilization and that humans are likely the cause...that should make you sit up and listen instead of performing arm chair analysis of stuff we don't understand. What we all can do is learn to pick our sources for this information carefully by checking out the ones that are most likely to have mechanisms in place to counters bias and agendas. There are lots of think tanks and political groups out there on both sides of the debate and I would argue that they are not the best groups to trust. It's the groups like AAAS & NAS that are made up of Nobel Laureates and other orgs where hundreds, maybe thousands of scientists have poured over the data and agreed to come out with some very damning statements.

This is the guy who wants to put people who disagree with him in jail right?

all the more reason to conclude global warming is a con.

If you are totally gay and so behind the times that you actually STILL believe the sham that is global warming you need to get a new crisis. This one is out of style. If you still believe you need to take the global warming challenge!.... 1- are you living like an Amish person? if not why not if you believe? ...it is your religion afterall. 2- eat bugs? why not? cows require alot of fossil fuel to raise. 3- since it is cooling since 1998 do you support subsidies for usage of carbon based fuels? if not why not if it is logical when warming to tax them? 4- do you own coastal land? sell it to me for 10% market value....its soon to be worthless according to your own words about sea level rising.

Face it... you are totally gay. You think like a girl ..not like a man. Men are logical enough to see through this sort of con game. But then how many men are manly enough to be engineers in the USA now? Not many. They are eating too much soy product and the estrogen is affecting their thinking.

Congrats Fred x
You win for delivering the most ill informed pathetic post. You start with ad hominem, follow up with some strawmen, and round it out with some misogynistic ramblings about men being too much like women. Are you sure you don't want to compare the rest of us to Hitler while you're at it?

You say global warming is a con and offer zero evidence to back it up. Can you reference one credible source for this obvious con?

"It's funny too that many scientists are fearing that we're on the brink of another ice age... So which is it? Global Warming, or Global Cooling?" posted by David

it's both. personally, i pray that the completion of the procession of earth on 2012 will cause a pole shift that will throw us into an ice age. as i believe that maybe the only thing to save our planet. or atleast buy us enough time to fix the damage done. however, the global warming may cause issues when/if the ice age does hit. either way

as for Fred X...you give Fred's a bad name jack! why are you projecting your insecurities on others? even IF global warming is a con, as you say, and not at all real. it's a con for the best reason. to save our planet. why would you gamble w/ your soul like that? for money? the evidence is clear, to any one w/ eyes & half a brain, that our climate is changing for the worst. now's the time to start down sizing our "needs". and learning to become more self sustaining. so as to ween ourself away from our consumerism. Our (America's) democracy has brought us a long way in just a few hundred years. proving that it is, if not the best way, at the very least a better way. however, it has gotten confused and become strange bedfellows w/ capitalism/consumerism. hence the corrupt politics protecting "big business" interests. we should all be held accountable for our "carbon footprint" on the planet. the only difference w/ big business is that they should be made accountable for the potential "carbon footprinting" of all those who consume they're product. when it becomes economically unfeasible for them to do so then they will have to think up better, more earth friendly ways to do business. at some point, however we must make a stand, collectively, against profit for the sake of profit. as what good is money when we're all dead...

oh yeah, along the lines of democracy & capitalism/consumerism, we need to sanction goods from China heavily...as it seems that they watched Russia & Germany's communism to fall to our democracy and may be eating away at our democracy by undercutting our economy and preying on our consumerism. which in turn is adding to the environmental issue because i'm certain that they are only thinking about the bottom dollar...

we need to use our democracy, now, to ensure our future tomorrow. and i'm not talking about our economical future...as that seems to have already been set by the last 8 years of administration and the however many trillion dollars we are at deficit by the iraq war.

If Bill Gates were president and declared war on Apple and made iPods illegal, no one would doubt that his connections to Microsoft had at least *somewhat* colored his political decision making. So why is it that when we have two oilmen in the White House who want to invade oi-rich nations and deny that burning petroleum products is choking the earth, people are so reluctant to point out or accept the connections between their business background and their political decisions?

jtwurth- you're disgusting and despicable. You should be ashamed of yourself in your own ignorance. You prefer to take a politician's slight of mouth as fact instead of just using scientific research. You laziness and lack of understanding for the big picture is painful considering how much abusive crap you post. You are the problem with the US and you are pitiful for your bigot comments and shameful written attacks on others who post. Go live on the north pole this summer and then tell me there's no such thing as global warming... oh wait..

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/exclusive-no-ice-at-the-north-pole-855406.html

Stay out of conversations if you have nothing intelligent to say.

The world's gone mad. The world hasn't warmed since 1998 and there's an enormous volcano situated directly under the North Pole accounting for lost ice which wont contribute to a rise in sea levels as it was floating ice. This has occurred many times in documented history. The Antarctic meanwhile is at record ice levels.

Many scientists are predicting a coming little ice age due to a lack of sun spots and reject outright the assertions made by the Warminists.

This is political folks and they want to destroy our economies. Do not let them!

They project what they themselves are most guilty of onto their opponents and demonise them - an old Stalinist trick to fool the uneducated and naive. Research both sides - don't let them dictate to you and vote out the global warming zealots no matter who they are or you will be sorry!

Where's your proof?

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