James Hansen, the NASA climate scientist, has a post up on HuffPo that deplores the "counterfeit climate bill known as Waxman-Markey," and basically says we're done for unless we get a lot more aggressive starting now
With a workable climate bill in his pocket, President Obama might have been able to begin building that global consensus in Italy. Instead, it looks as if the delegates from other nations may have done what 219 U.S. House members who voted up Waxman-Markey last month did not: critically read the 1,400-page American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 and deduce that it's no more fit to rescue our climate than a V-2 rocket was to land a man on the moon.
I share that conclusion, and have explained why to members of Congress before and will again at a Capitol Hill briefing on July 13. Science has exposed the climate threat and revealed this inconvenient truth: If we burn even half of Earth's remaining fossil fuels we will destroy the planet as humanity knows it. The added emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide will set our Earth irreversibly onto a course toward an ice-free state, a course that will initiate a chain reaction of irreversible and catastrophic climate changes.
The concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere now stands at 387 parts per million, the highest level in 600,000 years and more than 100 ppm higher than the amount at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Burning just the oil and gas sitting in known fields will drive atmospheric CO2 well over 400 ppm and ignite a devil's cauldron of melted icecaps, bubbling permafrost, and combustible forests from which there will be no turning back. But if we cut off the largest source of carbon dioxide, coal, we have a chance to bring CO2 back to 350 ppm and still lower through agricultural and forestry practices that increase carbon storage in trees and soil.
Among other things, he goes on to detail specific complaints he has with the bill, argues against cap and trade and proposes a "carbon fee-and-dividend" plan instead.
Hansen has a rep
as being among the most worried about AGW, as half the people reading this will likely feel compelled to point out. Still, worth a read, I think.
Hat tip: Tim F./Balloon Juice
, who observes:
Dr. Hansen proposes a series of initiatives that sound doable but dire. Needless to say, as long as acceptable opinion in America ranges from New Republic to the National Review, we might as well stock up on aloha shirts and deodorant.