20 Years ago, top NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen testified in front of the United States congress on the need to reduce our CO2 emissions and stop the march towards potentially catastrophic climate change. Yesterday — on the 20th anniversary of that testimony — he spoke again, this time pointing to the fact that not much has changed at the national level. Climate bills have come to the floor and died, and our CO2 emissions have risen alarmingly.
“Democracy works, but sometimes churns slowly. Time is short. The 2008 election is critical for the planet. If Americans turn out to pasture the most brontosaurian congressmen, if Washington adapts to address climate change, our children and grandchildren can still hold great expectations.” Said Hansen, as part of the testimony.
He went on to ask that Fossil Fuel executives be tried for “Crimes against humanity,” because of their multi-million dollar disinformation campaigns to divert attention from climate change and reducing fossil fuel consumption. With more than 50 years more of dangerous climate change in the pipeline (CO2 stays in the atmosphere for at least that long), reductions must come quickly, and they must be strong. “We may have decades before crossing some irreversible and dangerous tipping points,” said Hansen, “But we definitely don’t have centuries,” to get back to 350 ppm, the only safe level of CO2 in the atmosphere.
After 20 years of warnings, increasingly alarming science and bubbling public sentiment for action all over the world (take Australia, for example), the moment has come for our fledgling global climate movement to move quickly and decisively. Let us act together, coordinate, get our friends, neighbors and families involved and move the US and the world towards real climate solutions.
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